First it was iPad, and iPhones, then it was cloud printing. Tomorrow it’s the Droid.  Fastcase runs to it’s own drumbeat away from the mainstream research providers. As the big three legal providers (Lexis, Westlaw and Bloomberg Law)  harden their digital bulwarks against free or low cost access, Fastcase keeps opening new avenues to free research. Tomorrow their free app allowing free caselaw and Statutory  research will be available on yet another platform for Android phones.

On Friday,Ed Walters  The CEO of Fastcase allowed me to have a demo of their new Droid research app.  Ed expects  downloads of  Droid app to exceed the 10,000 first week downloads for the iPhone app.
The timing is even more interesting because of the recent market events which are putting the future of Blackberry maker Research in Motion in doubt. Until recently Blackberry had a clear lock on the law firm market. This morning there were numerous stories that RIM may have entered a death spiral.  If RIM does collapse,the law firm smart phone market will be up for “grabs” and new users may flood into the iPhone and Droid markets.

What I like about the Fastcase App

Registration is required to download the app but the app is free. You get access to 50 state and federal case law which can be searched using keyword or natural language. You can limit searches by jurisdiction and by date. Statutes also cover federal and all 50 state jurisdictions and can be browsed or searched.
It is easy to download and easy to use. It includes their citation analysis tool. You can beat the FREE price! It is great for checking cases and statutes on the run and can be synched with your desktop if you are a full subscriber.

The app does not include Fastcase’s sophisticated graphical analysis tools and timelines. But let’s face it they need to hold something back for their subscribers.
Even More Intriguing…

During the call Ed let slip that Fastcase will be expanding into some completely new product areas in the coming months. I am sworn to silence for now….Stay tuned…

From the Fastcase Press Release:

About “Fastcase for Android”

This app has all of the features of the award-winning Fastcase for the iPhone app:

Smart search technology from Fastcase’s fully-featured Web-based legal research platform

Sorting: users can sort the most relevant results to the top of the list, and customize and re-sort search results

Citation: integrated citation analysis tools built in to the results list

Cost: Free to download, and free access to the nationwide state and federal library without a Fastcase desktop subscription.

Mobile Sync: Seamless integration of Fastcase mobile and desktop accounts – including firm subscribers and bar association members who access the desktop version as a member benefit. Allows printing from the mobile device, or taking desktop results on the road or to court.

Works for both Android phones and tablets.

About Fastcase and the Mobile Marketplace

According to the American Bar Association (ABA) 2011 Technology Survey, the award-winning Fastcase mobile apps are the “most-often mentioned product names for downloaded legal-specific smart phone apps” and account for more users in the legal-specific mobile marketplace (25%) than industry leaders Lexis (9%) and Westlaw (11%) combined.

Fastcase’s free apps for iPhone and iPad have dominated the mobile marketplace, winning the prestigious 2010 New Product of the Year and the 2011 Legal Productivity App of the Year awards from the American Association of Law Libraries.

Fastcase has more than 500,000 paid subscribers, partners with 22 state bar associations and numerous voluntary bars and law schools across the country.

Related posts: Fastcase: Legal Research Enters the 4th Dimension or The Little Engine that Could