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This is that post where you give us some feedback.

Please add some down below.

You might have noticed that more and more I am linking to There is a very good reason for this. They are doing a great job.

I’ve talked about how hard it is to find case documents and how expensive it is to get them from the government. CourtListener is a sort of crowdsourced legal document repository. If you want to help out CourtListener all you need to do is to download their “RECAP” browser extension and signup for a PACER account. They have instructions on the site.

When you are looking at a case, on CourtListener, it will either tell you that they already have the document, and you can just read it on their site. If they don’t, they will have a link to buy the document on PACER. When you buy the document on PACER, the RECAP add-on automatically uploads that document to the RECAP archive.

While it is expensive to download PACER documents, the big cost is doing searches on PACER. By using the links supplied by CourtListener, you don’t do any searches on PACER. It takes you directly to the page to purchase the documents you are looking for.

In addition, if you buy less than $30 worth of searches and downloads per quarter, PACER doesn’t charge you. This means that if you only download a couple of documents for RECAP from PACER, no charges.

Anyway, go give them a look if you are interested in looking at or for court documents.

CourtListener is a project run by the Free Law Project. To quote them:

Started in 2010, Free Law Project is the leading 501(c)(3) nonprofit using software, data, and advocacy to make the legal ecosystem more equitable and competitive.

We do this by:

  • Curating and providing free, public, and permanent access to primary legal materials
  • Developing software useful for legal research and innovation
  • Fostering and supporting an open ecosystem for legal research
  • Supporting academic research in the legal sector

A number of major projects exemplify this approach:

  • The RECAP Suite — A collection of tools to open up federal court data.
  • — Our fully-searchable and accessible archive of court data including growing repositories of opinions, oral arguments, judges, judicial financial records, and federal filings.
  • — A collection of bots that help attorneys, journalists and the public keep up with court cases.

About Free Law Project

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By awa

4 thoughts on “Friday Feedback”
  1. In the R&D world there’s something called Open Access journals. Basically it means the public isn’t charged to access to papers published in them. There’s now a mandate from the Dept of Energy to publish taxpayer-funded research in OA journals if at all possible.
    Seems to me a similar case could be made for court documents. RECAP etc sound like great grassroots responses, but for public trials it seems to me we’ve already paid for the data collection, and in days of digital storage information reproduction is trivially cheap. (Good search algorithms and data aren’t, arguably, but that’s a different thread…)

    1. It seems to me court documents should be openly published and in the public domain for the same reason that laws are (Federal Register).
      Yes, storage is essentially free ($100 per terabyte or so, going down rapidly — though wrapping it in RAID and web server machinery adds some to that). As for algorithms, that’s a one time investment, not a per-TB expense.

  2. If one of the authors could comment on the recent brace ruling I’d appreciate it. trying to follow the news but they’re not making it easy barely a mention.

    Maybe any of yalls thoughts on trainer or introduction firearms? There is a mini-mosin in .22 on rebate right now I’m just itching to justify buying for when the nephew gets old enough.

    1. Honestly, I’d just go for it. Check an independent review, of course. And maybe think about adding in a 6-shooter as well? Those are surprisingly inexpensive (depending on mfgr), loads of fun, and a great companion to a long gun.

Only one rule: Don't be a dick.

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