Answered By: Sarah Johnson
Last Updated: Feb 14, 2018     Views: 97

There are a few places that are useful for locating complete copies of law cases. Some are from databases (HeinOnline, LexisNexis, and WestlawNext Campus Research), and others are from free sites (FindLaw, Justia, etc.).

Here’s a blog post from In Custodia Legis (the blog from the Law Librarians of Congress) with more information for finding case law for free, titled: How to Locate Free Case Law on the Internet.

And here are options for using the resources listed above.

First, how to search in Concordia's databases.

HeinOnline
http://libguides.cu-portland.edu/hein

Here are the steps for locating a case. I’m using Brown vs Board of Education.


Nexis Uni
http://libguides.cu-portland.edu/nexisuni

Here are the steps for locating a case. (Still using Brown vs Board of Education.)

  • Click on Cases and choose Federal Cases or State Cases.
  • You can search by:
    • Citation: provides the most immediate access to a specific case
    • Parties: provides results for all cases that have those parties (i.e., Brown vs Board of Education is actually fairly broad because many people named “Brown” and many boards of education)
    • Topic: most broad method for searching
  • Click on the “Search” button after entering information for search.
  • Here’s a link to the full-text for Brown vs Board of Education
    http://cupdx.idm.oclc.org/login?url=https://advance.lexis.com/api/permalink/0b4500d3-9d87-408f-9933-0830d47f30dc/?context=1516831
  • And here are screenshots
    • For searching by Citation:
      Nexis Uni case law search by case citation screenshot

      Nexis Uni case law search by citation, results screenshot

       

    • For searching by Parties:

      Nexis Uni case law search by case parties, results screenshot


WestlawNext Campus Research
http://libguides.cu-portland.edu/westlawnext

Here are the steps for locating a case. (Still using Brown vs Board of Education.)

  • Click on the link labeled “Case Law”
  • Enter the search terms (such as Brown vs Board of Education)
  • Click on the search button
  • Here’s a screenshot of the search and results:
    screenshot illustrating instructions from bulleted list (WestlawNext Campus Research)

And here's some information for searching in FindLaw and Justia, which are free.

 

FindLaw
http://lp.findlaw.com/

  • Searching in the main search box (top right corner) should work.
  • Here’s a screenshot of a search and results (still using Brown vs Board of Education):
    screenshot illustrating instructions from bulleted list (FindLaw)

Justia
http://law.justia.com/

  • Searching in the main search box (top right corner) should work.
  • Here’s a screenshot of a search and results (still using Brown vs Board of Education):
    screenshot illustrating instructions from bulleted list (Justia)

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