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Keeping up with the Pacers

Paul Tharp, Staff Writer//January 24, 2011

Keeping up with the Pacers

Paul Tharp, Staff Writer//January 24, 2011

Former Tar Heel star Tyler Hansbrough scored 27 points and grabbed 10 rebounds last night in the Indiana Pacers’ 121-107 loss to the Denver Nuggets.

The Pacers finished their four-game road trip 0-4 last night. If not for their inability to close out close games, wrote Mike Wells of the Indy Star, they could easily have gone 3-1 on the trip.

I know that only because I check PACER every day. I access it by typing “Pacer” into Google’s search engine on the Google homepage.

PACER, as I’m sure you know, allows public access to case filings and information from the United States federal courts. The site is invaluable for a legal writer and, I suspect, just as valuable to attorneys.

PACER shares its name with the NBA’s Indiana Pacers. The NBA’s Pacers usually appear third or fourth on the list of Pacer sites that appear when I press “Search” on the Google page.

The Pacers’ website quotes Indianapolis attorney Richard D. Tinkham – who was one of the original investors in the team – who said “the nickname ‘Pacers’ was decided on through a collective decision of the original investors … [and was] a combination of the state’s rich history with the harness racing pacers and the pace car used for the running of the Indianapolis 500.”

According to the Public Access and Records Management Division of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, which manages the electronic public access program for the Federal Judiciary, the federal courts’ PACER moniker is an acronym, meaning Public Access to Court Electronic Records.

The system charges users a small fee for accessing documents, ranging from 8 cents for one page to several dollars for larger filings.

Learning the latest news about the Indiana Pacers, in the process, is free.

I suppose I could spare myself news about the Pacers by simply adding PACER to my Favorites Center (as simple as pressing Alt + C, according to my machine), but old habits die hard and, if nothing else for the sake of a little levity injected into the serious business of reporting on legal affairs, I’ve grown fond of keeping apace of the hapless hoopsters (they are 16-25).

Per the Pacers: “Passion, Pride, Pacers!”

– By PAUL THARP, Staff Writer

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