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Case Law and Citators: State Courts

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State Court Case Reporters

There are several important points with State Court reporting of case opinions.  First, trial court decisions are generally not published.  Secondly, like with the federal court system, not all appellate court decisions are published either.  Finally, not all jurisdictions have an official reporter as most rely on the unofficial (West) reporters for case opinions.  

As mentioned above, West is the primary publisher for unofficial state court case opinions.  These opinions can be found in the Regional Reporters.  West created the National Reporter System in the 1880s by grouping adjacent states together for compiling of case opinions from the state's highest court and intermediate appellate courts.  The Regional Reporters are as follows:

  • Atlantic (A.):  Connecticut, Delaware, DC, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont
  • North Eastern (N.E.):  Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio
  • North Western (N.W.):  Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin
  • Pacific (P.):  Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming
  • South Eastern (S.E.):  Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia
  • South Western (S.W.):  Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas
  • Southern (S.):  Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi

State Court Case Opinions Online

Westlaw, Lexis and Bloomberg Law all provide access to State Court Case Opinions.  Additionally, there are freely available alternatives, including:

Using Georgia as an example, there are often state specific options available: