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LEXIS (Mead Data Central, Inc. - Computer-Assisted Legal Research Service) - Legal Research and Litigation Support (From Legal and Legislative Information Processing, P 149-156, 1980, Beth Krevitt Eres, ed. See NCJ-72522)

NCJ Number
K D Stanley
Date Published
8 pages
LEXIS, a full-text, computer-assisted legal research service, is described and its value interpreted. The LEXIS legal research system and litigation support service are discussed.
LEXIS uses two dedicated IBM 370/155 computers in Dayton, Ohio. The LEXIS mass storage configuration is one of the largest in the world. The lawyer's terminal consists of a cathode ray tube resembling a television screen, a hard-copy printer, a typewriter-style keyboard, and a microprocessor to store some data and control the operation of the terminal. The software has been designed to permit rapid searching and retrieval in large textual data bases. Materials in LEXIS are divided into a number of libraries (data bases), each covering a discrete body of law. These libraries constitute the largest collection in the world of full-text legal materials available for computer-assisted research. LEXIS aims at conversion to machine-readable form of large quantities of textual material at a high level of accuracy and at a reasonable cost. Few lawyers question the overwhelming superiority of full text for computer-assisted research in legal source materials. Services based on indexes and digests are giving way to services that have the features and the functions needed for full text. The use of full text in a computer-assisted litigation support service permits the researcher with a question to have instantaneous access to the materials without having to rely on the judgment of intermediaries who prepared the summaries without knowledge or anticiption of the researcher's question. Ten footnotes are provided.


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