Dockets and Filings Now Show What They Cite

Michael Lissner

For years, we've used our citation extractor to find the citations in our case law database. Today we're announcing that we've also extracted citations from the millions of documents in our archive of legal documents.

This new feature makes it possible to see the legal decisions supporting a filing or case. In addition, this feature will soon allow you to research in the other direction as well: Soon, when you're looking at a particular legal decision, you will be able to see and search the many filings that cite to it.

Here's what the new feature looks like for a case that cites 668 different opinions:

A screenshot of the first several authorities for a docket

When you're looking a filing in a case, you can see the same:

A screenshot of the first authorities for a filing

So far, we have identified approximately twenty-two-million citations using this system, and we get more all the time, as new items are added to our system.

In the coming months, we hope to enhance this with even more functionality. Things we're considering include:

  • "Authority Search," so you can find filings that cite certain opinions. For example, imagine searching for every filing in a given district court, containing a specific keyword that cites Citizens United v. FEC.
  • A new "Cited By" sidebar in our case law database that shows filings that cite a given decision.
  • Bulk data and API access.
  • And more!

Let us know your ideas and dreams and we'll keep building like we always do. Our further investment in this feature will directly depend on suggestions and ideas we get from our users.

This work was completed by a volunteer contributor, Samier Saeed, who did the lion's work of building an extractor, adding it to the front end, and so much more. This is a big feature for a volunteer to build and we're thrilled to have Samier's help.

Thank you Samier!

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