Primary Sources, Secondary Sources and Beyond

4 MIN READ
Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on email

HeinOnline has long been known as an excellent platform for historical and current periodicals, books, and government documents. HeinOnline also has extensive case law coverage, much of which is provided through a partnership with Fastcase. The U.S. Reports, which contain the officially-published opinions of the U.S. Supreme Court, are available from inception to current in HeinOnline’s U.S. Supreme Court Library.

The partnership HeinOnline has with Fastcase provides access to case law from additional courts, including:

  • Federal circuit courts
  • Federal district courts
  • State appellate courts
  • Many more!

Coverage of case law powered by Fastcase dates back, in most cases, to the 1950s or even earlier. For HeinOnline users, this partnership offers a comprehensive and incredibly affordable research experience without the hassle of using multiple databases.

Finding Cases in HeinOnline

HeinOnline’s platform is easy to use, and there are multiple ways to quickly find a case by citation, case title, or topic.

Citation: Using the Case Law tab at the top of any page in HeinOnline, enter a case citation to retrieve it either from within HeinOnline or from Fastcase.

Screenshot of case citation search in HeinOnline

If a case is only available via Fastcase, it will automatically be imported into the HeinOnline interface. If a case is available in HeinOnline’s U.S. Reports and via Fastcase, users are able to select their preferred version.

Citations on pages throughout HeinOnline are highlighted in blue. Clicking these citations will retrieve the document associated with the cite, whether it’s a case, article, or external website.

Screenshot of case showing highlighted citations

Case Title: For U.S. Supreme Court cases, enter the U.S. Supreme Court Library. Click the Advanced Search link located beneath the main search bar at the top of the page. Use the case title field to enter the terms.

Screenshot of advanced search for case title

To find cases available only via Fastcase, select Fastcase* from the list of subscribed databases on the HeinOnline Welcome Page. Enter the terms in the Case Title field.

Screenshot of case title search within Fastcase Premium

Topic: To search only Supreme Court cases by topic, enter the U.S. Supreme Court Library. Use the main search bar located at the top of the page, or use the Advanced Search link to search within specific fields. For example, enter “illegal search and seizure” in the main search bar.

Screenshot of the U.S. Supreme Court Library Official Reports tab

To search across Fastcase content, select Fastcase* from the list of databases on the HeinOnline Welcome Page. Enter your terms into the text field.

Text search within Fastcase Premium

Case results will also appear when searching across all subscribed content.* To limit results to include only cases, perform your search using either the main search bar or the advanced search link from the HeinOnline Welcome Page. Next, use the facets on the left side of the page to select Cases.

Search results showing section type: Cases

ScholarCheck and Bad Law Bot: Two Powerful Tools

Hein’s ScholarCheck tool is integrated with all case law, whether it’s native to HeinOnline or Fastcase. ScholarCheck enables users to link among related documents and to view articles and cases* which cite other articles and cases. It also counts the number of times articles and U.S. Supreme Court cases are accessed by other HeinOnline users within a rolling 12-month period. Look for ScholarCheck information in search results or within documents. Cited-by information for articles and cases are hyperlinks which link to the list of articles and cases* citing each document.

ScholarCheck Icon

Fastcase’s Bad Law Bot helps researchers determine when negative treatment is posted to a case. Look for red flags in search results and within Fastcase documents; this flag is an indicator that the case has potentially been overturned or overruled by a subsequent case. Link* to the list of cases which have posted negative treatment to a current case.

Bad Law Bot Icon
Screenshot of Fastcase document showing negative treatment indicated flag

But There’s More!

HeinOnline has case law in addition to that at the U.S. federal and state levels.

  1. Canada Supreme Court Reports: This official bilingual series is published under the authority of the Supreme Court Act. This collection contains nearly 10,000 cases which include background information, statutes and regulations, authors cited, analysis, and the decision.
  2. Early American Case Law: This database includes the Federal Cases 30-book series (1894-1897) which contains more than 20,000 cases. Also included is the Trinity Series, which includes American Decisions, American Reports, and American State Reports.
  3. English ReportsThe English Reports set delivers exact page images of the original bound reprint edition, containing more than 100,000 cases, together with the Indexes and Book of Charts. In addition, multiple navigation tools, such as a Case Locator, Chart Tool, and an Advanced Search feature, enhance the ease of access to specific cases. Also included in this collection is Statutes of the Realm (1235-1713), along with Pre-1865 Law Reports.

Case Law Infographic

To easily understand the case law content available in HeinOnline and via Fastcase, check out this infographic.

HeinOnline Fastcase Infographic

If you have any questions about finding cases in HeinOnline or about the Fastcase partnership, please contact our dedicated support team at (800) 828-7571, email us, or chat with us!

*These features are included with a Fastcase Premium subscription. Fastcase Premium is available by synchronizing an existing institutional Fastcase subscription with HeinOnline or by purchasing an upgrade through HeinOnline. For more information, contact marketing@wshein.com.

You Might Also Like
historical image of indigenous peoples
Getting Started
Featured Database of the Month: Indigenous Peoples of the Americas

November is nationally recognized as Native American Heritage Month, making it the perfect time to highlight the rich culture and history of America’s indigenous cultures that can be found within HeinOnline’s Indigenous Peoples of the Americas: History, Culture & Law database.

Picture of the statute of liberty
Getting Started
Featured Database of the Month: Immigration Law & Policy in the U.S.

The first comprehensive database of its kind in a fully searchable format, HeinOnline’s Immigration Law & Policy in the U.S. compiles the most important historical documents and legislation related to immigration in the United States.

Hands typing on laptop with blue overlay
Getting Started
Tip of the Week: Locating Treaties in HeinOnline

A treaty is an agreement between two or more nations. Treaties can either be bilateral (between two countries) or multilateral (between three or more countries). Keep reading this guide to learn a few different methods for efficient treaty research in HeinOnline.

Hands typing on laptop with blue overlay
Getting Started
Tip of the Week: Using Citations in HeinOnline

HeinOnline provides several tools related to citations. With them, locate documents and cases with just a citation, find referenced material within a document, cite a specific document in multiple formats, and export those citations to various platforms. Keep reading to learn how!

Like what you see?

There’s plenty more where that came from! Subscribe to the HeinOnline Blog to receive posts like these right to your inbox.

By entering your email, you agree to receive great content from the HeinOnline Blog. HeinOnline also uses the information you provide to contact you about other content, products, and services we think you’ll love.