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Case Law: Federal Reporters

What Are Reporters?

Reporters contain court decisions from state and federal courts. There are numerous reporters that publish decisions issued by specific courts.  

Reported v. Unreported

Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure 32.1

(a) Citation Permitted. A court may not prohibit or restrict the citation of federal judicial opinions, orders, judgments, or other written dispositions that have been: (i) designated as unpublished, not for publication, nonprecedential, not precedent, or the like; and (ii) issued on or after January 1, 2007.

Five Circuits – Not Binding Precedent But May Consider for Persuasive Value (1st, 4th, 8th, 10th, 11th )

Five Circuits – Not Binding Precedent But May Consider for Res Judicata or Collateral Estoppel (2nd, 3rd, 7th, 9th & Fed.)

5th – Before 1/1/96 Are Precedent.

May Consider for Res Judicata or Collateral Estoppel After 1/1/96

D.C. – After 2/1/02 May Be Cited for Precedential Effect

6th – No Rule

What Are Slip Opinions and Advance Sheets?

Slip opinions are single court decisions issued individually and quickly. Advance sheets are compiled opinions that are issued before the bound reporter volume is published.


Reporters LibGuide

For more information about reporters, consult the Reporters LibGuide linked below.

Where are federal cases reported?

What Are Parallel Citations?

Parallel citations are references to the same case published in a different reporter or format.

Jurisdiction: Federal Case Law

Title of Publication


 Type of Publication

United States Reporters 

U.S. Supreme Court

Official: United States Government

United States Supreme Court Reports, Lawyers' Edition

U.S. Supreme Court

Commercial: Lexis

West's Supreme Court Reporter

U.S. Supreme Court

Commercial: West

Federal Reporter 


Federal Courts of Appeal (the Circuit Courts)


Commercial: West


Federal Supplement 

Federal District Courts: Decisions designated for publication by District Court judges

Commercial: West

Federal Appendix 

Federal District Courts: Unpublished Federal Cases     

 Commercial: West