Tips for the Big Cases Bots

Michael Lissner

Last month, we relaunched the Big Cases bots for Twitter and Mastodon.

In this post, I want to share a few tips that can super-power how you use the bots.

  1. You can hack the bot's PDF links to find the docket.

    The bots post links like this:

    If you hack the URL to yank off the file name, so it's like this…

    …you'll get redirected to the case.

  2. You can get email alerts for any case.

    If you like the bot, but find it too noisy, you can always sign up for an email alert for a particular case. Just pull up the case in CourtListener, and click the "Get Alerts" button.

    Learn More

  3. A Proposed motion or order is not an actual motion or order.

    The crown for most misunderstood court document goes to "Proposed Orders." These are orders that are written by attorneys or parties in the case, and given to judges to sign. Sometimes the judge signs them, sometimes not. Don't make the mistake of thinking they're actual orders.

    Relatedly, you can write whatever you want in a complaint and file it in court. Doesn't make it true.

  4. Cases on Mastodon have hashtags.

    If you follow the bot on Mastodon, you'll see a hashtag on every toot. These correspond to the case mentioned in the toot, so if you only want to follow particular cases, just follow their hashtags!

  5. You can sponsor the bot too.

    Free Law Project has donated money to sponsoring the bot, but we're looking for sponors that can help support our work. If that might be the organization where you work, you can find more details here.

That's it for now, but we have lots of big (and little) things in the works that we'll be sharing soon.

Thanks for using the bots!

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