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Case Management

How to do a docket search

Reference Attorneys  Thomson Reuters

Reference Attorneys  Thomson Reuters

Westlaw Edge makes docket lookup easy

Given the many user-friendly features on Westlaw Edge, it probably isn’t surprising to hear that you can actually find most things in a variety of ways, including dockets. In fact, even if you don’t have the docket number — also known as a case number or file number — you can complete a docket search with just a few clicks.

Court docket search: the basic steps

Whether you want to know how to find a case number online or you already have the docket number and simply want to pull up the docket, Westlaw Edge makes it easy.

Step 1: Pull up the dockets page in Westlaw Edge

Simply click on the “Dockets” link, which you can find on the main page in Westlaw Edge under the “Content types” tab. You can also use the global search bar at the top to search for “dockets” and select the appropriate suggestion. Both of these options get you to the same place.

Where to find dockets on Westlaw Edge.

Step 2: Pick the court you need the docket from

Once on the docket page, you have a couple of options. You can either:

  1. Click on the specific court or jurisdiction you are interested in, like the U.S. Supreme Court; or
  2. Check the boxes next to the courts or jurisdictions you want to search and enter your search terms in the global search bar at the top.
    NOTE: The “Specify content to search” option much be selected if you want to see/use these check boxes.

Picking dockets for specific courts in Westlaw Edge.

Note that there are many jurisdictions from which to choose, ranging from all federal dockets to all state dockets, and everything in between. In many instances, you will only be interested in one court or jurisdiction, in which case the first option above will likely be your best choice. This will typically give you more control and allow you to use templates for your docket lookup.

For example, if you were to click on “U.S. Supreme Court,” it will bring you directly to a docket search page where you can use a template to search by participant name, docket number, attorney or law firm name, and filing date.

And if you were to click on a broader jurisdiction — say California dockets — you will have the option to narrow down the jurisdiction even further, including options to search specific federal courts within that state, specific state courts, specific counties, etc. And once you drill down and get to the specific court you need, you will be able to search using a template.

Step 3: Run your court docket search

Once you get to the specific search template for the court you need, enter in your search information. While the templates may vary from court to court, you will typically be able to search by party/participant name, filing date, key search terms, attorney/firm names, and, of course, docket number.

Court docket search for the U.S. Supreme Court.

For instance, if you already have the docket number, enter it in the proper field to run a docket number search. But make sure to use the correct format if searching the full docket number. If you aren’t sure about the format, you can find additional information by clicking on the scope icon:

But even if you don’t have the docket or case number, you can still run a search using the other template options.

After you run your search, just pick the correct docket from the results list. That’s it. Just a few clicks and one easy search to look up the docket you need.

Docket lookup using the case citation

If you have a case citation, there is another easy way to look up the case number or to pull up the docket itself.

Simply “find” the case in Westlaw Edge by typing “find:” followed by the case citation into the global search bar at the top.

How to find a case on Westlaw Edge.

And if you only need the docket/case number, it will be listed right at the top of the case below the party names.

Where to find the docket number in a court opinion.

But, if you need to look at the docket itself, you can do that with three easy clicks:

  1. Select “Filings” on the top left corner of the case
  2. Select “Dockets” in the left-hand margin
  3. Select the docket you want to view — but make sure to pick the docket for the specific court you want since more than one docket may be listed if multiple courts have dealt with the case

Docket lookup from a case opinion in Westlaw Edge.

As we mentioned earlier, though, there are several ways to find dockets and docket-related information on Westlaw Edge, and these are just a few.

More answers