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Docket Research

Overview

Lexis CourtLink offers access to federal and state dockets. Courtlink allows for keyword searching across dockets and documents. Results can then be filtered by date, litigation area, geography, court, and more.  The search terms are run across the docket sheets and the underlying court documents in all available federal and state courts covered in CourtLink (Please see the "Coverage" section to obtain coverage information.). 

Since state coverage varies dramatically among BLAW, Lexis CourtLink, and Westlaw, and none of the databases provides comprehensive access to federal or state dockets, it is important to review each database's coverage when looking for a docket.

Setting Up Your Lexis CourtLink Account

Access to Lexis and CourtLink is limited to the Stanford Law School community and requires personal, custom usernames and passwords from each, individual user. If you need assistance setting up a Lexis account, then please stop by or contact the Reference Desk at (650) 725-0800 or reference@law.stanford.edu

Researching Dockets Using Lexis CourtLink

Step 1: Navigate to Lexis Courtlink

  • First, sign in to your Lexis account here and navigate from the main Lexis+ page to Lexis Courtlink:

The product-switcher menu in Lexis+ highlighting the option for CourtLink


Step 2:  After navigating to CourtLink, you can choose the scope of the search and jurisdiction. 

  • At the top, there are two dropdown menus for "Search for" and "Within." Make these selections first because the page will refresh and change the subsequent filters available based on your selections.
  • Using these dropdowns, you can choose whether to search for dockets, documents, or both in the menu under "Search for," and choose the jurisdiction in the dropdown menu under "within."  

homepage showing CourtLink's search fields

 

  • Under the dropdown menus for "Search for" and "Within" there are additional search fields. The keyword search field is always available, and other filters may be available depending upon what you chose in the dropdown menus.

  • Note: Filling out the filters and search fields with any information available is highly advised. Docket searches can cover a very wide field, and keyword searches without additional filters will likely yield many extraneous results.

    • The docket number is the most useful field to use, if you have a docket number available. Please review the Courtlink Federal and State Docket format webpage to identify how to format your docket number for your search. This information is also saved as a PDF in the "Further Reading” section.


Step 3:  Review your results

  • You can filter the results further by choosing options in the left panel. Once you have found what you want, click on a case name to review the docket for that case:

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Step 4:   Update the docket

  • Check the currency of the docket sheet at the top, and click the red "Update Now" to ensure that you are looking at the most recent version of the docket. 

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Step 5:   View available docket entries

  • Under "Availability," the docket entry will say "Free" or "Online" for documents that may be available. "Free" means that the documents is already within Courtlink's database and is immediately available for download. "Online" means that Courtlink will need to pull the document from the relevant filing system:

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  • Click through the confirmations to download the document. Note: for "online" documents, the request will take more time to process because the CourtLink database needs to request it from the court system.
    • Not all documents labelled "online" can be be. request. Some materials may be sealed, archived, or only available by "runner" (e.g. only available in print by request to the court). Our subscription does not include runner requests.

 

Tracking Dockets

Tracking is available in Lexis Courtlink. Click the bell icon at the top of a docket sheet to pull up the tracking options:

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Coverage

On the homepage, you can click the "Court Information" and "Court Availability" links at below the "within" search field box bottom of the page to access information about coverage and courts.

Questions?

If you have any questions doing docket research on CourtLink, you have multiple resources at your fingertips:

(1) Feel free to reach out to the LexisNexis customer support team (available 24/7).  You can call them at (888) 311-1966; or

(2) Check their Help page (located at the top right corner of the site) or

(3) Contact the Robert Crown Law Library Reference Desk at reference@law.stanford.edu or (650) 725-0800.