Legal Research Blog


New! Updates and Fixes for the Fastcase iPad App

We’re excited to announce that, after a long wait, we’ll be updating the whole family of Fastcase apps soon; including brand new apps for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone. Although Fastcase was the first legal research app for iPad, it’s frankly starting to get long in the tooth. Fastcase doesn’t currently take advantage of the higher-resolution “Retina” screens of the new iPad, and it’s time for a few new features in Fastcase as well.

FAQ: Why does Fastcase keep crashing on my iPad?

Many users have told us that Fastcase is crashing when they launch it on their iPad. Here’s why, and how to fix it. In short: Apple broke the Fastcase login with the release of iOS7, and developers can no longer release (even small) updates to iOS apps without re-engineering the apps for iOS7. We’ll release an updated app later this fall.

On the plus side, there’s a very simple fix that works right now, every time.

If you’re having a problem with the current app crashing or closing after clicking the Login button, you can bypass that bug by simply starting the app, entering in your username and password and then clicking Go on your iPad virtual keyboard (or pressing Enter on your Bluetooth keyboard). That’s it: just press Go on the virtual keyboard (or Enter on your physical keyboard) instead of clicking the Login button on the screen.

If you need any help getting logged into the current app, please get in touch with us using any of the three contact options listed on this page. We want to be sure you can continue enjoying our app in the interim.

New Statutes, Mobile Sync, and more!

One thing that does not require an app update: we’ve been adding to our statute collections in the app. Fastcase’s statute collections included the U.S. Code and 42 state statutes when we launched – today it’s all 50 states, and we update the editions all the time, so stay tuned.

And if you’re a Fastcase subscriber, through your firm, company, or state bar association, now you can synchronize your work between desktop and iPad with Mobile Sync. That means that you can save documents on your iPad, then print them when you’re back in the office. Or save documents on the desktop, so they’re available as favorites on the iPad, like a virtual trial notebook.

You can find more information about here. It’s easy and takes less than a minute, but unlocks some powerful features in your Fastcase app for iPad.

(If you don’t have a Fastcase subscription, but would like to try it for yourself, you can sign up for a 24-hour free trial, or subscribe to Fastcase for as low as $65 per month, right here.)

Thank you.

You’ve named us to countless lists, told your friends, and even made us the most popular legal app in the ABA Technology Survey for 2013. We’re very grateful, so on behalf of our whole team, thank you!

We’ll be announcing the release date for the new apps as soon as it becomes available so follow us on Twitter or Facebook to be the first to know when the new apps are released.

Thanks for choosing Fastcase as your mobile legal research provider!

Episode 31: Four Huge Law Geeks Walk Into a Boucherie

Cover of Fastcase Album

Ed and I are joined by Colin Starger and Roger Skalbeck today for some pretty serious geeking out. As always, please go ahead and subscribe to The Law Review on iTunes to stay current on the goings-on in the legal tech world. (For bonus points, please consider giving us a rating that, to comport with the iTunes terms of use agreement, rhymes with “crive blars.”)

1. Friend of Fastcase @ouij brought this story to the subreddit’s attention: Brad Heath has compiled a single webpage aggregating all the feeds from circuit court arguments around the country.

2. Roger talks about #DCLegalHackers and the upcoming Citation Legal Hackathon.

3. We talk about the news that Wikimedia recently refused to take down a photograph taken by a monkey. Ed extends this issue to implications of robot law and intelligent agents (since he’s, you know, teaching a class at Georgetown Law this semester on the law of robots). What happens when I code an algorithm to start writing books people actually want to read? Ed’s got a take.

4. Colin tells us about a case on which he recently consulted, via the district attorney’s own task force, where an imprisoned man was released after many years of being wrongly jailed for rape. A very cool, uncommon, and completely necessary change in Innocence work.

As always, please take note of our subreddit at Feel free to submit stories there or vote on the stories you’d like to hear us discuss that day. You can also email us at podcast /at\ fastcase /dot\ com.

Thanks again to Roger and Colin for joining us. Roger provided us with quite a few bumpers I’m looking forward to incorporating into the podcast in the future. They are pretty awesome and/or hilarious so stay tuned. Mwuhaha.

Episode 30: This Email Will Self-Destruct in 10 Days

Cover of Fastcase Album

We’re back for more legal geekery with some cool, important, and amusing stories today. (Not necessarily in that order.) Care to reward our dedication to getting back into the swing of things by subscribing to the podcast and rating us five stars on iTunes? We’d really appreciate it.

1. @ouij points Sarah Jeong’s critique of Mashable’s treatment of the Supreme Court’s recent Aereo argument. I don’t want to spoil the post because it’s a really amusing read — essentially it takes Mashable’s description of the justices and what it purports to say about the justice’s grasp of technology, then explains why it’s wrong. I agree with her assessment for the most part. Mashable’s mischaracterization of Justice Scalia’s understanding was particularly egregious.

2. There’s been an ongoing debate about whether it’s ethical for lawyers to look up their jurors on social media. The ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professionalism recently issued Formal Opinion 466 which rules that it’s not an ethics violation to simply look jurors up on social media websites to discover whatever information is available to the public, but it would be a violation to attempt to connect with them. So what if they get a notification on LinkedIn for instance that I’ve been viewing their profile? The ABA had something to say about that too — it’s not communication between attorney and juror, but rather a communication between the social media platform and the juror, and therefore not an ethical problem. The ABA Journal points out that it remains unclear whether there’s an ethical obligation to point out misconduct by the juror to the court.

3. Two Harvard Law students have developed a platform called Pluto Mail designed to be essentially the snapchat of email. It will allow for the unsending of email, expiration dates on email, and ex post facto email editing. Depending on how this is implemented, there could be pretty wide-spread legal implications. I’ll discuss some preliminary thoughts and try to spark some discussion on the reddit page.

As always, please take note of our subreddit at Feel free to submit stories there or vote on the stories you’d like to hear us discuss that day. You can also email us at podcast /at\ fastcase /dot\ com.

Thanks for listening!

Episode 29: Can Robots Write Better Contracts Than Me? (Probably.)

Cover of Fastcase Album

Welcome back to The Law Review Podcast and welcome to this apology episode. We’ve been hard at work polishing up the TopForm software we purchased from LexisNexis, and that’s resulted in my not having days, nights, and/or weekends. But as there tends to be there’s a light at the end of a tunnel and we’re back and ready to roll. You know what would make our return even more awesome, though? If you subscribed to the podcast and rated us five stars on iTunes. That’d be pretty swell.

For today’s podcast Ed Walters and I are joined by Kingsley Martin and Alex Hoover of KMStandards and we discuss intelligent agents and the recent movement of actual, legitimate quantitative analysis in the legal profession. It’s a good time to be a quant law geek, indeed.

Thanks to Kingsley and Alex for joining us today — check out the KMStandards site as well as the ContractStandards site I was referencing on-air. Both useful and awesome stuff over there [for free].

As always, please take note of our subreddit at Feel free to submit stories there or vote on the stories you’d like to hear us discuss that day. You can also email us at podcast /at\ fastcase /dot\ com.

Thanks for listening!

Episode 28: It’s Hard Out There a Bank Robber

Cover of Fastcase Album

The Fastcase office is buzzing with TopForm preparations but I’m sneaking away to record a podcast. If you think this was a wise decision, would you care to subscribe to the podcast and rate us five stars on iTunes? I’ll be your new best friend.

1. The ABA Journal wonders: should Hawaii cops be allowed to sleep with prostitutes in the course of an investigation? I discuss how the Hawaii PD backpedaled on this issue.

2. Oldschool bank robberies don’t pay like they used to. According to FBI statistics, about 60% of bank robbers will be tracked down within 18 months. More interestingly, the mean take-home from a bank robbery is about $4000. Definitely doesn’t seem worth it. Which explains why the number of bank robberies is significantly down overall over the course of the past few years.

3. While speaking to law students at the Brooklyn Law School recently, Justice Scalia said that he thought the question of whether computer data was one of the effects protected by the Fourth Amendment was a really good question. Actually, what he said first was, “Mmm. Mmm.”

4. Carolyn Elefant takes a good look at whether crowd sourcing lawyers is unethical. She doesn’t think so. I’m sort of constrained to disagree.

As always, please take note of our subreddit at Feel free to submit stories there or vote on the stories you’d like to hear us discuss that day. You can also email us at podcast /at\ fastcase /dot\ com.

Thanks for listening!