Research guides

Pennsylvania Cases - Appellate Level

PA Appellate Cases

The sources in this guide provide access to Appellate level caselaw from the Supreme, Superior, and Commonwealth courts of Pennsylvania. Some decisions are not published and not received by electronic databases like Lexis and Westlaw. These opinions must be obtained from the court.

For information about trial level caselaw, see the Pennsylvania Cases - Trial Level guide.

PA Supreme Court

The Pennsylvania State Reports (Pa.) is the official reporter for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. This publication began in 1845 and continues today. Prior to 1845, decisions from the Supreme Court were reported in the nominative reports (Dallas Reports, Binney Reports, etc.) and the Miscellaneous State Reports (Grant Reports, Walker Reports, etc.). Beginning with vol. 108, the opinions in the Pennsylvania State Reports are also reported in the Atlantic Reporter series (A., A.2d, A.3d), the regional reporter published by West.

For more information about opinions from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, see Frank Y. Liu et al., Pennsylvania Legal Research Handbook ch. 7 (2008).

Research Tip

For more information about Pennsylvania's early nominative reports, see Joel Fishman, The Reports of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, 87 Law. Lib. J. 643 (1995).

PA Superior Court

From 1895 to 1997, opinions from the Pennsylvania Superior Court were published in the Pennsylvania Superior Court Reports (Pa. Super.). This publication was discontinued in 1997 and all current opinions are published in the Atlantic Reporter series (A., A.2d, A.3d), the regional reporter published by West. Additionally, most cases found in the Pennsylvania Superior Court Reports have parallel citations to the Atlantic Reporter series.

Not all opinions from the Superior Court are published. Both Lexis and Westlaw, available in the library, receive unpublished opinions from the courts, and the number and selection of unpublished cases they receive may differ. Some opinions must be obtained directly from the court.

For more information about opinions from the Pennsylvania Superior Court, see Frank Y. Liu et al., Pennsylvania Legal Research Handbook ch. 7 (2008).

PA Commonwealth Court

From 1970 to 1995, opinions from the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court were published in the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Reports (Pa. Commw.). This publication was discontinued in 1995 and all current opinions are published in the Atlantic Reporter series (A., A.2d, A.3d), the regional reporter published by West. Additionally, most cases found in the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Reports have parallel citations to the Atlantic Reporter series.

Not all opinions from the Commonwealth Court are published. Both Lexis and Westlaw, available in the library, receive unpublished opinions from the courts, and the number and selection of unpublished cases they receive may differ. Some opinions must be obtained directly from the court.

For more information about opinions from the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court, see Frank Y. Liu et al., Pennsylvania Legal Research Handbook ch. 7 (2008).

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