Legal Research Blog


South Carolina Joins the Fastcase Family

We’re thrilled to welcome the South Carolina Bar to the Fastcase family as the 27th State Bar Association to provide its members with access to the Fastcase research service.

As of October 1, South Carolina Bar members will enjoy access to the Fastcase service by logging into their South Carolina Bar account and clicking (during this transition period) the Casemaker/Fastcase link pictured to the left.

The Bar Association will maintain the Casemaker link until November 1 when the Bar Association officially switches over to exclusively using Fastcase. In the meantime, members will have access to Casemaker to allow for a seamless transition — go ahead and re-run your old searches in Fastcase to explore some of our visualization tools and algorithmic case analysis (and so they’re saved in Fastcase for you when you need them).

Don’t forget — as Fastcase members you’ll have access to use our mobile apps. Simply search and download our Fastcase app from the App Store or Google Play, make a new account, and start accessing your searches on the go. To sync your newly-created iOS or Android account with your South Carolina Bar Association account, activate our Mobile Sync feature!

Happy searching!

New! Fastcase Integrates With Clio’s Cloud Practice Management Suite

It’s easy to find great results in Fastcase – and easy to save key documents and record time in Clio. But both tasks just got easier.

Today, we’re announcing the integration of the best research and practice management tools in the business: Fastcase and Clio.

With this partnership, legal professionals can track time spent researching without focusing attention away from the task at hand. From inside Fastcase, you can now select from clients and matters in Clio, start a timer for your research session, and record the activity automatically in Clio. You never have to miss or manually record your research time again.

Carpe tempus — seize the time.

Found your winning case? Save it with a click to the same matter in Clio.

In addition to the smarter research already provided by Fastcase, this partnership means more billable time and less administrative time, more accurate invoices, and more time for your Clioday. Once you’ve seamlessly transitioned between researching on Fastcase and managing your cases on Clio without interrupting your flow, you’ll never go back.

To get started, log into Fastcase and from the menu at the top, select Options > Connect to Clio.

Log in to Clio with your Clio username and password. Voila! Your Fastcase and Clio accounts are in sync. Whenever you’re in Fastcase, simply select your matter (they’re automagically populated and updated from Clio) and start your timer.

This integration offers a smarter solution to the most practical areas of law practice management and streamlines billing, efficiency, and case management into one, unified place.

No matter where your legal research takes you, Clio keeps it organized so you can focus on the task at hand. With Fastcase, you can use smarter research tools like citation analysis, data visualization, and mobile apps to understand the law faster.

And now that Fastcase and Clio are integrated, you’ll be more productive than ever. Two of your favorite services – now integrated. That’s smart.

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!