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VSB executive committee discusses Fastcase

Members of the Virginia State Bar’s executive committee appeared to be generally supportive of the Fastcase online research service at a meeting yesterday.

Jon Huddleston, VSB president-elect and chairman of a VSB task force evaluating Fastcase, acknowledged, “We have a product that does have shortcomings,” especially in the way it tracks citations of a case in later opinions.

On the other hand, “There’s an awful lot of member satisfaction out there, and we don’t want that to get lost in the mix,” Huddleston told the committee. The VSB can address the shortcomings by fixing them or making sure limitations of the service are very well known, Huddleston said.

The VSB is focusing on Fastcase now because the three-year contract with it expires in February, but provides for three one-year renewals.

Mary Yancey Spencer, VSB deputy executive director, said the VSB will survey members and check with the other 12 state bar groups that make Fastcase a member benefit before a decision is made on extending or re-bidding the contract.

The basic contract is about $90,000 a year, and bar and Fastcase officials have discussed the possibility of adding Virginia circuit court cases to its database.

By Alan Cooper

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