Ten Helpful Fastcase Tools

Jim Calloway has provided a good recent review of the legal research tool, Fastcase. Calloway is director of the Oklahoma Bar Association’s Management Assistance Program, and has been keeping us all up-to-date for years on the latest developments in technology and software programs for attorneys.

Fastcase bills itself on its website as the “next-generation legal research service that puts a comprehensive national law library and smarter and more powerful searching, sorting and visualization tools at your fingertips.” Calloway said many Oklahoma lawyers are using Fastcase, the use of which is provided at no charge to all OBA members. In 2012, almost 400,000 Fastcase transactions (searches, pageviews, etc.) occurred through the OBA Fastcase pipeline.

Calloway wrote his review for the Oklahoma Bar Journaland then revisited it on his

. His article is called “Ten Improved Fastcase Tools.” Here are six of them; you can read his article if you are curious about the other four.

• Interactive Timeline: Fastcase provides a visualization tool — the “Interactive Timeline” — that creates a visual map of search results, enabling users to see the most important cases at a glance.

• Forecite: Intelligent citation analysis identifies cases an attorney might miss by scanning each case in the results list and creating a table of frequently cited cases.

• PACER searching: Fastcase partners with Justia to provide a tool that searches all PACER sites simultaneously, with filters available for state, court, date or type of suit. Since searching with Pacer is notoriously tedious, that is a welcome tool.

• Saving/sharing research: Every Fastcase page has its own URL. That makes it possible to bookmark any page for future reference or easily share a case with another attorney (who uses Fastcase) by simply sending the URL address.

• Newspaper search: Fastcase has 274 million newspaper articles in its archives, including articles from more than 60 Oklahoma newspapers.

• Annotated statutes: Fastcase provides an annotated U.S. Code. Annotations can be sorted by case name, decision date, etc. Annotations for every state are being released this summer.