How do I look up precedent set by the supreme court? case law? How could I find cases similar to mine where?

precedent has aready been set? Is there a web site? If so, what is it? Archive, supreme court archives, how do I find them? Is there a way to look up a particular subject in the supreme court archives? How? I know that in the case #’s that SW stands for South Western, NW North Wetern, and so on, could someone please explain it to me, how to look up case law, please.

Usually the good internet case search tools cost a lot of money. That would be Westlaw and Lexis Nexis. You could try findlaw.com or loislaw.com

Post Author: mark

2 thoughts on “How do I look up precedent set by the supreme court? case law? How could I find cases similar to mine where?

    Lisa

    (February 1, 2010 - 4:33 am)

    Usually the good internet case search tools cost a lot of money. That would be Westlaw and Lexis Nexis. You could try findlaw.com or loislaw.com
    References :

    wyomingrider

    (February 1, 2010 - 5:21 am)

    What you need is a quick course in legal research.

    But a good place to start would be American Jurisprudence (AmJur). Law libraries will usually have this set of volumes.

    You would want to look up the subject matter of your case. Then there will be annotations of decided cases which deal with that subject. You can then look up the cites in the reporters (SW, NW, etc.) And of course the best precedent would be a Supreme Court case.

    The localised reporters (NW. SW. Pacific, etc.) are decisions of the state high courts. These decisions carry less weight than a Federal District Court (reported in the Federal Reporter) or a Supreme Court decision (S.Ct.) — and these lower courts may vary some from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

    Many law libraries will also have available online resources such as Westlaw, where you can look up cites electronically much faster. Ask the librarian to explain the "Key Cite" system to you — this helps you to know how much any given case can help (or hinder) your argument.
    References :

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