Each month we will be bringing you a few tips and tricks for making your research with Casemaker that much more efficient. This month — emailing or downloading documents, making notes, sorting results, and more. For more Casemaker tips and tricks follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and via the Casemaker blog.
The History Link in the upper right will provide you with a complete history of all the searches you’ve created, and documents you’ve viewed since logging into the Casemaker system. Each item in the History comes complete with a date and time stamp, as well as a client label if you performed it while logged in to a client. So if you spent Friday evening searching for a particular statute and forgot to save it to a folder, you don’t need to worry! Just click your history to find it again without the hassle. The date and time stamps will help you be able to navigate which of these descriptions is the right one.
Search Operators in Casemaker
Casemaker has a number of search functions that allow you to create complex searches to locate the information you are looking for. Let’s have a quick review of them!
AND searching – Example: Contract Binding
To perform the AND search, simply leave a space. Casemaker sees the space as the AND operator. Our example will give us documents that have the word contract as well as the word binding.
OR searching – Example: alimony OR support
Using OR as the operator will find documents that use either word in the query. In our example, this query will pull up documents mentioning either alimony or support anywhere in them.
NOT searching – Example: property NOT commercial
Using the NOT operator will tell the system to find the documents that mention the first term but do not mention the second. In our example, the query will pull up documents that refer to property but do not mention the term commercial
Grouping searching – Example: (alimony OR support) AND divorce
This would be the one case where you should use the word AND in Casemaker. Using the parentheses tells the system we want to group these queries. In this example, the system will return documents that mention alimony or support but also mention divorce.
Phrase searching – Example: “right of way”
This search type tells the system to treat everything in the quotations as if it were one search term. In our example, this means it will only pull cases that mention right of way but not cases that mention the words right, of and way by themselves.
Thesaurus searching – Example: ~parole
The thesaurus search not only locates your search term but also words with the same meaning. In our example query, the search will pull up documents that mention the word parole as well documents that mention any synonyms of the word parole.
Suffix searching – Example: run*
This search will pull up documents that mention terms that begin with the letters prior to the asterisk. In our example, the query will find documents that mention not only run but also any words that start with run such as runner, runs, running and so on.
Proximity searching – Example: tax w/10 property
This search will pull up documents that mention your first term within the number of words you specify of the other term. In our example, this will bring us documents where tax is mentioned within ten words of the term property.
Finding Your Search Terms
You’ve done your search with your keyword or keywords and you have pulled up your first result to read the case. Now, where in the world are your search terms even mentioned? You can find them using the Search Terms arrows in the gray toolbar. Located just above the title when you are reading the case is a gray toolbar. Here you see options to return to results, arrows to move around your list of results documents, as well as the phrase Search Terms with arrows on either side. Clicking on either arrow will take you to the next search term above or below where you are in the case you are viewing.
Copy with Citation and Shareable Link
“Copy with Citation” allows the user to highlight a section of text from a document and copy the content to the user’s clipboard along with an official citation. A user can also choose to select text and “Copy with a Shareable Link.” A hyperlink, included with the text in the user’s clipboard, allows any person – even a non-Casemaker user – to view the complete text of the linked case.
Citing References and Citing Cases Graph
When viewing search results, the number of cases that cite the case in question is provided as part of the result set in the right margin. In addition, a “Citing Cases Graph” is also available that provides a graphic display of the citing cases, by count, on a timeline. Once in the graph, a user can pick a point in time to see the citing cases and link to them if desired. When you are reading a case, you will see a tab labeled “Citing References” along the top grey bar. This lists all the cases which cited the case you are viewing. You can see Casecheck+ results here and you can also search within this list of cases as well.
The Tree View interface consists of an expandable hierarchy is contained in a left-hand sidebar while the center area displays the document content when requested. To navigate you click on the plus and minus symbols to expand and collapse sections of the “tree.” The Casemaker Tree View interface includes all data types and the full archive of data for each respective state
Always Available – Folders
Perhaps you often print cases that you need, or maybe you download them to your work computer. As you have likely found, the file on your computer or the case you printed are only useful if you have them with you. However, you can access Casemaker from anywhere using a web browser! So instead, you can save the items you need to a folder in your Casemaker account which is accessible from anywhere you can access the web.
The first thing you’ll need to do is to create a folder. Click on the save to folder icon and type a folder name here into the new folder name field. Then just click create.
There are two methods to save a document to a folder. You can click on the Save To Folder icon from the Dark Gray toolbar, choose your folder, and click Save. Or you can click on the orange My Folder Icon next to the search button, and then choose the folder you’d like to use and click OK. This allows the orange folder icon to represent the folder that you’ve selected. Then you can simply click, drag, and drop documents into that folder for saving.
When you are ready to view the contents of your folders, you can click on the white My Folders link at the top of the search area. The listing of your folders is displayed on the left and clicking on your folder will display its contents in the central area of the screen. Once the folder has loaded you have the opportunity to move, rename, or delete the entire folder. You can also utilize the individual check boxes to print, download, email, or throw away individual contents.