Casemaker Tips and Tricks for June

by Alexa Drago on June 13, 2017

Each month we will be bringing you a few tips and tricks for making your research with Casemaker that much more efficient.  For more Casemaker tips and tricks follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and via the Casemaker blog.

Finding a Case by Docket Number

Sometimes a case is so new you may not have a citation. Perhaps you want to reference an unpublished opinion that does not have a state or regional reporter citation. If you have the docket number you can still find the case. Under the search bar on the homepage, you will see words with circles next to them. These circles are called radio buttons. The options you will see are Keyword, Citation, Party, Section, and finally Docket No. Make sure you have selected the correct jurisdiction from the jurisdiction menu drop down to the right of the search bar (it is the box with the downward pointing blue arrow); then select the radio button next to Docket No. Enter the docket number of your case and hit the blue search button. You should be able to pull up the case you are looking for.

Searching by keyword

The most basic Casemaker search is the keyword search. It can also be the most complex if you wish – just use the search operators found in the blue Search Tips link under the Search button. To search first select your jurisdiction from the jurisdiction menu, then type in your word or words in the search bar and hit the blue search button. The keyword search can be found in other places as well. When you are viewing the list of cases you discovered in a previous search you can narrow that search by keyword in the left menu. If you are looking at a list of citing references you can also narrow that list by keyword on the citing references page.
The radio button selections below Casemaker search bar defaults to keyword. You may find that you can still enter things that are not keywords and get results, however, they may not be as accurate. You certainly can leave keyword selected and enter in a case citation – but you may get more than just the result you were seeking. In those cases, you may wish to choose a more specific search type.

OR Searches

Sometimes you may find you actually want a case that mentions either one term OR another term. That is where the OR search comes in. For example using the query alimony OR support will give you cases which mention either word.

And Searches

The AND search 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. Please Note: You do not need and should not use the word AND in your search. The system already sees the space between your terms as an AND search unless you say otherwise. Using the word AND may yield the wrong results.

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.

Client Tracking in Casemaker

Need to keep track of time spent doing online research for a client?  Utilizing the Client and Session Summary features of Casemaker can help.  Simply create a Client and select the client each time you begin to conduct research for that client.  Once you have finished, click the Sign Out link to sign out of Casemaker and view the Session Summary.  The Session Summary contains the date, time and client for each search, which can be used to keep track of billable hours for the client.  Please remember to print this information as it cannot be retrieved after closing the Session Summary.

 

 

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Patrick D Lydon June 15, 2017 at 9:36 am

Very helpful.

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