I wrote not long ago about Casetext, a new legal research site that provides free access to court opinions together with a platform for crowdsourcing references and annotations. I also wrote recently about Mootus, a different kind of crowdsourced research site at which users post legal issues to be “argued” and other users post cases that are relevant to the issue.
This week, Casetext added a new feature that is similar to what Mootus does. Called Casetext Q&A, it is intended to allow lawyers to help each other with legal research questions. Casetext describes it this way:
With Q&A, any lawyer can submit a research question. Our community of lawyers will then in turn respond to the question under their real identities, at once bolstering their reputation and creating networking opportunities. Answers can come in the form of passages from judicial opinions annotated by our users.
Questions are submitted anonymously, although those submitting questions are able to describe themselves in terms such as “inhouse counsel with a mid-sized company in California” or “associate at mid-sized firm.” Answers to questions are not anonymous; they link directly to your user profile on the site.
On Mootus, when a user posts a case in response to a query, other users can comment on the response. Casetext’s Q&A feature does not allow that (so far, at least).