Frequently Asked Questions

Login Errors

Why is the Login page telling me my account has not yet been activated?

Why doesn’t the Login page recognize my username or 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?

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

I’m not getting the results that I expect using the OR operator.

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

Can I browse through statutes without entering a search?


Authority Check

What is Authority Check, and how do I find it?

Can I Shepardize a case on Fastcase?

What is “Entire Database”?

What is “These Results”?


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.

How can I print a document?

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 to.

Does my bar association offer Fastcase as a member benefit?

How can I access the Fastcase mobile apps?

What is Mobile Sync?

How can I contact Customer Support for additional assistance?


Login Errors

Why is the Login page telling me my account has not yet been activated?

If you’ve already signed up for a desktop subscription and you’re still getting this message, then check your email inbox. We send an activation email to all of our new subscribers that includes a link to activate your account. If you’re not seeing it there, check your spam filter, or contact customer support for help at 1-866-773-2782 or at support@fastcase.com.

If you’re only registered for our mobile apps, then your account won’t be activated to use on fastcase.com. You can keep using the app for free, or you can try the full-featured desktop version by signing up for a trial subscription at www.fastcase.com/subscription.Return to Top ↑


Why doesn’t the Login page recognize my username or password?

If you’re seeing an error message saying “We did not recognize your username or password,” make sure you typed both the username and password correctly. Any extra or incorrect characters could cause this problem. Keep in mind that passwords are case sensitive!

Your username is your email address. If you don’t remember the password you signed up with, there’s an orange button near the top of the screen that says “Forgot Your Password?”. You can click that button to reset your password.

If you’re a member of one of our partner bar associations, see the entry below.
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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 log in 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. 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 who search the Web. They allow searchers to use terms such as AND, OR, NOT, etc. to find cases germane to a research question. For a complete list of Boolean operators, select Keyword Search on the Search screen and check the “Show 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 search that may or may not appear in each search result. For example, if you wanted to use the query Rule 11 sanctions for frivolous filing using a Boolean search, the results would only list cases that include the word “frivolous”, whereas a Natural Language search would return the most relevant results, even if the word “frivolous” did not appear.

Using Citation Lookup, you can paste a passage of a case into the search box, and your search results will be those cases cited in that passage.

When pulling up a case by its citation, 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.

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How do I select a specific jurisdiction?

You can select a specific jurisdiction for your search by clicking on the radio buttons below the search box on the Advanced Caselaw Search page. There are some preset combinations of jurisdictions, like All Jurisdictions and All Federal Appellate, but you can choose more specific courts by clicking on the last radio button, next to “Individual Jurisdictions.” Expand one or all of the four menus by clicking on the plus sign next to the menu and check off the boxes by the courts you need. Return to Top ↑


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

In the navigation menus underneath the Fastcase logo, roll over the Search menu to select the type of documents you want to search (Search Statutes, Search Regulations, etc.). 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 using the OR operator.

The search connectors in Fastcase use an order of operations, just like connectors do in math. This can lead to unexpected results if you’re not careful, so remember that it’s always best to group your OR terms in parentheses.

Eg., getaway & (car or vehicle) Return to Top ↑


I performed a keyword search with multiple search terms in quotation marks or connected with the w/x 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 contain the exact phrase “felony murder” or have the term “felony” within three words of “murder” somewhere in the case – you may just need to scroll a bit further into the case.Return to Top ↑


Can I browse through statutes without entering a search?

To look through statutes without searching for an individual section, go to the top of the Search Statutes page and click on the Browse tab. From there, you can open whatever chapter or section you need to see more of, and navigate through the statutes page by page like you were flipping through a book.Return to Top ↑


Authority Check

What is Authority Check, and how do I find it?

Fastcase’s Authority Check feature displays a hyperlinked list of later citing cases to let you see when your case has been cited and how it has been treated. You can open Authority Check by opening a case, finding the “Authority Check” section at the top of the page, and clicking the number by Entire Database. That number represents the number of times your case has been cited.
The Authority Check page also shows a visual timeline of citing cases, relevant law review articles, and Bad Law Bot, which points out any negative treatment we see for your case. For more information on Bad Law Bot, see the next section.Return to Top ↑


Can I Shepardize a case on Fastcase?

Bad Law Bot will put a red flag by cases that Fastcase recognizes negative treatment for, but it 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.

Note that Authority Check only lists later citing cases in the Fastcase database. We do not hold Authority Check to be a complete replacement for services such as Shepard’s or KeyCite, both of which we like very much, but it is a good tool for finding out how later cases have treated your case.Return to Top ↑


What is “Entire Database”?

Entire Database is a way of generating an Authority Check report that displays the total number of times a case has been cited by other cases in the Fastcase database. The number will appear as a hyperlink in the search results, allowing you to view those later citing cases. You can also find the feature at the top of the page when you are looking at the full text of a case. Return to Top ↑


What is “These Results”?

These Results is another way to generate an Authority Check report. It displays how many times a case has been cited by only the other cases that appear in your search results. If you’re looking for later cases that cite your case for a particular point of law, the later citations in These Results are the most likely to be relevant to what you’re looking for. 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 our database within 24 hours after they’re released 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.
You can also adjust the zoom level in your browser by holding down the Ctrl key and tapping either the ‘=’ key to zoom in or the – key to zoom out.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 1924, for example). For more information on our Scope of Coverage, click here. Return to Top ↑


How can I print a document?

If you have any document open in Fastcase, you can print that document using the Print/Save link near the top of the page. This feature allows you to customize your display preferences and download the document in Word, PDF, or WordPerfect-compliant RTF format, and opens it in a new window. From there, you can print or save it to your computer. 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 give us a call at 866-773-2782. 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 to.

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 and more state bar associations are offering Fastcase as a member benefit all the time, and if yours is one of them, you already have access to Fastcase for free. For a list of our bar partners and the Fastcase plans they provide, click here.Return to Top ↑


How can I access the Fastcase mobile apps?

Fastcase has free apps for the iPhone, iPad, and Android. After you’ve installed the app on your device, just create a new user account using the “New User?” link at the bottom of the screen, and you’ll have full access to Fastcase statute and caselaw libraries.

The mobile apps don’t have all the search capabilities of the full version of Fastcase, but they’re a great way to find law when you’re away from the office.Return to Top ↑


What is Mobile Sync?

Mobile Sync lets you sync your recent searches and saved cases between your mobile app account and your desktop account, so that you always have access to the research you’ve already done, even if you’re accessing it from a different device. You can sync your accounts by logging in on the desktop, going to the Options menu at the top of the page, and clicking Mobile Sync. Return to Top ↑


How can I contact Customer Support for additional assistance?

You can call Fastcase Customer Service at 1-866-773-2782, email 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 Eastern Time Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Please note that Fastcase customer service representatives cannot answer legal questions or provide legal advice.Return to Top ↑