Forget Westlaw
October 13, 2012 10:31 AM   Subscribe

You read a lot of administrative court decisions. Which court has the most user friendly system for searching and finding decisions?

Outside the realm of Westlaw and Lexis, which admin courts have the best online systems for organizing their decisions?
posted by helloimjohnnycash to Law & Government (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I don't think any of them do a great job about making them accessible by subject (though full text searching is serviceable), but the FTC ( makes it pretty painless for finding them by citation and the NLRB ( has a very comprehensive collection that's pretty easy to get into by citation as well. Though, my opinion might be skewed, because these are the ones I'm most often looking at.

This is an interesting question -- I'll be keeping an eye out for a comprehensive, current assessment of administrative materials from the agencies themselves.
posted by GPF at 2:50 PM on October 13, 2012

Good question! I like the Trademark Trial & Appeal Board's system. Does the Tax Court count?

I agree about the NLRB being good, too. Can I give a vote for worst system? HUD is ridiculously hard to navigate.
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 3:09 PM on October 13, 2012

The FCC makes decisions (as well as orders, NPRMs, notices, and anything else it publishes) pretty accessible via its EDOCS system. The advanced search features let you search by citation as well as by topics, but there's no keyword or full text search, unfortunately. (Oddly, you can search the full text of comments submitted to the FCC, though, via ECFS, which is a fantastic feature.)

As for worst system? I'll nominate NOAA and BOEM (in the Department of the Interior).
posted by devinemissk at 6:37 PM on October 13, 2012

Well, the Board of Immigration Appeals isn't exactly administrative law (although mostly? sortof?), but they have been pretty good about making at least their precedential opinions available on the DOJ website here. The unpublished decisions seem to mostly be available on Westlaw and Lexis, but, on the upshot, they aren't binding so they aren't as important unless you are really in the trenches of immigration law.
posted by likeatoaster at 9:53 PM on October 13, 2012

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