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Docket Research

Overview

This guide is intended to provide an overview of how to conduct docket research on Bloomberg Law, Lexis CourtLink, and Westlaw.  Additionally, this guide identifies sources for locating U.S. Supreme Court dockets.

Conducting federal docket research on Bloomberg Law ("BLAW") is strongly encouraged.  BLAW should have the same information as PACER.  PACER, provided by the Federal Judiciary, provides access to federal appellate, district, and bankruptcy court information via a centralized service. However, if you use the PACER service, then you incur a per-page charge based on the number of pages that result from your search and each requested report or document.  A benefit to BLAW is that there is no per-page charge incurred for running searches or viewing documents.  Additionally, there are extensive search options available on BLAW.

State court coverage varies among the three databases so it is helpful to check coverage for each.  You may find that a particular state court docket is available through Lexis CourtLink, but not through BLAW or Westlaw, for example.

What is a Docket?

A docket for a case identifies some basic case information (including party names, attorneys of record, and presiding judge).  It also identifies court proceedings for that case in chronological order.  These proceedings may include the filing of a complaint, for example, or the filing of a motion.  Documents may be associated with these proceedings.

Robert Crown Law Library

If you have any questions, the librarians at the Robert Crown Law Library are available to help.  Write us (reference@law.stanford.edu) or call us (650-725-0800).  Reference Desk hours are posted here:  https://law.stanford.edu/robert-crown-law-library/hours/.