Wednesday, March 19, 2014
One of my attorney friends passed along information about a new, free legal research tool called "Casetext." (Disclosure: my attorney friend and her husband have an investment in the company.)
A description from Casetext CEO follows:
Casetext (https://www.casetext.com) is a legal research platform dedicated to interpreting and understanding the law. Casetext contains millions of cases, statutes, and regulations, and benefits from user-generated annotations from attorneys and professors who add analysis and insight. Contributors demonstrate thought leadership to Casetext’s 100,000 monthly users, including general counsels, law firms, and law students. Paid versions of the tool, still under development, will enable law firms to use the site’s annotations technology privately and internally for knowledge management.
Casetext and Google Scholar are both useful free resources for legals studies professors in business schools because our students often do not have Lexis/Westlaw access (or at least not full access to all the legal materials.)
Casetext uses the crowd for help with annotations and citations. Attorneys at law firm Bingham McCutchen LLP are featured annotators. Citations can be voted up or down.
In addition to citations from cases, Casetext also includes citations from law firm client alerts and blog posts. One of the citations to eBay v. Newmark was from a post on Professor Bainbridge's blog. While I could see citations from client alerts and blogs becoming overwhelming, Casetext does seem to be doing a good job, so far, limiting it to substantive, helpful posts from reputable sources.
Supposedly, law students at Columbia, Stanford, Nebraska, Brooklyn, Cardozo, Vanderbilt, Texas Tech, and Loyola have all had advanced legal research assignments tied to contributing to the Casetext website.
Anyway, I have played around on the website a bit, may design a classroom assignement around the website, and may contribute some myself.
Hope other readers find the website interesting and useful as well.