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Legal Research: A Guide to Case Law

State Court Decisions

Published decisions issued in state appellate court cases are often printed in two or more sources, including regional reporters and official state reporters. State court decisions may also be accessed via subscription databases and free online resources.

The Bluebook's Table T1.3 provides guidance as to which reporter (regional, official state, or otherwise) is the preferred standard for citation in the state.

Official State Reporters

Some states print their published court decisions in an official state reporter, while others only print decisions in unofficial reporters or rely on the regional reporters. For example, Virginia has an official reporter for printing published Virginia Supreme Court decisions, called Virginia Reports, and for Virginia Court of Appeals decisions, called Virginia Court of Appeals Reports. In contrast, Iowa does not print an official state reporter and has designated West as the official reporter of Iowa court decisions (compiled in the North Western Reporter). Table T1.3 of the Bluebook provides information about states' official reporters and citation preferences.

Regional Reporters

West's National Reporter System compiles state appellate court decisions from a particular region of the country into one "regional" reporter. For example, the Southern Reporter covers appellate decisions issued in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi. The regional reporters are issued in series (i.e., first series, second series, and third series).

Below, find a list of regional reporters offered by West (Bluebook citation abbreviations follow each title in parentheses). Note that California and New York also have their own single-state reporters by West. The following titles link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional online content are included when available.