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The Legal Beagle’s favorite book and that of dog lovers everywhere is Every Dog’s Legal Guide: A Must Have Book for Your Owner by Mary Randolph (KF390.5 .D6 R36 2005). His favorite movie is about the crime fighting pooch, Underdog! His current hero is Uno, the beagle who won Best in Show at the...



Legal Beagle's Blog

Appellate Briefs, Anyone?

Posted by Library Blog on 10/01/2010 at 12:00 AM

With the impending visit by the First Circuit Court of Appeals to the School of Law on October 6, you have received (via email) the appellate briefs filed in the cases scheduled for oral argument on that day. Did you wonder how you could find those and other briefs? Two excellent resources are LexisNexis and Westlaw. Their databases contain numerous, but not all, briefs from the U.S. Supreme Court, federal, and state appellate courts. They provide an option to locate briefs filed in cases by practice area or by topic. The path on LexisNexis is Legal>Court Records, Briefs and Filings. The path on Westlaw is Directory>U.S. Federal Materials>Briefs. Where applicable, you might see links to appellate briefs filed in a case you located on LexisNexis or Westlaw.

More and more appellate briefs are freely available from the web. These include those from the U.S. Supreme Court website. Amicus curiae briefs or those filed in high-profile cases are often available from the filing entity (e.g. American Civil Liberties Union, Nature Conservancy, U.S. Department of Justice) or topical blog.

The Law Library also has access to Pacer, a national service for access to case and docket information from federal appellate, district and bankruptcy courts maintained by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.

If you have any questions about locating appellate briefs, do not hesitate to "Ask a Librarian."