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Staying Current

Resources for keeping up with new legal developments.

To Follow a Pending Case

How do you follow a case that you know is in the works?

Trial courts

  • Use docket alert in Bloomberg Law logo Bloomberg Law. First, find the docket (e.g., by searching for name or docket number). Then click Track Docket.

    screen snip Bloomberg docket



  • Lexis logoLexisNexis and Westlaw also have trial court dockets. The coverage seems to be better on Bloomberg Law.

Appellate courts

  • Use dockets in Bloomberg Law logo Bloomberg Law, Lexis logoLexisNexis, or Westlaw. Find the docket, then click Alert. This will let you know when briefs and motions are filed.
  • Run a search in a caselaw database (Bloomberg Law, LexisNexis, or Westlaw) and set up an alert. E.g., in Westlaw, an alert for the search ti(smith & microsoft) will tell you when there's a new case with "smith" and "microsoft" in the title.

U.S. Supreme Court

You can use the same techniques you'd use for any appellate courts. In addition:

To Watch for New Cases Filed on a Topic

In Bloomberg Law, choose Dockets. Then choose the court(s) you want to follow. Search, and then click on "Create Alert."

For example, to find new tax cases filed in Washington State courts, search for tax, limited to last seven days. After you see the results, click on "Create Alert."

Note that state docket information may seem skimpy. For example, you see "Case TypeTAX Revenue Tax Warrant"—but not the complaint.

In federal dockets you can search for words in the filings as well as the docket. For federal cases you can also take advantage of the "Nature of Suit" (NOS) codes used in PACER.

screen snip Bloomber docket list of NOS

For example, you can select Taxes - United States as Plaintiff or Defendant [*870] .


Process is similar in Lexis Advance and Westlaw Next dockets.

To Find Citations to a Case

LexisNexis logoLexisNexis's citator, Shepard's

Click on the alarm clock.

screen snip showing Shepard's




Westlaw logoWestlaw's citator, KeyCite

Click on the bell.

screen snip KeyCite


Bloomberg Law logo Bloomberg Law's citator, BCite

Click on "Create Citation Alert."

screen snip of Bloomberg Law citation alert

To Learn About New Cases in a Jurisdiction

Court Websites

Washington CourtsWashington Courts logo

Ninth CircuitUS Courts logo

Willamette Law Online

Email alerts with summaries written by Willamette law students, covering:Willamette University College of Law logo

Findlaw Newsletters

Daily email newsletters summarize new cases from selected jurisdictions (U.S. Supreme Court; 1st, 2d, 3d, 4th, 9th, and Fed. Circuits; California Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, and New York Court of Appeals). Weekly newsletters summarize new cases in about 50 topics.

To Learn About New Cases in a Subject Area

Following legal newsletters in your area of interest is a great way to keep up with new cases (as well as other developments).

See Legal Newsletters section, below.


Westlaw Bulletins and Topical Highlights

Home > Secondary Sources > Legal Newspapers & Newsletters

Summaries of new cases with link to the full text. Bulletins cover different jurisdictions; Topical Highlights cover topic areas.

Skim recent entries or set up an alert to get new summaries emailed to you.

screen snip Westlaw Bulletins & Topic Highlights













View most recent entries.

screen snip Westlaw Topical Highlights - health







Set up alert. (Here, searched for "health" within Health Law Topical Highlights.)

screen snip Westlaw Topical Highlights alert