The library recently acquired an electronic subscription to the computer assisted legal research (CALR) resource, Fastcase. Why? The South Carolina State Bar Association, as part of its resource membership package to its members, switched from Casemaker to FastCase in November. The Fastcase subscription can be accessed from the library’s home page via the Research Resources link. Fastcase is listed under Databases.
What is Fastcase? It is a computer assisted legal research tool that provides attorneys and law students with access to federal and state primary sources of law, i.e. statutes, regulations and cases at the federal and state level. Cases can be searched via Boolean searching, natural language, or citation searching. Results can be filtered via jurisdiction, date, and keyword focusing called Search Within. Statutes and regulations can be searched in the same fashion, and they can also be browsed via a table of contents. Results are displayed, via default setting, by relevance although they can be displayed by date in reverse chronological order. Results can also be viewed via an interactive timeline that allows the researcher to see when a case was heavily cited and also view its relationship with other cases.
In addition to primary sources of law, Fastcase also interfaces and links to HeinOnline’s Law Review database. There are links to Justicia’s docket and links to generic legal forms as well. A limited citator, called AuthorityCheck, is also available. Items can be publically shared, downloaded, printed or emailed. They can also be saved to a folder called My Library. There are tutorials, a live chat feature, and a user guide to help answer any questions.
Please begin using and stop by the library’s Reference Desk if you have any questions.