Georgetown Law
Georgetown Law Library

Briefs, Oral Arguments and Other Court Documents Research Guide

This guide collects sources for dockets and court documents, including briefs and oral arguments, from federal and state courts.

Contents

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  • Study Aid

Finding Dockets on Bloomberg Law

Register for an account. Bloomberg Law is available to Law Center students and faculty. If you have not yet registered, you may activate an academic account. You do not need to enter an activation code, but you must register with your Georgetown e-mail address. You will receive your credentials within 72 hours.

Access dockets. You can access federal and state court dockets and documents on Bloomberg Law. Once you sign in, select “Litigation Intelligence Center” from the “Browse All Content” menu. Alternatively, select “Dockets” under “Research Tools" on the main page.

  • Check Docket Coverage. From “Litigation Intelligence Center,” select “Docket Coverage.” This displays an interactive map that shows which federal and state court dockets and documents are available electronically, as well as the dates of coverage. 
     
  • Search Dockets. From “Litigation Intelligence Center,” select “Dockets Search.” The Dockets Search form allows you to search by keywords, courts, parties, judge, docket number, case name, nature of suit, cause of action, and more.

When searching by keywords, you may choose to search “Dockets Only” or “Dockets & Documents.” Note that the latter option only searches the full text of court filings that have already been loaded into Bloomberg Law from a court’s electronic document service.

  • Update Docket. Once you locate the docket for a case you’re researching, note the date that the docket was last updated and click “Update Docket” to make sure you are looking at the most recent changes.
     
  • Track Docket. To receive email notifications whenever there is an update to the docket, click “Track Docket.” Any associated fee will be waived for you as an academic user.
     
  • Retrieve Court Documents. For each docket, you will see a list of court documents that have been filed in that case. For federal dockets, you will be able to retrieve most of the filings that are available on PACER, the electronic public access service for U.S. federal court documents, without incurring any charges associated with accessing PACER directly. Availability of state court documents varies by local e-filing rules. See “Check Docket Coverage” above for more information.

You will see either “View” or “Request” next to each document. Click “View” to immediately open a document that has already been loaded into Bloomberg Law. If a document has not yet been loaded, click “Request.”

If Bloomberg Law has electronic access to the document, any associated fee will be waived for you as an academic user. Click “Accept” to authorize the document request. Once available, the document will be emailed to you and added to your “Docket Requests” under “Litigation Intelligence Center” from the “Browse All Content” menu.

If a document is not available electronically (e.g., the document must be retrieved in person from the court using a courier service), you will be notified that the document falls outside our Bloomberg Law subscription.

Get more help. For more help searching dockets and documents on Bloomberg Law, or for assistance locating dockets and documents that are not available on Bloomberg Law, please contact a librarian.

Dockets Searching on Bloomberg Tutorial

Once you've signed on to Bloomberg Law, you can access their tutorial videos in the Bloomberg Law Help Center.

Once in the Help Center, navigate to Videos using the left hand column. The most useful videos for beginning users can be found in the Getting Started Videos, Court Opinions and Legislative tabs.

Sample Lessons on Bloomberg Law 

  • What can I search on Bloomberg Law?
  • How Do I Select Sources?
  • How Can I Retrieve an Opinion with Citation or Name?
  • How Do I Search the U.S. Code?

Running time: 2:08 minutes

Created/updated: March 2019
Last reviewed: March 2019