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Using Authority Check on Fastcase

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 frequently 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.

When looking at a case, the Authority Check appears above the case.

When looking at the search results list, the Authority Check appears to the right of the case blurbs.

Authority Check breaks the cited cases into two columns: "These Results" and "Entire Database". "These Results" tells you how many times that case was cited in the cases within your search results. "Entire Database" tells you how many times that case was cited across all cases found in Fastcase.

Click on the desired Authority Check number to access the Authority Check Report and see the full list of cases that cite that case.

The Authority Check Report includes an Interactive Timeline, which is one way to find seminal and authoritative cases. The circles on this graphic show the number of times the case has been cited in your search results (yellow circles) and the number of times the case has been cited across all of Fastcase (grey circles). The size of the circle correlates with the number of cases.

For more information about the Interactive Timeline, take a look at the Fastcase User Guide, Part 9: "Using the Interactive Timeline".

The Authority Check Report also includes a brief "Citation Summary" which breaks down the number of times the case has been cited by court level.

If your case has been cited in a law review article, below the Interactive Timeline and the "Citation Summary" will be a list of those law review articles. These articles are thanks to a partnership between Fastcase and HeinOnline. Jenkins members can access these articles directly through HeinOnline, one of the many member databases available remotely. For more information about this partnership, see the Fastcase User Guide, Part 11: "HeinOnline".

The meat of the Authority Check Report is found below the list of law review articles. These results can be filtered by jurisdiction, including at the Federal Circuit and District levels as well as the State level.

For more information on Fastcase's Authority Check, take a look at the Fastcase User Guide, Part 8: "Using Authority Check".

Need additional help? Ask Us! Due to the current pandemic, our reference staff is working remotely with reduced hours. You can reach us by emailing research@jenkinslaw.org or by leaving a voicemail at 215-574-1505. We will be monitoring these during our reduced hours, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

* A 24/7 member benefit for sole practitioners and attorneys in firms with less than 50 attorneys.

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