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Searching Pennsylvania Case Law

Trying to search Pennsylvania case law while you are working remotely? Jenkins has several resources that may be helpful.

For Pennsylvania appellate court cases, take a look at Fastcase.  Generally, Fastcase has case law from all 50 states going back at least as far as 1950.  Many states, including Pennsylvania, begin coverage even earlier. Fastcase provides Pennsylvania Supreme Court cases from 1845 forward, Pennsylvania Superior Court cases from 1931 forward, and Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court cases from 1970 forward (this Court was established in 1968).  It allows term searching and also offers Authority Check to help find other cases citing to your case.

What about common pleas decisions? Finding trial court decisions has always been a little complicated. In Pennsylvania, only select common pleas court opinions are published and there is no one place to search for all county decisions. However, Jenkins has three member database options for our members to search for Pennsylvania county decisions.

The Jenkins Pennsylvania County Cases database contains over 81,000 trial court opinions from across the Commonwealth dating back to 1970. The database is full text searchable and the documents are indexed to allow for multiple field searching, including County, Opinion Year, Opinion Date, and Case Name. We collect opinions from all 67 counties.

LLMC Digital includes the Pennsylvania Side Reports (the commonly referred to term for county reporters in Pennsylvania). This database contains over 50 different Pennsylvania county legal reporters, from the Adams County Legal Journal to the York Legal Record. A full text search can be run across all county reporters, within all volumes of a specific county title, or within an individual volume. Coverage varies by county, and coverage for select counties now includes recent years.

HeinOnline's State Reports: Pennsylvania provides access to select Pennsylvania county reporters. Coverage includes District and County Reports 1st series as well as part of the 2nd series. Coverage for many county reporters is through the early 1960s.

In addition to all of the sources mentioned above, Lexis and Westlaw have also made their databases available to our users remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Both of these databases give the researcher the ability to search Pennnsylvania cases - appellate and trial court decisions - as well as to Shepardize (Lexis) and KeyCite (Westlaw).

For additional Pennsylvania appellate case law sources see our research guide, Pennsylvania Cases - Appellate Level and for common pleas decisions, see our research guide Pennsylvania Cases - Trial Level.

Need additional help? During the current pandemic, our reference staff remains ready to help with your research requests. You can reach us by emailing research@jenkinslaw.org or by leaving a voicemail at 215-574-1505. We will be monitoring these during our current hours, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Note: Pennsylvania County Cases and LLMC Digital are membership databases available to all Jenkins members. HeinOnline is available to most Jenkins members. Fastcase is available to those in firms with less than 50 attorneys.

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