"We have lots of good ideas for how RECAP can be improved and expanded, and this partnership will be a great opportunity for our users and the public," says Michael Lissner, co-founder and lead developer of FLP. He and co-founder Brian Carver are longtime advocates for free access to primary legal materials, bringing both passion and expertise to these issues.
FLP will lead the effort to improve and maintain RECAP now that the project's creators have moved from CITP to start new stages of their careers. Initially FLP will work on the day-to-day maintenance of RECAP, but over time the organization will seek funding to integrate the project's code and documents with FLP's CourtListener platform. "Upon acquiring adequate funding, this partnership will create the largest freely downloadable collection of court documents online," says Professor Carver.
RECAP fits squarely within the Free Law Project's goals of 1) providing free, public, and permanent access to primary legal materials on the internet; 2) developing, implementing, and providing public access to technologies useful for legal research; and 3) creating an open ecosystem for legal research and materials. CITP will continue to support RECAP and is excited to have found such fitting partners in the effort to improve access to public court records.
The Center for Information Technology Policy (https://citp.princeton.edu/
Free Law Project (http://freelawproject.org) is a California non-profit public benefit corporation. FLP collects U.S. court opinions through its Juriscraper project and freely distributes those opinions online through its CourtListener platform. The FLP database currently includes over 2.5 million documents. In 2013, FLP joined the Free Access to Law Movement and it is pursuing recognition as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
RECAP provides free extensions for Firefox and Chrome that improve the experience of using PACER, the electronic public access system for U.S. federal appellate, district, and bankruptcy courts. It allows users to contribute PACER documents to a public archive hosted by the Internet Archive and to see when free documents are available. For more information or to download the extensions, visit http://www.recapthelaw.org.