Jonah Gelbach on PACER

Berkeley Law View Original Source

ICLE Academic Affiliate Jonah Gelbach was cited by Berkeley Law in a story that mentions his course on Public Access to Court Electronic Records. You can read the full piece here.

3L Chloe Pan took Professor Jonah Gelbach’s Public Access to Court Electronic Records course because she was interested in thinking about how courts operate as public institutions. Named for the online repository of more than 1 billion federal court records — commonly referred to with the PACER acronym — the course’s main focus is the legislative and litigation activity aimed at dropping the paywall for non-parties to access information.

“Law school classes typically focus on the substantive content of litigation, but there are fewer opportunities to examine how litigation is administered and how judicial procedures could be improved,” Pan says.

Gelbach’s past and current scholarship has outlined some downsides(opens in a new tab) of the paywall, particularly its impact on researchers who want to look at trends in the judicial sector using aggregated data.

“Our courts have enormous amounts of data that could be used to better understand, operate, and design our judicial system, yet the data remains largely locked behind a paywall that stunts research and journalistic access,” he says. “I wanted to teach this course because I wanted to help students explore the arguments for and against reforming that situation.”