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Fastcase for the iPhone/iPad is a free legal research application, putting the American law library in the palm of your hand. Fastcase contains cases and statutes from all 50 states and from the federal government. You can search by citation, keyword (in Boolean or natural language), or browse statute collections.
- Free, searchable library of American cases and statutes
- Keyword (Boolean), natural language, and citation search
- Browse or search statutes
- Most relevant results first
- Customizable, sortable search results
- Search results automatically display number of citing cases
- Jump right to most relevant paragraph of any case or statute
- Integrated research history
- Save favorite documents for use later
- Updated daily
Fastcase for the iPhone has won the prestigious American Association of Law Libraries New Product of the Year Award, and the iPad app includes great new features that take advantage of the larger screen area. Now you can view search results in a side panel while reading a document, enjoy portrait or landscape views, and see multiple levels of statute outline views.
Fastcase for the iPhone/iPad also uses smart search technology from Fastcase’s fully-featured Web-based legal research application, which allows you to sort the most relevant results to the top of the list, customize and re-sort search results, and integrate citation analysis tools right into the results list.
This application is free, but you’ll need to register an account so that you can save favorites and your own customized search history. There are tons of customizable features, so the more you use the Fastcase app, the better it fits you!
Fastcase’s desktop application (www.fastcase.com) is widely considered the smartest alternative for legal research – allowing visual mapping of search results, dual-column printing, and more complete citation analysis and sorting tools. Fastcase was founded in 1999 and has hundreds of thousands of subscribers from around the world.
Fastcase for the iPhone/iPad is the world’s largest free mobile law library. Happy searching!
WHAT CRITICS ARE SAYING:
"The short version of my review is this: I was impressed. The app is easy to use and produces lightning-fast results. . . . For legal research on the go, at any time, and for zero cost, this is a must-have for any lawyer with an iPhone." - Bob Ambrogi, Law.com
"The Fastcase iPhone app is an extremely solid app which probably won't be dethroned as the king of mobile legal research anytime soon." - Joshua Auriemma, LegalGeekery.com
"The largest free law library available on the iPhone. . . . This is a surprisingly robust legal research tool that will allow its users to find cases and statutes wherever they are, whenever they want, all for free." - Bob Ambrogi
"Will it be long before students are required to purchase iPhones for law school in addition to, or instead of, laptops?" - James B. Levy, Legal Writing Professor Blog
"The Legal Universe At Your Fingertips, For Free!" - Brad Bogan, Fifth Circuit Blog
2010 Winner, New Product of the Year Award, American Association of Law Libraries
What's New in Version 2.1
* Updated statute libraries adding more up-to-date content
* Added help text to the new user registration page on the iPad
* Added several links to the Fastcase web page
* Fixed minor rotation issues
I would first like to note that I am but a mere pre-law student so consider that when deciding how much stock to put into my review. I have had all access passes to both Westlaw and LexisNexis (about 6 months each). This app is not a complete replacement for either. That said, as a FREE tool to look up case law and statutory law in a pinch, this app is excellent! With a little practice you will be reading court rulings based on the doctrine of quantum meruit or discovering how 18 U.S.C Sec. 6002 discusses "immunity in general."
Cons: I don't like that you have to sign into the app every time you want to use it. This seems like a very unnecessary step considering that this app is free to use and the app contains none of my personal information. Secondly, an option to "shepardize" the case rulings is a must add feature. Access to case law is only as helpful as ones ability to ensure that what they are reading is in fact "good law".
All in all, I'd give the app a 9 out of 10. With a few tweaks and the addition of a "shepardize" feature, this app would be a 12 out of 10.
Way too good to be free..
All those $0.99-$9.99 limited "Federal Rules" or "State Statute" apps? Forget 'em. Every statute, regulation and case in the country is included in Fastcase. My firm uses West's desktop product but we haven't paid for the upgrade to WestlawNext, so we don't have access to any mobile apps. Our state gives all lawyers free Fastcase access, and at a recent bar event the Fastcase rep mentioned this app. I wasn't expecting much, but it's quite full featured. Let's be honest- no one is going to do substantive research on their iPhone, but if you're reading cases for background or just looking something up on the go, Fastcase is freaking fantastic. It's clear, easy to use and provides excellent results-- and did I mention it's FREE? 5 stars, no question.
Having just started to explore the app, I am already impressed by its completeness and speed, particularly for a free app. Although I've been retired for about seven years now (after an active legal career of 35 years), it seems comparable to the early years of the emergence of computerized legal research (first LEXIS and then WestLaw), and that's without the add-ons available with the optional paid subscription. I no longer have a need for the add-ons, but if I did I would seriously evaluate the full system.