New in Google Scholar: Significant Citing Cases


Use Google Scholar for your legal research? Then you may be happy to hear that the Scholar team has further refined the service to highlight significant cases that cite to a particular legal opinion. “Significant” means it discusses the cited case to a greater degree, maybe distinguishing or even rejecting or overturning it.

Scholar always provided citing documents, showing them in order of prominence. Now, in Scholar, those citing cases will be shown in order of significance. So, not unlike services like say Westlaw, citations are shown with the greatest discussion and treatment at the top, and the least at the bottom of the list. Scholar also marks the amount of discussion visually in three tiers. Citing cases that only cite the original case show no marking at all. The tiers are shown with horizontal hashes to the left of the case name.

To say this makes Scholar more useful would be an understatement – as Scholar adds more and more features, the dream of useful free legal research edges closer to reality.