By Nerino Petro at 20 June, 2012, 8:06 am
Fastcase, the company that proudly proclaims"Disrupting the legal publishing market with smarter tools for legal research since 1999, continues to innovate with the release today of Fastcase Advance Sheets. This follows the recent release of the free Android app and its previous release of its award winning iOS app. And did I mention that the Fastcase Advance Sheets will be free?
According to Fastcase:
Fastcase has replaced the heavy, voluminous, redundant caselaw reporter with modern eBooks that are slim, light, and beautiful. Fastcase’s Advance Sheets are more comprehensive than traditional paper tomes, because they include all decided cases – even “unpublished” opinions that won’t be printed in the books (but which are precedential in many courts, and often contain persuasive authority).
And because the Fastcase collection is in eBook format, it will work on most e-readers, including iPad, Kindle, Nook, and Android tablets. That also means that text can be highlighted, copied, shared, annotated, rotated, read on an airplane or train, or even on a beach. And instead of reading an entire paper advance sheet, Fastcase’s eBooks can be searched for key terms, and they include introductory summaries highlighting the issues in each case.
Unlike their paper counterparts, Fastcase Advance Sheets will be free.
Ed Walters, one of the founders of Fastcase, is a huge proponent of "democratizing the law" and he believes that this is the next step in that process. My early look at the Fastcase Advance Sheets leads me to believe that they have the potential to be a game changer to many lawyers and their staffs allowing them to break free from expensive subscription fees.
So what to expect ? According to Fatcase:
– Each book publishes one month’s judicial opinions (designated as published and unpublished) for specific states or courts
– Available for iPad, Kindle, Android, Nook, and other e-readers
– 40 volumes published this week, approximately 300 more by the end of the month
– Advance sheets for each state, federal circuit, and U.S. Supreme Court
– Volumes begin with summaries of opinions included
– Fully searchable, with highlights, annotations, bookmarks, and other key features
– Free, and licensed under Creative Commons BY-SA license.
I downloaded sample sheets to an Asus Transformer Prime and was able to open them in the Barnes & Noble app as well as CoolReader and FB Reader with no issues. Each sheet begins with the case summaries with hyperlink to the full opinion later in the sheet.
Fastcase promises more things to come; now if they would figure out a citator more in line with Sheperd's.