Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Lastpass now Free but not Court Documents

A couple of news items to share regarding password managers and access to court documents.

Lastpass Password Manager News

We learned today via this article that our favorite password manager, Lastpass, is now being made available for free.  I have been paying for the premium edition of the service so that it runs on my smart phone.  Now you don’t even have to pay to do that.
I have also increasingly used the Lastpass password generator to create long, not easily guessable passwords (since they are gibberish), for my online accounts.  A password manager also gives my family access to my accounts in case I become unavailable due to a medical or other emergency.

Rochester Institute of Technology has posted a web page with the benefits of using a password manager that includes links to other programs besides Lastpass.

Please do this for yourself and your family!

Overview of Access to Court Documents

Thanks to Noman Meyer in New Mexico we received this article. “Everything Is Not Online — Access To Electronic Court Documents In The US” by Mr. William Barth of Thomson Reuters.

He begins:
“First, let’s get right down to the fact that many of your attorneys believe that all dockets and even documents are readily available online — and free! You are constantly working to educate your requestors on the nuances of the US Court system. They wonder why a complaint and docket sheet from the US District Court in Chicago is sent right away for almost no cost while a docket sheet and complaint from a county in southern Illinois takes over a day and costs more? Even worse, why might that southern IL docket sheet be handwritten?”
So why is this?  I think that clearly funding is an issue as many courts cannot afford electronic document management systems.  Statewide E-filing project are beginning to address this need.  But another significant issue is the ability for the public access system to answer the questions, who, what, when, and why the documents can be provided online.  Therefore, I think that it is necessary for the case management systems to be able to answer these questions in their data and metadata.  It is an involved problem and discussion and therefore it is one that we will save for another day.


  1. Money is certainly the issue, especially in certain states where the court clerk is funded at the local level and fees are set (limited) by state law. Document systems are expensive, even more so when the state requires certain information be redacted, especially information that does not conform to conventions that allow for redaction through technical means. Bottom line, when human review is required to redact, it gets expensive beyond current funding levels m

  2. I agree Michelle. Thank you for your comment.