Bloomberg Law is a subscription based legal research service, similar to WestLaw and Lexis+, although much much newer (meaning it doesn't quite have the complete buy-in that Westlaw and Lexis do). So why do you need to know another legal database system? Well, Bloomberg excels in certain areas that are quickly making it a go-to resource. For instance, our St. Thomas subscription includes Bloomberg Law Docket Search which is a great way to search for publicly accessible court documents (without having to use PACER).
One of the best use cases for Bloomberg Law, is its Docket search and retrieval. Bloomberg Law Dockets cover state, federal, and select international court cases. Users also have access to Breaking Complaints, alerts, and searches. Note however that some State materials will be inaccessible with your UST login as access varies by state. For this training, we will focus on Federal Dockets
Docket research is generally used to find information about a particular case. Dockets contain information about the judge hearing the case, parties involved, attorneys involved, the events of a case, and more. Dockets are generally more useful for researching trials. Because trials may last many years, and involve many events the dockets are important for locating information about cases. Examples of documents that can be identified and (sometimes) located by retrieving a trial court docket include: motions, testimony transcripts, jury instructions and worksheets, judge rulings, expert witness names, and more.
To get to Bloomberg Law Dockets: From the home page, click on Dockets under "Research Tools"
As you can see, there are many ways you can search dockets in Bloomberg Law. The information on this page will provide you with instructions on how to search dockets in Bloomberg Law by:
Searching by party name is straightforward as well. You can enter the name, and select the Type of the party (i.e. Plaintiff, Defendant, Appellee, Respondant, Debtor, etc.). If you want to add multiple names, click +Add Another.
If you already have a docket number, you can search using the Docket # field. Docket Number searches are case-sensitive, so you must use the proper format for your search. Clicking on the ? will pull up a list of proper formats for U.S. Federal Courts.