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.

Need an older statute?

Do you need to find an older version of a statute? Casemaker can help!

There are two ways to see earlier versions of a statute. One is to pull up the current statute in Casemaker. Once you get to statute content you will notice at the top a tab that says “Archive.” Clicking on the “Archive” tab will give you any previous versions we have available.

The other method to find previous versions of statutes is to use the Archive tab on the home page. When you are viewing the list of states from the home page, just above the list of states is a tab labeled “Archive”. Click on that tab then choose “Statutes”. Next click the state you need previous versions of the statute in. From there you can browse any older versions of the statutes we have available.

Wondering if any cases cited that statute?

There are times you need to know if any cases mention a particular statute. Casemaker can help!

To see cases which reference a particular statute – pull up the statute in question to read the content. You will notice a bar running along the top of the statute. In that bar is a tab labeled “Annotator.” Clicking on this link will pull up any cases that cite the statute.

Is your case still good?

There are two ways to see if a case has been treated negatively by subsequent cases in Casemaker. The first way is a feature called Citing References. Citing References provides a list of every case in Casemaker that has cited the original opinion and is available on the grey navigation bar displayed while viewing a case. You would need to review each of these cases to see if any case treated the original case negatively or not.

The second way is CaseCheck+. CaseCheck+ takes the Citing References feature one step further and will automatically indicate if any subsequent cases have negatively treated the original case and what the treatment is. A green thumbs up symbol indicates there is no subsequent negative treatment and a red thumbs down symbol indicates there is negative treatment in subsequent cases.

Casemaker Mobile Application Available

You can access Casemaker on the go. Visit the iTunes or Google Play store and download the Casemaker App to your iOS or Android device.

After downloading the Casemaker mobile application you will need to register online. Access the Casemaker website using your computer as you normally do. Once you have entered Casemaker look on the left side of the screen for the “Mobile Application” link. Clicking this will direct you to a form to fill out and submit to receive a reference code. Now, open the mobile application on your device. You will be asked for a username and password or for a reference code. Your username is the email address you used to register the mobile application. Your password is the reference code you received when you registered. Please note that the reference code is case-sensitive.

That is all it takes to have the comprehensive power of Casemaker in the palm of your hand.