Adjunct Law Prof Blog

Editor: Mitchell H. Rubinstein
New York Law School

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

DOJ To Spend More Than 150 Million Dollars On Legal Research

Legal Blog Watch ran an interesting Dec. 2, 2009 story stating that DOJ will spend about 150 million dollars in legal research. This article was obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests. As the article states:

The documents were obtained by Carl Malamud at Public.Resource.Org, an organization devoted to publishing government documents in the public domain, pursuant to FOIA requests he filed in May with various federal agencies. He asked for documents detailing amounts spent on PACER and with commercial legal information providers for access to federal court documents and other primary legal materials.

The DOJ, responding on its own behalf as well as on behalf of the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Office of the Solicitor General, provided Malamud with 152 pages of documents. The documents reveal many details about the DOJ's contracts for legal research.

For use of PACER, the DOJ was due to pay the U.S. courts $4 million on Nov. 13. This payment would provide access to PACER in 2010 for all DOJ employees. The cost to the DOJ of PACER access has risen sharply since 2003, the first year covered by these documents, when it was $800,000. For 2004, that more than doubled, to $2 million, and it has risen steadily ever since.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

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