September-October Report

D o you have a hard time staying on top of all of the infor- mation needed to follow in your job and life? Court dockets, new legislation, the latest headlines, and even what’s being tweeted or posted on social media can be over- whelming. Luckily, several free and subscription-based tools can help save you time and stay on top of the latest updates. Cour t and Case Aler ting Docket and court searching is vital for monitoring case actions, identifying new business opportunities, conducting legal due diligence or expanding legal research. Savvy searchers can stay on top of everything that’s being filed at federal and state courts with an alerting service. These resources are plentiful, and here are just a few that can help: COURTLISTENER is a free alert and awareness tool to keep up with new cases or topics in the federal circuit courts. Two types of alerting features are currently available on the plat- form: RECAP (PACER spelled backwards) alerts and search alerts. RECAP Alerts align with cases in the PACER federal court filing system and are pulled from a few different sources including a PACER judicial opinion scraper and PACER RSS feeds. For active cases, alerts can come as fast as a minute after the content has been posted to PACER, or up to an hour or two depending on the court’s jurisdiction. Users are limited to five free dockets, but can get more if they install the RECAP exten- sion in their web browser or if they become a monthly donor to the Free Law Project. Note: There are some coverage gaps due to lack of coordination from the different jurisdictions posting to PACER. CourtListener’s search alerts are triggered by the tool’s search engine and are a great way to track certain cases or topics. Users can do a search in CourtListener’s Opinion or Oral Argument sections and then set up an alert from the search results. Once the alert is created, users get an email notifica- tion every time there are new results for the query. Users can set how frequently they receive the alert. LEXISADVANCE COURTLINK provides search and alerting capabilities in federal, state and local court circuits. It advertises itself as having the industry’s largest collection of dockets and documents (more than 226 million dockets from both civil and criminal courts). Users can set up alerts to monitor specific parties, area of law or jurisdiction as well as existing litigation. Users can also set how frequently they receive the alert. BLOOMBERG LAW has docket searching and alerting for all federal and select state dockets. Users can track multiple dockets and receive emails when there’s an update to the docket. The Breaking Complaints feature alerts users to new complaints in real-time; these complaints are posted by in-house court researchers and are available to Bloomberg Law before they become widely distributed. WESTLAWDOCKETS allows users to monitor and track the status of cases and obtain court filings at the federal and state level. They provide a coverage map. Users can receive auto- matic alerts on new cases being filed and set up specific criteria such as party name, jurisdiction or topic area. Legislative Aler ts You can track bills at the federal, state and local level with the following tools: GOVTRACK publishes the status of federal legislation and information about representatives and senators in Congress (including voting records), plus original research on legisla- By Maggie Patel Be on Alert! 12 l September/October 2019 CBA REPORT Tech Tip