Research guides

Federal Caselaw

Free Online Resources

Decisions from the U.S. Supreme Court are available for free online from a few different resources, include the Library of Congress (begins with 1754), the U.S. Supreme Court (begins with 1991), and the Legal Information Institute at Cornell Law School (begins with 1990).

Select decisions from the federal Circuit and District courts are available for free online from a few different resources, including PACER, govinfo, and the Legal Information Institute at Cornell Law School. Coverage varies. See below for more information.

US Supreme Court

U.S. Supreme Court Opinions Supreme Court of the United States
Begins with 1991 Term. See Opinions Relating to Orders for 2011 - present. See Bound Volumes for vol. 502 (1991 Term) - most recent published bound volume.

U.S. Reports Library of Congress
Begins with vol. 1 (1754).

Supreme Court Decisions Legal Information Institute, Cornell Law School
1990 - present. The Collection of Historic Decisions contains over 600 of the court's most important decisions.

Research Tip

Internet search engines, like Google Scholar and CourtListener.com, can also be used to find federal cases.

Circuit & District Courts

Federal Law: Judicial Opinions Legal Information Institute, Cornell University Law School
Provides links to the individual circuit courts as well as district, bankruptcy, and select specialty courts.

PACER.gov Administrative Office of the United States Courts
PACER provides access to federal case information nationwide. The PACER system offers quick, accurate information about current federal cases. Includes judicial opinions when available. Users need to register to search PACER. Nominal fees may apply. See the FAQs for more information.

United States Court Opinions govinfo
Project between the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) and the Administrative Office of the United States Courts (AOUSC) to provide public access to opinions from selected United States appellate, district, and bankruptcy courts. Coverage varies by jurisdiction, but most available April 2004 - present. Only opinions from select federal appellate, district, and bankruptcy courts available. Includes opinions from Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Research Tip

Some court websites may also include select unpublished decisions. Visit the courts' websites for more information.

Internet search engines, like Google Scholar and CourtListener.com, can also be used to find federal cases.