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Federal Courts

Online Resources

FREE RESOURCES

Justia Supreme Court Center
The Justia Supreme Court Center has Court opinions from 1759 to the present available; cases are organized by year.

Legal Information Institute
The Legal Information Institute at Cornell Law School allows searching of Court opinions from 1990 to the present, with selected historical opinions (1789-1990) available.  Opinions can also be browsed by topic, author, and party name.

Oyez Project  
The Oyez Project at the Chicago-Kent College of Law has Court opinions from 1793 to the present available.

SCOTUSblog
The SCOTUSblog has Court opinions from 2007 to the present available.

Google Scholar
Google Scholar has the full-text of U.S. Supreme Court cases from 1790 to the present. The advanced search option will allow you to limit your search to only Supreme Court cases.

SUBSCRIPTION RESOURCES

Westlaw - U.S. Supreme Court Cases (Westlaw password required)
The Westlaw U.S. Supreme Court Cases database allows searching of Court opinions from 1790 to the present.

Lexis - U.S. Supreme Court Cases, Lawyer's Edition (Lexis password required)  
The Lexis U.S. Supreme Court Cases, Lawyer’s Edition database allows searching of Court opinions from 1790 to the present.

Bloomberg Law - Supreme Court (Bloomberg Law password required)
Bloomberg Law allows searching of Supreme Court opinions from 1791 to the present.  From the “Search & Browse” tab navigate to the “Court Opinions” search feature and choose “U.S. Supreme Court” from the “Federal Court Opinions” menu.

HeinOnline - U.S. Supreme Court Library (available on campus or remotely with ASURITE)
HeinOnline has Supreme Court opinions from 1754 to the present available through its U.S. Supreme Court Library.  Opinions can be searched or browsed.

FREE RESOURCES

United States Court Opinions (fdsys.gov)
The United States Courts Opinions (USCOURTS) collection is a project between the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) and the Administrative Office of the United States Courts (AOUSC) to provide public access to opinions from selected United States appellate, district, and bankruptcy courts. Coverage is from 2004 to present, with incomplete coverage from select jurisdictions beginning earlier. Opinions can be downloaded as PDF documents.

Federal Courts Web Archive
The Federal Courts Web Archive, on the website of the Library of Congress, provides retrospective archival coverage of federal judiciary websites. Websites included in the archives include the U.S. Supreme Court, federal appellate courts, trial courts, and other tribunals. Information available on the archives webpages includes slip opinions, transcripts, dockets, rules, calendars, judicial biographies, and statistics.

Justia U.S. Federal Courts Case Law
Justia provides access to case law from the Supreme Court, the U.S. Courts of Appeals, U.S. District Courts, and special federal courts. Coverage varies by jurisdiction.

Google Scholar Federal Case Law Search
Google Scholar has Supreme Court cases from 1791-present and federal trial, appellate, tax, and bankruptcy cases since 1923.

PACER
PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) is an electronic public access service that allows users to obtain case and docket information from Federal Appellate, District, and Bankruptcy courts. Creating an account in PACER and viewing judicial opinions is free. Viewing other court documents costs $0.10/ a page, although users who incur less than $15 in charges per quarter are not billed.

SUBSCRIPTION RESOURCES

Westlaw (Westlaw password required)

  • Federal Cases – case opinions from the U.S. Courts of Appeals, Federal District Courts, Federal Bankruptcy Courts, U.S. Tax Court, U.S. Court of Federal Claims, U.S. Court of International Trade, U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, and Military Courts. Dates of coverage vary by jurisdiction.

Lexis (Lexis password required)

  • Federal Cases – case opinions from the U.S. Courts of Appeal, U.S. District Courts, and U.S. Bankruptcy Courts. Also includes case law from specialty courts: U.S. Court of Federal Claims, Claims Court, Court of Claims, Courts of Military Appeals and Military Review, Customs Court, U.S. Court of International Trade, U.S. Tax Court, Tax Court Memos, Tax Court Summaries, Board of Tax Appeals, Commerce Court, and U.S. Court of Veterans Appeals. Dates of coverage vary by jurisdiction.

Print Reporters

Below is information on print resources for accessing U.S. Supreme Court case law. The Ross-Blakley Law Library does not have all of these print reporters in its collection.

Supreme Court opinions are available in U.S. Law Week about a week after they are issued.  U.S. Law Week is a Bloomberg publication that reports on significant court cases, legislative developments, and regulatory actions.  It is available on Bloomberg Law (Bloomberg Law password required).

Supreme Court opinions are available in the two unofficial Supreme Court reporters, Supreme Court Reporter and United States Supreme Court Reports, Lawyer’s Edition. The Supreme Court Reporter, published by West, contains cases beginning with the 1882 term; it is available in print in the Core section of the Law Library and online through Westlaw (Westlaw password required).  The United States Supreme Court Reports, Lawyer’s Edition, published by LexisNexis, contains cases since 1754; it is available on Lexis (Lexis password required).

The official United States Reports preliminary prints of Supreme Court opinions are available two to three months after the decision is issued, with the bound edition published one to two years later. U.S. Reports contains cases since 1754 and is available in print in the Core section of the Law Library and through the HeinOnline Supreme Court Library (available on campus or remotely with ASURITE).

Below is information on print resources for accessing federal case law. The Ross-Blakley Law Library does not have all of these print reporters in its collection.

Federal Cases (F. Cas.)
Pre- National Reporter System. Covers 1789–1879
Arranged alphabetically by case name

Federal Rules Decisions (F.R.D.)
District court cases that construe federal rules of civil procedure (1939– ) and federal rules of criminal procedure (1946– ). Also included are articles about the federal judiciary. Self-indexed at ten year intervals.

Federal Rules Service (Fed. R. Serv.)
Federal court cases that construe the federal rules of civil procedure and the federal rules of appellate procedure. (1939– )

Federal Supplement (F. Supp., F. Supp. 2d)
Coverage is 1932 to current. Publishing decision made by authoring judge. Some district court cases not reported here may be found in subject reporters, looseleaf services, or online. Full West editorial enhancements.

Federal Reports (F., F.2d, F.3d)
Cases from the United States Courts of Appeals 1880 to current.
Cases are published according to court rules. Periodically a table of decisions without published opinions will appear. These “unpublished” opinions will frequently turn up in online services.

American Law Reports Federal (A.L.R. Fed)
A.L.R. Fed. 1969 to current; Pre-1969, federal cases included in A.L.R.– A.L.R.3rd.
Selected reports that include in depth annotations on the points of law presented.

Bankruptcy Reporter (B.R.) 1980– .

Federal Claims Reporter (Fed. Cl.) 1983– .

U.S. Tax Court Reports (T.C.) 1942– .