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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.

United States District Courts

Reporters (All Unofficial):

  1. Federal Cases, West Publishing Co. (F. Cas.)

    Reported all available lower federal court decisions up to 1882. Provides access through names of parties.

    Library: KF 105 F4 (Main Reading Room)
  2. Federal Supplement, West Publishing Co. (F. Supp. (1932 – 1998), F.Supp.2d (1998 – present))

    Reports selected federal district court cases. Advance sheets and bound volumes have same pagination. Includes the standard features of West’s reporting services.

    Library: KF 120 F4 (Main Reading Room)
    Lag time:         6 - 8 weeks

Online Sources of District Courts Cases


Lexis Advance: Cases > U.S. Federal > desired jurisidiction (1789 - ) and individual files for the circuits
Westlaw: U.S. District Court Cases database (1945 - ); DCT-OLD (1789 - 1944); DCTU (unreported cases, 1945 - )