FastCase-Casemaker Merger Seeks to Create More Robust Cost-Effective Legal Research Alternative

On January 5, 2021 FastCase and Casemaker announced a merger. FastCase and Casemaker provide a cost-effective alternative to other legal research databases. According to the CEO of FastCase, Bar associations in all 50 states provide FastCase or Casemaker at no or low cost, so the merger creates the largest lawyer subscriber base of any legal research database.

Although the merger was announced 2 months ago, the two companies still provide two separate databases. Since the announcement, the companies are working on ways to combine their resources to provide the best service to their customers. The first half of the year will be spent examining the two products and deciding how best to merge the existing platforms. Both companies bring different strengths to the merger.

In the last few years, FastCase acquired several companies that strengthened and broadened its services, including Docket Alarm, Next Chapter, Law Street Media, and Judicata. Docket Alarm provides docket tracking and litigation analytics. Next Chapter is a practice software that provides attorneys with assistance preparing, managing, and filing bankruptcy cases. Law Street Media is a legal news service. Judicata is another legal research service that provides advanced legal search tools for researching and analyzing California law. FastCase is working to expand that technology to their much larger database. In addition to its various acquisitions, FastCase has developed a publishing arm under the name Full Court Press, to provide practice guides and other secondary sources.

Casemaker is known for its continuous updating of state codes, and regulations. They also provide support products, such as CaseDigest, CaseCheck+, and CasemakerLibra. CaseDigest provides summaries of Federal and State case law, produced by attorney editors. CaseCheck+ is a citator that provides users with information about negative treatment of case law. CasemakerLibra provides a library of secondary sources, published by CaseMaker.

Anticipating the benefits of combining the best of both platforms, it is possible that the FastCase-Casemaker merger will create a robust and substantial low-cost alternative to other legal research databases.

Fastcase Expands into Original Works by Launching Full Court Press, a New Print and Digital Imprint

On November 2, 2017, Fastcase launched its new publishing arm, under the imprint Full Court Press. The inaugural publication offered under Full Court Press is RAIL: The Journal of Robotics, Artificial Intelligence & Law, and it is billed as “a multimedia offering, available in print, as an eBook, in audio, and exclusively within the Fastcase legal research application.”

According to CEO Ed Walters, the new imprint is “like Netflix for legal publishing,” noting that it is designed to improve the existing Fastcase platform by “adding our own original series through Full Court Press. RAIL is our first of many offerings, including legal treatises, deskbooks, forms, checklists, and workflow tools. We’re just getting started.”

The complete Fastcase press release is available here.

 

Vendor News: Fastcase Acquires LoisLaw

Fastcase has purchased LoisLaw from WoltersKluwer. Robert Ambrogi broke the news on Law Sites after current Loislaw customers started receive notices of the change. Fastcase has confirmed it, and posted some FAQs on the transition.

It looks like Fastcase has expanded it customer base by acquiring the current LoisLaw subscriptions and brand. The legacy LoisLaw subscribers look like they’ll have an option to continue accessing WoltersKluwer treatises as long as they continue their subscriptions, but it doesn’t look like anything will change for current Fastcase subscribers (i.e., no new windfall of editorial content showing up on Fastcase).

Thank you to former CRIV Chair, Liz Reppe, for bringing this to my attention.

Blog Roundup: June 1-June 30

Chuck Lowry from Fastcase offered some advice to Librarians and Exhibitors looking to get the most out the AALL Annual Meeting Exhibit Hall over at On Firmer Ground.

At Law Librarians Blog Mark Giangrande examined a study on Academic Publisher profits. The underlying paper is here.

At Dewey B. Strategic, Jean O’Grady took a deep dive into Lexis Advance Practice Pages. Jean also looked at some new analytics products from Lex Machina.

Annotated statutes on Fastcase

From the Fastcase blog: “Our annotations are different because they are not restrained by the editorial conventions associated with physical documents, meaning they can rapidly be manipulated to turn up the most valuable information… Fastcase’s annotations are not notes, summaries, or editorial claims about how courts have treated your statute. Rather, Fastcase shows you highly-relevant common law source material – what judges have actually written about a particular law.” Read more about it here – http://www.fastcase.com/modern-annotations/

Fastcase Advance Sheets

Fastcase Advance Sheets are now available on Android, iPad, Kindle, and Nook.  According to the Fastcase blog, Advance sheets will be available monthly and should replace the need for having to look at opinions in print.

For more information on Fastcase Advance Sheets, visit their blog at http://www.fastcase.com/fastcase-ebooks-advance-sheets/ or http://www.fastcase.com/ebooks/.