Frequently Asked Questions

Login Errors

Why can’t I log in after signing up for a 24-hour trial or a full subscription?

Why can’t I log in, even if I know my Username and password?

I am a member of a bar association that offers Fastcase as a member benefit. Why am I having trouble logging in?

Which internet browsers are compatible with Fastcase?


Searches

What are Boolean searches, Natural language searches and Citation searches?

How do I select a specific jurisdiction?

Why is the site behaving erratically, or why do parts of the site overlap in odd ways?

Where are the statutes, constitutions, regulations and court rules?

I’m not getting the results that I expect with the w/n operator.

Why are my searches being treated as invalid?


Results

Can I “Shepardize” cases on Fastcase?

What is Authority Check?

What is “Entire Database”?

What is “These Results”?

I performed a keyword search with multiple search terms in quotation marks or connected with the w/n operator, but in my search results every single search term is highlighted, even when it appears by itself. What is going on?


Scope of Coverage

How current is the legal research database?


Billing Policies

How do annual subscriptions work?

How do monthly subscriptions work?

How do I renew my annual subscription?

How can I cancel my Fastcase subscription?


Miscellaneous

Why am I having trouble seeing everything on my screen? Why don’t I have scrollbars on the right hand side and bottom of my screen?

I am looking for a case and I know the citation but I can’t find it.

Why am I having trouble printing cases?

How can I print statutes, constitutions, regulations and administrative codes?

I’m trying to subscribe, but Fastcase will not accept my credit card information.

I have an idea for a new feature, or I found a feature that does not work the way I would like it t.

Does my bar association offer Fastcase as a member benefit?

How can I access Fastcase for the iPhone or the iPad?

How can I contact Customer Support for additional assistance?


Login Errors

Why can’t I log in after signing up for a 24-hour trial or a full subscription?

You must click on the activation link, sent to you via e-mail, before you can begin using Fastcase. If your e-mail program has a spam blocker, you may not receive your activation e-mail. Please check your spam or junk-mail folders. If you have not received the activation e-mail, please contact Fastcase at 1-866-773-2782 or e-mail us at support@fastcase.com or log onto our live chat. Return to Top ↑


Why can’t I log in, even if I know my Username and password?

First, Fastcase usernames and passwords are case sensitive. Second, you may need to add Fastcase as a trusted site on your web browser. To do this, open a browser page, click on Tools │ Internet Options │Security │ Trusted Sites│ Sites. From there add https://www.fastcase.com and https://apps.fastcase.com to your trusted sites. Click OK on both open dialogs. Close your browser and re-open it. Attempt to login to Fastcase again. If the problem persists, please contact Customer Service. Return to Top ↑


I am a member of a bar association that offers Fastcase as a member benefit. Why am I having trouble logging in?

If you are a member of an affiliated bar association, you must login through your respective bar association website, using the login credentials specified by your bar association. If problems occur with this procedure, please contact your bar association, as they will be able to assist you with any login difficulties. Return to Top ↑


Which internet browsers are compatible with Fastcase?

Fastcase works well on most major browsers, including: Internet Explorer (version 6.0 or greater); Mozilla Firefox (version 7 or greater); Google Chrome (all versions); Safari on Windows and Macs (most recent version) Return to Top ↑


Searches

What are Boolean searches, Natural language searches and Citation searches?

“Boolean” (or “keyword”) searches are familiar to most users of search on the Web. 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. The asterisk is a wildcard operator. 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. For a complete list of Boolean operators, select Boolean search on the Search screen and check the “Search Tips” box. Natural language searches are much less precise, but are a good place to start if you don’t have exact search terms. Natural Language searches return the best results for your search, even if some of your terms don’t appear in the results. This search works well if you want to include certain words in your keyword search that might or might not appear in the result. For example, if you wanted to search for the phrase “Rule 11 sanctions for frivolous filing”, a Boolean search, the search would only list cases using the word “frivolous”, whereas a Natural Language search would return the most relevant results, even if the word “frivolous” did not appear. Citation searches should be used when you know the exact citation of the case you are looking for. Be sure to put in the volume number, the reporter identifier, and the first page of the case only (e.g., 700 F.2d 1). For more information, see the search tips, located underneath the search box, for a list of correct citation formats. Return to Top ↑


How do I select a specific jurisdiction?

A jurisdiction or court can be chosen by clicking on the radio buttons below the search box. To select a jurisdiction other than those listed on the page, click on the last radio button next to ”Individual Jurisdictions”. Then expand one or all of the four menus by clicking on the plus sign next to the menu and check off the boxes to select your specific court(s). Return to Top ↑


Why is the site behaving erratically, or why do parts of the site overlap in odd ways?

Most likely this is because you are not using Internet Explorer or are using a very old version of IE. Because different browsers use different protocols for client-side scripting, we have built our software to work with the browser used by the majority of our users: Internet Explorer (version 6.0 or greater). If you are a PC user, Fastcase is also compatible with Firefox (version 1.1 or greater) and Google Chrome. If you are a Mac user, Fastcase is compatible with Mac versions of Firefox, Safari and Netscape. Return to Top ↑


Where are the statutes, constitutions, regulations and court rules?

In the navigation menu under our logo, go to the Search menu to select your search type (Statutes, Constitutions, Regulations, or Court Rules). You will find two types of content in these categories: integrated content and framed content. Where possible, Fastcase has integrated state statutes, constitutions, court rules and other regulations directly into the Fastcase database. In some instances where this content has not yet been integrated, Fastcase “frames” the official statutes, constitutions, regulations and court rules directly from the websites of federal and state legislatures and courts, as a free convenience to our subscribers. For more information about our coverage in these areas, please visit our Scope of Coverage page. Return to Top ↑


I’m not getting the results that I expect with the w/n operator.

We’re constantly improving Fastcase’s w/n feature (the “within operator”). However, there are two syntaxes that we do not yet support. We list those syntaxes below, and some ways to reformat them to get results:

    Incorrect

A w/3 (B OR C) A w/3 (B AND C)

    Correct

(A w/3 B) OR (A w/3 C) (A w/3 B) AND (A w/3 C) Return to Top ↑


Why are my searches being treated as invalid?

There are certain search syntaxes that are treated as invalid within Fastcase. Here are a few invalid search syntaxes along with specific examples and suggested approaches to correct them.

    Incorrect

A w/3 (B OR C) A w/3 (B AND C)

    Correct

(A w/3 B) OR (A w/3 C) (A w/3 B) AND (A w/3 C)

    Incorrect

A w/s B A w/p B

    Correct

A w/15 B Return to Top ↑


Results

Can I “Shepardize” cases on Fastcase?

Fastcase’s Authority Check feature displays a list of hyperlinked citing cases, as well as the text in which the citation occurs. Within Authority Check, Bad Law Bot will flag cases that it sees negative treatment for, although this is not a complete citator like Shepard’s. Fastcase does not offer Shepard’s authority checking system, which is a trademark of Shepard’s Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Reed Elsevier Inc. Return to Top ↑


What is Authority Check?

Authority Check is Fastcase’s citation analysis feature. It 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 later citing cases in the Fastcase database. We do not hold Authority Check out as a complete replacement for services such as Shepard’s or KeyCite – both of which we like very much. We also recommend searching for a few words in the heading of the case to find related precedent. Setting the results display to show the most relevant paragraph will show you some of what each court said about your case. Return to Top ↑


What is “Entire Database”?

Entire Database is a part of the Fastcase Authority Check family, that displays the number of times a case has been cited in the Fastcase database. The number will appear as a hyperlink in the search results, allowing you to view later citing cases. You can also click on the column header on the results page to list the most cited cases first – a great way to locate authoritative cases quickly. You can also find the feature at the top of your screen when you are looking at the full text of a case. Return to Top ↑


What is “These Results”?

These Results is also part of the Fastcase Authority Check family. It displays how often a case is cited within the super-relevant set of other cases in the list of search results. In the peer group of search results germane to your research, the case cited most often should have a very high level of relevance and authority, and you can sort your search results to bring those cases to the top of the list. Return to Top ↑


I performed a keyword search with multiple search terms in quotation marks or connected with the w/n operator, but in my search results every single search term is highlighted, even when it appears by itself. What is going on?

Our highlighting feature highlights each instance of your search terms in a case, even when a particular term appears separately from the other terms in your query. For example, if you search for: “felony murder” or for felony w/3 murder, the terms felony and murder will be highlighted in your search results wherever they appear (even if they appear alone). Please keep in mind that the highlighting feature does not impact our search algorithm. So your search results will have “felony murder” or felony within three words of murder somewhere in the case – you may just need to scroll a bit farther in the case. Return to Top ↑


Scope of Coverage

How current is the legal research database?

We update our libraries daily, and we add most appellate cases to the system between 24 and 48 hours from their release by the court. For more details on our Scope of Coverage, click here. Return to Top ↑


Billing Policies

How do annual subscriptions work?

Annual subscriptions begin the day that you subscribe and expire one year from your subscription date. We will send you a reminder email when it is time to renew. You will not be billed automatically for the next year unless you decide to renew. Return to Top ↑


How do monthly subscriptions work?

Monthly subscriptions begin the day that you subscribe. These subscriptions do not expire on their own. You will be automatically billed each month until you choose to cancel. Please note that monthly subscriptions must be cancelled no less than seven (7) business days in advance of the customer’s next billing date in order to prevent the next month’s payment cycle from occurring. Return to Top ↑


How do I renew my annual subscription?

To renew your annual Fastcase subscription you can either click the link in the renewal email that we send you, or call our Customer Support team at 1-866-773-2782. Return to Top ↑


How can I cancel my Fastcase subscription?

To cancel your Fastcase subscription, please email cancel@fastcase.com with your request and your username (usually an email address or bar number). Please note that monthly subscriptions must be cancelled no less than seven (7) business days in advance of the customer’s next billing date in order to prevent the next month’s payment cycle from occurring. Return to Top ↑


Miscellaneous

Why am I having trouble seeing everything on my screen? Why don’t I have scrollbars on the right hand side and bottom of my screen?

Fastcase is configured to work on a default screen resolution of at least 1024 x 768 pixels. Some users with very small monitors or screen resolutions set at 800 x 600 pixels might have trouble seeing the entire screen. Clicking within a case and using your keyboard’s arrow keys will allow you to scroll. However, the best way to resolve this problem is to readjust your screen resolution. For Windows XP, right-click on your desktop, then click Properties. Select the Settings tab, and under “Screen Resolution” slide the arrow to the right until the setting is 1024 x 768 (or higher). Click OK and OK again to refresh the screen. Do not worry if the screen goes blank for a few seconds – this is normal. For other operating systems, consult the help documentation that came with your computer to set your screen to a higher resolution setting. Return to Top ↑


I am looking for a case and I know the citation but I can’t find it.

There are two primary reasons users might not find a case: • The case is so new that we do not have the citation to the official reporter yet. In this case, you might try searching by party name (Brown w/15 “Board of Education”) • The case is not in our database because it is outside our Scope of Coverage (a federal court of appeals case from before 1914, for example). For more information on our Scope of Coverage, click here. Return to Top ↑


Why am I having trouble printing cases?

Fastcase’s dual-column printing is accessible in the menu under our logo, by Print Document from the Print menu, or simply clicking on the Print/Save icon at the top of the screen. The feature allows you to customize your display preferences, and print the case to Word, PDF, or WordPerfect-compliant RTF format, and pops open the case in a new window. From there, you can print or save the case to your computer. Return to Top ↑


How can I print statutes, constitutions, regulations and administrative codes?

Fastcase’s dual-column printing is only available for integrated content. Statutes, constitutions, regulations and administrative codes that are framed from the official websites must be printed with your internet browser print function. If you are still having trouble printing statutes, constitutions, regulations and administrative codes, try copying and pasting the information into a word processing document and print from there. Return to Top ↑


I’m trying to subscribe, but Fastcase will not accept my credit card information.

Please be sure that you are entering your name exactly as it appears on the credit card. Also, be sure to use the address associated with the card – for some people it is the office address, and for others a home address. If you continue to have trouble, please call us. Return to Top ↑


I have an idea for a new feature, or I found a feature that does not work the way I would like it t.

Fastcase is committed to customer satisfaction. If you find a problem, please let us know. We get our best ideas for new features from our customers, so if you have an idea, please do not hesitate to contact us. Return to Top ↑


Does my bar association offer Fastcase as a member benefit?

More than 17 bar associations and member libraries offer Fastcase to their members as a member benefit. These include The Florida Bar, the Louisiana State Bar Association, the Iowa State Bar Association, the Virginia State Bar, the Maryland State Bar Association, the Cleveland Bar Association, the Social Law Library, the Cincinnati Law Library, and a host of state trial lawyer associations. For a list of our bar partners, please click here. We offer great discounts to bar associations – so if your bar association is not on our list, please ask your bar association to contact us about joining the Fastcase Consortium. Return to Top ↑


How can I access Fastcase for the iPhone?

For information on how to download and register for our iPhone application, Fastcase for the iPhone, please click here. For information on Fastcase for the iPad, click here. Return to Top ↑


How can I contact Customer Support for additional assistance?

You can call our Customer Service Group at 1-866-773-2782, e-mail us at support@fastcase.com, or Live Chat with us by choosing Live Help from the Help menu. Our regular office hours are 8 am to 8 pm EST Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Please note that Fastcase customer service representatives cannot answer legal questions or provide legal advice. Return to Top ↑