Fastcase Frequently Asked Questions
What is Fastcase?
Fastcase, a Washington, D.C.-based company, is the premier American provider of online legal research.
Here's just some of what Fastcase includes:
Is Fastcase available to all State Bar of Montana active members free-of-charge?
Yes. Fastcase is a member benefit that comes free of charge with no strings attached to all Active Members and Paralegal Section Members of the State Bar.
How do I access Fastcase?
When you are signed in, you may access Fastcase from the menu at the top of any page on the State Bar of Montana website. Click the "SBM members log in to Fastcase" button, and then will be taken straight to the Fastcase Quick Case Law Search Page.
Is there an app for that?
Yes! Fastcase offers free apps for iPad, iPhone, and Android devices. You can sync these apps with your ISBA Fastcase account.
Will I need training to use Fastcase?
Navigation of Fastcase is easy and intuitive. The Fastcase support page offers tutorials and documentation. Fastcase also offers live webinar overviews that qualify for CLE credit.
How current is the legal research database?
Fastcase updates its libraries daily, and they add most appellate cases in slip form to the system between 24 and 48 hours from their release by the court.
Can I Shepardize cases on Fastcase?
Fastcase's Authority Check feature displays a list of later-citing cases, as well as the text in which the citation occurs. Additionally, Fastcase recently released the Bad Law Bot which uses computer algorithms to detect when cases have been treated negatively in subsequent court cases. These cases will appear in the Fastcase database with a big red flag next to the party names. Bad Law Bot is great at identifying negative treatment, but as with Shepards or Keycite, attorneys should never entirely rely on any citator without consulting the sources.
What is Authority Check/Bad Law Bot?
Authority Check searches for other cases that cite your case and displays the results as a list of hyperlinked case names. This is a great research tool for finding related precedents, or to help determine the continuing value of a case as a precedent. In addition, you can use Authority Check on the Results page to sort search results in order of authority — with the most often-cited cases at the top of the list. Note that Authority Check only lists citing precedents in the Fastcase database.
What are Boolean searches, Natural language searches and Citation searches?
"Boolean" (or "keyword") searches are familiar to most Web users. They allow searchers to use terms such as AND, OR, NOT, ( ), " ", to find cases germane to a research question. Using "w/n" between two search terms (where n is a number) will find cases in which the two terms appear within n words of each other. Fastcase uses the "implied AND" search protocol, which means if there is no connector between search terms, it is treated as if the "AND" connector was used.
Who do I contact if I have additional questions about the Fastcase service?
Please contact Fastcase Customer Service at 1-866-773-2782 or firstname.lastname@example.org