Relaunching the Big Cases Bot and The Road Ahead

Michael Lissner

If you're not familiar with it, the Big Cases Bot is a popular Twitter account that sends tweets whenever the most important cases in the country are updated.

The account was originally created by Brad Heath while he was working at USA Today, and it gained popularity and charm over the years thanks to the care he put into it.

Unfortunately, when Brad left USA Today, the folks there found it difficult to continue maintaining the bot. Court watchers on Twitter began to see the bot slowly fail in ways small and large, and it was clear a change was needed.

I'm pleased to announce today that USA Today has kindly given the bot to Free Law Project, and we are its new maintainers. We have completely rewritten the bot to use the CourtListener infrastructure, built a new website at, and have exciting plans for the bot's future.

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The Bot Goes Live

We have been running the bot on Mastodon for a few weeks to shake out the bugs. Last week it went live on Twitter:

A screenshot of a tweet of the bot saying it's alive.

The bot is signed up to follow 39 federal cases. We plan to slowly add more as important cases develop.

Looking for Sponsorships

USA Today spent lavishly on PACER fees, and the bot purchased the innumerable documents it shared. We don't have the resources of USA Today, so we're asking organizations of all stripes to sponsor the bot.

To help bring the most important cases in the country to an audience of more than 50,000 attorneys, journalists, and court watchers, click below.

Sponsor the Bot

In the near term, Free Law Project will help sponsor the bot, but we cannot do so forever. Without sponsorship, the bot is still functional, but it doesn't share actual documents and can't share thumbnails either — It isn't half as good. We need sponsors to make it great. Please help!

The Future Bots

In the coming months, we will be focused on three things:

  1. Enhancing the Bot

    The Big Cases Bot is launched and doing great, but it still needs a few enhancements. First, it needs curators to manage the bot's caseload, and second, it needs sponsors to help purchase documents. We'll be working hard on these two things.

  2. Little Cases Bots

    The Big Cases bot is great, but what if we had bots for specific topics? That way, we can have bots that cover things like intellectual property, crypto, immigration, or student debt relief.

    If you think you might want to curate such a bot by telling it which cases to follow, click below to make a suggestion. We're excited to see where this goes.

    Suggest a Bot
  3. Chat Apps

    We send case alert emails all day long, but we've heard that people want alerts in Slack, Discord, MS Teams, and Google Chat too. We're working to make this happen, as paid service.

    To get started and to help us gauge demand for the various chat platforms, please join our waitlist:

    Join the Waitlist

At Free Law Project, our goal is to make the legal system easier to understand and to foster innovation in the legal sector.

The Big Cases bot, Little Cases bots, and our bots for chat platforms will help people in any sector keep up with important legal developments, no matter how they get their updates. At the same time, these bots will contribute to liberating and permanently preserving important and historic cases by adding them to the RECAP Archive and the Internet Archive.

We couldn't be more thrilled to be officially launching and announcing these projects today.

© 2023 Free Law Project. Content licensed under a Creative Commons BY-ND international 4.0, license, except where indicated.