Legal Research Blog
We’ve enhanced our Authority Check feature to show you where courts have noted that a case has been treated negatively (i.e., reversed or overruled on any grounds). The Bluebook requires that courts indicate negative history of cases cited within opinions. Our new feature, “Bad Law Bot,” uses algorithms to find negative citation history. Bad Law Bot then flags those cases that have negative citation history and provides you with the links to those cases.
In the example below, we looked up Ohio v. Roberts, 448 U.S. 56. Note the red flag next to the case name, indicating that there’s negative citation history for the case.
Once you click through to Roberts, you’ll also notice that there’s a red flag in the Authority Check area.
To see the cases that indicate negative citation history for Roberts, simply click on the Negative Treatment Indicated link and the Authority Check report will open in a new tab.
Here’s what the Authority Check report looks like for Roberts.
Bad Law Bot finds negative citation history by taking all the cases that have cited Roberts and examining how they’ve cited to Roberts. If a court has negatively cited to Roberts, Bad Law Bot will link you to that case. Keep in mind that Bad Law Bot determines negative case history by using algorithms, and that it is not intended to be a complete replacement for a full editorial citator or for reading all later-citing cases. A red flag means that there’s likely negative treatment, since a court has said as much by their use of a negative citation, but no red flag does not necessarily mean that a case is still good law. If a case has been overturned but no court opinion has cited to it yet, Bad Law Bot won’t be able to find any citation signal information.
Bad Law Bot is a part of Authority Check, so it’s already included in your subscription!
Supreme Court and Court of Appeals cases in the North Western Reporter are now available on Fastcase going back to 1879 (Volume 1 of the North Western Reporter, First Series). Until recently, cases were available going back to 1950. Expanded coverage includes:
Supreme Court of Wisconsin: 1879 – Present
Supreme Court of Iowa: 1879 – Present
Supreme Court of South Dakota (including Supreme Court of Dakota cases): 1879 – Present
Supreme Court of North Dakota (including Supreme Court of Dakota cases) 1879 – Present
Supreme Court of Nebraska: 1879 – Present
Supreme Court of Minnesota will continue to include cases from 1874 – Present.
For more information about Fastcase libraries, visit the Fastcase Scope of Coverage.
Our picks for this week’s legal news and articles of interest:
Attorney At Work wonders whether business cards are “an anachronism in a digital world.”
Even pre-law students know the job market is tough right now and some students are already planning on using their law degrees in another field after law school, according to this article from the ABA Journal. What kind of non-traditional legal jobs are there? The National Jurist has already thought of a few.
The passing score for the Illinois Bar will be higher, starting this summer. The Faculty Lounge has a great post comparing the relative difficulty of state bar exams.
The lesson here is that punctuation matters. The (new) legal writer links to a Florida case where a misplaced apostrophe determined whether attorney’s fees were awarded or not.