Case Annotation for Lawyers (CaseText) and Law Students (LearnLeo)

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Two new websites for lawyers and law students have similar purposes.

CaseText

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CaseText is crowdsourced caselaw annotation. It’s sort of like a custom-built wiki for caselaw. Users can annotate cases by tagging them or adding notes. Here’s Chevron, for example.

CaseText is a great idea, but as Bob Ambrogi points out, it will only work if people contribute to it. Of concern, of course, is who contributes to it. If lawyers with relevant experience annotate cases central to their practice areas, CaseText could be really valuable. If wacko conspiracy theorists mark up their favorite cases, it will be worthless.

LearnLeo

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LearnLeo just added a feature that allows law students to mark up cases to turn them into case briefs. The idea is to make it easy to brief cases. Unlike CaseText, annotations and highlights are not shared.

While LearnLeo’s system sounds useful, I don’t think it is a good idea for law students to shortcut their case briefing. Doing case briefs by hand (or summarizing them in whatever way is useful for you) is the best way to learn them.

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  • qning

    Casetext looks promising, but I predict that it will not catch on in its current form. We need an annotation app that works as a browser plugin and which is implemented against an existing case database (fastcase) or, better yet, is database agnostic.

    In other words, when I log in to fastcase and view a case, I could see annotations made by other users. Apps like diigo demonstrate the feasibility of the technology.

    • Fastcase with annotation would be nice, especially if you can share that annotation with user groups. I would really like to be able to share annotation with other members of a firm, but potentially also with members of other organizations (other consumer lawyers or other small business lawyers, for example).

      CaseText’s unlimited sharing has much less appeal for me.

      • Casetext

        Thanks for the feedback! We’re building private annotations (for individuals or groups) as one of our premium features.