- Associated Press - Sunday, January 3, 2016

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Rulings from the Nebraska Supreme Court and Appeals Court issued over the past 145 years are now available online, and new decisions will only be issued electronically.

The Lincoln Journal Star reports (https://bit.ly/1Rj9cdT ) the move will make the court decisions more readily available to anyone who wants to look up a famous case or wants to research genealogy.

Before this shift, people had to visit law libraries or pay fees to legal research companies such as Westlaw to find the court decisions.

Supreme Court Justice William Cassel, who worked on the project, said this is a landmark change for the court.

“We have embraced the new technology,” Cassel said.

Cassel said court officials decided to make this move because fewer people had been buying the hard-bound books as costs increased. And he said the Internet offered the best means to share the information.

The new site is online at www.nebraska.gov/apps-courts-epub/public/supreme .

The court’s current Reporter of Decisions, Peggy Polacek, had her name on the last hard-bound book of rulings the court published, and now she’ll be the first digital reporter.

“It’s a new era for us,” Polacek said.

Converting the records to digital form raised some new questions about backup copies and warding off hackers. Previously, the bound volumes created thousands of backup copies, but now the court will have to invest in digital backups of the backup copies to be safe.

Cassel said lawyers may still turn to other tools to do their research, but the new site will offer true and correct copies of the official record to whoever wants them.


Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, https://www.journalstar.com

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