Lawyers Journal

Casemaker keeps growing - and proving its value

The Casemaker Online Law Library continues to grow and improve.

The Casemaker Consortium, the collection of state bars that is jointly developing the service as a free benefit to their members, recently announced the addition of the Colorado State Bar as its 18th member state bar. With several other bars expected to join shortly, more American lawyers will have a password to Casemaker by year's end than to either Lexis-Nexis or West.

Along with that remarkable growth comes an unofficial but apt new slogan - "Casemaker: The Libraries of the Bar Associations of America."

So what's new? Five new features are on the way, including:

•  New fields for statutory code materials that will allow a user to simply type in just the code number to retrieve the desired information;

•  In the federal case law area, users will be able to obtain a Westlaw citation for all circuit cases;

•  Simultaneous searching of multiple states' case law databases;

•  Annotations to statues will be added;

•  In the Casecheck feature, users will be able to jump directly to the portion of a document where their original case is cited.

In addition, improvements continue to be made to the search and display functions. The latest major change in this area is that users who are searching court, administrative or other rules will be able to find individual rules posted as separate documents, which will greatly speed up their research time.

Also to be unveiled shortly is the Casemaker Learning Center, where members of consortium state bars as well as non-members (no password needed) can look for extensive information about Casemaker, including a tutorial of the service as well as answers to frequently asked questions.

One last stat to run by you: In the past year, Casemaker users across the country used their bars' free online library to retrieve nearly 70 million documents. If they'd paid for that research time on one of the commercial services, it would amount to roughly $1.2 million a day in research fees. Talk about proving your worth!

Needless to say, if you haven't used Casemaker lately, or if you tried it some time ago, you owe it to yourself to log in and put Casemaker to work.

©2014 Massachusetts Bar Association