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Cost-Effective Electronic Legal Research: Fastcase

If you are a member of the Columbus Bar Association, you can access Fastcase from your home or office computer. In addition, during the pandemic, Fastcase has allowed us to make parts of its database available to everyone for free on the Franklin County Law Library website, You can access statutes and regulations and secondary sources. 

On campus, law students can access Advanced Fastcase.  Off campus, go here and create a username and password for the  free app version.

Columbus Bar Association membership benefits include access to Fastcase, a federal and 50-state case law database.  Has natural language, as well as boolean search capabilities.

Authority Check citator provides list of cases citing your case and blurb of text from the citing cases, but no signals. However, Fastcase retrieves SOME negative treatment (but not all).  When a court cites a case that has been overturned or reversed (even on other grounds), the Bluebook requires that the court indicate the negative history right there in the citation. Bad Law Bot reads through the citations in Fastcase, identifying this kind of negative "signal information" in citations. It then reports what other courts have said about this case when citing it, flagging negative history reported by the courts. Note that this is a limited form of negative history. It reports only what cases say in citations. So the Bad Law Bot will not flag a case that has been overturned but never cited, for example. And Bad Law Bot uses algorithms, not human editors. If you see no negative history, that does not necessarily mean that your case is good law.
Cases where Fastcase finds negative treatment are so indicated with red flags.

Unique features of Fastcase include Forecite, which identifies cases likely to be on point that do not include all your search terms, and Interactive Timeline, which shows the chronology of cases in your search results and which cases were cited most frequently.

The Franklin County Law Library also makes available in its Computer Labs the treatise library from Fastcase. This database contains the full text of various law books from Aspen Publishing and Wolters Kluwer. Check our on our website to see if a particular title is including in the Fastcase product.

Training video from Fastcase