This is the "Case Law & Citator Tools" page of the "Conducting Free, Lower Cost, and Other Electronic Legal Research" guide.
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Conducting Free, Lower Cost, and Other Electronic Legal Research  

Guide highlights the presentation of the same name offered in Oct 2015 at the USD Law School
Last Updated: Sep 1, 2017 URL: http://libguides.law.usd.edu/freelowcostresearch Print Guide RSS Updates

Case Law & Citator Tools Print Page
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Google Scholar

Google Scholar allows you to search for case law.  The Google Scholar case law search allows you to select by jurisdiction, limit by date, and even use proximity searching.

 

Fastcase

FastcaseFastcase is an alternative to other more costly commercial legal research databases. It offers access a variety of state and federal materials, including all federal case law and state cases going back to at least 1950 in all jurisdictions. Through a partnership with HeinOnline, Fastcase now provides access to materials including law reviews and journals. In addition, Fastcase offers mobile apps to allow users to continue their research while they are away from their computer. 

 

Casetext

Casetext - Casetext suggests that it has the social justice end of making legal authority available for free.  Additionally, the idea is to use a more "social networking" approach to provide knowledgeable individuals an opportunity to comment on law and to allow researchers to work collectively.

 

Ravel Law

Ravel LawRavel Law is a legal search, analytics, and visualization platform. Stanford University's Law School, Computer Science Department, and d.school, with the support of CodeX (Stanford's Center for Legal Informatics) particpated in the develpment of Ravel.  Ravel enables lawyers to find, contextualize, and interpret information and legal data. Ravel's tools provide include data-driven information, interactive visualizations and analytics and may assist in how lawyers understand and practice the law.

 

Overview of Citators

Currently only Westlaw (Keycite) and LexisNexis (Shepard's) have fully developed citator tools.  However some citing information is available via most lower cost research systems.  

Indiana University Bloomington, Jerome Hall Law Library - Free and Low-Cost Legal Research provides a brief description of citing function available from several lower cost systems.  

 

 

Google Scholar Updating

A "citator tool" is not available via Google Scholar;  however, Google Scholar does provide some information about case citation using the "how cited" link.

 

Bad Law Bot Enhancement to Authority Check on Fastcase

As Fastcase explains in the video below, Bad Law Bot is an automated algorithmic tool.  There are no human editors involved in assigning a negative treatment indicator.  One means Fastcase recommends for dealing with some of issues of the tool is to use another citator tool.  Fastcase previously provided a link to Shepard's to allow ease of such checking.  However, when Lexis terminated its pay per use option for Shepard's, Fastcase removed the link.

 

Citation on Casetext and Ravel Law

A post on the Citing Legally blog entitled The Complex Relationship between Citations and Citators states the following regarding work with citation listing on Casetext and Ravel Law:

What about Newcomers like Ravel Law and Casetext?

Casetext does not yet have a fully developed method of indexing citing cases.  It is designed to allow the ranking of search results by “Cite count” but while its database includes many more it lists only two cases as citing Moore.

Ravel has stronger incentive to solve the citator problem because its visualization of search results derives in significant part from citation links.  However, to date Ravel’s cite count does not include case citations that pre-date the availability of the canonical NRS volume and page cite for a case.  It counts only 70 cases as citing Moore v. Colvin.  Those in its database not using that decision’s full “F.3d” cite do not make the list.

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