Are all Case Law Citator Services Created Equal?

A Comparison of Google Scholar, Fastcase, Casemaker, LexisNexis,WestlawNext, and Bloomberg

To compare three of the most popular free and low-cost case law databases (Google Scholar, Fastcase, Casemaker) and their citator services with the more expensive databases (LexisNexis, WestlawNext, and Bloomberg) and their citator services we used an unpublished case as our test case.

Google Scholar, Fastcase, and Casemaker’s citator services do not provide any editorial comments (reversed, overruled, affirmed, etc.). Instead, you have to read each citing case and determine for yourself whether your case is still good law. So, it almost goes without saying that LexisNexis, WestlawNext, and Bloomberg offer a more useful citator product because they each provide editorial comments.

However, our comparison focused on whether each citator at least listed the same citing opinions and showed whether our test case was still good law.

To read the results of the comparison study, see

About Carole Levitt and Mark Rosch

Carole Levitt and Mark Rosch, principals of Internet For Lawyers, are internationally recognized CLE seminar speakers and best-selling ABA authors. They are experts on Internet investigative and legal research, social media research, social media ethics, and technology for lawyers. They have been presenting CLE seminars full-time since 1999. Together, Mark and Carole co-authored several ABA LPM books, including two editions of The Lawyer’s Guide to Fact Finding on the Internet, Google For Lawyers, and Find Info Like a Pro, volumes 1 and 2. They have also co-authored twelve editions of The Cybersleuth's Guide to the Internet. Previously, Carole was a California attorney, a law librarian in Chicago and Los Angeles, and a Legal Research and Writing Professor at Pepperdine University School of Law. In addition to speaking and writing books and articles, Mark blogs and tweets about legal technology issues. He developed the company’s website, blog, Facebook Fan page, and its online CLE education initiative. Mark and Carole are both active in the ABA LPM Section. Mark is a member of the ABA TECHSHOW Board and Carole serves on the Publications Board. She previously served on the Executive Council.

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