How to Read a Court Docket: Tips for Finding Facts and Stories Amid the Arguments

June 15, 2023
12:00 P.M. ET
The Journalist's Resource presents an online training session with former-journalist-turned-whistleblower-lawyer Eugenie Reich. JR is a project of the Shorenstein Center aimed at bridging the gap between journalism and academia. Its primary goal is helping journalists improve their work by relying more often on scientific evidence and high-quality, peer-reviewed research.

U.S. Court dockets are potential treasure troves of compelling information, but navigating the docket of a long-running case is not easy. In complex litigation, sparring parties spend millions of dollars gathering documents and hiring experts whose evidence they believe will prove them right. In some disputes, the most important message for the public is the outcome: who wins, who loses, even who goes to jail. But when the dispute involves science, medicine, or important questions of public policy, it is equally important that journalists can find telling evidentiary documents quickly and distinguish the facts from the arguments.

This one-hour webinar covers three scientific and medical case studies involving legal proceedings. The event is open to all, but registration is required.

Viewers will learn:

  • What to look for first on a court docket.
  • How to tell the facts from the arguments.
  • How and when to attend court hearings.
  • How to know when to revisit a docket for updates.
  • Tips for developing stories on scientific and health care fraud.

About the instructor: Eugenie Reich is a former-journalist-turned-whistleblower-lawyer. She served as a core member of the litigation team that achieved the largest-yet recovery in a pharmaceutical fraud case pursued without government involvement. During law school, Reich participated in a False Claims Act investigation involving a major scientific fraud case at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. She attended law school after a fifteen-year career as an investigative science journalist and is the author of the 2009 book “Plastic Fantastic: How the Biggest Fraud in Physics Shook the Scientific World.” She now has her own whistleblower law firm in Boston, Eugenie Reich Law LLC, which specializes in fraud cases against evidence-based organizations that have gone astray.