Court Records & Briefs Research: Using Bloomberg Law's Docket Key

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Federal court records and briefs research can be time-intensive and potentially intimidating for a newer attorney. When a lawsuit drags on for years in federal court, a huge paper trail is created that can make effective research in dockets even more complicated. For law students, dockets can also be intimidating because of the variety of filings to sort through. However, federal docket sheets and court filings are important research tools for UNC Law students and faculty, as they provide insight into legal strategy and procedure at both federal trial and appellate levels.  

Bloomberg Law continues to strengthen its federal dockets research capabilities with one of its newer tools, Docket Key. The new tool “identifies and classifies entries on a docket sheet,” and its chief purpose is to make locating specific types of filings easier and more efficient. Bloomberg Law's Advanced Dockets search allows you to filter your searches using Docket Key, but be aware that this is only an option for certain jurisdictions. If you have chosen a jurisdiction not yet included in Docket Key, this option will not be available:

Bloomberg Law
An image of Bloomberg Law's Docket Key in the Advanced Search feature.

Users run a keyword search based on their legal issue of interest, and Docket Key identifies specific types of legal filings that are related to that keyword search, including motions, complaints, notices, briefs, and orders. The service currently only extends to 15 of the largest federal district courts, including courts in California, Florida, New York, and Texas. For UNC Law students and faculty, Docket Key is one option for quickly accessing major filings in law suits or criminal proceedings related to your legal issue.

If you would like to read Bloomberg Law's full announcement for this new service, check out this link.


Posted by Melissa M. Hyland on Wed. November 14, 2018 11:52 AM
Categories: Uncategorized


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