Legal Research

Pacer App Developed by UCLA Law Grad Is Free for the Holidays

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Updated: Lawyers who want to search and view federal court records on their iPhones can use a new iPhone app developed by a recent law grad.

The app, FedCtRecords, usually costs $19.99 but it’s free for the holidays, report the Wall Street Journal Law Blog and iPhone J.D.

Newton Oldfather, a recent graduate of the law school at the University of California at Los Angeles, tells the Law Blog he developed the app with his father and a friend. Eugene Volokh of the Volokh Conspiracy says Oldfather is a former student.

According to iPhone J.D., the app is “very functional.” The Law Blog opines that the app takes “the very middling Pacer desktop experience and replicates it on the iPhone, with no major loss in translation.” There are a few negatives—users can’t file documents from their iPhones, they can’t search all cases at once, and they can’t access bankruptcy files.

On the plus side, the Law Blog says, users can:

• Access lawyer contact information from the “attorney” or “parties” screens and save it to their contacts.

• Email documents after viewing.

• Save cases of interest in a virtual briefcase.

In an interview with the ABA Journal, Oldfather said the feedback about the app has been instructive and resulted in several bug fixes. The app will remain free for the next few weeks as he responds to feedback and adds improvements, including bankruptcy cases, that have been suggested by users.

“We don’t want people to pay until it’s right,” he said.

In addition to bankruptcy, Oldfather said they’re working on a better iPad version.

Prior Pacer coverage: “Federal Courts Announce Higher Pacer Fees, Policy to Discourage Sealing Civil Suits”

Last updated Dec. 22 to add more details about the app.

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