If you want to use the Internet to peek at documents filed in federal court cases, it's usually possible. It's just relatively expensive.
The U.S. Congress allows the federal courts to charge a fee--currently set at 8 cents a page--to search for and download documents. The database, called PACER, is strict about charging and even levies fees for searches that result in no matches.
Which is why a pair of Princeton University graduate students, with some help from Harvard University's Berkman Center, have developed a Firefox browser plug-in called RECAP (PACER spelled backward). It's … Read more