Terms and Connectors Searching With Docket Alarm

Docket Alarm can conduct natural language searches and terms and connectors searches. Searching with natural language is easy, just type what you’re looking for and we’ll find the most relevant documents.

Terms and connectors searching provides a high level of precision that can help narrow down search results. Docket Alarm supports many terms and connectors, including Boolean, proximity, stemming, wildcard, and phrase searches.

Below is a summary of Docket Alarm’s connectors:

Find documents containing all connected terms. The word AND does not have to be capitalized. By default, all keywords are ANDed together, so AND is not strictly needed.
personal AND injury
personal injury
Find documents containing any connected term. The word OR does not have to be capitalized.
order OR decision
Excludes documents.
personal AND NOT injury
Find documents with the word “personal” and not “injury”
Find documents which have terms within a given proximity of each other.
personal w/5 injury
Find documents with “personal” within five words of “injury”

Find documents where the first term appears a given number of words before the second term.
September t/5 2017
Find documents with “September” at most five words before “2017”
Stemming finds all words containing the root word
Find documents containing “electrical”, “electronics”, “electricity”, etc.
Find similar words with variations on single characters
Find documents containing either “woman” or “women”
Finds an exact phrase
“personal injury”
( … )
Parenthesis may be used to group sets of terms of connectors
personal w/5 (injury OR fall)
Find documents with the word personal within five words of the word injury or fall
Hyphens search words both with and without the hyphen.
Find documents with any of the words and phrases: crossreference, cross-reference, cross reference.


Filters allow you to limit your search for keywords within particular fields, such as firms, judges, attorneys, and other.
Examples with Explanation
Find documents in a particular court
court:(New York)
Find documents in New York courts

court:(Supreme Court AND NOT state)
Find documents in the supreme court, but not in state courts
Find documents in a case involving a particular judge / party / firm / attorney
Find cases involving Judge Posner

Find cases involving apple

firm:(“Weil Gotshal”)
Find cases involving Weil Gotshal

attorney:(David w/3 Boies)
Find cases involving the attorney David Boies
Search for deadlines listed on the docket sheet.  Input text to find a deadline for a certain event, or use a date filter to find upcoming deadlines.  

The deadline feature is only available for deadlines that are listed on the docket sheet.  Thus, deadline searching may not be compatible with certain courts.   
Find cases with upcoming deadlines for events with 'discovery' in the title.  

Find cases with a deadline upcoming in the next year.

deadline:(discovery next:(2months))
Find cases with a discovery deadline in the next 2 months.
Date filters allow you to filter documents and cases by the date they were filed. These dates are inclusive.

You can also use relative terms for dates, such as 'yesterday', '-1week' or '2months'.  
Find cases no earlier than March 1, 2015

from:2014 to:2015
Find cases from Jan. 1, 2014 to Dec. 31, 2015

from:-5days to:-1days
Find cases from 5 days ago to yesterday.
from:yesterday to:today
Find cases from yesterday to today.
next:[relative date]
last:[relative date] 
These advanced date filters allow you to find easily find items with dates relative to today.  

Try this in conjunction with the deadline filter to find cases with upcoming or recent deadlines. 
Find cases filed within the last year.

Find cases with deadlines in the next 5 days.
Filter Federal cases by Nature of Suit Codes.
Find all patent cases

claim w/3 construction AND NOT nos:patent
Find all documents that mention the word claim within three words of the word construction that are not patent cases.
Find documents which have a word or set of words in the document's title.
documenttitle:(scheduling order)
Find all documents that have the words scheduling order in the document's title.
Find dockets which have a document that contains the word or phrase.
documenttext:("Bob Dylan")
Find every docket that contains a document with the phrase Bob Dylan.

documenttext:("Bob Dylan") OR "Bob Dylan"
Find every docket that contains a document with the phrase Bob Dylan, and also return all of the documents themselves.
Find cases or documents with the specified status. Note that the status field is not normalized across courts, and some courts do not even provide a status.
status:(terminated or closed)
Find all documents and cases with a closed or terminated status field.
Find cases or documents with the specified case type. Note that the type field is not normalized across courts, and some courts do not even provide a type.
type:("personal injury" and not liability)
Find all documents and cases with a case type having the phrase personal injury and without the word liability.
Certain courts have additional fields such as cause, division, demand, bankruptcy chapter, and county, and these filters can be used to narrow a search appropriately. Note that not all courts support all of these fields.  
Find all documents and cases with a "cause" containing the word employment.
Find cases with a particular event.
event:(type:(petition institution) outcome:denied)
This advanced filter locates all denied petition institution decisions. If you would like to learn more about these advanced filters, please contact us for a free demonstration (support@docketalarm.com).
Tip: not all filters fields are globally populated across all courts, many are only populated in certain courts. Accordingly, you may want to do a some investigation to see which courts use them. To do this type of investigation, you can use the filter with empty quotes. For example, get a list of cases using the demand filter by searching for demand:"". That search lists results where the demand field exists.

Result Type Filters

You can limit the type of document returned with a few additional filters.
Only search through docket sheets.
Only search through documents.
Only search for court opinions and documents authored by the court.
Only search for complaints, answers, and petitions. Also includes amended complaints and answers.
Search for motions and briefs.
Only search for cases that come from PACER's database (Federal District, appellate courts, and bankruptcies). To exclude PACER cases, add NOT is:pacer.
Limit the search to circuit courts. To exclude circuit courts, add NOT is:circuit.
Limit the search to bankruptcies. To exclude bankruptcies, add NOT is:bankruptcy.
Limit to state courts. A common search to limit to state and federal litigation is:state or is:pacer or court:SCOTUS.
Only search results which have law firm information associated with the case.
Only search results which have attorney name information associated with the case.
Only search results which have attorney email information.
Only search results which have attorney phone information.
Only search results which contain parties that are publicly traded companies.  We currently cover NYSE, NASDAQ, Shanghai Stock Exchange, and AMEX.

NOTE:  This filter is was recently implemented and may not apply to all of our cases, especially older cases.The filter will be available on older cases soon. 

Special Searches

Docket Alarm handles certain specialty searches in an intelligent manner:
Examples with Explanation
Synonyms and Abbreviations
Docket Alarm automatically searches common synonyms and abbreviations.

Find documents mentioning either lawyer or attorney.

Find documents mentioning either SEC or Securities and Exchange Commission. Most common agencies covered.

Find documents mentioning either NY or New York. All state abbreviations work as expected except for Oregon (“OR”) and Indiana (“IN”).
When searching for acronyms, Docket Alarm will search for the word with and without periods.
35 U.S.C. 102
Find documents mentioning both “U.S.C.” and “USC”.
Money Amounts
When searching for a range of money amounts, Docket Alarm searches for all amounts within the range.
Find documents with a dollar amount between $100,000 and $20 million.

Find documents with a dollar amounts between $1000 and $20,000.
Patent Numbers
When searching for patent numbers (or any long number), Docket Alarm will automatically insert or remove commas as necessary.
Find documents mentioning “6,665,003” and “6665003”

Find documents mentioning “6,665,003” and “6665003”
Docket Numbers
Docket Alarm tries to search for docket numbers in various ways to increase the likelihood that they will match.
Find documents mentioning “12-cv-123”,”12-cv-00123”, “12cv123”, among others.

Range and Numerical Filters

A few special filters allow you to specify a range of numbers. A range is specified using brackets "[" and "]" and specifying numbers in between. For example, [1, 5] means all numbers from 1 to 5. Values can also be left out, so [3,] means number 3 and greater. These range searches can be used to search for specific types of cases:
Examples with Explanation
Search for cases with a specified number of parties.
Find cases involving 10 to 100 parties.
Search for cases with a specified number of law firms involved.
Find cases involving at most 2 law firms.
Search for cases with a specified number of attorneys involved.
Find cases involving 2 to 40 attorneys.
Search for cases that have been open for the specified number of days.
Find cases that have been open at least 30 days but no more than 365 days.
Search for documents with a specified number of pages.
Find documents with 100 to 1000 pages.

Advanced Date Searches

Special date filters can support a number of unique searches, including when a docket was first added into Docket Alarm, when it was last updated, and the last filing on a docket. Each date filter requires a to or from subfilter, which in turn require either an absolute date (e.g., 3/15/2015 or a date delta relative to today (e.g., -5days, which means "from 5 days ago"). See the examples below for more information.
Examples with Explanation
Search for case dockets based on the most recently filed item in the docket sheet.
date_last_filing:(from:3/15/2015 to:12/1/2016)
Find where the most recently filed item on the docket sheet ws between March 15, 2015 and December 1, 2016 (inclusive).
Search for cases based on the time they were added to Docket Alarm's database.
Find cases that were created in the past three days.
Search for cases based on time they were last updated on Docket Alarm.
date_get:(from:-60days to:-30days)
Find cases that were last updated on Docket Alarm from 60 days ago to 30 days ago.

Party Sub Filters

Use the party filter to filter by legal representation. Using sub-filters, you can search for parties in combination with their party type, law firm, attorney name and other fields.

Using the hierarchy of filters below, you can search for parties when they are acting only as plaintiff or any other specific type, as well as when they are being represented by a particular firm or attorney.
  • party
    • name
    • name_exact (Use this field to find exact name matches)
    • type (Use this filed to limit to plaintiff/defendant/etc.)
    • firm
      • name
      • name_exact
      • attorney

Party Sub Filter Examples

party:(name:google type:plaintiff)
Find cases where Google is acting as the plaintiff.
party:(name:google firm:(name:(dla piper)))
Find cases where google is represented by the firm DLA Piper.
party:(name:google firm:(attorney:"john smith") type:defendant)
Find cases where google is acting as defendant and represented by the attorney John Smith.    
party:(name_exact:Apple firm:(name_exact:"Ropes & Gray") type:defendant)
Find cases where the company Apple is represented by the firm Ropes & Gray, using exact name matches only. 

Related Case Sub Filters

Docket Alarm also supports advanced searches to find a related case. Relationships can include appeals, citations, and more. Similar to the party sub filters. Similar to the Party Sub Filters discussed above, there are a number of sub-filters to finely target your search.
  • related
    • court
    • docket
    • type

Related Case Filter Examples

related:(court:(New York))
Find all cases that are related to cases in New York courts.
related:(type:(Original Case) court:(New York))
Find appeals, where the original lower case was in New York courts.
Find all cases that are related to inter partes reviews, useful for finding IPR appeals.

Claim Sub Filters

Claims and charge searching are also supported. Used in many state courts, as well as the National Labor Relations Board.
  • claim
    • description
    • disposition
    • code
Find all cases that where a disposition of one claim or charge is "guilty"
Find appeals, cases where there is a theft charge.
Find all cases in the National Labor Relations board with charges under 8(a)(5).

Gender Diversity and Contact Information

 Docket Alarm is at the forefront of understanding gender and the law through analytics.  By analyzing attorney names as they enter Docket Alarm, we can add gender as a layer on top of any of our analytics.  These capabilities are integrated into searching as well.  Type  has:attorney_male to locate cases where there are male attorneys present. has:attorney_female not has:attorney_male will find only the cases where there are only female attorneys. 

Query Combinations

You can combine multiple queries by using the parenthesis to separate each sub-query. For example, a search for “notice w/10 (decision OR order)” would return documents where the word “notice” is used within 10 words of either the word “decision” or the word “order”.

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Docket Alarm is an advanced search and litigation tracking service for the Patent Trial and Appeals Board (PTAB), the International Trade Commission (ITC), Bankruptcy Courts, and Federal Courts across the United States. Docket Alarm searches and tracks millions of dockets and documents for thousands of users.

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