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Federal Case Materials Checklist: 4. Digests and Finding References to Federal Cases

This guide is intended to familiarize the user with the U.S. court structure, publication of federal decisions, and finding the text of federal cases. Primary sources are listed throughout this document, as well as some important Internet sites.

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Digests

Digests provide access to cases by subject and by case name. For guidance on using digests, please see the Digest section of the UCLA School of Law Legal Research and Writing Guide. All West digests are part of the National Reporter System.

  1. SUPREME COURT: Two Supreme Court digests which cover all Supreme Court cases (Supreme Court cases are also in the federal digests).

    • West’s United States Supreme Court Digest, 1882 - 2011 (Print subscription discontinued) 
      (KF 101.1 U55).

    • United States Supreme Court Digest, Lawyer’s Ed., 1789 - 2008 
      (KF 101.1 D55

  2. FEDERAL COURTS: To locate a citation to a federal case, consult Federal or Supreme Court Digests, located on Level 1, in the Main and East Reading Rooms.  Supreme Court reporters and federal case reporters are also located on Level 1, in the Main and East Reading Rooms.

Finding References to Federal Cases

Lexis Advance's Shepard’s and WestlawNext’s KeyCite citators provide citations to cases, attorney general opinions, legal periodical articles and some legal texts which have referred to a particular case. For guidance on using citators, please see the Validating Your Research section of the UCLA School of Law Legal Research and Writing Guide.

  1. Lexis Advance's Shepard’s (The Law Library no longer subscribes to the print version of Shepard's Citations.)
     
    Library: The Web version is available on public computers 1 & 2 in the Reference Reading Room. For public user login, see detailed instructions next to these computers.
    Lexis Advance: Click on the link for Shepard's under the search box at the top of the home page.
     
  2. WestlawNext’s KeyCite also provides citations to selected secondary sources, such as American Law Reports annotations.