Except for California, every U.S. state bar offers a member benefit of free access to a legal research service, typically either Fastcase or Casemaker. Until today, California has been the lone exception.

But this morning, the California Lawyers Association and Fastcase announced a partnership through which the CLA’s roughly 60,000 members will have free access to Fastcase’s nationwide legal research system. This brings Fastcase’s total user base to some 900,000 lawyers, nearly three quarters of all lawyers in the United States.

Beginning in early 2019, anyone who is a paid member of at least CLA section will receive the benefit. The benefit includes unlimited research, printing, webinar training, and reference support. It also includes access via the Fastcase mobile app and live customer support from Fastcase reference attorneys.

Once the benefit begins, members will be able to access Fastcase through the CLA website, where they will be able to log in with their bar username and password.

The CLA is the voluntary bar association formed last January by the split of the State Bar of California. The State Bar retained only its regulatory and public-protection functions, while the CLA was created as the new home of the bar’s 16 sections and its young lawyers’ division.

“At CLA, one of our primary goals is to provide a wide variety of resources to attorneys in California, to allow their practices to thrive and their clients to receive the highest quality legal services,” said Heather Rosing, CLA president, in a prepared statement. “We are proud of what we have accomplished during our inaugural year in terms of benefits for the legal community. Coming in year two, we are excited to announce our new partnership with Fastcase that will allow our members free access to online legal research and more.”

Fastcase says that 31 state bar associations and dozens of metro, county, and specialty bar associations offer its research platform as a member benefit.

Docket Alarm, the docket tracking and analytics platform acquired last January by legal research company Fastcase, says it has released a new tool, the Analytics Workbench, that will allow legal professionals to build their own bespoke litigation analytics across any court, practice area or litigation event.

Generally, legal analytics products tend to focus on specific courts or specific practice areas. For example, Lex Machina, one of the leading providers of legal analytics, launched with intellectual property and has gradually expanded into other practice areas one by one, with that expansion accelerated by its acquisition by LexisNexis.

Docket Alarm says its new tool will allow users to build litigation analytics across all case types in state courts, federal courts, administrative courts, and other jurisdictions included within in the Docket Alarm system.

Docket Alarm says these analytics can reveal information about courts and dockets that would otherwise be imperceptible. For example, it says, the Analytics Workbench can uncover trends about discovery motions, motions in limine, and scheduling and pre-trial conferences, at both the state and federal levels.

Docket Alarm says that its Analytics Workbench provides tools for firms to build custom rules to analyze a large number of cases across any court or case type. Users can tag litigation events based on their own rules and then quickly review the tags to assure an acceptable level of quality. The tool then uses visualizations to display litigation events in aggregate and it allows users to filter or pivot the data as desired.

I have not yet seen this and so can provide no further details. The company says it will be demonstrating the tool at the annual meeting of the American Association of Law Libraries July 14-17.

A partnership announced yesterday will enhance the Fastcase legal research service through the addition of data and reviews on expert witnesses, litigation consultants, mediators and arbitrators from Courtroom Insight.

Content from Courtroom Insight has already been added to Fastcase’s AI Sandbox, a private digital environment where law firms can use artificial intelligence and data-analytics tools against combinations of their own data, Fastcase data, and data provided by third parties. (See my earlier post about it.)

In addition, the Courtroom Insight content will be integrated both into the Fastcase research platform and with the Docket Alarm platform that Fastcase acquired in January.

Some 100,000 profiles from Courtroom Insight are being added to the Fastcase platform as a new content set that will show up in search results when appropriate, according to Steve Errick, Fastcase’s chief operating officer.

Customers will then be able to obtain a more-detailed snapshot for a transactional or monthly subscription. Fastcase will enable links via an API to the Courtroom Insights platform for analytics. The Courtroom Insight content should become available within Fastcase by the fall, Errick said.

When Courtroom Insight launched in 2010, it was intended to be a Yelp-like product for lawyers to provide ratings and reviews of expert witnesses and arbitrators. Over the years, Courtroom Insight moved away from that model, finding that lawyers were reluctant to share reviews publicly. Last October, it relaunched as a private platform for law firms to privately share knowledge and mine data about experts.

Along the way, Courtroom Insight has compiled profiles on more than 100,000 expert witnesses, CEO Mark Torchiana told me in October. It also enhances these profiles with information drawn from several third-party sources.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has scheduled oral arguments Aug. 17 in Atlanta on the dispute between Fastcase and Casemaker over the latter’s claims of copyright in Georgia administrative regulations.

Fastcase sued Casemaker in federal court in Atlanta in 2016 after Casemaker served it a written notice demanding that it remove Georgia administrative rules and regulations from its research collection. Casemaker’s parent company, Lawriter, has an agreement with the Georgia Secretary of State designating it as the exclusive publisher of the Georgia Rules and Regulations and giving it the right to license that content to other publishers.

After the court dismissed that lawsuit without prejudice in January 2017, Fastcase filed a second complaint against Casemaker in February 2017. Casemaker filed a motion to dismiss that second lawsuit. In July 2017, the court granted the motion to dismiss, concluding that it lacked subject-matter jurisdiction because Casemaker had never registered a copyright in the Georgia regulations. Fastcase appealed to the 11th Circuit.

In its brief on appeal, Fastcase — represented by Baker Donelson attorneys Robert G. Brazier, Steven G. Hall and Joshua Tropper — argues that the district court erred in concluding that it lacked jurisdiction. Fastcase argues that jurisdiction exists on two grounds:

  • Diversity jurisdiction based on the amount in controversy. Fastcase alleges that its potential losses exceed the $75,000 amount-in-controversy requirement. The district court ruled that Fastcase failed to provide sufficient evidence to establish this and that the value of the litigation was therefore too speculative and immeasurable. Fastcase argues that the district court applied the wrong legal standard in making this ruling and should have found diversity jurisdiction.
  • Subject-matter jurisdiction based on Lawriter’s threat to sue Fastcase for copyright infringement. The district court concluded that it lacked subject-matter jurisdiction because Casemaker failed to register its copyright. Fastcase argues that Casemaker’s threat of a copyright infringement suit was one it could easily make good on and was sufficient grounds to establish federal copyright jurisdiction.

In its brief to the 11th Circuit, Casemaker — represented by Kurt M. Rozelsky and Joseph W. Rohe of Smith Moore Leatherwood in Greenville, S.C. — defends the district court’s dismissal. It argues:

  • Diversity jurisdiction does not exist. It contends that in cases seeking declaratory judgment, such as this, the plaintiff bears the burden of proving that the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000. Fastcase’s claims of damages were purely hypothetical, it argues, and the district court therefore was correct in dismissing the case.
  • Subject-matter jurisdiction does not exist. It says that established 11th Circuit precedent requires a copyright holder to have at least applied to register a copyright in order to invoke subject-matter jurisdiction. Not only has it not even applied for copyright, it says, but it has provided Fastcase a covenant not to sue for copyright infringement.

In a further reply brief, Fastcase portrays Casemaker’s arguments as “litigation gymnastics” designed to preserve its “exclusive copyright-like rights” in Georgia’s regulations.

Simply put, full, free and unfettered access to our laws is vital to our democracy and cannot be defeated by carefully orchestrated efforts to restrict access and evade judicial review. This case presents, at its core, a single simple, but very important question, fundamentally a matter of federal law: can a private party — with or without the complicity of a governmental office — obtain and exercise exclusive copyright-like rights to the publication of public law? Putting aside strategic artifice, it cannot.

In an email exchange earlier this year, Fastcase CEO Ed Walters said that he considers it a good sign for Fastcase that the 11th Circuit requested oral arguments. “If the district court had the Eleventh Circuit’s precedents right, the court of appeals could simply affirm without argument,” he said.

When I reached out to Casemaker earlier this year about the appeal, the company declined to comment.

The Mississippi Bar today announced that it is switching the research service it offers as a free benefit to its members from Casemaker to Fastcase. The switch will take effect for its more than 9,000 members on June 1.

“This new partnership allows us to support our members by providing free access to tools that will benefit them in their practice of law,” said Deanne Mosley, executive director of The Mississippi Bar, in a statement announcing the switch. “We’re proud to partner with Fastcase to provide access to such innovative research tools and online law libraries.”

Mississippi Bar members will be able to access Fastcase through the bar website at www.msbar.org, where they will be able to log in with their bar username and password.

According to Fastcase, 30 state bar associations and dozens of metro, county, and specialty bar associations offer its service as a free benefit to members. Through those partnerships, Fastcase says, its service is available for free to more than 800,000 lawyers — two-thirds of all lawyers in the U.S.

Twelve of those states switched to Fastcase after previously offering a different legal research service. Ten switched from Casemaker to Fastcase.

In 2016, the Minnesota Bar made the reverse switch, from Fastcase to Casemaker, only to reverse itself six months later.



Nearly a year ago, this blog first reported that legal research service Fastcase would launch an artificial intelligence sandbox for law firms — a testing environment where firms would have access to various AI platforms and data sets, as well as be able to bring in their own data. Soon thereafter, Fastcase launched an “unofficial” version of the sandbox. Today, it rolled out the official version of the Fastcase AI Sandbox, along with more information on the tools and data it offers and the firms that are using it.

“Fastcase’s AI Sandbox is a customized first-of-its-kind platform that allows law firms to use artificial intelligence in a secure environment to crunch their own big data, compare it with public legal data or metadata from Fastcase, and analyze it using cognitive intelligence tools such as IBM Watson Analytics and Watson Developer Cloud,” the announcement said.

Among the AI tools contained in this initial release, in addition to those from Watson, are indexing and visualization software from ElasticSearch; expert system platform Neota LogicContraxSuite, a machine learning tool for contract and document analytics from LexPredict; customized expert witness content from Courtroom Insight; and more. The platform will include legal data from Fastcase as well as docket data from Docket Alarm, which Fastcase acquired in January.

Firms already using the sandbox include BakerHostetler, DLA Piper and Baker Donelson, Fastcase said.

How can legal professionals use this? Fastcase offers these examples:

  • Litigators can create a brief bank and search for legal issues in their firms’ knowledge management system.
  • Corporate attorneys searching UCC filings can quickly run a comprehensive machine learning analysis of filed UCC agreements that show interest rates, security requirements, payment schedules, default penalties, liquidity and notification requirements.
  • Law school faculty and students can research legal trends and law school librarians can manage data-driven research projects.

Users can update their own data to use alone in the sandbox or combine it with other data sets. Firms could also choose to collaborate to harness comparative data, Fastcase suggests.


In January, Fastcase acquired Docket Alarm, a company that mines federal and state court dockets to provide litigation alerts and case-prediction analytics. (See my coverage here.) In its first update since the acquisition, Fastcase is today announcing that Docket Alarm has now expanded its coverage of state dockets to 11 states, is now integrating with case law in Fastcase, and is expanding its staff.

When Fastcase acquired Docket Alarm, the company covered dockets from federal courts and three states. With today’s announcement, it is adding eight states. It now has dockets for: California, Connecticut, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Washington and Wyoming.

Also, as of today, Docket Alarm now integrates with case law in Fastcase. When a user views a docket document such as a brief or memorandum that contains citations to case law, the user will be able to view the cited case from Fastcase without a separate login. Users can share the cited cases with anyone else they choose.

Fastcase also said today that it is expanding the Docket Alarm team to support rapid development and product innovation. Joining Docket Alarm founder and managing director Michael Sander are:

  • Molly Lindblom as product manager. Lindblom has more than 18 years of product management and marketing leadership with companies such as LexisNexis, Bloomberg,and Wanted Analytics, and she led the creation of the litigation and client development analytics categories while at LexisNexis CourtLink.
  • David Nayer, as reference attorney and trainer. Nayer has a background in law and technology.
  • Liz Morgan, as a sales executive. Morgan has more than 20 years of experience in legal publishing and legal analytics sales with Lex Machina and Wolters Kluwer.

“It’s exciting to see the momentum we’ve created by putting the strength and capabilities of the Fastcase team behind the latest developments in Docket Alarm,” Sander said in a statement. “In a matter of weeks, we’ve formally launched state court dockets and a have linked millions of citations across opinions, briefs, and complaints to Fastcase, a first-of- its-kind product – and this is only the first step in our integration.”

I have said before and I continue to believe that for a legal research company to compete against the longstanding dominance of Westlaw and LexisNexis, having secondary content such as treatises and practice guides is the Holy Grail.

Fastcase clearly sees it the same way. It has steadily been building its libraries of secondary content, acquiring Loislaw in 2015, bringing on former LexisNexis VP Steve Errick to develop new editorial products, adding blog posts and commentary from the LexBlog network, launching a legal publishing arm in November, and, just two weeks ago, debuting its first law journal, RAIL: The Journal of Robotics, Artificial Intelligence & Law.

Today, Fastcase is announcing another step in that direction. Through a partnership with Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S., it will offer an extensive collection of WK’s expert treatises, handbooks and other secondary sources.

The collection includes 129 titles covering areas of law such as bankruptcy, business, construction, elder law, employment, estate planning, family, litigation, health, insurance, pension and benefits, personal injury and real estate.

“This partnership intentionally closes the gap between Fastcase and the incumbents in the legal publishing market,” Fastcase CEO Ed Walters said. “There are vanishingly few advantages that the old players have left. With the analytics of Docket Alarm, secondary treatises from Wolters Kluwer, legal news from LexBlog, and our innovative research platform and mobile apps, Fastcase is a complete solution for legal researchers.”

But for Fastcase subscribers, there are two limitations. One is that the titles will be available only by purchase. So, if a subscriber wants, for example, Bankruptcy Litigation and Practice, the subscriber will have to purchase it for an annual price of $510. (A complete list of titles and prices is below.)

Second, Fastcase’s licensing agreement with WK permits it to sell these titles only to subscribers in firms of 1-9 lawyers. Subscribers at larger firms will be able to purchase these only through WK.

Fastcase users will see the new titles in the library immediately as of today. Those in firms of fewer than 10 lawyers will be able to subscribe to and use the materials from directly within the Fastcase application.

The agreement to provide the Wolters Kluwer content extends a partnership that began when Fastcase purchased legal research provider Loislaw from Wolters Kluwer in 2015, but this agreement includes titles that were not available for sale in Loislaw.

For WK, the licensing agreement provides an effective distribution channel for it to reach a wider audience in the small firm segment, said Dean Sonderegger, vice president and general manager of Legal Markets, Innovation at WK. “As a rising innovator in the space, Fastcase was the clear choice and we’re pleased that our titles and expert authors will receive even greater exposure and reach more professionals.”

Below is the full list of titles that will be available and their prices.

Subject Title Annual Price
Bankruptcy Advanced Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Practice, 2nd Edition $416
Bankruptcy Bankruptcy Litigation and Practice, 4th Edition $510
Bankruptcy Bankruptcy Litigation Manual $653
Bankruptcy Ginsberg & Martin on Bankruptcy, 5th Edition $863
Bankruptcy Ordin on Contesting Confirmation, 5th Edition $472
Bankruptcy Strategies for Creditors in Bankruptcy Proceedings, 6th Edition $267
Bankruptcy Tax Planning for Troubled Corporations $536
Business Practice S Corporation Taxation Guide $429
Business Torts Business Torts Reporter $829
Business Torts Business Torts: A Fifty-State Guide $363
Business Torts Civil RICO Practice Manual, 3rd Edition $423
Construction Law Alternative Clauses to Standard Construction Contracts, 3rd Edition $261
Construction Law Construction Disputes: Practice Guide with Forms, 2nd Edition $334
Construction Law Construction Law Handbook, 2nd Edition $210
Construction Law Fifty State Construction Lien and Bond Law, 3rd Edition $544
Consumer Finance Structuring Commercial Real Estate Workouts, 2nd Edition $932
Drunk Driving Defense Drunk Driving Defense, 7th Edition $426
Elder Law Elder Law Answer Book, 3rd Edition $209
Elder Law Loring & Rounds: A Trustee’s Handbook $423
Elder Law Representing the Elderly Client Law & Practice $666
Elder Law Social Security & Medicare Answer Book, 5th Edition $497
Elder Law Special Needs Trust Handbook $478
Elder Law The Elder Law Forms Manual $652
Elder Law The Elder Law Portfolio Series $1,016
Elder Law The Elder Law Report $422
Employment Discrimination Americans with Disabilities Act Handbook, 4th Edition $953
Employment Discrimination Civil Rights in the Workplace, 3rd Edition $456
Employment Discrimination Employment Discrimination Law & Practice, 4th Edition $724
Employment Discrimination Representing Plaintiffs in Title VII Actions, 4th Edition $671
Employment Discrimination Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: Law and Practice, 4th Edition $680
Employment Law AIDS and the Law $456
Employment Law Covenants Not to Compete, 3rd Edition $571
Employment Law Employee Dismissal Law & Practice, 5th Edition $576
Employment Law Employment Law Answer Book, 8th Edition $505
Employment Law Employment Law Update $519
Employment Law Employment Relationships: Law & Practice $446
Employment Law Equal Employment Opportunity Compliance Guide $490
Employment Law Labor & Employment Law Handbook $395
Employment Law Privacy & Cybersecurity Law Deskbook $489
Employment Law State by State Guide to Human Resources Law $485
Estate Planning Estate & Gift Tax Handbook $435
Estate Planning Estate & Retirement Planning Answer Book $399
Estate Planning Internal Revenue Code $301
Estate Planning Multistate Guide to Estate Planning $490
Estate Planning Practical Guide to Estate Planning $338
Estate Planning Price on Contemporary Estate Planning $579
Evidence Destruction of Evidence $455
Evidence Evidence: Practice Under the Rules, 4th Edition $416
Family Law American Journal of Family Law $453
Family Law Child Support Guidelines: Interpretation & Application, 2nd Edition $556
Family Law Drafting Prenuptial Agreements $793
Family Law Family Law Update $681
Family Law Psychological Experts in Divorce Actions, 6th Edition $388
Family Law Qualified Domestic Relations Order Handbook, 3rd Edition $511
Family Law Valuation Strategies in Divorce, 5th Edition $382
Family Law Value of Pensions in Divorce,  5th Edition $499
Family Law Valuing Specific Assets in Divorce $355
General Litigation Discovery Practice, 6th Edition $406
General Litigation Electronic Discovery, 2nd Edition $371
General Litigation Expert Witness Update $275
General Litigation Judgment Enforcement, 3rd Edition $423
General Litigation Jury Selection, 4th Edition $384
General Litigation Motion Practice, 6th Edition $508
Health Law & Compliance Clinical Research Compliance Manual $581
Health Law & Compliance Consent to Treatment $593
Health Law & Compliance Emergency Department Compliance Manual $421
Health Law & Compliance Health Care Organizations Risk Management $452
Health Law & Compliance Health Law & Compliance Update $370
Health Law & Compliance HIPAA Compliance Handbook $367
Health Law & Compliance HIPAA: A Guide to Health Care Privacy and Security Law $782
Health Law & Compliance Hospital Legal Forms, Checklists and Guidelines $1,226
Health Law & Compliance Medical Group Practice $603
Health Law & Compliance Medical Staff Management $543
Insurance CGL Policy Handbook, 2nd Edition $365
Insurance Insurance Coverage Litigation, 2nd Edition $410
Insurance Policyholder’s Guide to the Law of Insurance Coverage $448
Insurance Practitioner’s Guide to Litigating Insurance Coverage Actions, 2nd Ed $643
Law Practice Resources Lawyer’s Desk Book $409
Law Practice Resources The Lawyer’s Almanac $540
Limited Liability Federal & State Taxation of Limited Liability Companies $499
Payroll California Payroll Guide $596
Payroll Complete Guide to Federal & State Garnishment $694
Payroll Multistate Payroll Guide $539
Payroll Payroll Answer Book $560
Payroll Wage and Hour Answer Book $576
Payroll Wage Hour Compliance Handbook $539
Pension & Benefits 401(k) Answer Book $499
Pension & Benefits 5500 Preparer’s Manual $499
Pension & Benefits Cash Balance Plan Answer Book $497
Pension & Benefits COBRA Handbook $505
Pension & Benefits Coverage & Nondiscrimination Answer Book $506
Pension & Benefits Defined Benefit Answer Book $497
Pension & Benefits Dividing Pensions in Divorce $511
Pension & Benefits Employee Benefits Answer Book $487
Pension & Benefits Employee Benefits in Mergers & Acquisitions $487
Pension & Benefits Employee Stock Ownership Plan Answer Book $513
Pension & Benefits ERISA Fiduciary Answer Book $497
Pension & Benefits ERISA Law Answer Book $487
Pension & Benefits ERISA: A Comprehensive Guide $506
Pension & Benefits Executive Compensation Answer Book $497
Pension & Benefits Governmental Plans Answer Book $491
Pension & Benefits Handbook on ERISA Litigation $511
Pension & Benefits Health Insurance Answer Book $519
Pension & Benefits Health Savings Account Answer Book $497
Pension & Benefits Individual Retirement Account Answer Book $511
Pension & Benefits Mandated Benefits Compliance Guide $511
Pension & Benefits Medicare Handbook $511
Pension & Benefits Multistate Guide to Benefits Law $497
Pension & Benefits Pension Distribution Answer Book $497
Pension & Benefits Plan Correction Answer Book $497
Pension & Benefits Plan Termination Answer Book $511
Pension & Benefits Qualified Domestic Relations Order Answer Book $497
Pension & Benefits Quick Reference to ERISA Compliance $511
Pension & Benefits Quick Reference to HIPAA Compliance $510
Pension & Benefits Roth IRA Answer Book $511
Pension & Benefits SIMPLE, SEP and SARSEP Answer Book $511
Pension & Benefits State by State Guide to Managed Care Law $534
Personal Injury Tort Law Desk Reference: A Fifty State Compendium $445
Personal Injury Understanding the AMA Guides in Workers’ Compensation, 5th Edition $534
Product Liability Product Liability Case Digest $405
Product Liability Product Liability Desk Reference a Fifty-State Compendium $391
Product Liability The Preparation of a Product Liability Case, 3rd Edition $381
Real Estate Commercial Real Estate Leases, 5th Edition $365
Real Estate Commercial Real Estate Transactions Handbook, 4th Edition $330
Real Estate Environmental Liability & Real Property Transactions: Law & Practice, 2nd Edition $1,288
Real Estate Law of Real Estate Brokers, 3rd Edition $324
Real Estate Law of Title Insurance, 3rd Edition $336
Real Estate State-By-State Guide to Commercial Real Estate Leases, 5th Edition $891
Remedies Proving and Defending Damage Claims: A Fifty-State Guide $380

Fastcase today announced that it has acquired Docket Alarm,  a company that mines federal and state court dockets to provide litigation alerts and case-prediction analytics.

In announcing the acquisition, the company said:

Docket Alarm’s advanced analytical capabilities, customizable real-time litigation alerts, case prediction indicators, and technology-driven research tools complement Fastcase’s quest to add unique, must-have content for its subscribers and provide leading legal analysis with contributions from firm partners across the country.

Founded by intellectual property litigator Michael Sander, Docket Alarm started as a company focused on federal court docket alerts, but in recent years it has expanded the number of state court dockets it covers. It has also expanded in analytics, using docket data to predict litigation outcomes and to to provide analytical profiles of judges, parties, law firms, and attorneys. Its analytics can provide information such as win rates, time to decision, and gender diversity at law firms.

In addition to court dockets, Docket Alarm also includes data from the ITC, PTAB, and TTAB.

“Docket Alarm adds insights from court filings in cases that never result in an opinion, giving litigators a more complete picture in their research, said Ed Walters, Fastcase CEO. “Now Fastcase and Docket Alarm subscribers can search motions, pleadings, and briefs; get clear analytic insights into judges and law firms; and understand the history of similar cases. Analytics are the future, and Fastcase and Docket Alarm are going to be right in the center of it.”

Sander will join Fastcase as managing director of Docket Alarm and director of Fastcase Analytics. Current Docket Alarm subscribers will continue to have access to their accounts through docketalarm.com with their login and password with no disruption to their access.