Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Google and Legal Research

Someone else may have caught this before him, but my hat tip on Google's entry into legal research goes to Eugene Lee at California Labor Law, Google Offers Caselaw ... for FREE. Google comes out with tons of new offerings and not all of them last, so who knows about this project, but given what they have accomplished in other areas, probably worth keeping an eye on.

I went over to check it out and since I have been interested in the "mixed motive" issue as a follow up to my testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the bill to overturn Gross v. FBL Services, thought I would try out "mixed motive." Here are the first five entries with that search on the Google scholar page, with the radio button for "Legal opinions and journals" checked:
Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins
Desert Palace, Inc. v. Costa
Mt. Healthy City School District Board of Education v. Doyle
NLRB v. Transportation Management Corp. and
Rachid v. Jack in the Box, Inc.
Although that's not a very sophisticated search term, the first four cases are the key Supreme Cases in determining the history of "mixed motive." I would have thought Gross would have shown up high but it doesn't appear until the 8th page. Interestingly, the Rachid case is a 5th Circuit case which extended mixed motive to the ADEA without a lot of discussion, and has been sub silentio overruled on that point by Gross.

I doubt that many are canceling their Westlaw or Lexis accounts today, but it is an interesting development.

Michael, thank you for the hat tip! I definitely wasn't the first to catch the news but maybe one of the first to blog about it in the legal community.

As for your analysis, cogent as always. I just wanted to throw this out for consideration. I did a search for "mixed motive" in the "California & Federal" database of Lexis-Nexis (sadly, I don't have Allfeds and Allstates). This is what came up:

1. Metoyer v. Chassman 504 F.3d 919
2. Harris v. City of Santa Monica 2009 Cal. App. LEXIS 1731
3. Desert Palace, Inc. v. Costa 539 U.S. 90
4. Remlinger v. Nevada 2000 U.S. App. LEXIS 4140
5. Mwaniki v. Ebay 2005 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 8660
6. Cook v. La Marque 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29320

No Price Waterhouse! Gross v FBL does show up as no. 8 so that is better than Google for now.

Overall, I think Google's search results are superior.

Another thing to keep in mind is that this is only day one of Google's entry into legal research whereas Wexis has been around for decades. We probably need to reserve judgment for a bit.


Nice tips of employment lawyer's. In US employers whose work is one of the best and US is only the way where attorneys fees are handled. Well, Canadian employment law is different from that in the United States. Thank you very much........
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