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The National Reporter System. Case Law Without a coherent, uniform means of accessing cases from all state and federal jurisdictions, finding cases discussing.

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Presentation on theme: "The National Reporter System. Case Law Without a coherent, uniform means of accessing cases from all state and federal jurisdictions, finding cases discussing."— Presentation transcript:

1 The National Reporter System

2 Case Law Without a coherent, uniform means of accessing cases from all state and federal jurisdictions, finding cases discussing similar points of law would be immensely difficult. The National Reporter System organizes both federal and state case law into a cohesive body of law that can be researched within and across jurisdictions.

3 Case Law Since 1879, West’s National Reporter System has compiled cases from state and federal courts and organized them into various reporter sets. Volumes in a set are numbered consecutively. A new series starting with volume 1 is begun when one series becomes too unwieldy, e.g., the volume following 999 F.Supp. is 1 F.Supp.2d.

4 Federal Case Law Federal district (trial) level courts are published in the Federal Supplement ®. Only a selection of district court cases is reported. Citation format: 75 F.Supp F.Supp.2d 881 These cases are on Westlaw in the DCT and DCT-OLD databases.

5 Federal Case Law U.S. district court cases can be appealed to the Federal Circuit court that hears appeals from that district. There are 13 U.S. circuit courts of appeal. The decisions of the circuit courts are published in the Federal Reporter ®. Citation format: 333 F.2d F.3d 300

6 The Thirteen Federal Judicial Circuits The Federal Reporter cases are on Westlaw in the CTA and CTA-OLD databases.

7 Federal Case Law Cases can be appealed from the circuit courts of appeals to the United States Supreme Court. Decisions of the United States Supreme Court are published in the Supreme Court Reporter ®. Citation format: 99 S.Ct These cases are on Westlaw in the SCT and SCT-OLD databases.

8 Federal Case Law There are also federal topical reporters that are part of West’s National Reporter System: Bankruptcy Reporter ® Federal Rules Decisions ® Military Justice Reporter ® Federal Claims Reporter ™

9 State Case Law Only state appellate-level opinions are reported in the National Reporter System. Trial-level decisions are not reported. Cases from all 50 states are published in one of seven regional reporters: Atlantic Reporter ®, Southern Reporter ®, South Eastern Reporter ®, South Western Reporter ®, North Eastern Reporter ®, North Western Reporter ®, and Pacific Reporter ®. There are approximately 30 state reporters, which are reprints of one state’s cases from a regional reporter.

10 The States Included in Each of the Seven Regional Reporters

11 State Case Law This is the first page from a volume in the Pacific Reporter. It lists the states that have cases published in the Pacific Reporter.

12 Federal and State Case Law on Westlaw All cases from all the federal reporters are in the ALLFEDS database. Each state has a Westlaw case law database. The identifiers are XX-CS, where XX is the state’s two-letter postal abbreviation. Examples: (NY-CS, FL-CS). All cases from each regional reporter are in separate databases, (NW, SW, SO, ATL, NE, PAC and SE). All cases from all state and regional reporters are in the ALLSTATES database. All cases from all state, regional, and federal reporters are in the ALLCASES database.

13 Updating Reporters Print slip opinions (without corrections or enhancements) of individual cases are sent by the courts to government depository libraries shortly after the cases are decided. A slip-copy version of the case generally appears on Westlaw within two to twenty four hours of receipt of the case by West.

14 This is a slip-copy opinion as decided and filed with the court. It is on Westlaw but has not yet been editorially enhanced by West attorney-editors.

15 Updating Reporters Attorneys have access to all but the most recent cases through the advance sheets (which update the hardbound reporters) and are issued every two weeks. After going through a thorough editorial process, a case generally appears in the appropriate reporter advance sheet within six to eight weeks of receipt of the case.

16 Question Which of the following statements is false? 1.The National Reporter System was created in the mid- 1950s to organize the greatly expanding number of court cases. 2.Most appellate court cases and some federal trial-level cases appear in at least one reporter set. 3.There are jurisdictional reporters and there are subject- matter reporters. 4.Cases from all 50 states are published in the seven regional reporters.

17 Question Which of the following statements is false? 1.The National Reporter System was created in the mid- 1950s to organize the greatly expanding number of court cases. 2.Most appellate court cases and some federal trial-level cases appear in at least one reporter set. 3.There are jurisdictional reporters and there are subject- matter reporters. 4.Cases from all 50 states are published in the seven regional reporters.


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