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US Jurisprudence

Page history last edited by Cecilia Tellis 12 years, 1 month ago

When looking for cases in the United States you may consult these print sources: 


United States Reports [U.S.]

This edition is issued by the U.S. Supreme Court and the Superintendent of (U.S.) Documents, thus explaining the "U.S." citation and its place above all other parallel citations. As this edition is issued slowly, currently three years in arrears, other sources are often used. Available online through University of Ottawa’s subscription to HeinOnline.


United States Supreme Court Reports, Lawyers' Edition [L.Ed.] & [L.Ed.2d]

This reporter includes annotations on issues decided by the Supreme Court.  Note that in American legal parlance, Certiorari Granted or Certiorari Denied means that an appeal to the Supreme Court can or cannot be lodged. [FTX Law Reports SLR 4-55]


National Reporter System [F., F. Supp., N.E., P., etc]  

This is the most user-friendly way to find American case law. It has two collections of Federal case law and seven collections of Regional Reporters; that is state case law grouped geographically.  Cases can be traced with West's Key Number System and use of the Decennial digests. The reporter system is also available on Westlaw. [FTX Law Reports SLR 4 (41 - 54)]

American Law Reports [A.L.R.] 

This reporter is much more selective than the National Reporter System and provides annotations to specific cases. A.L.R. Annotations are memos on the pith, substance and specific legal issues raised by a case.  At the time of its release, an ALR case can settle a point of legal ambiguity or controversy.  Its annotations are not doctrinal works but marshal all relevant materials around and about a legal question so that the user can analyze it. [FTX Law Reports SLR 4-41]



 3.1 Online sources for U.S. jurisprudence

FREE Legal Information Institute (LII): Here you can find links to U.S. Supreme Court Opinions, other Federal court opinions, NY Court of Appeals Opinions as well as all other states' opinions.


$ Subscription-based Both WestlaweCarswell and LexisNexis Quicklaw offer a wide range of U.S. jurisprudence, including materials from all 50 states. Note that the default search for both databases is for Canadian content.

To search U.S. sources in LexisNexis Quicklaw, click on the “Source Directory” and browse or search for a source.


To search U.S. sources in WestlaweCarswell, click on “Directory” and search for a source using the textbox or browse the U.S. Premier or U.S. Primary databases listed under “International Subscriptions”.

$ Subscription-based HeinOnline: Use this database to access PDFs of  U.S. Supreme Court opinions from the beginning of the Court [click on the “U.S. Supreme Court Library”].


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