Saturday, May 25, 2013

That's one way to do it

90% of the Internet is bunk
I've been working as a professional Law Librarian for going on 10 years now and the thing that never ceases to amaze me is how quickly people in the Internet Age have forgotten what brick and mortar libraries are used for.  See, I have this running battle with many library patrons who believe that everything on the Internet is true and correct and because it's free it must be useful.  

Daily, I have people come to me saying they thought the complaint or injunction or response to a complaint they had found on the Internet would help them win their case and can't understand why they lost.  To be clear, while most of the Internet is free, 98% of it is bunk and the phrase "you get what you pay for" is especially true.  Fact is, the legal resources you really should be using are found almost exclusively at a law library.  Regardless of my repeated warnings, people are still unclear on the Internet = bunk concept, so I will elucidate.

Say your buddy is looking to borrow money to help tie him over until he can find a job as a key punch operator.  So, you hop on the Internet and search for "loan agreements" finding about 9,280,000 results in little under 0.42 seconds.  Pretty impressive.  The problem is that you don't know which of those 9 million links are 1) viable sample forms that 2) comply with laws of your jurisdiction (so that it will hold up in court when you have to sue your buddy after he decides your "loan" was actually a "gift").  Might I, instead, suggest you go to your local county law library and take a look at American Jurisprudence Legal Forms (look in the index under Debtors and Creditors) (West) and/or California Legal Forms: Transaction Guide (look under promisory notes) (Lexis).

Another one?  Say your son/daughter are being bullied at school, or you are being harassed at work.  So, you hop on the Internet and type "bully" on, locating 44,600,000 results; everything from direct-to-video movies to vague references about Theodore Roosevelt.  Might I suggest instead of slogging through those 44 million results, you do yourself a favor, go to your local county law library and take a look at California Practice Guide: Personal Injury (West), Your Rights in the Workplace (Nolo Press), or Personal Injury: Actions, Defenses, Damages (Lexis).

Yep, there are a whole lot of people who think everything on the Internet is the bees knees.  Any wonder why they keep losing their cases?  When you come to the realization that the Internet is not the repository of all useful knowledge, head on over to your local county law library and let a legal researching professional (i.e. a Law Librarian) help you find what you're looking for.