WASHINGTON, Feb. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Fastcase today opened the doors to
the largest free law library on the Web. The Fastcase Public Library of Law
(http://www.plol.org) launches as the most comprehensive free resource for
legal research online, making it the best starting point for anyone who
wants to learn about and use the law.
The Fastcase Public Library of Law (PLoL) is powered by Fastcase, Inc.,
the premium provider of next-generation legal research. Since its founding
in 1999, Fastcase has worked to democratize the law, making it more
accessible to more people.
"American law used to be controlled by foreign-owned publishers," said
Fastcase CEO Ed Walters. "Over the past eight years, Fastcase has smashed
through those bottlenecks with our premium service for lawyers. Now, by
launching the Fastcase Public Library of Law as a free service, we are also
empowering non-lawyers to learn about and use the law themselves."
In the past, many different Web sites contained pockets of free legal
resources. PLoL brings all of those resources together in one place, and
adds more than 2 million pages of cases that were previously available only
by subscription -- making PLoL the best starting point for legal resources
Fastcase has made a number of recent moves to democratize the law,
including a November 2007 agreement with PublicResource.org to make 1.8
million pages of federal cases available in the public domain. Fastcase
included those same cases in PLoL and added an additional 10 years of
caselaw from all 50 states -- the only collection of its kind on the Web.
PLoL also features an intuitive interface that works like popular Web
search engines, making it more accessible to all researchers. "By listing
the most relevant cases first, our PLoL search sorts the haystack, putting
needles on top," said Walters. "It makes first-time legal research as easy
as using Google."
This is important to the latent market of non-lawyers who seek access
to the law that Fastcase identified; four out of five people who sign up
for a trial of the full Fastcase service are not attorneys. The Fastcase
PLoL will give students, small business owners, people litigating small
claims, and pro se litigants a free and user-friendly law resource online.
"Just as the Internet has made it possible for people to book their own
travel, manage their own investments, and file their own taxes, PLoL will
enable individuals to find answers to their routine or small-claims legal
questions online -- either by themselves or in conjunction with a lawyer,"
said Phil Rosenthal, President of Fastcase.
Unlike other free resources, Fastcase backstops PLoL, so citations to
older cases not in its database appear as links to Fastcase, increasing the
size of the PLoL library to virtually the entire American law library.
Additional professional research tools are available through Fastcase.com
To ensure that the PLoL remains up-to-date and comprehensive, Fastcase
will also update PLoL with new law books as they come out, unlike many
services that simply update from court draft opinions online.
For more information about the Fastcase Public Library of Law, or to
experience it yourself, please visit http://www.plol.org.
As the premium provider of next-generation legal research, Fastcase
seeks to democratize the law, making it more accessible to more people.
Using patented software that combines the best of legal research with the
best of Web search, Fastcase helps busy users sift through the clutter,
ranking the best cases first and enabling the re-sorting of results to find
answers fast. Founded in 1999, Fastcase.com has more than 275,000
subscribers from around the world, and the company recently launched the
Fastcase Public Library of Law, the most comprehensive free legal research
site for consumers and lawyers alike. Fastcase is an American company based
in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit http://www.fastcase.com.
SOURCE Fastcase, Inc.