Last week legal publisher Fastcase included Free Law Project co-founders, Brian Carver and Michael Lissner on the company’sannual list of “Fastcase 50” award recipients. As their press release explains, “The Fastcase 50 award recognizes 50 of the smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries, and leaders in the law.”

Michael and I are humbled by and grateful for this recognition. We’re especially thrilled to see individuals we have worked with included on this year’s list, such as:

  • Frank Bennett, who created the Free Law Ferret, adapting some of CourtListener’s citation-finding code to JavaScript and enabling users of the extension to find citations on any website and then get the documents from CourtListener.
  • Jake Heller, CEO of CaseText, whose team there has frequently been a helpful sounding board when Mike and I are thinking through the interesting questions that arise when trying to put useful legal research tools on the web.
  • Colin Starger, of the University of Baltimore School of Law, with whom we’ve had great conversations about citations, metadata, and bulk downloads, not topics of conversation that everyone has as much experience with as Colin!
  • David Zvenyach, General Counsel to the Council of the District of Columbia, who saw that we hadn’t gotten around to adding scrapers for the D.C. Court of Appeals or the District Court for the District of Columbia to juriscraper and wrote them for us.

These individuals were obviously recognized for their broader work, but we were excited to see those with whom we’ve already made a connection getting much-deserved recognition. Especially since we all join a distinguished group of past winners, many of whom we’ve also received advice or assistance from, including: 2013 awardees Bob Berring, Josh Blackman, Sara Frug, Tim Hwang, Dan Katz, Dan Lewis, Eric Mill, Josh Tauberer, and 2012 awardees Jerry Goldman, Waldo Jaquith, Peter Martin, Elmer Masters, and 2011 awardees Monica Bay, Tom Bruce, Sarah Glassmeyer, John Joergensen, Carl Malamud, Rob Richards, and Tim Stanley. At various times we’ve been inspired by, gotten advice from, or gotten help from all these folks, among others, so we think they deserve some credit for any headway we’ve made on the problems we’re tackling, while we’re happy to take all the blame for any missteps or not making more progress faster.

The only problem with these lists is that Fastcase CEO, Ed Walters, should be on there too. Thanks, Ed!