Second Series of Federal Reporter from 1950 to 1993 now on CourtListener

Over the past few months we have been working on cleaning and importing the 2nd series of the Federal Reporter (F.2d) from http://law.resource.org. Today we’re excited to share that we’ve made over 12,000 meta data additions, corrections or categorizations, and that we’ve finally added F2 to our corpus.

This expands our coverage to nearly 600,000 searchable cases, and improves the quality of bulk data that is available for free on the Web.

We’re very excited by these new features, and we hope to import the third series next. If you’re interested in contributing to this work, please drop us a line - it’s a huge task cleaning and importing this information and we can use all the help we can get!

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Second Series of Federal Reporter from 1950 to 1993 now on CourtListener

Over the past few months we have been working on cleaning and importing the 2nd series of the Federal Reporter (F.2d) from http://law.resource.org. Today we’re excited to share that we’ve made over 12,000 meta data additions, corrections or categorizations, and that we’ve finally added F2 to our corpus.

This expands our coverage to nearly 600,000 searchable cases, and improves the quality of bulk data that is available for free on the Web.

We’re very excited by these new features, and we hope to import the third series next. If you’re interested in contributing to this work, please drop us a line - it’s a huge task cleaning and importing this information and we can use all the help we can get!

more ...

New formats for dump files

As mentioned in a previous post, we are currently making some changes to our back end to allow better citation meta data and searching granularity. As part of these changes, we have made two small changes to our dump formats.

The first change is to list docketNumber, westCite and lexisCite instead of caseNumber and westCitation. We previously had many West-style citations listed as generic case numbers. This wasn’t very accurate, so we’ve re-organized this to have better granularity.

The second change we’ve made is to how we handle missing or incomplete data. Previously, if a case was missing data, we would simply not include it in a dump. This was not the best solution, so we’re now including any information we have about a case in every dump we create. In some cases, this can create partial cases that lack vital meta data.

We hope these changes will be easy to work with, and that they’ll cause no disruption.

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Updated Supreme Court Case Dates and The First Release of Early SCOTUS Data in Machine-Readable Form

A few years ago, the Library of Congress released a PDF that listed the exact dates that the early Supreme Court Cases were decided. Since the written record only contained the month and year of the decision, this list served as the official record for the cases.

While it was great for the Library of Congress to publish this report, unfortunately they did so in a large PDF rather than a more useful format that could be used by projects such as CourtListener. Attempts to contact the Library of Congress were unable to locate the original version of the document, so we converted the PDF into both a CSV and an ODS spreadsheet so that the data can be easily read by a computer. I’m happy to be releasing these files today so that they can be used by others.

The second project we have been working on at Free Law Project was to import this data into our system. Because citations in the file are not always unique, we had to device a heuristic algorithm to link up the data in the CSV with the data in our system. Today, we’re happy to share that we did …

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A Million Documents At Your Fingertips

In our last post, we mentioned that we were already working with other organizations that support judicial transparency to help us build the public repository that lies at RECAP’s foundation. Public.resource.org, led by Carl Malamud, has been especially helpful in this regard. They have a vast repository of court documents, weighing in at more than 500 gigabytes in total. Over the last few weeks we’ve been pre-stocking the archive with these documents, and we recently crossed the million document threshold.

What this means is that installing RECAP will not only help you contribute to government transparency, but it’s likely to start saving you money right out of the gate. For example, if you practice law in New York City, you’ll be happy to know that we have 238,098 documents from the Southern District of New York. If you have RECAP installed, you can use PACER the way you normally do, and RECAP will automatically inform you if the document you need is already available for free.

Here is a table of the other courts where we have a significant number of documents:

Court No. of Documents


District of Alaska 52,797 Northern District …

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