legal research on Google

The internet is good.  It’s full of useful information.  Sadly, it’s also full of wrong information.  Or information which is correct for someplace but not for D.C., MD or VA where I practice.  I have some very sophisticated clients who love to help.  But I’ve had to explain that it’s not that Google has NO authority, it’s simply LOW on the authority totem pole.  I have explained to one (very helpful, in fact) client that the items he finds may prove to be helpful, but that in the end, they may cost him money because I must review them, verify them, and then check them against my “real” authorities.

I generally tell my clients who want to be helpful to only send me references on government web sites (EEOC, DOL, etc.) and articles that made specific references to case names, so I’d have no problem checking them out.  (This ruled out blogs offering general discussion and the like.)  Just keep in mind that you are paying me to be sure and the information on the internet is free—you get what you pay for.

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