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Docket Research

Overview

Westlaw offers access to federal and state dockets.  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 Westlaw Account

Access to Westlaw 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 Westlaw account, then please contact the Reference Desk at (650) 725-0800 or reference@law.stanford.edu.  

Researching Dockets Using Westlaw

Step 1:  Sign in to your Westlaw account 

Step 2:  After logging in and arriving at the homepage, click on "Dockets"

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Step 3:  In the Dockets page, you can select a set of jurisdictions or pick from the associated Tools & Resources in the right side navigation panel. The easiest way to search Dockets is actually to click on "Advanced" on the right under the search bar to use the search template.

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  • In the advanced search page, if you have a specific jurisdiction in mind, then you can click "Show Court Selector" and select your jurisdiction of interest. You can type in any available information (for example, party names and key search terms) and select a filing date.  If you have a docket number, then please review the Westlaw Docket Format Instructions (in the "Further Reading" section) to identify how to format your docket number.  You can also utilize the Key Nature of Suit (KNOS) classifications, which are based on the docket case type information provided by the court:

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Step 4:  Once you are viewing a docket, then click "Update" to check for any recent updates. If the docket has been updated the same day, the "update" button may not be available.

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  • To view documents, there are two places to check:
    • 1) You can click the "Filings" tab across the top to see documents already in Westlaw's database; 
    • 2) You can scroll down on the docket sheet to the see the listed documents and click "View" (if available) to view an individual document:

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  • Availability of filings differs between the "Filings" tab and the docket sheet, so try both.

Tracking Dockets

Docket tracking is not an available feature on law school subscriptions.

Coverage

From the Dockets page, click on "Coverage Map" in the sidebar to see court coverage:

Questions?

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

(1) Feel free to reach out to the Westlaw Reference Attorneys (available 24/7).  You can participate in a live chat by clicking on "Live Chat" located on the bottom of the Westlaw page or call the hotline at 1-800-REF-ATTY; or

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