Don Cruse (pictured), the lawyer-programmer behind the popular Texas Supreme Court analysis site DocketDB.com, has launched a new website to search and track the U.S. Supreme Court’s docket. Certpool.com allows users to view the high court’s docket broken down by court of origin, the stages of cases and the presence of amicus briefs, among other things. For example, a lawyer could search for all cases from Texas or all cases currently set for conference. Certpool.com allows users to subscribe to RSS feeds for individual cases and get updates about new case events through email or a feed reader. Cruse, an Austin appellate solo who says he dabbled in computer programming in college, created a computer program that periodically scans each docket item on the U.S. Supreme Court’s website, checking for new case events, and pulls the information into a database that populates certpool.com. “It’s just as simple as looking at the court’s website and taking that and turning it into something you can slice and dice,” says Cruse, adding: “It’s appellate geekery combined with technical geekery.” Cruse says certpool.com is a “bone structure” compared to DocketDB.com and he can already imagine new features. For example, he hopes to add the ability for users to search and analyze the issues pending in the cases before the high court. Appellate lawyers writing cert petitions would be able to read other cases with similar issues and determine whether to cite those pending cases or to distinguish their own case from the others, he says. “I know you can do that today with my Texas tracking site. That’s the goal I want to get to with the cert pool,” he says. Cruse announced the launch of certpool.com on Friday.
-- Angela Morris