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Free Government Information (FGI) is a place for initiating dialogue and building consensus among the various players (libraries, government agencies, non-profit organizations, researchers, journalists, etc.) who have a stake in the preservation of and perpetual free access to government information. FGI promotes free government information through collaboration, education, advocacy and research.

Free Daily and Weekly Opinion Summaries for all Federal Courts and selected State Supreme Courts

Justia Opinion Summaries, Justia is providing FREE Daily & Weekly Opinion Summaries for all Federal Courts, and selected State Supreme Courts. U.S. Federal Courts, U.S. State Courts, Opinion Summaries by Practice Area.

Justia offers free case opinion summary newsletters for many US Appellate Courts. To sign up for the Case Summary Newsletters you first need to login to or create a Justia Account. Then you will be able to select the free newsletters you wish to subscribe to. Subscribe to summaries of US appellate court opinions at Daily.Justia.com. Practice area emails with summaries from all reviewed courts are sent weekly.

Hat tip to Sabrina I. Pacifici!

More courts to offer audio recordings — for a fee through PACER

More Federal Courts Move to Offer Digital Audio Recordings Online, The Third Branch, United States Courts, (November 2010).

According to Stephen Schultze, It is “worth noting that during the pilot period of this service, the fee for the audio files was $.08. This highlights the arbitrary nature of pricing for internet-delivered electronic court documents. Does the current pricing meet the statutory requirement (28 USC 1913 note) that the “Judicial Conference may, only to the extent necessary, prescribe reasonable fees… to reimburse expenses incurred in providing these services”?

Real time alert tool for the U.S. judicial system

courtlistener.com is a new service that has daily information regarding all precedential opinions issued by the 13 federal circuit courts and the Supreme Court of the United States and the non-precedential opinions from all of the Circuit courts except the D.C. Circuit.

The site was created by Michael Lissner as part of a masters thesis at the University of California, Berkeley School of Information.

The site supports highly advanced boolean queries.

Lunchtime Listen: Open Access to Government Documents

This is a presentation by Stephen Schultze, a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard on the topic “Open Access to Government Documents.” He focuses on CRS reports, Oregon State Codes, and PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records). The presentation is available as streaming video, downloadable video, and as a downloadable audio-only MP3 file.

In the past twenty years, a remarkable number of government documents have been put online. In some cases, these documents are made easily and freely accessible. In others, technology has failed to overcome barriers or even created new barriers to access. One particular subset of documents — opinions, dockets, and the full public record in federal court cases — remain behind a pay wall. Although the U.S. Government cannot hold copyright in documents it creates, it has for a long time long charged for the cost of creating and maintaining these documents. While the courts understandably seek to pay for the services they provide, this talk will argue that there is an alternative path in which the public benefits far outweigh the costs. Stephen Schultze makes a dynamic case for free access to government documents, in honor of Open Access Day 2008.

Produced 13 Oct 2008

Federal courts adopt uniform rules for judicial discipline

The Judicial Conference of the United States has announced the adoption of uniform standards for the first nationally binding judicial discipline rules among the federal Circuit courts. The standards curtail the decentralized self-regulatory system that let individual circuit’s set their own standards and closed “jurisdictional gaps,” according to Judge Ralph K. Winter of the 2d U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and chair of the Conduct Committee that compiled the reforms. The changes were made in response to recommendations by a special committee chaired by Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer and pressure from some in Congress to improve implementation of the Judicial Conduct and Disability Act of 1980, the basis of federal judicial discipline.