Fresh on the heels of Casetext’s legal research assistant CARA being named new product of the year, Casetext is today introducing an expansion of CARA that adds briefs to its suggested results. This means that, in addition to finding relevant — but possibly overlooked — case law, CARA also finds relevant briefs. Casetext is calling this new feature CARA Brief Finder.

CARA — short for Case Analysis Research Assistant — is an analytical tool that automatically finds cases that are relevant to a legal document but not cited in the document. Upload a brief, memorandum or any other document that contains legal text, and CARA analyzes it and generates a list of relevant cases that are not mentioned in the document.

As I noted here recently, the American Association of Law Libraries recently selected CARA as new product of the year and will honor its developer, Pablo Arredondo, vice president of legal research at Casetext, at its annual meeting this summer.

With today’s release of Brief Finder, CARA’s analysis finds not only relevant cases, but also briefs that are relevant to the legal and factual issues in a given document. Casetext collected hundreds of thousands of publicly filed briefs — many from the federal courts’ PACER system — and then culled them in an effort to ensure that the collection included only quality briefs filed by leading law firms, specialized boutiques, nonprofits and government agencies.

The distinguishing feature of CARA is that it finds cases that you or your opponent missed, using artificial intelligence and data science technologies. This same feature applies to Brief Finder, Casetext says, allowing users to find documents that can be easily missed through traditional query-based search.

Although I have not tried CARA’s Brief Finder, I was given a preview demonstration of it a few weeks ago when I was in San Francisco. Casetext says it helps litigators in three ways:

  • By predicting opposing counsel’s arguments based on what similarly situated litigants have argued. Brief Finder will identify briefs that both oppose and support a litigator’s arguments, allowing a lawyer to see how other attorneys have approached the same issue or factual circumstances.
  • By ensuring litigators don’t omit arguments. Relevant briefs can provide assurance you are not missing a key argument and that you’ve articulated your arguments as effectively as possible.
  • By helping litigators draft the most compelling briefs efficiently. Relevant briefs can help you quickly hone in on the key information you need to make your arguments.

“Every lawyer knows that the best way to find good arguments is to look to your peers — other great attorneys who have taken on the same issues and researched them thoroughly,” said Jake Heller, Casetext’s founder and CEO, in a statement. “But finding the right brief is hard and expensive. CARA Brief Finder makes finding these invaluable resources effortless.”

Access to CARA requires a Casetext subscription. Subscriptions for individuals are $119 per month or $99 a month if paid annually. Special bulk rates are available to law firms.


Photo of Bob Ambrogi Bob Ambrogi

Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division.