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Research Guides

Law: Court Opinions

This page offers the top recommended databases and indexes for legal research generally and for U.S. (federal) and Washington State law specifically.

About Court Opinions

The written decision from a judge (or panel of judges) is referred to as a case, decision, or opinion.

Generally cases only from appellate courts are available. Selected state trial court decisions and verdicts are reported in the news; they are not available in traditional print or online sources. The exception: about 15% of cases from the federal district courts (the trial level in the federal system) are available in Nexis Uni.

The more information you have about a case, the more successful your search will be.

Do you know:

  • names of the parties (Roe and Wade)
  • the court that decided the case (U.S. Supreme Court, Washington Court of Appeals)
  • date or date range (2008 or last ten years)

Contact the Gallagher Law Library Research Services librarians for help with identifying and locating court opinions.

U.S. Supreme Court Briefs at Gallagher Law Library


Sources for Court Opinions

Guides & Tutorials on Researching Court Opinions and Briefs