Federal Judicial Resources

A collection of resources covering the United States Supreme Court, the United States Courts of Appeals, District Courts, and other specialized federal courts. For jury instructions see our guide: Legal Research - Jury Instructions.

I. United States Supreme Court

II. Courts of Appeals

III. District Courts

IV. Specialized Courts

V. Court Rules, Bibliographies, Guidelines, and Statistics

 

I. United States Supreme Court

  • Findlaw Supreme Court- Features cases 1760-present and opinion summaries for 2000-present. Search by U.S. Reports citation, party name, or full-text search. Additionally, browse by U.S. Reports volume number or year. Also includes briefs when available, beginning with the October 1999 term.
  • OpenJurist - Opinions from U.S. Supreme Court beginning in 1790. Browse by reporter and citation or search by title or keyword.
  • Oyez - Multimedia files of leading constitutional law cases of the U.S. Supreme Court. From the IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law.
  • Web Guide to U.S. Supreme Court Research - Extensive guide for finding U.S. Supreme Court opinions, oral arguments, docket information, news and current awareness, history, and research guides available on the web.
  • Scotusblog - A news blog about the United States Supreme Court. Includes links to arguments, decisions, and briefs as well as regular symposia on current Constitutional law issues.

 

II. Courts of Appeals

Compilations

Court decisions

  • OpenJurist - Opinions from federal courts beginning in 1880 and published in the Federal Reporter, First, Second, and Third Series. Browse by reporter and citation or search by title or keyword.

Court websites

 

Individual Circuits

Circuit courts of appeals web sites not only offer opinions but generally have court rules and procedures, forms, calendars and dockets, and information on judges.

First Circuit

(Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island)

Second Circuit

(New York, Vermont, Connecticut)

Third Circuit

(Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware)

Fourth Circuit

(Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia)

Fifth Circuit

(Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi)

  • www.ca5.uscourts.gov/  - Published and unpublished opinions released from 1992 to the present. Searchable. Includes biographies and jury instructions

Sixth Circuit

(Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee)

  • www.ca6.uscourts.gov/ - Published opinions issued since July 1, 1999 and unpublished opinions issued since October 1, 2004.

Seventh Circuit

(Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin)

Eighth Circuit

(North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas)

Ninth Circuit

(Washington. Oregon, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Arizona, Alaska, Hawaii)

Tenth Circuit

(Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, Wyoming)

Eleventh Circuit

(Alabama, Florida, Georgia)

  • www.ca11.uscourts.gov/ - Published opinions issued from January 1995-present and unpublished opinions issued from April 18, 2005-present.

District of Columbia Circuit

Federal Circuit

 

III. District Courts

Compilations

Research tip: If you cannot find the case at the district site, check the following compilations as they may link to alternate sources.

 

Illinois Courts

 

Other District Court Information

  • Public Access to Electronic Court Records (PACER) - an electronic public access service that allows users to obtain case and docket information online from federal appellate, district, and bankruptcy courts, as well as a case locator.

 

IV. Specialized Courts

 

V. Court Rules, Biographies, Guidelines, and Statistics
 

  • Federal Judicial Center - Select "Publications" link for full-text Manual for Complex Litigation, and Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence. Many other publications available online.
  • Federal Judges Biographical Database - The Federal Judges Biographical Database contains the service record and biographical information for all judges who have served on the U.S. District Courts, U.S. Circuit Courts, U.S. Courts of Appeals, and the Supreme Court since 1789. Provided by the Federal Judicial Center.
  • Judicial Education in other Languages - Descriptions of the U.S. legal system and court system in the following languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, Indonesian, Italian, Malaysian, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Thai, Turkish, and Vietnamese. From the Federal Judicial Center.
  • The Federal Court System in the U.S. - A booklet from the Administrative Office of the United States Courts that describes the United States federal judicial system, its organization and administration, and its relationship to the legislative and executive branches of the government. Available in English, French, Italian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish and Turkish editions.
  • Federal judiciary homepage - Links include: Judicial Business of the United States Courts, Director's Annual Report, Judicial Conference Proceedings, Bankruptcy Basics (For Cases Filed on or after October 17, and before October 17, 2005), Understanding the Federal Courts, the Long Range Plan for the Federal Courts, Final Report to Congress by the Judicial Conference of the United States on the Civil Justice Reform Act of 1990.

 

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The web sites listed in this guide are for information only and are not endorsed or supported by the Cook County Law Library. Please independently verify the accuracy and currency of all information. Consult an attorney for legal advice.

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Compiled by Jean M. Wenger, Deputy Law Librarian

Revised August 2017 by David Sanborne