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Message 00238: Re: Hyperlaw on open access to district court filings

The argument is great ... Connecticut Law Tribune did a piece about this and I was very effusive ... what Alan proposes is what the courts should do. But, I'm skeptical of that actually happening. The big problem is that we don't have standing as ordinary citizens. We can be as right as we want, but if you're not named "Your Honor", you don't have a seat at the table. And, so far at least, none of them has got a clue.

But, if we proxy pacer and other primary legal materials on the Internet, I think we will have a very effective voice because then we have eyeballs.

I'm glad Alan is doing what he is doing, just as I was glad that Jamie Love did what he did on EDGAR, Patent, and other databases. But, I'd rather go look for a large stack of tapes, DVDs, or other raw data or go harvest some database on the net. $0.02.


On Sep 12, 2008, at 2:50 PM, Stephen Schultze wrote:

He does, however, seem to be making a good argument with respect to the fact that inconsistent ad-hoc systems by the individual courts to publish their opinions are far inferior to a fairly simple modification to CM/ECF/PACER that simply provided free public access. Notably, the argument here is only for free public access to the *opinions* and not the full set of case documents. He is right that although in theory one should be able to access recent opinions for free via PACER, many of the documents are not flagged as such and thus incur charges.