Search the Everglades Litigation Index     

Litigation Index (Database)

    •  Scope
    •  Search Information
    •  Restricting Search Results
    •  Search Steps
    •  Results
    •  More Document Information
    •  How to Request Hard Copies
    •  Navigation
    •  Comments
    •  Internal Search Sites
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Welcome to the introductory section of the Everglades Litigation Index site. While the University of Miami School of Law Library has in the past made available a portion of this large index (or database), it is not presently accessible as it undergoes certain technical upgrades.  This introduction reviews the history and creation of the index along with detailed explanations of searching techniques.  We hope to make the database available again as soon as possible.

The index contains bibliographic information on documents produced during the discovery proceedings of Everglades related water quality litigation, including United States v. SFWMD (case number USDC 88-1886-CIV-HOEVELER), SWIM challenge lawsuits and other litigation in various fora over a ten year period. Together, these documents constitute one of the largest collections of materials gathered concerning the Everglades.  

The United States Department of the Interior, the Geological Survey, the South Florida Water Management District, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Everglades National Park, Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, several agricultural companies, and many other governmental and private entities party to the lawsuits produced thousands of documents, maps, reports, and scientific data in response to discovery devices in these legal proceedings. Bibliographic information from these documents was gathered and entered into an index, a portion of which is available here.

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The extant index contains information on one million pages of material that was microfilmed after being produced by parties in these lawsuits. Information from the documents was entered into several fields of the index. About 25% of the documents produced during the SWIM challenge litigation, however, are not included here. For a list of the SWIM productions not included in the index please click here.

Of the 250,000 records entered into the index about 25% is available here. Your search results will provide the information entered into the index and will provide the option to access a full text or on-line copy of the document, graphic, or data set if it is available on-line.     

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Search Information

Since this is a bibliographic index, you can not search the full text of all the documents covered by the index, but rather, you will be able to search whatever was entered into the fields which were established during the creation of the database (see below for description of the fields).  There is then a certain level of subjectivity that may be manifested,  especially when the fields involve descriptive information (e.g., subject matter description vs. date or authorship).  This possible subjectivity along with typographical errors are common problems in all bibliographic indices.


The following fields are available for searching: Issues, Document condition, Document type, Title keywords, and Author keywords (name, title, or organization) and Date. Their meanings and use are discussed below.

    1. Issues
    2. This field indicates whether a document or artifact contains information pertaining to certain issues pertinent to a list of 62 issues developed during the course of litigation. At this time your searches are restricted to one issue at a time.

      You need to select an Issue. If you don't select one, the default selection will be Algae, or whatever was last highlighted.


    3. Document condition
    4. The default condition for this field checks off all the possible document conditions. This means that all documents meeting your other search criteria will be returned regardless of the condition of the document.

      You may deselect any of the Document condition choices to narrow your search results as long as you select at least one condition. If you deselect all conditions, no documents will be returned. Since all Document conditions are initially selected, you will need to deselect conditions as needed.


    5. Document type
    6. Unless you click the Document Type Specification Box, your search results will include all document types. If you click the Document Type Specification Box, you will be able to choose one document type at a time. For example, if you wanted your query to retrieve only Computer Printouts, you need to first click on the Specify Document Type check box and then select Computer Printouts from the drop down list box.

      If you select a Document type without checking the Specification Box, all Document types will be returned in your search results.


    7. Title keywords
    8. Beyond including the title of documents, this field also includes other descriptive summary information. You may then be able to further narrow your search by entering keywords which may be in title of the documents you are seeking or keywords which summarize or otherwise describe its contents.

      Title keywords, while not case sensitive, must be spelled exactly and appear in the same order as they are found in the document title if you include more than one keyword.  If you enter "proposed" your results will include all documents with "proposed" in the tile.  If you enter "proposed permit"  the query will be satisfied by documents having "proposed permit" somewhere in the title, in that order.


    9. Author name, title, or organization
    10. If you are interested in a particular author you may tailor your search to include the individual's name, title, or the organization they worked for. You can search for one of those factors at a time.

      Author keyword searches are limited to one option at a time, i.e., you can only search for author name, title, organization at a time.


    11. Date
    12. You can restrict your searches to fall within a particular date range.   The date format is mm/dd/yyyy.

      Start Date
      Type in start date of the range in mm/dd/yyyy format.

      End Date
      Type in end date of the range in mm/dd/yyyy format.


      You must enter values in all date fields (e.g., 01/01/1990).  If you want documents between 1980 and 1990 enter:

      Start Date:  00/00/1980

      End Date:   12/31/1990

      Typing 00/00/1980 is the same as entering 01/01/1980.  You may also type in 00/00/1991 instead of 01/01/1991 because this date search criteria would satisfy a date range between 1980 and 1990 inclusive

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Restricting Search Results

Some query results will return hundreds or thousands of search results. While you cannot restrict the number of total responses, you may restrict the number of responses displayed per page. The default response set displayed per page is 10. You may change this by selecting other options from the drop down box.

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Steps to Search the Everglades Litigation Index

You are now ready to search the portion of the index that is available:

    1. Select the options, choices, keywords, and dates which you want as part of your search criteria;
    2. If you need to change the selections, press the Reset button and select or type the criteria;
    3. Press the Search button for your query to be processed;
    4. It may take a few minutes for your query to be processed.


Database will be available after upgrades are completed


Search the Everglades Litigation Index

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The results are returned in a table with these fields:

    1. Number
    2. This number indicates the order of a document from the list of results satisfying your search criteria. If you want to see more information on the document click on this number and additional information will appear on your screen. See next section (Requesting more information on a document).

    3. Document Number
    4. This is an alphanumeric identifier of the microfilm reel and frame. The alphabetic portion identifies the producing party or location where the document was produced. The numbers next to it identify the reel number and the next set of numbers give frame ranges. If you want a hard copy of the document you will need to provide Document Number information.

    5. Title
    6. This is the same field discussed in the previous section.

    7. Date
    8. Document date is in mm/dd/yyyy format. In many cases one, more, or all of these fields may be filled with "0" if the date information is not complete or partially available.  If all the date fields have "0" values, this means that the document date is not known.

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Requesting more information on a document

While the substantive information provided from the query result is limited to the document's Title and Date, you may obtain additional information on a document by clicking on the highlighted number on the first column of the document's row (Number). Clicking here will provide more information on a document:

    1. Title
    2. The document's Title will be on the first line of the detailed information listed on this page.

    3. Author(s) Name(s)
    4. Document's author(s). The order of the document's author(s) is last name, first initial. This is a repeating field.

    5. Author Title
    6. Document author's organizational title.

    7. Author Organization
    8. This identifies the author's organizational affiliation.

    9. Document#
    10. This unique identifying number provides microfilm reel and frame information. You will need to provide this number if you request copies of the document.

    11. Date
    12. Date information is in mm/dd/yyyy format. "0" date values means that the information is not known.

    13. Condition
    14. Condition(s) of the document.  This is a repeating field.

    15. Type
    16. Type(s) of document. This is a repeating field.

    17. Issues
    18. Lists any issues from a group of 62 determined to be relevant during the litigation.  More than one issue may be listed for document.  This is a repeating field.

    19. Bates
    20. Lists any bates numbers associated with the document.  This is a repeating field.

    21. Name Mentioned
    22. Lists names of individuals mentioned in the document.  This is a repeating field.

    23. Title
    24. Title of individual mentioned in document.

    25. Organization
    26. The name of the organization that the individual mentioned in document is associated with.

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    How to request hard copies

    If you would like a paper hard copy of a document, please provide the Document # (e.g., SFA 100 00001 - 00002). Copies cost US $ 0.20 per page.  On-line documents were scanned or otherwise converted from original papers or ASCII files.  Hard copies of the original documents will therefore be an exact replica of the document.  If ASCII or other electronic versions of the files are available the cost may be much lower.

Email your requests to Helen Wohl at   

Mail your requests to:

    Everglades Collection Curator
    University of Miami School of Law Library
    Archives and Special Collections
    1311 Miller Drive
    Coral Gables, Florida 33124

Phone your requests: (305) 284-2823

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    We hope this information will assist you in locating the documents you are searching for. If you have any questions or comments please do not hesitate to contact the collection curator.  Please feel free to provide additional feedback and sign our Guestbook.

    Thank you for visiting the Everglades Litigation Collection on the web and for your interest in the Florida Everglades. 


University of Miami School of Law Library
Archives and Special Collections
1311 Miller Drive
Law Library, Room 489
Coral Gables, Florida 33146
Telephone: 284-2823
Copyright, 2005 University of Miami. All Rights Reserved.


Revised:  06/29/08