Before you were interrupted – Using Casemaker History

It happens to the best of us. The phone rings. An emergency comes up.  You walk away from the computer in the middle of research.

Then you are finally able come back to your desk and the system is logged out and you are not where you were before.

“Where was I?” you think to yourself. “I have lost so much time! I will never find that case again!”

Yes you will find that case and Casemaker can help.

In the top right of your Casemaker screen you will see a link labeled History. Clicking on this will give you a record of everything you have looked at in Casemaker. The items are date and time stamped and if you were logged in to a client that label shows as well.

History – a great way to save time and save the day.

Searching Casemaker – “And” searches, “Or” searches and “Not” searches.

When you first login to Casemaker, all the data available can seem a bit overwhelming. How do you find what you are looking for? Casemaker provides you a number of searching options to help you find what you need. Let’s review a few of those types of searches – And, Or and Not.

This is the simplest search to do in Casemaker. Simply put any number of words in leaving a space between each, and Casemaker will retrieve documents which contain all the words you mentioned.
Contract binding will find the documents which mention both the word contact and the word binding. The search string handgun felony minor will find the documents with the words handgun, felony and minor in them.

Perhaps you aren’t too horribly picky and you can use cases which mention either of a couple of terms. Try using OR. For example alimony OR support will give you cases which mention either word.

Are your results giving you a bunch of cases that are not relevant but still contain your terms? Do those irrelevant cases all seem to have a term in common? Maybe you should try excluding a term. For example maybe you want documents that mention property but not commercial property. In the search bar you can enter property NOT commercial and Casemaker will give you cases that mention property that do not contain the word commercial.

Let’s Browse Statutes

Browsing statutes is another great way to research your issue. At times, you may not know the exact citation for the statute that is relevant to your issue. On other occasions you may want to see the surrounding statutes as well. Instead of searching we can browse the statutes.

Start by clicking on the jurisdiction you wish to view. Here we selected District of Columbia
DC Library

The click on Statutes
DC Statutes

Now you can drill down in the Statute library to find what you need. Clicking on Titles
DC Title
Then on Subtitles
DC Subtitle
Then Chapters
DC Chapters
… and so on. Notice how there is a trail at the top of each page indicating what level of the hierarchy you are on. This can help you get your bearings in complicated statutes titles with many layers.

Clicking on the links that have [Combined] at the end will lead you to pages where the entire chapter or section is on one page –  saving you the time of clicking between the contained portions of code.