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Find an article, book,/eBook, video, citing example, or get research help from a librarian with an assignment.

Google Scholar: case law

1. Enter significant keywords about your topic in Google Scholar.
‚Äč2. Record relevant case citations (e.g., 410 U.S. 113or party names (e.g., Roe v. Wade)
3. Find the case in Nexis Uni and look for case summary.
4. Sometimes there is a quick summary of the case in Oyez.

  [ select case law and type of court ]


Search Nexis Uni by PARTY NAME

Enter case citation or party name: 

[ search by party name ]

In the trial court, the first name listed is the plaintiff, the party bringing the suit. The name following the "v" is the defendant. If the case is appealed, the name of the petitioner (appellant) is usually listed first, and the name of the respondent (appellee) is listed second. If the defendant in the trial court case brings an appeal, the defendant's name may be listed first in the appellate case.

In federal court, circuit court case captions list the parties in the same order as trial court case (plaintiff v. defendant, or state (or u.s.) v. Defendant).  On appeal to the United States Supreme Court, the name of the petitioner is listed first v. the name of the respondent - so the defendant may be listed first in cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Credit: Univ. of Akron School of Law



Legal terms

Do you know what remanded means?  How about certiorari or amicus curiae As you read case law, you will find terms like these and others you are unfamiliar with, including many in latin.

If you need a legal dictionary, search here: 

Shepard's indicators

AVOID cases that have a "stop sign" symbol.  They have been overturned by a higher court. 

Once an opinion is published, that case can be used to interpret other cases and can itself be subject to further interpretation by these cases.  Analyze a case to see how it has stood against possible subsequent interpretation in later cases. 


[ type shep: in the search box, followed by the citation number.  EXAMPLE:  shep: 800F.2d 111 ]

Indicator symbols

[ image of Shepard's Indicators ]

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