May It Please The Court: Weblog of legal news and observations, including a quote of the day and daily updates

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Quote of the Day - I have opinions of my own -- strong opinions -- but I don't always agree with them. - George H. Bush
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Expressing My Opinion About Court Opinions

The internet is a great equalizer.

Why, I can report about Court opinions and even point you to the actual opinion at no cost to you.

In most cases, but not all. Sometimes, I run into PACER. It's the government's way to get more of your and my tax dollars.

As if they didn't have enough already. You'd think that some of that $2.0 trillion .... well, you can imagine a few things to do with it, I'm sure.

You know the old saw, "a billion here, a billion there, pretty soon you're talking real money."

So, why is it that some federal courts offer opinions free of charge, and some do not? This admittedly unscientific and partial survey has discovered that some circuit courts offer opinions for free, some do not, and likewise with the bevy of district courts. It's all over the map.

So, what's a body to do?

Actually, I wanted to report on the case at the top of the page, but Lexis charges $20 to access it, and PACER charges, too, but not as much. It's an interesting case, certainly given that the Court figured out a way to trigger coverage for lead contamination because of an ambiguity in the policy language.

Alas, I can't point you to the actual opinion.

My recommendation? Let's abolish PACER, and require the Courts to post the opinions on their websites. Which would you rather read - judge biographies or Court opinions?

Who are these sites constructed for? The judges' egos or communicating their opinions to the public?

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Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Thursday, December 02, 2004 at 00:34 Comments Closed (1) |
 
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