It’s not a mechanical robot nor an online app that behaves badly. It’s a new software feature that will help identify negative history when using the Fastcase, legal research service. It is an enhancement of their existing citator, “Authority Check”. The Fastcase website describes “the bot” as an algorithm applied to the “Big Data” of thousands of cases. That’s why it’s “a bot”.
Fastcase is the first to offer such a service for free to its users. Casemaker has been providing negative history through its Casecheck citator, but at an additional cost.
While “Bad Law Bot” is a welcome addition to Fastcase functionality. According to the posting from “Internet for lawyers”, Fastcase cautions that “"The new Bad Law Bot feature helps users identify negative treatment of the cases [sic] judicial opinions. However, because it only reports what cases say in citations, researchers should rely on Bad Law Bot as an aid to identifying negative history, not as a comprehensive guide."
The folks at “Internet For Lawyers", are providers of continuing legal education programs for legal professionals on how to use the Internet and technology. They have prepared a white paper that compares the three of the most popular free and low - cost case law databases (Google Scholar, Fastcase, Casemaker) and their citator services, with the more expensive databases (LexisNexis, WestlawNext, and Bloomberg) and their citator services.
This valuable comparison by Carole A. Levitt JD, MLS and Mark Rosch, can be found at this link from Stanford Law School.