Related Case

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The concept of a “case” is relatively well understood by […]

The concept of a “case” is relatively well understood by those involved in litigation. But cases are often related to other cases in ways that blur the distinction between the two. For example, if a case is transferred to another court, how many cases exist? Is it accurate to say the plaintiff filed two cases or that the patent was asserted in two cases? It is probably more accurate to regard that as a single case that existed in two different courts at two different times. Yet the public record includes two different case numbers and two different dockets. How those two dockets are publicly recorded is determined by local judges and clerks, and varies substantially. For example, when receiving a transferred case, some courts duplicate all the documents that were previously filed in the earlier case, but other courts do not. Similarly, when entering orders in consolidated actions, some courts record a single document that applies to all constituent cases, while other courts enter duplicate documents in each individual case. Correctly associating events (pleadings, motions, orders, etc.) with the correct proceeding is crucial for accurate legal research and analysis because it avoids both double counting and missing key litigation events.

Docket Navigator manually associates documents, and all of the data associated with those documents, with each case in which it forms a part of the proceedings. This association allows us to accurately identify all cases in which an instance of a particular action, event or sequence of events occurred. It also allows us to correctly identify unique instances of particular events without regard to any duplicate recording due to local recording policies.

Last Updated: July 19, 2023

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