Tuesday, June 03, 2008
If you're looking to search 4th Circuit and Maryland State cases, consider using The Public Library of Law, or PLOL. Although Findlaw has offered the ability to search 4th Circuit cases both by party-name (select "4th Circuit" from the drop down menu) and by full-text for some time, the search functionality in Findlaw is limited and difficult to use. Using PLOL, you can search 4th Circuit cases back to 1950 and Maryland state appeals cases back to 1997. Simply click on the "Advanced Search" link and then select your court from the drop down menu. PLOL ranks your search results by relevance and bolds your search terms in the results list--making it easier to find your case on point. To view the full text of the case, you must register with the site, but registration is free. Note that Maryland Federal district courts are currently not available on PLOL.