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Case Law: Regional and State Reporters

Brief History of West's Regional Reporters

As a response to the typically slow publication of official reporters, John B. West, an entrepreneur from Minnesota, started a private reporting system in 1876. West first started publishing Minnesota Supreme Court decisions. By 1879, West started publishing cases from Minnesota's five surrounding states in the North Western Reporter. By 1880, West published case law for the entire United States and divided the country in seven regions which are still in existence today. (Robert C. Berring & Elizabeth A. Edinger, Finding the Law (12th ed. 2005).)

Regional Reporters by State

Title

Jurisdiction

Atlantic Reporter

Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont

Southern Reporter

Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi

South Eastern Reporter

Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia

South Western Reporter

Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas

North Eastern Reporter

Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, New York* and Ohio

North Western Reporter

Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin

Pacific Reporter

Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming

California Reporter*

California Supreme Court and appellate courts

New York Supplement*

New York Court of Appeals, Appellate Division of the State Supreme Court and additional state courts

*West eventually had to publish the New York Supplement and California Reporter because the case law produced in those particular states were overwhelming the regional reporters. Today the New York Supplement publishes all case law from New York, and the North Eastern Reporter only publishes case law from the court of last resort (the New York Court of Appeals). Similarly, the California Reporter publishes all California case law, and the Pacific Reporter publishes case law from the court of last resort (the California Supreme Court). (Robert C. Berring & Elizabeth A. Edinger, Finding the Law 43 (12th ed. 2005).)

Official State Reporters

In order to make a reporter an "official" reporter for a state, either the state legislature can designate it as the official reporter or the court of last resort can require lawyers to cite to the reporter. More than half of the states publish an official report of their judicial decisions. When a lawyer practices in a state that has its own reporter, the attorney is often required to cite to the state's official reporter rather than West's Regional Reporter.  

Many states no longer publish an official reporter. For a list of states that still have an official reporter, consult table Table 1.3 in The Bluebook.

Oklahoma

Until 1954, Oklahoma had its own official reporter called the Oklahoma Reports. During this time period, Oklahoma case law was published in both the Pacific Reporter and the Oklahoma Reports. Effective January 1, 2014, the Oklahoma Supreme Court is the official publisher of its own cases and cases from the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals. Official versions are on the Oklahoma State Courts Network (OSCN) at www.oscn.net and must be cited in proper public domain citation format. However, a parallel citation to the Pacific Reporter is required. Pinpoint citations to official versions are by paragraph number, not page number. For additional information on citing to Oklahoma cases, see Oklahoma Supreme Court Rule 1.200 and Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals Rule 3.5(c).

Example citation formats:

Oklahoma Supreme Court cases: Skinner v. Braum's Ice Cream Store, 1995 OK 11, ¶3, 890 P.2d 922, 924.

Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals cases: Carney v. DirectTV Group, Inc., 2014 OK CIV APP 4, 316 P.3d 234.

Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals cases: Soto v. State, 2014 OK CR 2, 326 P.3d 526.

Texas

Prior to 1962, Texas published their own official reporters (see Bluebook T1.3 for complete list of Texas Reporters). During this time period, Texas case law was published in both the South Western Reporter and in one of the many official Texas Reporters. However, since 1962, Texas state cases have only been published in the South Western Reporter. Texas uses The Greenbook: Rules of Form for legal citations.

800 N. Harvey Oklahoma City, OK 73102 405.208.5271