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Federal Courts


This research guide is designed to assist students, scholars, and practitioners in locating the decisions and related materials of the United States federal judicial system.  It describes resources for accessing opinions, dockets, court filings, and court rules.  The guide focuses on resources available in the Ross-Blakley Law Library and free electronic sources.

General Resources

Understanding the Federal Courts (Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts)
This publication from the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts provides an introduction to the federal judicial system. It covers topics including court system organization, administration, and budget, as well as the judiciary’s relationship to the other two branches of government.

U.S. Courts (Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts)
The website is a clearinghouse of information for the federal court system. It provides access to court rules and forms, reports and statistics related to the courts and their work, and information on judgeships and court organization.

U.S. Courts: Court Locator
This tool on provides links to the websites of all federal courts in the United States. Courts can be browsed by court type or by geographic location.

Federal Judicial Center
The Federal Judicial Center is the research and education agency of the judicial branch of the U.S. government. The Center’s website provides access to reports and studies on federal judiciary activities, information on the history of the federal courts, and educational materials on the courts.