I took a look at the state case law coverage from four of the low-cost legal research providers (Fastcase, Loislaw, Casemaker and Google Scholar) to see who has the most coverage. When I started this project, I assumed that Loislaw would be the hands down winner. After all, they have the huge backing of Wolters Kluwer for a few years now, and you’d hope that they’d want to compete with Westlaw, LexisNexis and now Bloomberglaw. However, I quickly learned that I was wrong in my assumption. Turns out that the low-cost legal research provider that has the most state case law coverage, based on years of coverage, is Casemaker.
Here’s how I broke down the research:
- Looked at coverage for all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia
- Established the year that the each state published its first official state court decision (highest court)
- Reviewed the scope of coverage for each research provider
- Graphed who had the best pre-1950, pre-1920 and pre-1899 coverage
- Graphed who had the most states where there was complete coverage of all decisions
- Finally graphed the overall percentage of state case law decisions for all 50 states and the District of Columbia