If you’ve ever followed a lawsuit or criminal trial in the US, you may have come across the work of the Free Law Project. Its Recap database is one of the best ways to freely access documents typically stored in the paywalled Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system. And one of its cleverest uses of Recap is the Big Cases Bot: an automated account on X / Twitter and Mastodon that checks for updates to the most important cases in US federal courts, automatically downloads the associated files to the Recap database, and posts an update linking to them.
The Big Cases Bot has been an excellent resource for The Verge over the years — I check it, and so do other writers and editors. But by design, it’s a general-interest feed that covers a huge range of civil and criminal law. If you’re interested in a more limited set of cases, it can be a little overwhelming. So in partnership with the Free Law Project, The Verge is launching the Tech Cases Bot: a bot dedicated specifically to the kinds of cases that interest our audience. It’s a place for keeping up with Big Tech antitrust suits, criminal crypto charges, authors suing AI companies, challenges to online speech regulations, and more.
Using the Tech Cases Bot is simple. Just follow it on X at @techcases_bot or Mastodon at @email@example.com, and you’ll see a post every time a filing comes through, with a link to the CourtListener docket and a PDF where applicable. Here’s an example from the US v. Google case, the trial for which starts today:
The Tech Cases Bot is built on a system maintained by the Free Law Project and curated by The Verge. The Verge is also sponsoring the bot, which means when it pulls a copy of a document from PACER for archival, we’ll cover the access fees. We’ll update the bot with cases we write about, and if there’s a particular docket you want to see tracked, tip us — if we think it’s of interest to the bot’s followers, we’ll add it in.