Entries in iPhone (6)


Fastcase Brings Mobile Legal Research to the iPad

Fastcase has released its new legal research application for the iPad. Their iPhone version of the application has been available for some time now. However, I was looking forward to their release of the iPad version because I think the iPad is a much more suitable platform for conducting legal research.

The iPad version of Fastcase is the first native application of its kind for the device. If you are a WestlawNext subscriber, they had the foresight to create an iPad-formatted version of their new web-based service. WestlawNext is amazing, and is what I normally use for my day-to-day legal research needs. But the Westlaw service can be pricey and, for the sole practitioner or small firm that cannot afford the service, a free legal research service is a life saver. The fact that Fastcase for the iPad is a fully-functional and very well executed application makes it a must-have for the mobile lawyer.

The Fastcase user interface is clean and uncluttered, yet takes full advantage of the iPad's best features.  The initial view presents the user with the option of searching caselaw, searching statutes, or browsing statutes. Selecting "search caselaw," for example, will take you to a screen where you can, among other things, select the jurisdiction(s) to be searched and limit the results by date. Cases can be searched by both citation and keyword/search phrase. The statute browser (shown below) allows you to drill down through various titles and chapters until you get to the section you are looking for.

Statute Browser

Search results first appear in a table with a short summary (optional) under each citation.  Upon selecting a citation, a new split-view window appears which, if the iPad is in landscape orientation, shows a list of the search results in a table on the left and the selected document on the right. If the iPad is in portrait orientation, the main view shows the selected document and the search results list is accessible from a pop-out button in the upper lefthand corner. The search terms are also highlighted in the document. Another great design feature is a slider that allows the user to resize the text of the selected document.

Initial Search Results Page

Split View Search Results Page

Aside from a well-designed screen layout, Fastcase also provides some great legal research tools.  One such feature is the ability to save documents at the push of a button. The saved documents can be retrieved anytime from a tab bar at the bottom of the main screen.  Pressing the "Most Relevant" button on the search results page will scroll to the point in the document that contains the text most relevant to the search parameters.  The application also keeps track of your recent searches, so that you can always go back to them at a later date.  By tapping the orange numbers at the top of the search results page, Fastcase takes you to its "Authority Check Report," which lists other cases that cite to your current document. Unlike Westlaw's KeyCite service, Fastcase does not discuss the treatment of the cited case but, nevertheless, it is a useful tool so long as you don't mind doing a little extra reading.

Authority Check Report

All-in-all, Fastcase did a good job in creating a very usable mobile legal research application. It does not contain all of the features available in WestlawNext's full-service web-based application, but again, Fastcase is free.  If you own an iPad, Fastcase is definitely worth a look.


Court Days 2.0 Update

I am excited to report that I just completed a major update to the Court Days legal date calculator for the iPhone. I added a lot of new features and enhancements, many of which were requested by Court Days users. 

Some of these new features and improvements include:

  • You can now provide you own custom court holidays. This is especially useful if your jurisdiction is not in the application's default database or if your local court sets its own holiday schedule.
  • You can now calculate the number of court days, calendar days, weekdays, etc. between two dates.
  • You can now email the results of your date calculations.
  • The application now defaults back to your last selections and settings on relaunch.

The update has been submitted to Apple for approval and should be available on the iTunes Store soon. In the meantime, take a look at some of the screenshots below.



New Update to the myMCLE California iPhone Application

myMCLE California, LawOnMyPhone's iPhone application that helps lawyers keep track of their California mandatory continuing legal education credits, has now been updated and can be downloaded to your iPhone from the iTunes Store. The update addresses a bug that prevented the application from recognizing the new compliance period for attorneys in the A through F compliance group.


Workdays App Updated to Version 1.1

The Workdays business date calculator for the iPhone has been updated to version 1.1.  In addition to a minor interface tweak, this version adds a new feature: you can now email your date calculations directly from the application. I will be adding this and several other new functions to the related Court Days application for lawyers.

You can also read a review of Workdays by Jeff Richardson at iPhone J.D.

Finally, myCLE Illinois should be released this month.


Court Days App Updated To Version 1.1

Court Days for the iPhone has been updated to reflect the Superior Court of California's decision to implement furlough days the thrid Wednesday of every month.  Because the furlough days are treated as court holidays, the application now excludes the furlough days from court date calculations.