Many comments are misinformed about copyright, legal systems, and lawyers, so such expertise gained from films and television is quaint at best.
E.g., "How long has this clown been a lawyer?" by AC ("He "didn't know" that briefs in cases become part of the public record, and as such, ANYONE can republish them just as they can republish ANY PUBLIC RECORD? This clown should be disbarred for incompetence."):
"Public record" is not the same as "public domain." (Applies also to comments by kain preacher & Eddy Ito). Merely introducing a work into the court record does not strip the document's creator of his/her copyright. Try republishing Michael Jackson's songs, or Tolkien's writings (both are in the court record, and exhaustively quoted in briefs, legal expert reports, and other places such as court opinions), and see what happens.
E.g., "really?" by Timothy Wright: " Seriously? This man and his firm must rank up there among the least competent law firms in the US. Not knowing about LexisNexis is like not knowing what google is for the legal world."
He didn't say he did not know about Lexis/Nexis. He did not know that the private (and very large) corporations republished briefs submitted by lawyers (and you will find no disclosure of such use on any of the website pages a lawyer would use in order to research; and it's rather unlikely a court provides warning or disclosure that it facilitates or even allows republication, and no court likely requires a lawyer to provide consent in order to litigate and file papers in that forum).
Re: "@kain preacher" by jake: "The originals are (c) the original author (as always), but they are still freely viewable by anyone who requests to view them."
Fairly close, but not until courts began accepting online filings, and access to filings online, was this practical. Before then, you had to go to the court clerk's office, request a specific case file, and look through the papers (or microfilm). Cases filed before that (i.e., representing the overwhelming majority of published case law) require physical site visits to review such papers. Even now, most courts that provide electronic access (including the federal courts) charge per page to obtain copies online (and require advance establishment of an account to even log in). The largest county court system in the U.S. prohibits files and documents from being taken out of the clerk's office (lawyers need a court order to take the file out of the room), prohibits scanning equipment from being used, and charges $.25/page to use poor-quality photocopiers.
In light of such practical difficulties, Gary Turner's comment ("Another IP whore": "Don't they read common law as defined by the court cases, their pleadings and rulings in their research? Where did they think those books in their libraries, or the online resources came from?") is only fantasy: most reported decisions (trial and appellate) in the federal, state, county and local court systems in the U.S. do not include any of the briefs submitted by the parties. Other than paying for online access (if offered by that court, and including per-page charges just to view a document) you have to go to the clerk's office (or pay somebody to go for you) to see the appellate file, which might (if the court has storage space going back long enough) include the briefs filed (any documents and evidence constituting the trial court record are routinely returned to the trial court clerk). It's not unusual for reported decisions to note that certain facts are unknown about an earlier reported case, and attempt to draw likely or reasonable inferences or analyze alternative scenarios, because judges don't have any better access to papers submitted in other cases than the lawyers, especially outside of their own courthouse.