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Guide to Law Online: U.S. Federal

Judicial Branch

Carol M. Highsmith, photographer. U.S. Supreme Court building, Washington, D.C. [Between 1980 and 2006]. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

The federal judiciary currently consists of the Supreme Court of the United States, 13 U.S. Courts of Appeals (intermediate appellate level), 94 U.S. District Courts (trial level), and 91 Bankruptcy Courts. The U.S. Congress created several Article I, or legislative, courts including the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, and the U.S. Tax Court.

The following links to government and non-government websites provide access to free online legal resources related to the judicial branch of the United States government.

Federal Court Opinions

Records and briefs include the documents authored by lawyers or self-represented litigants and filed with the Clerk of Court in a particular case. In a trial level case these could include, for example, a complaint and an answer; and at the appellate level it could include a petition, a brief, a reply brief and more. The Clerk maintains a Docket Sheet noting the various documents filed in a particular case.

Federal Judiciary - Miscellaneous