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Find Court Cases: Introduction

U.S. Courts

The United States has a hierarchical court system.  Cases are heard in a trial court and then may move up to an intermediate appellate level, and then a final appellate court.

Trial court appeals are heard by appellate courts, such as the U.S. Court of Appeals, or a state Court of Appeals.

The final appellate court is the U.S. Supreme Court or a state Supreme Court.


Supreme Court Cases

The Chicago-Kent College of Law provides a multimedia archive, including audio records, of the United States Supreme Court, called  the Oyez Project.  The website allows you to search by date, justice, and topic.

Case Availability

Please remember that case availability is limited, particularly in the lower trial courts.  Not all cases are published in reporters and while many courts do have websites, they often only provide access to the most recent cases. 

Legal Series at Reinsch Library

The library subscribes to three large legal series:

South Eastern Reporter. Second Series  REF KF135 .S6

    This case law reporter covers opinions and decisions issued by the state courts of Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.

Virginia and West Virginia Digest : covering cases from state and Federal courts.   REF KFV2457 .V5
            This digest provides brief summaries of a legal rule or a significant fact for all state and federal court decisions since 1681.  Cases are organzied by topic.
 Many court decisions and opinions are available online or in Library Databases such as Lexis/Nexis. 

Virginia Links

Subject Guide

Reference Team
(703) 973-1649
Website / Blog Page

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