Free Law Project now has every reported U.S. Tax opinion

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The United States Tax Court: Photo by GSA.

A lot of ink has been spilled and opinions shared about income tax since the 16th amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified in 1913. Here at Free Law Project, we believe few opinions matter as much as the precedential tax opinions produced by the federal courts, first at the Board of Tax Appeals (1924-1942) and later by the United States Tax Court (1942-).

That is why we are happy to announce that we have compiled, collected and analyzed the complete collection of precedential federal tax opinions. Our collection of tax cases spans two courts, nearly a century, and comprises nearly twenty-four thousand precedential opinions. We also have over twelve thousand non-precedential opinions in our database.

All new projects require improvements and enhancements to our code base, and this one was no different. For example, we added new tools to analyze and parse tax opinions. This enables us to find and extract missing, yet relevant information from tax opinions. This grows our already robust dataset, and we think will make your search queries even easier.

Thank you to the Caselaw Access Project at Harvard and BlueJLegal for helping us complete our …

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We Have Every Free PACER Opinion on CourtListener.com

Free Opinion Report Dropdown

At Free Law Project, we have gathered millions of court documents over the years, but it’s with distinct pride that we announce that we have now completed our biggest crawl ever. After nearly a year of work, and with support from the U.S. Department of Labor and Georgia State University, we have collected every free written order and opinion that is available in PACER. To accomplish this we used PACER’s “Written Opinion Report,” which provides many opinions for free.

This collection contains approximately 3.4 million orders and opinions from approximately 1.5 million federal district and bankruptcy court cases dating back to 1960. More than four hundred thousand of these documents were scanned and required OCR, amounting to nearly two million pages of text extraction that we completed for this project.

All of the documents amassed are available for search in the RECAP Archive of PACER documents and via our APIs. New opinions will be downloaded every night to keep the collection up to date.

The RECAP Archive now has more than twenty million documents.

With this additional collection, the RECAP Archive now has information about more than twenty million PACER documents.

As a backup and permanent repository, we are continuing our partnership with the Internet …

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Why We Are Downloading all Free Opinions and Orders from PACER

PACER Logo

Today we are launching a new project to download all of the free opinions and orders that are available on PACER. Since we do not want to unduly impact PACER, we are doing this process slowly, giving it several weeks or months to complete, and slowing down if any PACER administrators get in touch with issues.

In this project, we expect to download millions of PDFs, all of which we will add to both the RECAP Archive that we host, and to the Internet Archive, which will serve as a publicly available backup.1 In the RECAP Archive, we will be immediately parsing the contents of all the PDFs as we download them. Once that is complete we will extract the content of scanned documents, as we have done for the rest of the collection.

This project will create an ongoing expense for Free Law Project—hosting this many files costs real money—and so we want to explain two major reasons why we believe this is an important project. The first reason is because there is a monumental value to these documents, and until now they have not been easily available to the public. These documents are a critical …

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