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Fastcase Tip: Authority Check

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Fastcase offers a research tool called Authority Check, which helps find later citing cases to a particular case. Authority Check can be used to locate related authority on your topic or to prioritize your research by looking for the most fequenty cited cases. In the Fastcase Classic interface, Authority Check results can be accessed either from within the case itself or from your search results list.

Before the end of the year, Fastcase will be moving away from Fastcase Classic and defaulting to its newest interface, Fastcase 7. To get a preview and take a look at Authority Check on Fastcase 7, start by signing into Fastcase through jenkinslaw.org. Everything will look the same on the Fastcase home page, but notice the toggle switch in the upper right:

Select the toggle to FC and and you will switch to the new Fastcase 7 interface:

Type a search in the top search bar and take a look at the results. If your search results include a mix of law reviews, treatises, cases, etc., use the Refine Your Search feature to filter to cases. We want to concentrate on case law. Cases in the search results will come back with the number of times cited ("Cited") and the number of times cited within these particular search results ("Cited Here"). In the results, you will also see the flag icon, which lets you View Annotations to get the more detailed authority check report. The report will help you find cases citing to your selected case.

Next, in the search results page, look for the Sort By option in the upper right. Sort the results list by "Cited" or "Cited Here" to get the most commonly cited cases first in your results list.

Once you have chosen a case from your results list, you can also view the Authority Check report from within a particular case.  If you do not see the Authority Check flag when you are reading a case, look for a box with three lines:

Select the box for more options, including the flag for Authority Check.

For more information on how to identify negative citation history (Fastcase's Bad Law Bot) stay tuned for our next Fastcase tip blog.

Need help using Authority Check or learning about the differences between Authority Check, Shepards and KeyCite? Ask us!

 

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