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.
- Official website of the United States Supreme Court - Provides opinions, orders, argument transcripts, docket/calendar, and court rules.
- Cornell Legal Information Institute Supreme Court Collection - Opinions from May 1990 forward. Selected historic decisions by topic. Information on pending cases.
- Liibulletin - A free current awareness service via e-mail distributing the syllabi of U.S. Supreme Court decisions within hours after their release. Also available is the service, Supreme Court Previews, which explores cases currently before the US 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.
- Interviews of SCOTUS judges - Video interviews of 8 Supreme Court Judges conducted from 2006-2007 by Bryan Garner.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
(Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island)
- www.ca1.uscourts.gov/ - Decisions from January 2000-present.
(New York, Vermont, Connecticut)
(Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware)
- www.ca3.uscourts.gov/ - Includes oral arguments for the past 30 days and decisions
- Villanova Digital Commons - The official backup archive of Third Circuit opinions, available from May 1994-present
(Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia)
- www.ca4.uscourts.gov/ - Opinions from January 1996-present
(Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi)
- www.ca5.uscourts.gov/ - Published and unpublished opinions released from 1992 to the present. Searchable. Includes biographies and jury instructions
(Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee)
- www.ca6.uscourts.gov/ - Published opinions issued since July 1, 1999 and unpublished opinions issued since October 1, 2004.
(Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin)
- www.ca7.uscourts.gov/ - Select Case Information for opinions and briefs. Search by docket number for decisions decided 1992 forward. Search docket sheets by docket number or case name. Includes a link for filing tips, forms, and clerk's office handouts, federal and local rules, proposed rule changes, Practitioner's Handbook, local rules, Handbook for Criminal Appeals in the Seventh Circuit, standards for professional conduct, Operating Procedures, Pattern Civil and Criminal Jury Instructions, and Annual Reports.
(North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas)
- www.ca8.uscourts.gov/ - Decisions from 1995 to the present
(Washington. Oregon, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Arizona, Alaska, Hawaii)
- www.ca9.uscourts.gov/ - Decisions from 1995 to the present
(Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, Wyoming)
- www.ca10.uscourts.gov/ - Decisions from 1995 to the present
(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
- www.cadc.uscourts.gov/ - Decisions from September 1997 to the present
- www.fedcirc.gov - Decisions from October 2004 to the present
Research tip: If you cannot find the case at the district site, check the following compilations as they may link to alternate sources.
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.
- Federal court locator - Links to district and bankruptcy courts
- The Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals - Decisions from 2000 to the present.
- United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces - Decisions from 1997 term to the present
- United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims - Court rules, forms, and court decisions and opinions.
- United States Court of Federal Claims (formerly the U.S. Claims Court) - Links to decisions and orders 1997 forward.
- United States Court of International Trade - Rules, forms, and slip opinions.
- United States Tax Court - Rules, fees, forms, and opinions.
- 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.
- U.S. Sentencing Commission - Text of U.S. Sentencing Commission Guidelines, Manuals and Amendments.
- Court Rules, Forms and Dockets (LLRX) - An extensive collection of federal rules, federal local rules, state rules and state local rules available on the web.
- Federal Rules of Evidence (FRE) - From Cornell Legal Information Institute.
- Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure (FRCRMP) - From Cornell Legal Information Institute.
- 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.
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.
Compiled by Jean M. Wenger, Deputy Law Librarian
Revised August 2019 by David Sanborne