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Reporters: Introduction

What is a Reporter?

A reporter is a publication of case law from a specific jurisdiction.  For a list of the different types of reporters consult table T1.1, T1.2 and T1.3 in your Bluebook.                

The Beginning of American Reporters

During the colonial period, American court decisions went unpublished.  American judges and lawyers looked to English courts for precedent.  In 1789, the first volumes of American court decisions were published in order to allow America to build its own precedent. Robert C. Berring & Elizabeth A. Edinger, Finding the Law 38-9 (12th ed. 2005). 

History of Law Reports in the United States

A historical background of the development of law reporting in America is found in the article:

25 Am. J. Legal Hist. 48 (1981)
Law Reports in the United States; Surrency, Erwin C

This article includes a discussion of the purposes and methods of reporting in America.

Jurisdiction: Federal Case Law

Title of Publication


 Type of Publication

United States Reports

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Federal District Courts: Unpublished Federal Cases     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


Jurisdiction: State Case Law

Title of Commercial Publication*


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.


*Many states no longer publish an official reporter.  For a list of states that still have an official reporter consult table T1.3 in the Bluebook.

Subject Guide

Official v. Commercial Reporters

An official reporter is a collection of case law that is published by the jurisdiction from which the case law originated. 


A commercial reporter is a collection of case law in a specific jurisdiction published by an independent group.


Contact a Librarian

Contact one of our reference librarians at Oklahoma City University Law Library for assistance in locating a reporter.