Bar News - February 18, 2015
Casemaker Offerings Broadened; More Annotations Available
By: Dan Wise
Have you visited Casemaker lately?
Casemaker continues to add resources and increase cross-linking between materials, according to David Harriman, Casemaker’s CEO, who spoke at a gathering of bar association executives earlier this month.
More and more of the searches performed on Casemaker, instead of just drawing on case law, are identifying additional authorities through Casemaker’s annotation feature, he said. For example, enter a statute as a search term, and Casemaker will present the latest version of the state law, plus case law that cites that law and administrative codes, as well as law reviews, ethics opinions, bar journal articles, and administrative appeals.
New Hampshire’s case law library also offers a citator providing a green thumbs-up or red thumbs-down on subsequent treatment of the selected case. (The citation guidance, called CaseCheck+, is provided by a team of legal editors employed by Casemaker. Not all of the states in the Casemaker system offer the citator service; New Hampshire cases added CaseCheck+ starting last June.)
Harriman also explained that Casemaker increasingly recognizes that attorneys have various styles of searching and has created options for searching within search results.
For some users who want to get a broader view while within statutes or an administrative code, Casemaker now offers a “Tree View (TV) Interface” – an optional interface that shows the hierarchy of the material and can be expanded and contracted in the left frame while the right frame displays the detail content of the material (e.g., a code section).
“A user may choose to change their default settings to always show the TV interface when clicking on the state library page link,” said Harriman.
Also, users will have the option to search a statute, administrative code, and selected other material within a specific level in the hierarchy of collection (e.g., search a single statute title or search a CFR Part). The user can navigate to a spot in the hierarchy using browse features (List View or Tree View) and the default option will be to search at that level in the hierarchy – or they can specify to search the entire collection. Similarly, if a user brings up a section via search, they can then choose to search that collection at that level in the hierarchy.
The main Casemaker search bar allows searching by keyword, citation, party, section or docket and is equipped with autocorrect capabilities. Click on “Search Tips” for help making a search more specific and phrasing tricks that make your searches more productive.
Last year, Casemaker added coverage of NH Reports case law back to Vol. 1, and, later this month, it will have extended historical coverage to the beginning of case law in all 50 states.
In collaboration with NH Bar Association members in state government, the Bar Association partnered with Casemaker in the last few months to add, at no charge to members, decisions from the NH Human Rights Commission, the NH Department of Labor, and NH Superior Court decisions on Department of Safety administrative license suspensions.