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.
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
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
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.
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.
- Document condition
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.
- Document type
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.
- Title keywords
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.
- Author name, title, or organization
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.
You can restrict your searches to fall within a particular date range.
The date format is mm/dd/yyyy.
Type in start date of the range in mm/dd/yyyy format.
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
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.
Steps to Search the Everglades Litigation Index
You are now ready to search the portion of the index that is available:
- Select the options, choices, keywords, and dates which you want as part of your search
- If you need to change the selections, press the Reset button and select or type
- Press the Search button for your query to be processed;
- 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
The results are returned in a table with these fields:
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).
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.
This is the same field discussed in the previous section.
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.
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:
The document's Title will be on the first line of the detailed information
listed on this page.
- Author(s) Name(s)
Document's author(s). The order of the document's
author(s) is last name,
first initial. This is a repeating field.
- Author Title
Document author's organizational title.
- Author Organization
This identifies the author's organizational affiliation.
This unique identifying number provides microfilm reel and frame
information. You will need to provide this number if you request copies of the document.
Date information is in mm/dd/yyyy format. "0" date values means
that the information is not known.
Condition(s) of the document. This is a repeating field.
Type(s) of document. This is a repeating field.
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
Lists any bates numbers associated with the document. This is a
- Name Mentioned
Lists names of individuals mentioned in the document. This is a
Title of individual mentioned in document.
The name of the organization that the individual mentioned in document is
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:
Phone your requests: (305) 284-2823
To return to the previous window simply press the Back button on your
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.