Using the Advanced Search
If you look on the left side of your home screen under the heading My Accounts section you can see a column of links. Located here is the Advanced Search link. Clicking this link will allow you to type in specific search information in a combination of your choosing, including citation, case name, docket number, court, attorney, judge, panel and date range.
When using the advanced search link you will still use the jurisdiction drop down menu to pick your search area. Then you can use the link to enter your specific information. For example, you can select your jurisdiction and locate all cases, from January 1st of this year through today, decided by a particular judge. You can then use the facets in the left menu again to narrow that down even farther if you like.
Searching for Cases with Citation
The most frequently used function of Casemaker for most users is searching by citation. From the home page you can simply type your citation in. You do not have to worry about being too picky if you use the wrong spacing, punctuation, or capitalization; Casemaker will automatically correct that for you. You do however need to make sure you are using only the reporter citation and the proper abbreviation. Casemaker goes by the Blue Book citation guidelines if you have any questions regarding abbreviations. For example, with Kearns v. Ford Motor Co., 567 F.3d 1120 (9th Cir. 2009), all you would put in the search bar is 567 F.3d 1120. Be sure you select the correct jurisdiction however – you will not be able to pull up a New Hampshire Superior Court case when searching in US Court of Appeals!
Sometimes a particular citation brings up more than one result, and there is a very good reason for this. The other case shares a page with the case you were searching for. For example, your case may end on page 104 and another case begins on the same page of the reporter. This means even if you are typing in a pincite, you will still be able to locate the case you are looking for.
Archived Session Laws
You likely have found need to see the session law that affected a statute in the past. You can see these previous session laws in Casemaker. From the home page click on Archive in the blue bar above the list of states. Next click on Session Laws. From here you can select your state and then the year of interest. Note – Federal libraries are in this list as well!
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