Legal Research Blog


Murder, Twins, and the Law

Are you one of those people who actually enjoyed the logic puzzles on the LSAT? If you are, then chances are that you are going to get a kick out of a particularly bizarre legal riddle that was recently crowned Slate’s “Explainer 2009 Question of the Year.”

Here it is: How would the law punish Siamese twins if one of the twins committed murder without the other being involved?

cc licensed flickr photo shared by brain_blogger

Not surprisingly, the caselaw on this fact pattern is relatively thin. Explainer unearthed only one case in which Siamese twins were ever prosecuted. In that case, one twin was arrested for “graz[ing] a caraboa cart” with his car. Both men were set free when the other twin “appealed the case on the grounds that as an innocent man, he could not be legally incarcerated.”

Go to for Explainer’s thoughtful and witty analysis of the subject.

There’s an App for That…much money?

The most expensive iPhone app in the App Store helps law students prepare for the California bar exam.

Though BarMax is marketing its new iPhone application as the inexpensive alternative to typical California bar prep packages, the buzz surrounding the App is focused on its $1,000 price tag, the highest in the App Store. Yes, the App costs several times the price of the phone itself. Yes, this might sound crazy at first; however, it is likely that many students will find BarMax CA to be a sound alternative compared to other bar preparation courses.

With outlines, lectures, 1500 questions, 1000 flashcards, and 18 real CA practice tests (taking up over a gig of space!) the App provides a lot of content. The real variable, of course, is functionality. Time—and reviews—will tell whether or not the App is overpriced.

BarMax CA can be found here in the Education category of the iTunes store, but we’re hoping the growing number of attorneys using iPhones and law-related Apps will encourage Apple to finally create a legal category of its own.

At a quarter of the price of competitors’ packages (which typically include live classroom instruction), BarMax is marketing the innovative app as a way to “enable bar prep at a much better price.” While $1000 is still a lot to pay for an iPhone App, we’re all for lowering the “bar” to access in the legal industry with tech-savvy alternatives.

Cheers to BarMax…and stay tuned.

Welcome to our **brand spanking new** corporate website!

Fastcase celebrated its 10th anniversary on December 1, 2009, and so it is only fitting that we begin the next decade with a new and improved corporate website. We hope that visitors will find the new corporate site informative and easy to navigate. Here are some of the improvements that we are most excited about:

Subscribing to Fastcase is now even easier with our streamlined Subscription page.

Learn about the caselaw, statutes, regulations, court rules, and constitutions that we offer on our enhanced Scope of Coverage page.

Bar Association Subscribers can access their bar association’s login portal directly from our Bar Association Subscribers page.

Also: The Fastcase blog is now integrated with our corporate site and you can view our webinar schedule and register for webinars directly from our new Webinars page.

Note to Current Subscribers: The changes to our corporate website will not affect our legal research application (other than the color scheme). Also please note that it can take some time for these changes to propagate through different internet service providers and during that time, you may continue to be directed to our existing corporate site. But again, this will not affect your access to Fastcase.

Happy MLK Day from Fastcase

We will be closed on Monday January 18, 2010 in observance of Martin Luther King Day.

Running from the law with a click of a button

One crafty criminal on the run decided to put a new spin on the traditional investigation. The convicted burglar escaped prison in Suffolk, England, earlier this fall and had remained without a trace until he started updating his Facebook page and taunting the police with posts such as a seasonal photograph showing him holding a cooked turkey and wearing a strand of tinsel while raising his middle finger to the camera — and a caption reading: “Here’s proof. How could I get my hands on a bird like this in jail. ha ha.”

London police began tracking the posts and used them to make valuable connections regarding the location of the fugitive.

While Facebook has been used in the past as evidence in criminal cases and, as we more recently reported, as an alibi, this may be the first time the social networking site has been utilized in a high stakes cat and mouse game.

While the escapee, Craig Lynch was able to keep his whereabouts under wraps for nearly four months, the authorities finally caught up with him last night.

For more on this story, check out the coverage at CNN and Times Online.