Judicial Law


Established by judicial precedent, decision, or review
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U. S. Supreme Court Decisions at Renne Library

United States Reports (1790-present) - Docs Ref Ju6.8:
This is the official record of all written U.S. Supreme Court decisions. Decisions are in order as they were issued (basically chronological order). There is no cumulative subject index to the entire set, though each individual volume offers subject access to the cases in it.
Every Court decision is first published as a Slip Opinion, essentially an individual pamphlet. When enough of these have appeared, the opinions are reprinted as paperbound, Official Reports of the Supreme Court. Eventually, hard-bound permanent volumes are issued. As a federal depository library, Renne Library has a complete set of United States Reports.

United States Supreme Court Reports, Lawyer's Edition
(L. ED., L. ED.2D) (Oct.1985 term-present) - Docs Ref KF101.A313


The First and Second Series of the Lawyer's Edition together constitute a complete but unofficial record of Supreme Court decisions. Decisions are in chronological order. Subject access to the complete set is provided by a separate, companion set of books called U.S. Supreme Court Reports Digest. As with the official United States Reports, opinions are published first as softbound advance sheets. At the end of each Court term, decisions and their accompanying annotations are reprinted as hardbound permanent volumes.
There are two major advantages to the Lawyer's Edition over the U.S. Reports. First, decisions appear more quickly. Second, there are special features such as annotations on the legal issues raised by the case. Also, each case reported in the Lawyer's Edition is liked via headnotes to the U.S. Supreme Court Reports Digest, which allows one to find other cases or annotations which deal with the same area of law.

Renne Library does not have the First Series of the Lawyer's Edition. Our set of the Second Series is not complete, but begins with volume 92. If the case you are working on was decided prior to the term which began in October 1985, you must use United States Reports.

U.S. Supreme Court Reports Digest - Ref KF.101.U56


A companion set to the Lawyer's Edition, these books constitute a digest or summary of all cases decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, arranged by categories of law. The Digest is kept up-to-date by annual pocket parts which fit in to the back inside cover of each volume. It is necessary to use the pocket part of each volume to find recent decisions.
If one looks in the Digest, for example, under the heading "Incompetent or Insane Persons," one will find very brief summaries of cases which have dealt with this area. In addition to the summaries, the Digest contains a subject index to the entire file of Supreme Court decisions. Again, using the heading "Incompetent or Insane Persons," this time in the index volumes (15-15d), one finds several pages of subheadings which enable one to locate decisions dealing with specific cases involving such persons. Also check each volume's pocket parts for updated decisions.

The Digest indexes these cases using parallel citation, so that one can find a case in the United States Reports if it was decided before Renne Library's subscription to the Lawyer's Edition began. As with all subject indexing, one must sometimes try several headings to find the most appropriate one.


Montana Supreme Court Decisions at Renne Library
Montana Reports (territory and state; web version--current year only) - Ref KFM9045 (1868-present)

This is the official record of all written Montana Supreme Court decisions. Decisions are in order as they were issued (basically chronological order). There is no cumulative subject index to the entire set, though each individual volume offers subject access to the cases in it
.lib.montana.edu