All current bankruptcy and federal magistrate judges are now in CourtListener

One of the goals of Free Law Project is to help make the legal ecosystem innovative and competitive. Today with the support of Pre/Dicta and the help of the Federal Judicial Center (FJC), we’re happy to be taking another step towards that goal. Today we are announcing tht we have added more than 1,000 current bankruptcy and federal magistrate judges to our database of judges. As always, we are making this data available via the website, via our APIs, and in bulk.

To our knowledge, this is the first time that a complete list of federal magistrate and bankruptcy judges has ever been freely available.

The release of this information will help organizations jump start their innovation. Rather than spending their time building up their own database of this information, organizations can now simply download the data from us and load it into their systems.

For researchers and individuals, this data directly impacts the utility of the CourtListener system, where we’ve already integrated it. Wherever possible, CourtListener will now provide links to judge profiles, where you can learn more about a given judge. For many of the judges we even have their portrait.

The …

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More Information about our Judicial Database and Some Responses to Feedback

Robert Ambrogi recently wrote an article about our new judicial database for his LawSites blog. In his article, he makes a few concrete observations about our judicial database, and I want to use these observations as a launching point to talk some more about what we have made, why it is useful, and what we are working on next.

The two observations Robert makes are:

  1. Our page for Justice Robert Cordy is sparse compared to the same page on Ballotpedia.

  2. Scalia’s end date was not set for his time on the Supreme Court, and his education data was not quite correct.

These kinds of observations are really important to us, and it shows that we still have work to do building and explaining our work.

On Sparseness

To the first observation about Robert Cordy, our response is that we’re building a database, not a more free-form wiki. Unlike the incredible work Ballotpedia is doing, which allows almost any kind of information, our work is focused on gathering specific facts about judges and appointing officials. This approach has pros and cons, and Robert is fair to point out that our data about this important judge is fairly sparse. He …

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