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Casemaker: Intro.

How to use Casemaker for legal research

More Research Guides

Hawaii Judiciary

What is Casemaker?

Casemaker is an electronic legal research service provided by state Bar Associations to its members.  Generally, it is offered without additional charges to the members.  The state Bar Association determines the contents, but Casemaker offers libraries for statutes, cases, and the constitution for all 50 states, the federal government and the District of Columbia.

Why Do Attorneys Want to Use Casemaker?

Electronic legal research either through a subscription to Westlaw or LexisNexis can be costly.  To reduce costs many law firms and solo practitioners use Casemaker.  Provided with your Bar membership, Casemaker does not increase the cost law firms must either bill to their clients or absorb.  Many large and small firms are able to reduce costs by using Casemaker.

Can Practising Attorneys Fulfill Their Professional Responsibility and Still Use Casemaker?

If you are aware of the limitations inherent to Casemaker, you can honor Rule 1.1 Competence and still use Casemaker.  Sometimes you will have to supplement what you find or don't find on Casemaker, but you will know what you can rely on and what requires additional research after you understand Casemaker's limitations.

Finding Rules of Professional Conduct (Hawaii)

In the Hawaii library,

  • Click on "Court Rules"
  • Click on "Browse"
  • Click on the link to "Rules of Professional Conduct" (third from bottom)
  • Click on the link to "Client-Lawyer Relationship"
  • Clicking on this link: CLIENT-LAWYER RELATIONSHIP [Combined] enables you to browse the Rules

Rule 1.1 Competence

"A lawyer shall provide competent representation to a client. Competent representation requires the legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness, and preparation reasonably necessary for the representation."  Comments follow the rule.

Generally, this is the rule that requires attorneys to do thorough research when representing clients.