| Online Subscription Databases | Free Websites | Print & Microform | Research Guides |
Gale U.S. Supreme Court Records and Briefs (1832-1978) - This is the most comprehensive online resource available for U.S. Supreme Court records and briefs.
Lexis Advance - Under all Content Type which is located under the Search Box, you can specifically search for only briefs, pleadings, and motions. You can also narrow your search by picking the jurisdiction and topic. These are all included under the Search Box. If there is a specific brief you want from a case, search for the case. On the left hand side, there should be a link to all of the briefs. This usually only applies to the most current cases.
Westlaw - From the Westlaw homepage, Click on Briefs under the All Content section. The briefs are broken into 3 sections: Federal, State, and Topical.
Bloomberg Law - Court Briefs can be found by going Search & Browse -> All Legal Content -> U.S. Courts -> Court Briefs. Collection features briefs filed in the United States Supreme Court from 1942 to current.
LLMC Digital - A searchable collection of archival legal literature, case reports, statutes and documents. LLMC Digital provides online records and briefs for selected California and New York cases. Records and briefs for the New York Court of Appeals cover the time period 1863-1991. California case records and briefs are available for various dates, with some as early as the nineteenth century.
There are a few free online sources for court briefs but none of them are comprehensive.
It is difficult to find briefs before 1832 because the Supreme Court did not order records in cases to be printed until the January Term 1832 (i.e., 6 Peters). We recommend contacting the National Archives and Records Administration regarding its records and briefs holdings.
The Library does have an Index of Cases before 1832 in the book Landmark Briefs and Arguments of the Supreme Court of the United States: Constitutional Law - KF 101.9 L36. The cases listed are:
The library has available, in paper or microform, records and briefs for the following jurisdictions:
The paper collection of briefs is shelved on the north side of the sixth floor while the microform holdings are in the Micrographics Room on the fourth floor.
Bound records and briefs for the federal courts are arranged by term and docket numbers. Special indexes for the bound volumes of California records and briefs are located at the Reference Desk.
The currency of the microform records and briefs differs by jurisdiction and is dependent on the microform publisher. Users should consult with a reference librarian for assistance in locating the records and briefs for specific opinions.
A Union List of Appellate Court Records and Briefs: Federal and State, by Michael Whiteman & Peter Scott Campbell
Appellate court records and briefs are a useful resource for legal research, offering a wealth of background information on cases that may explain the reasoning behind judicial opinions. This book highlights the availability of both free and fee-based resources, and also includes information about libraries and archives that maintain briefs in print and microform. This book is divided into four sections: United States Supreme Court, United States Circuit Courts of Appeals, State Final Appellate Courts, and State Intermediate Appellate Courts.
U.S. Supreme Court - Where to Find Briefs
Landmark Briefs and Arguments of the Supreme Court of the United States - Index
American Assoc. of law Libraries - A Union List of Appellate Court Records and Briefs
Georgetown Law Library - Briefs, Oral Arguments & Other Court Documents Research Guide
Boston University School of Law - Strategies for Finding Briefs
Duke Law - Court Records and Briefs
LexisNexis - Zimmerman's Research Guide
Law Library of Congress - U.S. Supreme Court Records & Briefs
LLRX.com - The Skinny Briefs
Harvard Law School - Records, Briefs & Court Findings
Gallagher Law Library - Court Briefs & Oral Arguments: U.S. Supreme Court