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LL.M. Research Guide

Finding Cases By Citation

515 U.S. 687; 115 S.Ct. 2407; 132 L.Ed.2d 597

Many cases can be found in more than one reporter. U.S. Supreme Court cases are published in 3 different reporters: 1 official and 2 unofficial reporters. Most attorneys and researchers use the unofficial reporters because they are more current than the official reporter. The citations above are called parallel cites with the official cite listed first; you can use any of the 3 to find your case in Westlaw.

Finding Cases By Party Name

Babbitt v. Sweet Home Chapter of Communities for a Great Oregon

Select Cases from the main Westlaw page.  Select U.S. Supreme Court.  Select Advanced next to the search box at the top of the page.  In the Document Fields box, type the party name, "sweet home".  Note:  enclose phrases in quotation marks.

The more information you know about the case you want to find, the easier it will be to find that case. Many cases may have the same or similar names, or the same case may have been adjudicated in more than one court. If you know the jurisdiction and approximate year of the decision, that will help limit your results.

Finding Cases By Searching

spotted owl

Select Cases from the main Westlaw page.  Select All Federal Cases, then type the query spotted owl in the top search box. 

 

Your results list is ordered with the most relevant cases at the top based on a computer algorithm applied to your search terms. Notice that you will see a short description of the case in the gray box as well as some text from the opinion which includes your search terms highlighted in yellow.

Because this returned so many cases, you can narrow your search by particular jurisdictions and dates, using left frame.  Under Jurisdictions in the left frame, click on the plus sign next to Federal.  Check the box next to Supreme Court.  This will limit your results to the six Supreme Court cases which contained the terms spotted owl.

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