reported today that the Open Courts Act of 2020 has been passed by the House of Representatives.  In a time of fierce partisanship, this is a bi-partisan bill introduced by two Georgia representatives:  Republican, Rep. Doug Collins and Democrat, Rep. Hank Johnson. The bill will now needs to be passed by the Senate and signed into law by the President.

Earlier this week, 2O legal tech executives sent a letter (reprinted below) to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi supporting passage of H.R. 8235.

I spoke to Ed Walters, CEO of Fastcase  one of the signatories. Walters described the letter as coming from an informal coalition of legal tech entrepreneurs and innovators who acted quickly to get the letter out when they learned that the bill was coming up for a floor vote. The letter points out something that is obvious to knowledge professionals. The prohibitive cost of aggregating Pacer documents – the core building blocks of federal analytics is stifling innovation.  Pacer documents represent the raw material which can be transformed by intelligent tagging and artificial intelligence into powerful insights for both litigants and access to justice advocates.  There are no losers if Pacer can be transformed by technology and intelligent planning. I agree with Walters and his colleagues that free Pacer could drive a
Continue Reading Can We Afford Not to Modernize Pacer? Open Courts Act Passes House Vote But Enactment Not a Done Deal