Massachusetts joins Casemaker Consortium

For Immediate Release

CONTACT:   Kenneth Brown
800-282-6556, 614-487-4426

* Massachusetts Joins Casemaker Consortium
* Casemaker Expands to Serve as many as 150,000 Lawyers
* Additional States Considering Invitation to Join Consortium

(COLUMBUS, OHIO, January 25, 2002) -- Lawyers in Massachusetts can now join those in Ohio, Nebraska, North Carolina and Connecticut in using Casemaker Web Library, a revolutionary online legal research tool. The consortium states now represent as many as 150,000 lawyers.

In Casemaker Consortium of Bar Associations states, members of the participating state bar associations now have access to online legal research as a benefit of membership. This means that solo practitioners, those in small and medium firms, and government lawyers have access to reliable online legal research in much the same way that their counterparts have in larger firms through more expensive pay-per-use programs. Casemaker levels the playing field for small practice units, and also benefits larger firms by allowing them to reduce their legal research costs as well.

Massachusetts joins Ohio, Nebraska, North Carolina and Connecticut in the Casemaker Consortium. Michigan case law was recently added to Casemaker. More than half a dozen other state bar associations are currently considering proposals for Casemaker Consortium membership at this time.

"State bar associations and their members are taking charge of their online legal research programs," said Barbara Collins, president of the Connecticut Bar Association. "We see this as a tremendous benefit for our members, and it's a great example of the free enterprise system at work. We've found a way to build a better mousetrap when it comes to providing online legal research tools to our members."

Casemaker is a unique online legal online research tool with a powerful combination of state and federal materials that was pioneered by the Ohio State Bar Association. It is changing the way many lawyers conduct legal research and leveling the field so that more attorneys can have access to reliable online legal research they can afford. Casemaker provides comprehensive, up-to-date materials in an easy-to-use, fully-searchable format.

Casemaker includes state-specific Supreme Court Opinions and Appellate Court Opinions, Attorney General Opinions, state statutes, along with federal and other state libraries. Unlike most other legal references sites on the Internet, the Casemaker web library is updated weekly to keep references current. Libraries from all consortium states are included on Casemaker for the use of all members.

"The role of a state bar association is to provide its members with the products and services they need in their practices. It was clear to us from the beginning that Casemaker was the best new member benefit we could provide. Our board moved quickly to bring Casemaker to our members, and we are excited to join with other consortium states," said Abbe Shaine, executive director of the Massachusetts Bar Association.

"For many lawyers in these states, Casemaker can fulfill most if not all of their computer-assisted online legal research needs," said OSBA Executive Director Denny L. Ramey. "For some practitioners, Casemaker augments other online legal research tools. Current Casemaker Consortium members include the service as a member benefit. Casemaker is a cost saver -- a benefit for practice management and potentially for consumers of legal services."

According to OSBA President Mary Jane Trapp, partnering with other state bar associations benefits both association members and the public. "Each time another state bar association joins the Casemaker Consortium, we expand the resources available to our Consortium and their members," Trapp said.



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