I love including explanatory parentheticals when citing authority in motions and briefs. In fact, I wrote the first law review article on how to persuade judges using parentheticals. (You should download it now on SSRN so that my download count will increase, which will make me feel special. You do not even have to read it.) I was thrilled when I discovered wellsettled.com, a new search engine that allows researchers to keyword search the text of the parentheticals used in court opinions. In their opinions, judges often include parentheticals when citing earlier decisions. Such parentheticals may summarize rules from the prior cases or explain how the prior cases applied rules to their facts. This search engine enables researchers to search only the content of those parentheticals.
Wellsettled.com is still a work-in-progress. It searches only a select number of cases and has no database of cases. (You can easily retrieve the cases on Google Scholar for free.) For example, I searched for opinions where “Twombly” appeared in parentheticals and received only 102 cases. I also searched parentheticals for “discrimination” and “religious,” and it returned only 40 cases.
But for both searches (see images below), wellsettled.com returned results with multiple parentheticals that illustrated whether the disputed facts in the cited cases satisfied the rules. Thus, this is a great research tool to find cases analogous to your client’s situation.
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