Case law refers to law found in decisions issued by courts. The level of authority of particular cases will vary depending on the type of court issuing the decision, the jurisdiction, and the type of case.
Tutorial: Understanding Jurisdiction
Federal Courts: There are three tiers of courts in the federal system.
Missouri Courts: There are three tiers of courts in the Missouri.
|Title of Publication||Jurisdiction||Type of Publication|
|United States Reports||U.S. Supreme Court||Official: United States Government Publication|
|United States Supreme Court Reports, Lawyers' Edition||U.S. Supreme Court||Commercial: Lexis|
|West's Supreme Court Reporter||U.S. Supreme Court||Commerical: West|
|Federal Reporter||Federal Courts of Appeal (the Circuit Courts)||Commerical: West|
|Federal Supplement||Federal District Courts: Decisions designated for publication by District Court judges||Commerical: West|
|Federal Appendix||Federal District Courts: Unpublished Cases||Commerical: West|
It is important to remember that most court decisions are never published in reporters or made available electronically. This is often the case with trial decisions and appellate court decisions that do not have precedential weight. Whether unpublished decisions can be cited depends on the jurisdiction.
Click here for a map of the National Reporter system.
|Title of Publication (All are Commerical)*||Jurisdiction|
|Atlantic Reporter||Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont|
|Southern Reporter||Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi|
|South Eastern Reporter||Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia|
|South Western Reporter||Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas|
|North Eastern Reporter||Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, New York and Ohio|
|North Western Reporter||Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin|
|Pacific Reporter||Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming|
|California Reporter||California Supreme Court and appellate courts|
|New York Supplement||New York Court of Appeals, Appellate Division of the State Supreme Court and additional state courts|
*Many states no longer publish an official reporter. For a list of states that still have an official reporter consult table T1.3 in the Bluebook.