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Q: What is Fastcase?A: Fastcase is a Washington D.C. based company and is the premiere American provider of online legal research. Other state bars including Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Oklahoma and Tennessee have contracted with Fastcase for a similar service. Members of those bar associations have given Fastcase excellent reviews.
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Q: Is Fastcase available free-of-charge to all Missouri Bar Members?A: Missouri Bar members who are licensed and in good standing in Missouri are able to access the Fastcase service that includes unlimited access to a comprehensive 50-state and federal database of appellate court opinions and other legal materials.
In addition, Missouri Bar members may choose to access Fastcase's Premium Plan containing opinions of the Federal Districts Courts and Bankruptcy Courts at a negotiated deep discount of $175 per year per attorney.
Q: How will I access Fastcase?A: You may access Fastcase from The Missouri Bar's website at www.mobar.org, by simply clicking on the Fastcase logo that will connect you to the Fastcase service.
Q: Will I need training to use Fastcase?A: Fastcase is very easy to use – you don't even need to understand technology. Navigation through the site is easy and intuitive. Fastcase's tutorial is a great place to start. It lasts about 6 minutes and covers most Fastcase features. Also, one-hour webinars are available as well as hands on training sessions at the Annual Meeting and Solo and Small Firm Conference.
Q: What if I need help?A: You may contact the Fastcase Customer Service Group by emailing email@example.com or by their toll free support number, (866) 773-2782 ( (866) 77-FASTCASE). The customer service desk is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Central Time Monday through Friday, and is offered free of charge as part of The Missouri Bar member benefit. Please note that Fastcase customer service representatives cannot answer legal questions or provide legal advice.
Q: How current is the legal research database?A: Fastcase updates its libraries daily, and adds most appellate cases to the system between 24 and 48 hours from their release by the court.
Q: How do I subscribe to the Premium Plan?A: After you've logged on to Fastcase, you'll see the Premium Plan box at the top of the page. Click on the upgrade button, and you'll be taken to a subscription screen.
Q: How do I subscribe to the MoBarCLE deskbooks?A: After you've logged on to Fastcase, click on Search CLE Books in the left-hand column and then Missouri. Run a search and click on a result. If you are not subscribed to the deskbooks, you'll be taken to a subscription screen.
Q: How does the subscription to the MoBarCLE deskbooks work?A: The subscription to the deskbooks is separate from the subscription to the Premium Plan. Users of the Fastcase member benefit may subscribe to either the Premium Plan, or the MoBarCLE deskbooks, or both.
Users may purchase an annual subscription either to the entire MoBarCLE deskbook library or to individual deskbooks. The price for the entire library is $49 per month if paid monthly or $499 per year if paid up front. The price for an individual book is $99 per year. There is also law firm pricing based on the number of lawyers in a firm:
To take advantage of this law firm pricing, contact Fastcase at (866) 773-2782 ( (866) 77-FASTCASE) or firstname.lastname@example.org or The Missouri Bar at (888) 253-6013.
When conducting a search using the Fastcase service, you may search in individual databases or across multiple databases at the same time—including the deskbooks. If the search results include hits in the deskbooks and if you are subscribed to the deskbooks, you can click and go right to that result. If you are not subscribed, you will receive a message to that effect and be given the opportunity to subscribe.
MoBarCLE deskbooks will continue to be available through the Loislaw and LexisNexis services. And of course, the deskbooks will remain available in print. Click here to see our online catalog.
Q: Can Fastcase benefit me if I have the print version of the MoBarCLE deskbooks?A: Yes, you can use Fastcase as an electronic index or search engine for your print deskbooks. You can search the deskbooks and get a list of results even if you're not subscribed to the deskbooks through Fastcase. This results list includes the title of the book and the section number and title of the section, so you can locate the information in your print book. You can also click on the result and be prompted to subscribe to a deskbook or the entire MoBarCLE publications library through Fastcase.
Q: Can I Shepardize cases on Fastcase?A: Fastcase's authority check feature displays a list of citing cases, as well as the text in which the citation occurs. 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.
Additionally, both LexisNexis and Westlaw offer affordable online versions of their citators, and you can pay transactionally, usually about $5 per case:
Transactional Shepards: http://web.lexis.com/xchange/forms/uas/casepullcheck.aspTransactional KeyCite: http://creditcard.westlaw.com/welcome/frameless/default.wl
Q: What is Authority Check?A: Authority check searches for other cases that cite your case and displays the results as a list of hyperlinked case names. This is a great research tool for finding related precedents, or to help determine the continuing value of a case as a precedent. In addition, you can use Authority Check on the Results page to sort search results in order of authority – with the most often-cited cases at the top of the list. Note that authority check only lists citing precedents in the Fastcase database.
Fastcase does not hold Authority Check out as a complete replacement for services such as Shepards or KeyCite – both of which we like very much. Indeed, many Fastcase subscribers use the transactional Shepards or KeyCite services as a supplement to their Fastcase service. We also recommend searching for a few words in the heading of the case to find related precedent. Setting the results display to show the most relevant paragraph will show you some of what each court said about your case.
Q: How do I find the outline view for statutes, CSR, MoBarCLE deskbooks, court rules, and constitutions?A: After you've logged on to Fastcase, go to the left-hand column, and click on "Search Statutes," "Search Regulations," etc. Then choose Missouri. On the next screen, you will have tabs at the top, including one for "Outline View."
Q: Who do I contact if I have additional questions about the new Fastcase service?A: Contact either Kent Hopper or Lucas Boling at The Missouri Bar at (573) 635-4128.
Fastcase legal research is provided to you as a member benefit of The Missouri Bar.
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Paid for by The Missouri Bar Sebrina Barrett, Executive Director PO Box 119 Jefferson City, MO 65102