Welcome to the Fastcase Venus Release
Fastcase 7 updates are named after planets, working outward from the Sun.
Hover over any planet to see what’s on the map for our journey!
 
 
 
Image

MERCURY

Arrived October 2018
Click to explore!

VENUS

Arrived February 2019

Click to explore!

Tellus

TELLUS

Coming Soon...

MARS

Coming Soon...

CERES

Coming Soon...

JUPITER

Coming Soon...

SATURN

Coming Soon...

URANUS

Coming Soon...

NEPTUNE

Coming Soon...

PLUTO

Coming Soon...

MERCURY 7.3.0 – MERCURY

What’s New

  • New Filters – We’ve made it much easier to see what is included in your search, and just as importantly, what is not included in your search. Look for the new filtering system at the top of your results, and in the panel on the left.
  • New Search Options – ‘Advanced Search’ is now Search Options. We’ve made it far easier to find and apply filters to your search up front, as well as drilling down to search through specific libraries if you need that level of detail. We’ll be adding a lot of new features to this Search Options panel in the next few months, so watch this space!
  • State Outline View – Now when you click on “Outline” in the toolbar, you’ll be able to choose a state and see an overview of all the materials on Fastcase associated with that state. For uncodified materials like cases or AG opinions, you can click on a library to search through just that library. For codified materials like statutes and books, you can either search them or browse deeper into the outline to view them as a table of contents.
  • New Timeline – We’ve completely reworked the Interactive Timeline. The timeline loads faster, and now you can zoom in and out using your scroll wheel and click and drag to pan.Interactive Timeline
  • Find in Document – We’ve added a search bar to the document view panel. Now you can add as many words as you want to the list of highlighted terms, and quickly find the most important part of the document.
  • Multicolor Highlighting – We now highlight different terms in different colors so it is easy to visually distinguish between them.
  • Improved Copy With Citation – Copy with Citation has been improved with some better automatic Bluebook formatting. It is also now enabled by default, unless you disable it in the Share menu.

 

What’s Changed

  • Complete Visual Overhaul
    • New Color Scheme – We’re changing our color palette to make the website a bit easier to read and understand. We also think they look nice – let us know if you agree!
    • New Menus and Icons – The original Fastcase 7 menus and buttons could be a bit confusing. We’ve updated them to be more intuitive, with icons that better indicate what they do.
    • Updated Result Previews – We now include more information about each document in your results. You can see all of the information related to a result in blue underneath the document title. Document Metadata
  • Merged History and Favorites – History and Favorites are now merged into a single panel called “My Library”, where you can find all of your past research activity in one place.
  • Improved Forecite – We’ve updated the algorithm that drives our Forecite results. Expect to see fewer but much more relevant results in Forecite.

 

VENUS 7.4 – VENUS

What’s New

  • Outline Improvements
    • Permission Aware Outlines – The State and Federal Outlines will now indicate which libraries are not part of your current subscription, so that you can see at a glance what options are available to enhance your legal research!
    • Jump to Outline Location – If a document in your search results is part of a code, book or other outlined material, you can now jump straight from the results list to the outline view with a single click to see the surrounding documents in the outline.

Jump to Outline

 

  • New Document Type: Expert Witness Profiles – It is now possible to search for and read Expert Witness Profiles on Fastcase! We’ve brought in two fantastic Expert Witness databases.
    • Courtroom Insight – Courtroom Insight’s expert witness directory contains over 100,000 profiles of testifying experts and forensic consultants in every conceivable discipline. Directory profiles are enhanced with professional biographies, performance evaluations and relevant judicial opinions about expert witness testimony. In addition, users may access critical information about published and unpublished legal challenges to expert testimony.
    • JurisPro – Formed by a group of practicing attorneys, JurisPro maintains a free online directory of expert witnesses for the legal community. Through the JurisPro Expert Witness Directory, legal professionals can find and properly retain a qualified expert, evaluate an expert to whom you were referred, or learn information about your opponent’s expert. The entire JurisPro Expert Witness Database is now available for free to all Fastcase users!
  • Search Improvements
    • Relevance Algorithm Overhaul – We have massively improved the way our search engine determines document relevance. The new system allows you to fine tune the way your documents get sorted for each search. You can now favor documents based on all kinds of different properties, from the size of the length of the document to how often it’s printed. There are over a quadrillion different possible configurations, and it’s easy to choose which one is right for you!

Custom Relevance

 

    • Permission Aware Searching – The search engine now understands which libraries are part of your subscription and which are not, so you can easily filter out any results that aren’t included ion your subscription!
    • Search by Publisher – Now you can add publishers to your Search Scope from the Matching Libraries list. Instead of adding every library to your Scope individually, it’s now easy to search through all materials by a publisher at the same time.
    • Guided Search – We’ve added a “Search Terms” section to the “Search Options” window. The new section shows you tips on how to write a Boolean search query, and it also hosts our new Guided Search feature! Guided search helps users who are unfamiliar with Boolean Searching by automatically constructing their query step by step.

 

Guided Search

 

    • External Resources in Outline View – Fastcase is an enormous database, but even we can’t always have everything. There are some libraries and resources you might need that we don’t have hosted in our database yet. You can now find links to those outside resources in the Outline view. You can recognize them by the exit icon to their left.
    • All Federal Materials Outline – We’ve added a new outline that lists all of our federal material in a single place, so you can find it even more quickly when you need it!
  • Web Accessibility Improvements
    • Keyboard Navigation and Hotkeys – Fastcase 7 is now entirely navigable without the use of a mouse. In addition, we have enabled a number of keyboard navigation shortcuts to help cut down on navigation time when using a keyboard. These hotkeys are also great for power users that just want to get through their research faster! You can find a list of keyboard shortcuts under Help > Hotkeys.
    • Focus and Hover Indicators – To assist with keyboard navigation and to make the site more readable for users with low visual accuity, we have added clear and bright indicators to show when you are hovering over or selecting an interactive element like a button or link.
    • High Contrast Mode – We now have an optional high-contrast mode for users with color blindness or low visual accuity. To activate it; select the profile button in the top-right corner, then select “Switch to High Contrast”.

High Contrast Mode

 

    • ARIA roles and Semantic HTML – Fastcase 7 is now fully screen-reader compatible. Every region, button, input, and heading on the site is tagged both with the relevant HTML5 semantic tag, and the relevant ARIA roles and descriptions.
  • Other New Features
    • Bad Law Bot in the Timeline – The Interactive Timeline now shows which cases are bad law! If we recognize a case as overturned, we will show it in red instead of blue on the Timeline.

Bad Law in Timeline

  • Date Filtering in the History Views – Now when you are looking through your Search History or Document History, we group all your searches and documents by day, so you can see exactly when you did what. You can also now jump to a specific date range to see what you were doing on that day.
  • Partner Featured Content – Some of our partners provide special content for their members, and wanted a way to help guide their users to that content. If you’re a member of a participating partner, you’ll see a new Featured Content section on the Start screen that will showcase libraries that are particularly relevant for you.

 

Featured Content

 

  • Previous / Next Document Buttons – We’ve added a pair of buttons to the Document View toolbar that let you skip forward and back between documents in your results list. Now you don’t need to scroll the list on the left to find the next document!

What’s Changed

  • Updated Login Screen – The old login screen sometimes ran a little slow, and it looked a bit outdated. The new screen should get you into the application faster and more easily.
  • More Intuitive Document View Icons – We’ve changed some of the icons on the Document View toolbar to make them easier to understand at a glance. Don’t worry – they still do the same things as before.
  • Updated Print Icon – Previously the Print Icon only changed color when a document was added to Print Queue. We now change from an outlined icon to a filled one, so there is now a visual change other than color, in case you are color-blind.
  • Updated Loading Spinners – Branches in Outline VIew and the Matching Libraries list sometimes take a little while to load. We’ve added new spinners to make it clear that the system is still working while they do.
  • Improved “Open in New Tab” Functionality – Now if you open a document in a new tab, it will just open that specific document, rather than loading a second redundant copy of your search results.
  • Timeline Tweaks – Several quality-of-life improvements to the Timeline. It will now tell you how many documents it is showing, and when expanded it will give you the option to set how many documents you want it to show. We’ve also increased the size differentiation on the bubbles to make it more clear which cases are really important.
  • Interactive Timeline Tooltips – We’ve added more information to the tooltips on the Interactive Timeline and made some visual improvements.
  • Hidden Timeline and Tag Cloud – Now if you hide the Timeline or the Tag Cloud they will stay hidden until you expand them again, even if you run more searches.
  • All Emails are now from Fastcase – When sending documents out via email, we would previously set the “from” address to the email of the person using Fastcase. This was confusing some users and causing some emails to go to spam, so we have now changed all emails sent from the platform to have fastcase in the from address.
  • Improved Sorting for State Outlines – The State level Outline View now always shows the most state-specific materials at the top.
  • External Document Links – Some documents hosted on Fastcase contain links to other websites. Those links are now enabled, but you’ll be warned before we send you to a different site.
  • Results List Auto-scroll – Now when you open a document that is in your Results List (either by clicking on it in the Timeline or skipping to the next or previous) the list will auto-scroll to center the document you just opened.
  • Improved Table Formatting – Some tables should look prettier in Document View.
  • Date Range Selection – Setting a date range for your search is now much easier and more intuitive. Just click the start date, then click the end date!
  • Search Scope – Search Scope will no longer scroll if you add too many filters on the Results View. Instead it will show a “see more” link to view all of them.
  • Performance Improvement – We implemented a new web technology that should significantly improve performance. Expect faster load times and a generally snappier feel from the platform.
  • Removable Filters – Filters in your Current Scope can now be removed from scope by clicking them at the top of the screen on the Results View, in addition to removing them by adjusting your filters on the left.
  • Date Range in Scope – We now display your date range in the Scope section if you adjust it, so it’s easier to tell if you’ve filtered by date.
  • Jurisdiction Tooltips – States on the Jurisdiction Selection Map will now show a tooltip with their name.
  • Search Options Shortcut – Pressing “Enter” or “Return” will now run your search from anywhere in the Search Options window.
  • Outline View Visual Improvements – The outline will now make more efficient use of available screen width, and font sizes were adjusted to better distinguish between different levels of the outline.
  • Search Options Visual Improvements – Authority Levels and Document Types were moved to a dual-column format to make it easier to find the right filter. Search Options will now also scale better for some screen sizes.

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