Product Review — UniCourt’s PACER Case Locator API

on Topics: Company | Future Law | Legal Data API | Legal Tech

Product Review — UniCourt’s PACER Case Locator API

UniCourt is a leader in making court data more accessible and useful with our Legal Data as a Service (LDaaS). Through UniCourt’s PACER Case Locator API (PACER API) our clients can easily search PACER’s full civil and criminal dataset with a modern search tool, instantly save money on expensive PACER bills, and quickly automate workflows to transform their business operations.

The Power Behind UniCourt’s PACER API

UniCourt’s PACER Case Locator API is more than just an API interface for PACER. Our clients not only have full access to all civil and criminal data for all U.S. District Courts, Bankruptcy Courts, and Courts of Appeal, but they also now have a streamlined way to leverage the court data we purchase every day on the thousands of new cases filed across federal courts, along with our massive repository of PACER data we’ve aggregated over the years. 

Starting in late 2018, UniCourt formed the PACER Collective with Justia to share the costs of downloading the same court data and reduce our sizable PACER fees by 50% overnight. Since its inception three years ago, the PACER Collective has grown in size to include other publicly acknowledged partners, such as nationwide legal research platform Fastcase. 

When UniCourt CEO and Co-Founder, Josh Blandi was named as a Fastcase 50 honoree last year, the team at Fastcase wrote an excellent bio for him that highlighted how the PACER Collective is a hallmark of Josh’s mission to improve access to court data:

“Josh Blandi is a uniter. He knows the importance of legal data, and has been a leader in collecting and disseminating quality data from various corners of the U.S. legal market. Josh is the founder of the PACER Collective, a tight-knit group of legal data companies (including Fastcase and a number of Fastcase 50 honorees) that equally contribute and share in the collection of certain Federal court records. By bringing disparate (and sometimes competing) companies together towards a common goal of greater data quality, Josh has charted a path for improving data in the legal technology industry.”

From the beginning, the main goals of the PACER Collective have remained the same. Each company that is a part of the PACER Collective is already paying for the same PACER data separately, meaning there is no real competitive advantage to pulling separately vs. together. 

By using a common infrastructure to aggregate our data, we collectively standardize the way PACER data is pulled and structured to both ensure data integrity and to also reduce the extraction costs we were all incurring individually. And as we continue to lower our shared PACER costs, it’s opened the door for us to get more regular updates of court data to expand our repositories and pass those benefits onto our clients. 

As a group, UniCourt, Justia, Fastcase, and other legal research and litigation analytics providers can make a serious impact on removing the financial barriers inhibiting access to public records locked behind PACER’s paywall. We’re not looking for any member to gain a major competitive advantage as a result of the PACER Collective, instead, we’ve joined forces to spur innovation and change.

The real power behind UniCourt’s PACER API is that our clients can now efficiently harness the full extent of our growing PACER court database without paying separately for court data fees or ever logging into PACER again. So how does it work?

How Does UniCourt’s PACER API Work?

With UniCourt’s PACER Case Locator API you can download the PACER data you need and lower your PACER costs by searching smarter.

When you search for court cases using our PACER API, your case search results will show:

(1) Which cases are already available in UniCourt,

(2) When they were added to our database and last updated, and 

(3) What the UniCourt Case IDs are for each case.

Armed with this information, you can immediately leverage the data already in our repository, identify the cases where you may want to get updated data, and easily pull on-demand updates for cases of interest.

Additionally, when you search PACER using UniCourt’s API, you’ll receive the data you need in a structured format that’s readily consumable by your internal applications. Rather than manually downloading the civil and criminal court data you need from PACER, you can cut out the middle-man altogether, eliminating the resource intensive data entry that’s blocking the automation of critical workflows. 

But it doesn’t stop there. With UniCourt’s Legal Data as a Service you have access to our full suite of Legal Data APIs and can take advantage of our world-class litigation tracking solutions and our AI normalized legal data. 

UniCourt’s PACER Case Locator API combined with our Court Data APIs streamlines tracking litigation at scale. Automatically track PACER cases with ease and receive alerts as soon as new docket updates are available in PACER. And more importantly, you will save even more money on outrageous PACER fees by leveraging the sophisticated algorithms we’ve developed to intelligently track court cases in bulk without incurring certain over-the-top fees from PACER.

For those who want to dig deeper, UniCourt’s AI normalized legal data offers a window into who the real-world attorneys, law firms, parties, and judges are connected to federal court cases downloaded from PACER. Gain the insights you need on entities involved in PACER litigation and see all of their related state and federal cases, as well as their associated data from attorney bar associations, Secretary of State offices, and other public data sources. 

In short, don’t pay for PACER data when you don’t have to and stop logging into PACER when there’s a smarter way to search cases, get automated alerts, and gather litigation intelligence.

Who’s Using UniCourt’s PACER API?

To better illustrate who’s using our PACER Case Locator API, we want to highlight UniCourt’s integration with Ontic and AdvoLogix and share the top use cases of other clients across a range of industries. 

Ontic is a protective intelligence software innovator, digitally transforming how its clients actively identify, investigate, assess, watch, and manage physical security threats to protect their employees, customers, and assets. Ontic’s platform provides its clients the ability to collect and connect threat indicators building a comprehensive view of the possible security threats they face and the real-time intelligence they need to maintain business continuity and reduce outside risks.

Through UniCourt’s integration partnership with Ontic, their clients can now access real-time court data on-demand all within their protective intelligence platform from a range of federal courts with our PACER API. As Ontic CEO, Lukas Quanstrom noted in the announcement of our integration partnership, UniCourt’s PACER API allows corporate security teams conducting investigations to “holistically analyze and rapidly optimize the intelligence they need to keep their organizations safe.”

Further, by combining the power of our PACER API and our Court Data API, Ontic’s clients can continuously monitor litigation throughout the federal court system and “create efficiencies via alerts, workflows, and collaboration that help streamline and make corporate security teams’ jobs easier,” says UniCourt CEO, Josh Blandi. 

AdvoLogix is a cloud-based matter management platform for law firms and legal departments, rich with productivity-enhancing features and integrations focused on increasing productivity, operational efficiency, client satisfaction, and risk reduction. AdvoLogix’s enterprise legal management solution is built on SalesForce and automates workflow, manages key dates, and allows for collaboration, while conforming to the unique workflows and practice standards of individual corporate legal departments and law firms.

As Josh Blandi shared in our announcement of the integration partnership between UniCourt and AdvoLogix, “we’re happy to be working with forward-thinking legal tech companies like AdvoLogix, who recognized that manual, rote data entry tasks were ripe for innovation and improvement and acted to improve the user experience for their clients.”

“The integration streamlines litigation and increases productivity so in-house teams can focus on actually managing litigation, and outside counsel and legal professionals at law firms can focus on other action items instead of constantly scouring court databases for case updates.” said Dave Schwab, AdvoLogix’s Chief Product Officer. “With the addition of the UniCourt PACER API, this process is more efficient than ever.”

Compliance

  • Instantly expand your investigative reach with real-time searches of PACER data on bankruptcy cases, criminal cases, and fraud cases for compliance and due diligence.
  • Automate your workflows with structured PACER data fed directly into your applications to create a seamless compliance check experience for you and your clients.

Finance

  • Investment management firms, private banks, and lenders can quickly find lawsuits connected to businesses and borrowers by using our API to search for them in PACER’s federal court database.
  • Enhance your underwriting process and avoid doing business with corporations whose assets are tied up in litigation or who have been sued for fraudulent business practices.

Insurance

  • Connect the insurance cases in your system to our unique UniCourt Case IDs to easily get real-time alerts and on-demand case updates from PACER.
  • Conduct in-depth analysis of your federal claims lawsuits and the trends impacting your markets, so you can better value overall litigation costs and determine when to settle cases or take them all the way to trial.

Law Firms

  • Transform your firm’s knowledge management, business development, analytics, and innovation initiatives with bulk access to normalized and standardized PACER data.
  • Better manage your clients’ litigation risk and save your clients and your firm from overpaying exorbitant PACER fees for legal research projects and routine case management. 

Legal Tech

  • Give your clients instant access to the full criminal and civil PACER dataset all inside of your app with UniCourt’s PACER Case Locator API.
  • Push your innovation forward by starting off with PACER data that’s been cleaned, normalized, and enriched to power your analytics products, build automated workflows, and supply training data for your machine learning models. 

Get Started with UniCourt’s PACER API

UniCourt’s trusted infrastructure is used across a span of industries for getting real-time access to PACER data and saving money in the process.

We are strong proponents of improving access to PACER data and we’re happy to work with you and your team to get better access to the data you need and what everyone is really after — a lower PACER bill!

Contact Us to learn more or send an email to Sales@unicourt.com and ask us how you can get started with our PACER API.