Public Resource Scores a Hit - Federal Reporter At Your Fingertips From Public Resources and Precydent via FastCase.
May 1, 2008, Revised May 3, 2008, Revised June 30, 2008.
[Update - as of June 30, 2008, Public Resources has made available the Federal Reporter through Volume 491, July, 2007 These files were loaded on March 10, 2008. No Federal Reporter files have been loaded since.]
Notwithstanding the unfortunate inclination to overstatements describing Carl Malamud's efforts [all federal law does not equal the cases in the Federal Reporter - by a long shot], it is clear that Carl Malamud has made a major contribution by obtaining the Federal Reporter decisions from FastCase, making them available to all, posting them on a public web site, formatting them with the assistance of professional programmers, and giving the decision file the Federal Reporter citation as a file name, and then using the citation in the HTML title. Yes!!!
Because Google indexes the Federal Reporter citation, and displays the citation on the first line, then Googling the Federal Reporter site will find the case in the first one or two hits. Try it below - wow, there it is. Although missing pin-point West pagination, it is faster than West or Lexis and free as well. This is absolutely awesome. Just copy the cite and drop into Google and voila.
For sure, these cases have been on the Internet for years in the form of slip opinions from the Court of Appeals web sites, but, not accessible by the West citation . The the court web sites will not put in the Federal Reporter citation and the law schools are afraid to do so or do not have the resources to insert the citations into the opinions downloaded from the courts.
But, as well, Precydent.com has its versions which will be found l from the search above. The Precydent.com case are as well sourced from FastCase, and include internal hypelinks. Plus - Precydent has the West pin-point citations paginaton.
We wonder where they came from? Were these in the FastCase files, but not used by Malamud -it seems so?
But, there is one rub with Precydent - they have become another West by taking it upon themselves to assign a public domain sequence based citation - oh well - we will have a Westlaw cite, and Lexis cite, and then a Precydent public domain cite, and perhaps someone else's public domain citation.. More about that later. Wait until they get to decisions not in a West printed volume. Lesson: do not design a system and a produc around one type of source of opinions, in this situation Federal Reporter decisions with clean formatting and coding.
This set of Federal Reporter opinions is by not means all citable cases of the United States Courts of Appeals - missing of course arethe unpublished opinions which since January 1, 2007 are citable by rule. Also missing are important opinions of United States District and Bankruptcy Courts. Court of Appeals decisions, albeit not with the West citation, has been in the glass for over ten years.
This is the Right Column - and this is variable and will collapse.