FINDING DOCKETS
AND CASE FILINGS
Legal Research Refresher
Lindsay Steussy
[email protected]
Dockets
What is a Docket?
• Contains information
about a trial or case:
• Judge, Parties, & Attorneys
• Documents: motions,
testimony transcripts, jury
instructions and worksheets,
judge rulings, expert witness
names, etc.
• Tracks case timeline and
actions
Why Research
Dockets?
• Tracking cases you are participating
in or are interested in
• Vetting clients and conducting due
diligence
• Finding sample documents
• Researching opposing counsel,
opposing parties, & expert witnesses
• Finding background on judges
• Current awareness and client
development
Docket Terminology
• Docket Number –
assigned by the court to
each newly filed case
• Docket Sheet / Register
of Actions –
chronological list of
actions and papers filed
for each
• Docket Item Number –
given to each paper
• Filing Date
• Date of Entry – date court
clerk added to sheet
Federal Docket Number
• Long version - 3:05cv07953 ABC(XYZ)
• 3 – filing location/courthouse
• ABC – judge
• XYZ – magistrate judge
Where to Find Docket Information
Free Online Sources
• U.S. Supreme Court -
•
•
•
•
www.supremecourt.gov/d
ocket/docket.aspx
RECAP The Law www.recapthelaw.org/
LegalDockets.com/
Justia dockets.justia.com/
Some State Court
websites
Paid Online Sources
• PACER - www.pacer.gov/
• Charges $.10/page
• Bloomberg Law – PACER
access included for free,
substantial state coverage
• WestlawNext - cases with
opinions only, but may
have filings and sheets
• Lexis Advance – Courtlink
docket search not
available to students
Bloomberg Law
•
Search Dockets
•
Breaking
Complaints recently filed
cases
•
Docket
Coverage –
access
•
Docket Tracking
– follow cases in
progress
•
Docket
Requests
•
Docket Analytics
– find cases by
specific
company or
person
Search
Dockets
Choose Courts by either
entering name or using
Browse menu
Keywords: may use
Boolean searching and
operators
Docket number is the
easiest search option
Federal Courts have
extra search options:
•
Ticker: Stock ticker
•
Nature of Suit: type,
such as antitrust or
civil rights
•
Type: Civil or
Criminal
Search Results
Keyword search
Filter by Circuit,
State, Court
Limit by date
Create Search
Alert
Understanding
the Docket
Case Name
Docket Number
Filing Date
Parties and
Attorneys
Track Docket
Understanding
the Docket
Shown in
chronological order
Entry #s in blue can
be downloaded
Red must be
requested from
PACER (free for law
students)
Type of document is
in CAPS
Requested
documents are found
under Docket
Requests and
emailed
Docket Analytics
WestlawNext
Dockets page allows
searching across
court, jurisdiction, topic
– only cases with
opinions
Coverage varies by
jurisdiction
May only have docket
sheet, not documents
Can also see Filings
attached to a case typically briefs, but
may include motions,
orders, filings, and
pleadings for some
courts
State Court
Dockets in
Bloomberg Law
Varies by state and court
Fully Electronic – Docket
and filings available
Docket-Only – no filings
All Paper – little/no
online access
Search using Docket
Search and select
jurisdiction
State Court
Dockets Online
Google search <state>
dockets / court filings /
court records
LegalDockets.com
Philadelphia –
•
Case number
•
Person/Organization
•
Case Filing Date
Pennsylvania
•
Docket Number
•
Person/Organization
•
OTN – Offense
Tracking Number
•
SID – Student
Identification
Number
Download

Dockets and Case Filings