Marbux has found us a resource for free legal research. It's not new, but it's a good reminder, called American Law Sources On-line, or ALSO. It offers the following:
"[A] comprehensive, uniform, and useful compilation of links to freely accessible on-line sources of law for the United States and Canada. (See also a link below for Mexico.) This site contains additional links to sources of commentary and practice aids that are available without charge (or available at a reasonable charge from governmental and nonprofit providers)."
Here's a link they provide to a series on how the US court system works. Here's another, in English, French, and Spanish.
The US cases are categorized by Federal courts -- Supreme, Courts of Appeals, district courts, and special courts -- and also by state. Here's Utah, including State Bar Ethics Opinions. There are links to U.S. Code, to court rules, administrative laws, congressional bills, Native American tribal-law sources, the works.
There is a link to Lexis' free search page, where you can find cases going back 5 years for free. You can search by keyword or citation and if you register, by text. It doesn't work very well, in my experience, reminding me why Google is so great. It could be me, of course. If you know the citation, use that. It works fine. But if you know that much, you probably don't need a search engine. Just go to the court directly. But you can use Google to find what you need to use the Lexis search engine and ALSO to find the court.
ALSO is a great find. I thank everyone in the government and outside who worked to make this free resource available.
I'm on this quest to make it possible for everyone to understand enough of the law to follow along knowledgeably as IP law marches on in the courts. And the paid services are too costly for individuals to afford. At least, I can't afford them. So I'm always looking for free resources. It feels wrong to me that the public can't readily afford to understand the law, and understanding the law requires that one have access to cases.
I'll add ALSO to our permanent Legal Links resource page right away, now that I realize all it offers. Thank you, Marbux. Enjoy, everyone.