Research guides

Self-Help Research - Statutes, Court Rules, and More


Generally, caselaw refers to case opinions written by a judge or judges. Not all cases have written opinions, and not all written opinions are considered "published" or precedential. Some courts now link to select opinions on their websites. Many opinions can be found using subscription legal databases like Lexis, Westlaw, and Bloomberg Law. For some cases, especially trial (county) level cases, the only way to obtain the opinion is to contact the court.

Google Scholar does offer a case searching option. Please note that Google Scholar does not search all available case opinions. Also, an opinion found using Google Scholar should be checked in a subscription legal database to make sure it is still "good" law.

For more information about caselaw, including published versus unpublished decisions, links to opinions available on courts' websites, and more comprehensive ways to access caselaw like searching the subscription legal databases Lexis, Westlaw, and Bloomberg Law, see the Pennsylvania Cases - Appellate Level, Pennsylvania Cases - Trial Level, and Federal Caselaw guides.