BY THE TEXAS BAR JOURNAL STAFF Results Oriented How the State Bar’s two free legal research systems stack up. In our instant-need-to-know lives, where obscure facts—and the obvious ones that prove difficult to remember—are a mere tap away, reliable and easy-to-navigate sources are more important than ever. When it comes to legal research, lawyers need fast, trustworthy, and straightforward tools, and the State Bar of Texas now provides its members with two such options—Fastcase and Casemaker. In late June 2014, the State Bar began offering free access to Fastcase, a widely used legal research platform, and continued its free access to the popular Casemaker legal research service, along with expanded premium Casemaker features at no cost. The State Bar of Texas is the first and only bar association to offer its members free access to both. Both services are similar in scope and range but differ in look and feel—think PC versus Mac—and practitioners may favor one over the other. Some will use both platforms for different tasks. That said, here is a breakdown of the Fastcase benefits and the Casemaker offerings. FASTCASE The State Bar agreement with Fastcase offers firms of 11 lawyers or more free access to the extensive Texas Plan, which includes opinions of the Supreme Court of Texas and courts of appeals back to 1 Tex. 1 (1846), U.S. Supreme Court opinions back to 1 U.S. 1 (1759), Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals opinions back to 1 F.2d 1, the U.S. Code annotated, the Texas Statutes annotated, the Texas Constitution, and 70 other Texas-specific legal research libraries. Solo practitioners and firms of 10 lawyers or fewer have access to Fastcase’s Premium Plan, including all libraries in the Texas Plan, plus nationwide coverage from state and federal courts, state statutes and administrative regulations, as well as court rules, constitutions, and other valuable libraries. State Bar of Texas members have access to Fastcase’s intuitive legal research tools, training webinars and tutorials, mobile apps, and live customer support. The free member benefit has no restrictions on time or number of transactions and includes unlimited printing, reference assistance, and customer service. In addition, Texas attorneys have access to annotated statutes from other states, as well as transactional access to newspaper articles, federal court filings, legal forms, and, through HeinOnline, the largest collection of law reviews in the world. Other features include: Mobile Sync. Sync your app with your new member benefit on the desktop and save documents on your app to print later from the desktop, share research history across your devices, and create mobile trial notebooks for tablet devices. (You can find more information about Fastcase Mobile Sync at fastcase.com/mobile-sync.) Batch Printing. Print clean copies of cases in Microsoft Word or PDF format using the dualcolumn printing utility. And you can batch-print multiple cases, either in a single document or as a zip file with each document saved as a separate file. It’s a quick way to pull cases, in a format that you could show a judge, opposing counsel, or your client. Data Visualization. Use the visual interactive timeline map of search results—a kind of bubble chart—to see the most important cases at a glance as opposed to scrolling down a long list of search results. Bad Law Bot. Find out if your case has been cited with negative history. If so, Bad Law Bot flags the case. CASEMAKER Casemaker’s expanded offerings include access to premium services (Casecheck+, CiteCheck, and CasemakerDigest) at no cost for State Bar members. These services previously were available only to paid subscribers. Casemaker continues to provide Texas attorneys with the law of all 50 states as well as federal law, including the Texas Administrative Code, Texas attorney general opinions from 1947, Texas case law since 1886, state constitutions, Texas session laws since 1995, state court rules, and Texas revised statutes including annual archived versions since 2001. Like Fastcase, Casemaker offers users free webinars and tutorials. Casecheck+. Validate your research and identify whether your case law citations are still good law. CiteCheck. Create a table of the cases found, check the latter case history of the cases cited, and display any negative case history. CasemakerDigest. Receive daily summaries of state and federal appellate cases classified by practice area. Subsequent History. Determine writ and petition history. Statute Annotator. Get an accurate picture of how the courts have cited, applied, interpreted, and construed each statute. 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