State Bar of Wisconsin members have online access to free legal research powered by Fastcase. More than 500,000 lawyers nationwide have access to Fastcase. This member benefit offers free, unlimited access to a comprehensive 50-state and federal case-law database. Fastcase national case law coverage includes state, federal appellate, and bankruptcy courts as well as the U.S. Supreme Court. Members have free access to Wisconsin statutes, the Wisconsin Administrative Code, Wisconsin Supreme Court rules, the Wisconsin Constitution, Wisconsin attorney general opinions since 1982, and Wisconsin acts since 1989. Fastcase also provides all federal cases going back to 1 U.S. 1, 1 F.2d 1, 1 F.Supp. 1, and B.R. 1 and state and appellate cases going back to 1950.
“Fastcase will help Wisconsin lawyers be more efficient in their day-to-day practice by making research tools available that provide access to core legal research that can be used either alone or in conjunction with other premium legal research services,” says State Bar Practice Management Advisor Nerino Petro.
Other features. Several other helpful features include the capability to:
- print multiple cases simultaneously in a dual column format,
- print directly to PDF files,
- save the files to the user’s computer,
- include official pagination,
- search using Boolean, natural language, and citation searching, and
- sort results by relevance, date, and jurisdiction.
“An Interactive Timeline allows you to see and work with your research results from an entirely new visual perspective,” says Petro. “The Authority Check feature allows you to find other similar cases, and it includes details of how often the cases are cited within the existing search and within the entire database to help you find the most authoritative cases.”
While Authority Check does not include editorial information telling you whether or not your case is still good law, Fastcase does provide links to both LexisNexis®, Shepard’s®, and Westlaw® KeyCite services, which can be purchased on a per transaction basis. Fastcase also provides links to other outside service providers, such as ChoicePoint for searching public records.
“For many users, Fastcase will be all the legal research tools you need,” says Petro. “If you rely on editorial content like headnotes or need access to secondary materials or specialized databases like treatise or corporate records, Fastcase may allow you to reduce the scope of your current premium legal research subscriptions from a nationwide plan to a Wisconsin-only plan and then use Fastcase for linking to cases outside of Wisconsin.”
Fastcase updates its databases daily, with new court opinions normally added within 24 to 48 hours of release.
Access is easy. Members can access Fastcase and additional search functions through WisBar.org. Due to security requirements, to access advanced search capabilities members must add Fastcase as a trusted site.
Follow these simple steps to add Fastcase as a trusted site:
- In your browser, click on tools.
- Select "Internet Options" from the drop down menu.
- Click on the "Security" tab in the pop up window.
- Click on "Trusted Site" Button.
- Click on the "Sites" button.
- Type *.fastcase.com in the field.
- Click on the "Sites" button.
- Click on "Add" Button.
- Close your browser and re-open it.
Simply click on the Legal Research tab at the top of any page and choose “Fastcase” from the drop down menu. Members then will be directed to log in. If you’ve never logged into WisBar’s “myStateBar,” or if you have forgotten your password, go to Login FAQs. (Support staff performing legal research for a member will need to use the member’s login information to access the benefit.) Fastcase also has provided a 98 percent uptime guarantee to ensure that members have reliable access to this information.