Early records can show Tennessee case law

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Many individuals think that judges simply make new, unique decision on each case that is presented to them. However, that is not often the case – the majority of legal decision makers have to pour through old rulings, because “stare decisis,”, or the precedent set by old case law, provides a sold framework for modern lawsuits. 

Scouring through old files can be time consuming. As such, many local governments are putting past records online with conversion services, as this can allow attorneys, judges and others to search through databases with keywords.  Moreover, this can aid researchers and law students working remotely.

This sort of initiative is underway in Tennessee, according to The Chattanoogan, thanks to a project by the Tennessee State Library and Archives. The source said that the Early Tennessee Legislative Records database was recently created, and features court documents from 1793 through the 1840s.

Individual decisions regarding divorce settlements, land settlements and other disputes are present on the electronic document management system, along with papers proclaiming county lines, designating how to call up troops during war and various state constitution clauses, according to the news source.

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