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Federal Case Law

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.

Finding the Text of Federal Cases

Supreme Court decisions are published in three reporter sets: United States Reports (official), West’s Supreme Court Reporter, and LexisNexis’s United States Supreme Court Reports, Lawyer’s Edition.  There are no official reporter sets for the U.S. Courts of Appeals or for the U.S. District Courts. West’s Federal Reporter and Federal Supplement are the recognized sets for lower court cases.