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This comprehensive web-based legal research system is similar to LexisNexis® and Westlaw®. Recently upgraded, Casemaker now includes all 50 states plus relevant federal materials.
Casemaker is simple, easy to use, and offers you materials and tools others charge thousands for - but you get it for free for as long as you’re a member of the Bar Association of Erie County! (And no, there IS no catch.)
Casemaker includes Case law, statutes, rules, codes, secondary materials and more for all 50 states as well as the Federal system.
Finding a Case by Docket Number
Sometimes a case is so new you may not have a citation. If you have the docket number you can still find the case. Under the search bar on the homepage, you will see words with circles next to them. These circles are called radio buttons. The options you will see are Keyword, Citation, Party, Section, and finally Docket No. Make sure you have selected the correct jurisdiction from the jurisdiction menu drop down to the right of the search bar (it is the box with the downward pointing blue arrow); then select the radio button next to Docket No. Enter the docket number of your case and hit the blue search button. You should be able to pull up the case you are looking for.
You can select a jurisdiction or any combination of jurisdictions to search by clicking the Jurisdiction menu. This is located in the box located between the search box and the blue search button. There is a blue downward pointing arrow on the right side of this box. Clicking on this arrow will pull up the pop-up menu and from here you can check as many or as few boxes as you need.
At the top of the list of states in the Jurisdiction menu, you will notice a checkbox for Related Federal. This tells Casemaker to not only pull cases for the state you selected, but also for the Federal District and Circuit courts related to that state. So if you select Virginia and also select Related Federal you will get not only Virginia state level cases but also the Eastern and Western District of Virginia court cases as well as cases in the Fourth Circuit. This means you will get cases from other states in your circuit as well, in the case of our example – Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina and West Virginia cases would also be included. However, this would again only be cases in your circuit, not any outside of it.
Clicking on My Settings from the homepage allows you to customize Casemaker in several ways. You can set the primary email you would like to send cases to. You can set the default jurisdiction for your searches. You can also set preferred document types and page formatting as well. In addition, you can set the preferred sort method of your results from this page if you wish.