Monday, February 10, 2014

Fast Cases at HeinOnline

You were excited and eager, and rightly so, but in case you missed the arrival of HeinOnline's newest friend Fastcase then here you go: the wait ended over winter break, new hyperlinked cases are here!

Screenshot of a HeinOnline webpage introducing a new partnership with Fastcase
HeinOnline partners with Fastcase

Hein is hyperlinking to Fastcase cases, and the coverage includes:
  • Supreme Court opinions (1754 – present) 
  • Federal Circuits (1924 – present)
  • Board of Tax Appeals (vols. 1 – 47)
  • Tax Court Memorandum Decisions (vols. 1 – 59)
  • U.S. Customs Court (vols. 1-70) 
  • Board of Immigration Appeals (1996 – present)
  • Federal District Courts (1924 – present)
  • Federal Bankruptcy Courts (1 B.R. 1 – present) 
  • State case law (all 50 states, nearly half of the states dating back to the 1800s and coverage for the remaining states dating back to approximately 1950) 

You can access these cases by clicking through hyperlinked text, or retrieve cases by citation within Hein. You'll see a brand-spanking new Fastcase tab on the Hein homepage

Screenshot of the new tab for Fastcase on HeinOnline's homepage
HeinOnline Fastcase Tab

and you'll find that same tab allows you to search for citations even when you're within a library:

Screenshot of the Fastcase Direct Citation search option within Hein's Law Journal Library
HeinOnline Fastcase Tab

Screenshot of a hyperlink in HeinOnline highlighted in blue
HeinOnline Hyperlink

And you'll get the chance to simply click through to cases as you come across them in your research; links are denoted as usual by Hein's blue highlighting.

When you click on a blue hyperlink you will remain inside the Hein site like you normally would, but with the Fastcase case link you will notice a slight difference in the formatting of your results. Hein provides replicas of original documents, but Fastcase's cases arrive reformatted to plain text.

Screenshot of a HeinOnline original document
Screenshot of a HeinOnline case

Screenshot of a Fastcase case in HeinOnline demonstrating reformatted plain text
Screenshot of a Fastcase case

The difference is a departure from Hein's original images, but the convenience of more cases quickly at your fingertips may be well worth it. You'll get used to seeing some cases in Hein's original format - like early cases in the Federal Reporter or cases in the United States Reports - and others in the plain text of Fastcase.

In exchange for contributing cases, Fastcase gets links to some of Hein's libraries, like the Law Journals and Session Laws. Fastcase users will see lists of Hein results for free, with the option of accessing the full results on a subscription basis.

If you want to hear it straight from the horse's mouth, visit the press releases from Hein and Fastcase. And if you have questions for HeinOnline, try their new Fastcase FAQ.

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