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Reference Librarian: Searching the Net for Legal Resources

The concept of having a Reference Librarian who can help you find relevant law while you are in the midst of a mediation is unorthodox. Legal rules are not as determinative in a mediation as they are in formal adjudication's such as a trial before a judge; often settlements are reached which ignore certain legal interests. However, we believe that it is always helpful to know what rules apply to your dispute and how a court is likely to rule if the dispute were to develop into a hearing or trial before a master or a judge. The outcome of many disputes can be predicted once the basic legal rules are understood. Nevertheless, it is certainly true that when there are complex fact situations requiring the careful interpretation of case and statutory law, the outcome of a dispute will be far from certain.

If you don't find what you are looking for you can send an e-mail to the Reference Librarian who will respond to you by e-mail. You can also reach the Reference Librarian by telephone: 1-800-2-LEGAL-4 or by Fax: 410-997-7838. We try to answer all questions within a 48 hour period.

The Librarian cannot answer specific legal questions that apply to your situation or give you any legal advice. The Reference Librarian's role is limited to helping you find legal resources either within this Library or on the Net. Before asking the Librarian for advice on finding legal resources on the Net try browsing through this Family Law Information Center and using the Search feature of this web site. This page contains search tools that will help you find legal resources outside of this web site that might be relevant to your dispute.

Researching Family Law on the Net

Every day there are more and more information resources that appear on the Internet. A year ago one would not consider doing legal research on the Internet. Today, there are many new resources including state and federal court opinions, administrative rulings and regulations, bills, statutes, on-line legal journals, reports of legal conferences and bar associations proceedings. Individual law firms have created compilations of legal resources on the net in specific legal areas which make searching for resources easier. An example of a compilation is Family Law Resources on the Internet. A good starting point for both lawyers and non-lawyers searching for material on the net is the web site of the University of Maryland Law School Law Library/Thurgood Marshall Law Library

Search Tools for the Web

Here is a convenient collection of web search tools.

Open Text Index full-text word searching service - allows the most precise searching
Digital Communication's Altavista Internet Keyword Search
Alta Vista is our favorite search tool. Allows a simple query, an advanced query and a date filter to further define queries. Searches both legal and nonlegal databases.
InfoSeek (courtesy of INFOSEEK, a commercial World Wide Web keyword searching service)
FindLaw's LawCrawler This is an excellent tool for searching for legal resources. This tool uses the AltaVista search engine, but indexes only legal sites.
WWW Search Engines Page(a linked index of web search engines)

Yahoo - This is the best WWW general subject index. It is updated on a regular basis.

Access to multiple search engines: Metasearch

 

 

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Last Revised on December 10, 1996