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Google and Beyond: Finding Legal and Non-Legal Authority on the Internet. NOSSCR St. Louis Conference October 20, 2007 Eric Schnaufer www.schnaufer.com. Google : Basics. [] Search Term(s) Included Within Brackets; Brackets Not Part of Search Term(s) Automatic “and” Queries

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Google and beyond finding legal and non legal authority on the internet

Google and Beyond: Finding Legal and Non-Legal Authority on the Internet

NOSSCR St. Louis Conference

October 20, 2007

Eric Schnaufer

www.schnaufer.com


Google basics

Google: Basics

  • [] Search Term(s) Included Within Brackets; Brackets Not Part of Search Term(s)

  • Automatic “and” Queries

    • [herniated disk] finds pages with both words

  • Not Case Sensitive

    • [Commissioner] same as [commissioner]

  • Exclusion of Common Words and Characters (Unless Exact Phrase)

    • the, a, when, how

  • Advanced Search Page, Advanced Tips

  • Google Toolbar forFirefox, IE Google


Google two main operators

Google: Two Main Operators

  • Exact Phrase – Between Quotation Marks

    • [“residual functional capacity”]

    • [“Social Security”]

    • [“Robert T. Smith”]

    • [“Appeals Council”]

  • Site Restriction – site:URL

    • [site:www.ssa.gov], [site:www.socialsecurity.gov]

    • [site:www.nosscr.org]


Google uncommon acronym test exact phrase alternative

Google: Uncommon Acronym?Test Exact Phrase Alternative

  • Types of Legal Authority

    • [HALLEX]or [“Hearings, Appeals, Litigation”]

    • [POMS] or [“Program Operations Manual”]

    • [SSR] or [“Social Security Ruling”]

  • Legal Concepts

    • [IRWE] or [“impairment-related work”]

    • [PRW] or [“past relevant work”]

  • Other

    • [ODAR]or [“Office of Disability Adjudication”]

    • [DJD]or [“degenerative joint disease”]


Google or operator

Google: OR Operator

  • Find Either Alternative With [OR]

  • Use When Uncertain About Alternatives

    • [PRW OR “past relevant work”]

    • [UWA OR “unsuccessful work attempt”]

    • [ALJ OR “administrative law judge”]

    • [“medical expert” OR “medical advisor”]

  • Agency More Likely to Use Acronym

  • Non-Agency Less Likely to Use Acronym; Acronym Normally Introduced


Google automatic stemming

Google: Automatic Stemming

  • Google Finds Similar Words Automatically

    • [stoop]finds stoop and stooping

    • [ALJ] finds ALJ and ALJs

  • Automatic Stemming Imperfect

    • Does Not Work 100% of Time

    • [occasion] does not find occasionally

    • [occasional] does not find occasionally

  • Use OR Operator

    • [occasional OR occasionally]


Google hallex

Google: HALLEX

  • HALLEX is ODAR’s Procedural Manual

  • http://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/hallex/

  • Google (Site Restriction Unnecessary?)

    • [site:www.ssa.gov HALLEX Branch Fax]

    • [HALLEX Branch Fax]

    • [HALLEX dismiss OR dismissal]

    • [HALLEX “Appeals Council” reopen OR reopening], [HALLEX subsequent]

    • [HALLEX judicata], [HALLEX “res judicata”]

    • [HALLEX ALJ writing], [HALLEX ALJ unfair]


Google ssr searches

Google: SSR Searches

  • Social Security Rulings

    • More important than statute or regulations?

    • Binding on adjudicators, 20 C.F.R. § 402.35 (2007)

  • http://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/rulings/

  • Sample Searches

    • [site:www.ssa.gov ssr stoop OR stooping]

    • [site:www.ssa.gov SSR uwa]

    • [site:www.ssa.gov SSR dictionary OR DOT]

    • [site:www.ssa.gov ssr cfs OR fibromyalgia]

    • [site:www.ssa.gov “ninth circuit” acquiescence]


Google regulations

Google: Regulations

  • Regulations, 20 C.F.R. Parts 404, 405, and 416

  • Bluebook Citation to Latest April 1st Edition

  • Free Internet Sources

    • http://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/cfr20/cfrdoc.htm

    • http://www.gpoaccess.gov/cfr/

    • http://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/cfr.php?title=20

  • Google Searches

    • [404.1527], [20 CFR 404.1527], [416.920a]

    • [site:www.ssa.gov 404.1527]

    • [site:www.ssa.gov recontact recontacting]


Google regulations cont

Google: Regulations (cont.)

  • More Google Searches

    • [site:www.ssa.gov CFR treating source]

    • [site:www.ssa.gov CFR “Social Security Rulings”]

    • [site:www.ssa.gov CFR consultative]

    • [site:www.ssa.gov CFR “Appeals Council”]

    • [site:www.ssa.gov “code of federal regulations” 1.04]

    • [site:www.ssa.gov “code of federal regulations” asthma]

    • [site:www.ssa.gov CFR daily]


Federal register

Federal Register

  • Federal Register – Proposed Regulations, Final Regulations, SSRs, ARs, Notices

  • http://www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/index.html

  • Federal Register Has Own Search Function, http://www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/advanced.html

    • http://www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/tips.html

    • Use [Baltimore Social ADJ Security]

  • Google Searches Unreliable

    • [“Federal Register” 2007 “Social Security Ruling”]


Google poms not indexed

Google: POMS Not Indexed

  • POMS – Agency’s Manual of Procedure

  • Washington State Dep't of Soc. & Health Servs. v. Keffeler, 537 U.S. 371 (2003) (deferring to POMS).

  • https://secure.ssa.gov/apps10/poms.nsf/

  • Google Does Not Index POMS

  • POMS Has Own Search Function

    • Increase return pages to 250+

    • Use word variants and fuzzy search

    • DAA Teletype?, http://tinyurl.com/2o3kq3

  • Study and Use Table of Contents

  • Brute Force (Reading POMS) Sometimes Best Method


Google ssa gov other authority

Google: ssa.gov - Other Authority

  • [POMS SSA]

  • [site:www.ssa.gov cola 2008]

  • [site:www.ssa.gov “blue book”]

  • [site:www.ssa.gov “red book”]

  • [site:www.ssa.gov representation]

  • [site:www.ssa.gov “fee petition”]

  • [site:www.ssa.gov “hearing office” “St. Louis”]

  • Forms, Applications, etc.

  • Emergency Messages, http://tinyurl.com/35y64r


Google statutes

Google: Statutes

  • E.g., 42 U.S.C. §§ 416, 423, 1382, 1382c

  • Free Internet Sources

    • http://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/ssact/

    • http://www.gpoaccess.gov/plaws/index.html

    • http://www.gpoaccess.gov/uscode/index.html

    • http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/

    • http://uscode.house.gov/

    • http://thomas.loc.gov/

    • http://www.ssa.gov/legislation/


Google statutes cont

Google: Statutes (cont.)

  • Google Searches

    • ssa.gov primarily cites to the Social Security Act, not to the U.S.C.

    • [ 42 USC 423], [Cornell “42 USC 423”], [FindLaw “42 USC 423”]

    • [site:www.ssa.gov compilation 205(g)]

    • [site:www.ssa.gov “united states code" "Title II"]

    • [28 USC 2412] – Equal Access to Justice Act


Free case law

Free Case Law

  • Fee-Based Case Law Still Necessary

    • www.westlaw.com; www.lexis.com

  • Supreme Court Opinions

    • Supreme Court, www.supremecourtus.gov

    • FindLaw, www.FindLaw.com

    • Justia, www.justia.com

    • Cornell, www.law.cornell.edu/supct/ (since 1991)

  • Google Searches

    • [FindLaw Bowen Yuckert], [Justia Bowen Yuckert]


Free case law cont

Free Case Law (cont.)

  • Appellate Court Web Sites

    • http://www.uscourts.gov/courtlinks/

    • http://www.schnaufer.com/case.htm (links)

  • FindLaw, http://www.findlaw.com/casecode/

    • Exact phrase, use quotation marks like Google

    • Boolean operators, e.g., AND

    • Also search FindLaw with Google

      • [FindLaw fibromyalgia “Seventh Circuit” Posner]

      • [FindLaw “Ninth Circuit” credibility 96-7p]

      • [FindLaw “Sixth Circuit” “Social Security” Duncan]


Google fact finding

Google: Fact Finding

  • Medical Providers

    • [“123 Main St” Anywhere, MO]

    • [“Richard T. Smith”]

    • [“Richard Smith” board-certified]

    • [rheumatologist Milwaukee WI]

    • [847.570.2000], [(847) 570-2000]

  • Medical Facts and References

    • [define:lordosis], [ACR fibromyalgia]

    • [“Dr. Waddell” “waddell's sign”]


Popular web sites

Popular Web Sites

  • Peter Young’s Social Security Advisory Service, http://www.ssas.com/

    • List of 137 unskilled sedentary DOToccupations,

    • Links, http://tinyurl.com/2w5exp

  • Charles Hall’s Social Security News blog, http://socsecnews.blogspot.com/

  • David Traver’s SSA Connect, http://www.ssaconnect.com/

  • Charles Martin’s e-mail list


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