You may have heard about Digest and Alerts in Casemaker4. You may even know they are tools to help you stay up to date on changes in the law. However, you may be confused about what they actually do and what the differences are.
Case Digest, previously known as CasemakerDigest, is a summary service of cases that are currently coming out of the court system which is integrated within the Casemaker4 system. These are usually published within about 72 hours of the case’s publication. After clicking the Case Digest menu on the left-hand side, you can select your area of practice, court, judge, and jurisdiction to view summaries from. The summaries are displayed in the central area of the screen and will provide you with the case name, area of practice, court, the date decided, docket number, judge, and the date it was added to our system. This is in addition to the short summary itself. Just below the listed summary information is a link labeled more. Clicking this link will display the longer, full summary for that case. The case name is a link that when clicked on will take you to the case’s full text in our system. At the top of the screen, you will find buttons allowing you to add a custom Digest filter. Here you can create a name for your filter and provide a description. Then submit an email address or email addresses that you would like to receive these summaries as emails. You can then select your jurisdiction or jurisdictions, court, judge, practice area, and more. You can choose if these filters are updated on a daily or weekly basis. Any Digest filters you have created are then listed at the top of the digest menu. The Toggle switches here allow you to activate or deactivate those filters, and the pencil and paper icon will allow you to edit the filter. Alerts provide you with notifications of changes to search results, cases, statutes, rules, and more – be it a change to the document itself, such as an updated statute, a new case citing the case or statute, new negative treatment of a case, or even new search results for a search query.
Unlike Digest, alerts do not provide you with summary information. You can set up alerts in multiple ways. If you are viewing a statute or case, you can use the “Add Alert” icon in the Document Toolbar. Similarly, if you wish to set up an alert for a search you can use the same icon on the page of search results. In addition to creating or adding alerts from the search and document pages, you can also create an alert from the Alerts page itself. After clicking the Create Alert button you have the opportunity to choose if you are creating a search or document alert type, as well as provide the description and specifications for your alert. The Alerts tab will also provide you with a notification if there is new information or an update for an alert since your last log in. You can then use the toggles on the left of the alerts page to select what you are viewing. The pencil and paper icon next to the toggles for your alerts will allow you to make any changes you wish to make. You can also choose to receive email notifications for updates from your alerts, in addition to the Casemaker notifications.
So which is best for you? Digest gives you summaries of new cases in the area you choose. Alerts, however, cover more than just cases and while it does not provide summaries, Alerts can track changes in cases, statutes, and even search queries for you. We think you will find both tools to be great ways to keep up to date.