It’s easy to forget that only a decade ago people who touched federal court cases lived out of boxes. Boxes on desks, on the floor, in the car. Boxes filled with files, filled with reams of pages. Pages that needed our constant attention to keep them up-to-date, in order, complete.
By 2007 the government was approaching its goal of putting 100% of new federal case documents online through PACER–Public Access Court Electronic Records. Suddenly banker boxes filled with documents started to seem anachronistic. Relics from another time. It’s not like the mountains of printed documents disappeared, but more of our real activity was spent managing the digital versions. Not only could we could find out if opposing parties filed something moments after it happened, we could pull the document seconds later–no driving down to the courthouse after a sleepless night of wondering what had been filed.
Since then the entire legal industry has gotten quite comfortable with the benefits of the digital age. The only problem is, as the rest of the business world has seen increasingly sophisticated tools for accessing and navigating high volumes of online data, legal professionals may as well be living in 2007. PACER’s antiquated interface and paywall, which was behind the times even back in 2007, has proved to be a massive barrier to realizing the true potential of online access to all court records.
So that’s why we’re here. We are lawyers, technologists and designers creating a Web platform that radically improves how diverse legal teams access the most critical information to their success–real-time court records, and the related data that provides context. PacerPro makes finding and tracking case data as effortless as using Google. It’s always up-to-date, easy to use and, amazingly, gets cheaper the more that people use it.
We’ll be talking more about how it works on this blog, and our view on how the legal space is being transformed by technology. Join us for what promises to be a fantastic adventure.