Legal Technology

Free Law Project releases new plug-in to improve free PACER archive

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RECAP, a free online PACER archive and browser plug-in, released a new version Monday.

The update creates a single extension that will work on numerous browsers and allow the RECAP system to run faster, update more immediately and no longer have docket size restrictions when uploading new data.

“It’s an exciting time for RECAP,” Free Law Project co-founder Michael Lissner wrote in a blog post. “After many years with little change or improvement, we’re moving it to a more reliable, robust, and innovative system.” The original RECAP extension was launched in 2009.

As a browser extension, RECAP runs in the background while someone is on the federal courts’ document portal PACER, and it makes copies of every document the user downloads for a public internet archive and CourtListener, a free legal research website containing millions of legal opinions from federal and state courts.

See also: Free PACER archive adds millions of new documents

This update is not without setbacks for some users. The blog states that the new version will not support federal appellate court websites for the time being. However, they are looking to “find technical volunteers” with “good JavaScript skills” to build out appellate court support in future iterations.

Second, while the updates to CourtListener will happen “possibly within seconds or minutes,” the separately maintained Internet Archive will only be updated quarterly.

Those already using RECAP with Firefox and Chrome browsers received the updates automatically. The blog post states that this new version should be available for Internet Explorer Edge, Opera and Safari browsers soon. For those just learning about RECAP, the plugin can be downloaded on the Free Law Project website.

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