Vol. 41, No. 9
In and Around the Bar
An Introduction to the New Casemaker
by David Harriman
About the Author
David Harriman joined Casemaker in 2009 as its Chief Operations Officer, and became its Chief Executive Officer in 2011. He is an attorney and has been a member of the Virginia State Bar since 1975. He has more than thirty-five years of experience in the law publishing industry, including serving as President of National Law Library, a Houston and Los Angeles legal publisher.
In July 2012, the CBA introduced its members to the newest version of Casemaker. This is Casemaker’s substantial upgrade from its 2.2 version research service. With enhanced performance capabilities and exciting new features, Casemaker further simplifies the way you research. It makes conducting a search, narrowing your results, and organizing your work easier than ever.
Casemaker brings search efficiency to another level by using a single search box that queries across all libraries. After running your search, it then shows you the top two results in each library. Narrowing results with Casemaker also has become easier. There are improved sorting, navigation, and search-within-results features.
It doesn’t stop there. Among the many other exciting new features, Casemaker allows you to create client files to store and track your research and time by client. It also enables you to create an unlimited number of custom folders to help you stay organized while you work.
Even with all the improvements, one thing stays the same: Casemaker’s editorial staff regularly updates state and federal codes and statutes so that you have the most current legislation available. Thus, the very latest publications are at hand, along with an alert of future changes. Casemaker also maintains an archive of previous codes and statutes. In the event of a change subsequent to an incident constituting a cause of action, you can refer to the then-existing code section.
A Quick Preview of the New Casemaker
Following are screen shots of Casemaker in action. First is your basic landing page (below).
After assigning the research session to a client, pick a jurisdiction using the drop-down menu to the right of the search bar. Save the jurisdiction(s), then type a simple search, a phrase, a Boolean search, or a citation.
The overview page is the first you will encounter after conducting a search. On this page, Casemaker lists the two most relevant results from all the libraries in the selected jurisdictions.
In this test drive, start with a simple search—"damages foreclosure."
Click on the library you want—for instance, "Cases"—to narrow the results. Once loaded, you can further narrow results by selecting a court, searching within the search, or sorting the results based on "date" or "most cited."
After narrowing the results to "Colorado courts" and adding the term "rescission" to the search, you end up with thirty-four results, which you can then sort by "relevance," "date," or "most cited."
CaseCheck+ is Casemaker’s negative treatment citator. If you choose to subscribe to this option, the search results will give a red "thumbs down," indicating negative treatment, or a green "thumbs up," showing there is no negative case treatment. Only West® and Lexis® provide this enhanced service (but at a considerably greater price).
With its omnipresent search bar, Casemaker allows you to enter or revise a search from any page you’re viewing. If you cannot find a relevant case in your jurisdiction, search results can span all fifty state and federal libraries, including results for cases, statutes, and rules.
Casemaker’s "History" feature tracks what you’ve viewed in past research sessions and allows you to return to them any time.
You can choose to save specific searches using the "Save Search" button.
The "Font Resize" button allows you to quickly and easily increase the size of the font for easier viewing.
When reviewing a case, the page drop-down box allows you to jump to a specific page.
"Citing References/CaseCheck" displays the cases that cite the selected case.
The "Notes" feature allows you to add notes to any document. With this feature, you can show and hide notes, edit notes, and print with or without notes.
CasemakerDigest™ is a premium service that provides daily summaries of most recent decisions handed down by state, federal appellate, and Supreme Courts. You can narrow the types of cases delivered by practice area and sign up to receive the summaries via e-mail or RSS feed.
"CiteCheck" saves you time by running your MS Word or searchable PDF documents through a citation checker before you go to court. The check will show whether cases you’ve cited are good law and will reveal any citation format errors.
As a member of the Colorado Bar Association, you have free access to Casemaker. The price for all three premium services—CaseCheck+, CiteCheck, and CasemakerDigest—is $59 per month. The price for just CaseCheck+ and CiteCheck is $49 per month. CasemakerDigest alone costs $19 per month. For more information on Casemaker, including these options, visit cobar.org/casemaker or call (303) 860-1115 and ask for the Casemaker Hotline.
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