PACER user group ready to begin work in February

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The federal judiciary’s Public Access to Court Electronic Records system is about to come under closer scrutiny by users.

Twelve individuals with backgrounds in the law, media, government and academia have been selected for the new PACER User Group, which will offer input and advice for improving the federal courts’ electronic docket system as well as other electronic public access services provided by the judicial branch.

The group will begin its work as two lawsuits challenging PACER’s fees continue in the federal courts. Theodore D’Apuzzo lost his case, D’Apuzzo v. U.S.A., 0:16-cv-62769, on summary judgment, but has appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Also, a question about restrictions on PACER charges is on interlocutory appeal in National Veterans Legal Services Program, et al. v. U.S.A., 1:16-cv-00745.

Members of the PACER User Group represent a cross-section of the people who access the electronic system to obtain court filings. They were selected based on user type, level of experience using PACER, frequency of usage, an account status in good standing and a commitment to collecting additional feedback from their peers.

The members are:

  • James Christopher Allman, assistant U.S. attorney for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Kansas;
  • Adam Angione, Midwest and Northeast bureau chief, Courthouse News Service;
  • JoAnn DiSanti, associate director of managing clerks, New York City-based White & Case law firm;
  • Nicholas C. Goldrosen, a student at Williams College in Massachusetts;
  • Todd Michael Higey, general counsel, Employment Screening Services, representing the National Association of Professional Background Screeners;
  • Seamus Hughes, deputy director of the Program on Extremism at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.;
  • Margo S. Kirchner, general counsel and development director, the Wisconsin Justice Initiative;
  • Tyler G. Mills, team lead, Bloomberg Law;
  • Robert F. Patrick, reporter with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch;
  • Theresa A. Reiss, law librarian for the Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress;
  • Gabriella Sarnoff, assistant managing attorney at the Debevoise & Plimpton law firm headquartered in New York City; and
  • Warren Thomas, principal at the Atlanta-based Meunier Carlin & Curfman law firm.

Creation of the group was announced in June 2019 and members were selected by a panel that included staff from the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.

The user group is expected to hold its inaugural meeting in February. Meeting agendas and minutes will be available online.

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