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More Oral Argument News

Michael Lissner
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We're happy to share three pieces of news about oral arguments at CourtListener.

First, the sixth circuit has begun putting oral argument audio on their website and we have begun dishing it up through CourtListener. We briefly spoke to the technology team at the court and their reaction to our questions about their system was, "Oh, is that on our website already?" So this is a very new development, even for them.

Right now their site has oral argument audio back to August 7th and we are in the process of grabbing this audio and putting it in our archive. Unfortunately, the case in the news right now that's blocking gay marriage in the circuit was argued one day prior to the oldest files they've posted, and so we don't have audio for that case, and possibly never will. This is one big reason we've wanted to get into oral arguments on CourtListener and why we've been supported with a grant from Columbia Library to do this work: This content is simply going dark as new content is published.

While we're happy to now be collecting data from the 6th Circuit, it's still disappointing that we don't have it from the Second, Tenth, or Eleventh Circuit, as they do not (yet) publish their oral argument audio. We simply have to hope that the content is being stored somewhere and that we'll get it eventually. (If you're reading this and have connections in those courts, we'd love to hear from you.)

A second piece of news is that we just added our 1,000th oral argument since beginning eight days ago! This is already more than 40GB of data -- a harbinger of complex systems problems to come, but we're excited to be collecting so much so quickly and we hope you'll create some podcasts or alerts for what we have.

Our final piece of news today is that our oral argument podcasts are now available on Stitcher. If you have a smartphone and enjoy podcasts, simply search for CourtListener in the Stitcher app, and our podcasts will come right up.

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