Friday, June 22, 2012

EEOC’s Appellate Summaries Now Available Online

On Wednesday, the EEOC announced that it has put its appellate and amicable summaries since 2000 on its official website.

Said summaries from the EEOC’s Appellate Service Division represent lawsuits in the U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals in which the agency was a party. The summaries filed act as a “friend of the court” or the so-called amicus curiae in those courts, particularly in the U.S. District Courts and other tribunals.

The agency’s new database allows full text search queries for any keywords or phrases, like
“racial discrimination” or “wrongful termination lawsuit,” as well as searches by case name, court, statutes involved, basis of the lawsuit, and type of summary. Meanwhile, new summaries will be added several weeks upon the actual date of filing in court. 

However, the database does not include summaries filed before the Supreme Court, whether as party or amicable. Such summaries are exclusively available from the Office of the Solicitor General at the Department of Justice, while summaries filed before 2000 are only available from the offices of the clerks of court where they were filed.

EEOC claims that the new database is consistent with the goal of the Open Government Initiative, which aims to make such government documents more accessible to the people. In fact, the EEOC recently put state-specific data on its official website to complete the national data already present.

Furthermore, the EEOC has created a new particular page on its website explaining the extent of its “friend of the court” program. The page features a new e-mail box where a counsel may suggest cases that come within the agency’s “friend of the court” guidelines.

A Los Angeles discrimination attorney is quite impressed with the agency’s remarkable step in supporting the federal government’s initiative in providing ease to public it terms of securing public documents. Such program will not only benefit the public, but also the other employment lawyers in reviewing cases.