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.
Tracking Client Research
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 that client each time you begin to conduct research for them. 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.
Citation Format and Autocorrect
Casemaker uses the Bluebook citation format and will auto-correct your citations for you. For example, if you enter 567 f3d 1120 in the search bar, Casemaker will correct your entry to 567 F.3d 1120. Both regional reporter and state reporter citations will work! If you need to disable this for any reason, simply check the Turn off Autocorrect box before performing your search.
Did you know you can sort your results by more than just relevance? Once you have completed a search, click on the View All link to see all the results in the document category you prefer. Once you do this you can sort these results by selecting a sort method from the dark gray bar above the results list. You can sort by Relevance, Most Cited, Date Decided or State (Ascending or Descending).
Need to search all the documents in a state? How about all the documents in more than one state? You can select a jurisdiction or any combination of jurisdictions to search by clicking the Jurisdiction menu. This is located in the box located between the search box and the blue search button. There is a blue downward pointing arrow in the right side of this box. Clicking on this arrow will pull up the pop-up menu and from here you can check as many or as few boxes as you need. Special boxes are located at the top of each column. Related Federal will pull documents from any states you selected as well as the related Federal District and Circuit courts. All States will pull documents from all the state libraries. All Federal will pull documents from all Federal libraries.
Changing Font Size
You have the ability to increase the font with just one click. When you are viewing a document in Casemaker you can click on the button labeled Aa in the gray bar above the document content. By clicking on this button the text size gets significantly larger. Click it again and it returns to standard size.
Get control of your searches with the Jurisdiction menu
Rather than clicking on the state you want on the homepage, give yourself more control with the Jurisdiction menu. You can select a jurisdiction or any combination of jurisdictions to search by clicking the Jurisdiction menu. This is located in the box located between the search box and the blue search button. There is a blue downward pointing arrow in the right side of this box. Clicking on this arrow will pull up the pop-up menu and from here you can check as many or as few boxes as you need. You can even select the type of data you want. Want to keep your selections as your default search? Just click the Save to My Settings button!
Dialing in your search with the Radio Buttons
Below the search bar are a number of radio buttons you can use to select the type of search you are doing. The system will default to a keyword search. If you are searching for a case and know the citation then select the citation option. If you only have the name of one of the parties, the party button is the option you want. If you are typing in a statute cite then make sure to select section. Finally, if you are looking for an unpublished or slip opinion you can select docket number to search using that information.
Narrowing your Search
Are your results just too much? If you are finding too many documents, you can always narrow your search. Once you have submitted your query you can see the various document types that your results included in a list on the left side of the screen. Click on the category you prefer to get all the results in that document category. Once your results load, you will notice a new menu will appear on the left side of the screen. This menu offers you a variety of ways to further narrow your search. For example, you can narrow by state, court, date, and keyword. Casemaker will automatically filter your results after you click the checkbox next to your choice. Take note, in some cases, you may have to click the Show All link to see all the possible options.