How do I use Parallel Search?
Valerie McConnell avatar
Written by Valerie McConnell
Updated over a week ago

This article explains how to access and use Parallel Search from the Casetext homepage.

Parallel Search on Casetext:

When you are logged into Casetext, you can use Parallel Search by typing a full sentence into the search bar on the homepage:

You do not need to use Boolean terms or connectors. Enter a sentence between 5 and 30 words that describes your legal issue, or for which you want to find legal support. Our system will detect that you want to run a Parallel Search and will show you the most conceptually relevant sentences from the case law:

Filter by Jurisdiction

You can filter your Parallel Search results by jurisdiction by following the same procedure you would use to filter your keyword search results. Enter your search query and then click on "All State & Federal" from the right side of the search bar:

Clicking on "All State & Federal" will launch our jurisdiction menu, where you can select any state or federal courts that you would like. When you are done making your selections, click the blue "apply" button to apply your jurisdiction filter. For more information on our jurisdiction filter, please see the article available here.

Filter by Motion Type, Cause of Action, Party Type or Date

You can narrow your Parallel Search results by using our motion type, cause of action, party type and date filters. You can apply these filters to your Parallel Search results by following the same procedure that you would use to filter your keyword search results on Casetext. You can also use the "search within results" bar to search within your Parallel Search results for a specific word or phrase. To learn how to use the "search within" function and our motion, cause of action, party type, and date filters, please review this article.

Hide Unpublished Cases

You can hide unpublished cases from your Parallel Search results by following the directions provided here.

Advanced Tips:

  • While Parallel Search can work with any type of sentence, keep in mind that it brings back sentences from the common law (i.e., judicial opinions) or from statutes, regulations or rules. Due to the nature of the underlying data, you will likely find more on-point results when using sentence queries that are either a legal proposition or a legal/fact hybrid statement.

  • When searching for concepts that are frequently discussed in the common law, small adjustments to your query can result in pronounced changes in your results. Try changing names, slightly rephrasing your query, and adding filters to fine-tune your results.

  • To force certain words to appear in the search results, put quotation marks (β€œ) around up to four words.

  • Parallel Search considers punctuation when analyzing queries but ignores capitalization.

  • Be aware that using sentences that occur frequently throughout the law will likely bring back verbatim matches.

  • Query length has some impact on the length of results returned. A short phrase can return sub-optimal results. Conversely, a long paragraph can also return sub-optimal results. For best results, we recommend using a full sentence between 5 and 30 words.

  • Using different proper names in the query sentence can change the results.

    For more information on what you can research using Parallel Search, please see the article available here.

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