Answered By: Maria Power
Last Updated: Dec 10, 2018     Views: 154

There are a few places that are useful for locating complete copies of law cases. Some are from databases (HeinOnline and NexisUni), 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‚Äč

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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