If you’ve ever needed to quickly pull a brief or a court order from a federal case, you probably know that Bloomberg Law is a convenient resource. Bloomberg Law provides access to federal court dockets and their underlying filings obtained from PACER, the federal courts’ portal for Public Access to Court Records. Unlike PACER, however, Bloomberg Law allows users to run full-text searches, restrict searches of trial court dockets to particular types of documents, and provides researchers the ability to search across many state courts’ court information using a single interface.
This convenience does carry a price tag. While law school users are not accustomed to monitoring their research costs, the popularity (and cost) of docket research has shifted how Bloomberg Law approaches this resource. Individual academic users are now subject to a $1,500 per-person annual cap on docket costs, which resets each year on January 1. Users incur costs whenever they track a docket, update a docket, or retrieve items from a docket. (There is no charge to simply run a docket search.)
But there’s no need to worry! The great majority of students and law faculty, even busy researchers, are unlikely to hit this cap. If you were to exceed this limit, you will receive a notification and be restricted from further docket transactions, with a 30-day grace period. (If you have exceeded the $1,500 cap, after the 30-day grace period has ended, you will be restricted from conducting fee-incurring docket transactions.)
All users may now also monitor their docket usage in real time. To view your account’s docket transaction charges, select on “My Account” on the top right of any page on Bloomberg Law, then choose “My Dockets Billing.” You’ll see an overview like the one below—if your usage number is green, you’re good to go!
If you have any questions about using Bloomberg Law for docket research, or your docket costs, please reach out to a Biddle Librarian!