Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Fee-Based U.S. Legal Research Databases: Fastcase

This guide is created based on the research guide I have updated in NYU Globalex. It describes several providers of legal research databases, focusing on fee-based sources, both high-cost and low-cost

Fastcase

Fastcase is an independent company located in Washington, D.C.  Fastcase is a “next-generation legal research service that puts a comprehensive national law library and smarter and more powerful searching, sorting, and visualization tools at your fingertips.”  Its target market is U.S. law firms, solo practitioners, and state bar associations that provide access to their members.

 

What Fastcase Offers

Fastcase offers online access to cases, statutes, regulations, court rules, and bar publications.  The National Appellate plan includes comprehensive 50-state and federal law, federal and 50-state appellate law, nationwide statutes and regulations, search results with the timeline view, authority check, and dual-column and batch printing.  The National Premium plan includes everything in the National Appellate plan plus case law from federal district courts and federal bankruptcy courts.  The Fastcase Premium Plan includes the complete national research database, including cases from 1 U.S. 1 to present, 1 F.2d to present, 1 F.Supp. 1 to present, 1 B.R. 1 to present, and cases from all 50 states going back at least to 1950.  The free 24-hour trial has the same coverage as the National Premium plan.  With either plan, FastCase offers the framed versions of state and federal statutes and regulations. 

 

Fastcase offers complete U.S. Supreme Court Reports; federal bankruptcy cases from 1979; federal courts of appeals decisions from 1924 or the inception of the court, whichever is more recent; and federal district court cases from 1912.  Coverage of state appellate cases starts in 1950 or earlier for all U.S. states.  Fastcase also provides access to a newspaper archive, legal forms, and a one-stop PACER search of federal filings through their content partners.

 

To check whether a case is “good law,” and to find subsequent cases, Fastcase offers an “Authority Check” feature.  This feature displays a list of citing cases, as well as the text in which the citation occurs.  For its databases of court cases, Fastcase offers sophisticated search capabilities.  It supports Boolean connectors, including proximity connectors.  It also supports natural language searching, phrase searching, date restrictions, and truncation (“stemming”).  Fastcase gives the user several options for displaying the list of cases retrieved, including relevance ranking and reverse chronological order.  Results can be narrowed by jurisdiction or date range.

 

How its Databases are Organized

Fastcase’s initial search screen allows users to look up citations or search by keyword.  Users can choose to search from several options (caselaw, statutes, regulations, constitutions, court rules, newspapers, federal filings, and legal forms).

Pricing

Fastcase offers a free 24-hour trial, a flat rate pricing for the National Appellate plan ($65/month, $695/year), and the National Premium plan ($95/month, $995/year).  Fastcase gives potential subscribers clear information about its subscription costs.  Details are available here.

 

Technical Information

Fastcase works on most major browsers, including Internet Explorer 6.0 or greater, Netscape version 7.2 or greater, and Firefox 1.1 or greater on PCs.  Fastcase is also compatible with the most recent Mac versions of Firefox, Safari, and Netscape.  Customer support is available via telephone, email, and live chat.