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Legal Research On a Shoestring Budget

In a recent post by Anurag Acharya on the Official Google Blog, anyone can now find federal and state court case opinions with Google Scholar. By entering either party names or topic (for example, disability) you can now search for the full text of legal opinions and articles. And it’s free!

According to Acharya’s post, this addition to Google Scholar will allow the average citizen to:

  • be empowered by helping them learn more about the laws that govern us all;
  • understand how an opinion has influenced other decisions by exploring citing and related cases using the Cited by and Related articles links on search result pages; and
  • learn about the intricacies of law in the context of real-life situations.

We are grateful to the Google Blog for making everyone aware of this new feature. The following individuals are to be thanked as well for their efforts in making these legal resources available through Google: Tom Bruce (Cornell LII), Jerry Dupont (LLMC), Graham Greenleaf and Andrew Mowbray (AustLII), Carl Malamud (Public.Resource.Org), Daniel Poulin (LexUM), Tim Stanley (Justia), Joe Ury (BAILII), and Tim Wu (AltLaw).

Since we practice Social Security Disability law in Texas, which is in the Fifth Circuit, we gave the Google Scholar a test. We entered the following search terms: “treating physician fifth circuit”

This search pulled up the important Fifth Circuit case from the year 2000 where the court set out, in Newton v. Apfel 209 F.3d 448 (5th Cir. 2000), the rules that govern how the Social Security Administration assigns weight to medical opinions and treating physician opinions.

Bob Kraft

I am a Dallas, Texas lawyer who has had the privilege of helping thousands of clients since 1971 in the areas of Personal Injury law and Social Security Disability.

About This Blog

The title of this blog reflects my attitude toward those government agencies and insurance companies that routinely mistreat injured or disabled people. As a Dallas, Texas lawyer, I've spent more than 45 years trying to help those poor folk, and I have been frustrated daily by the actions of the people on the other side of their claims. (Sorry if I offended you...)

If you find this type of information interesting or helpful, please visit my law firm's main website at You will find many more articles and links. Thank you for your time.

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