When a case is appealed to a higher court, attorneys for both sides present arguments in written documents called briefs. Briefs contain legal theories, case-law analysis, and citations to both primary and secondary sources. When relevant, the lower court record may be submitted with the briefs, and may contain motions and pleadings, examination and cross-examination of witnesses, jury instructions, and the lower court opinion, if any.
The University of Michigan Law Library owns records and briefs for the United States Supreme Court and the Michigan Supreme Court only. For assistance in acquiring records and briefs of other appellate courts, contact the court or attorneys directly; or, see a Reference Librarian at the REFERENCE DESK, LEVEL S-1 for an interlibrary loan.
Lexis: 1979 - in the Briefs library; Note: includes records and briefs for cases orally argued only
Westlaw: 1990/1991 term - SCT-Briefs database; Note: does not contain amicus curiae briefs or briefs filed for cases denied certiorari
Print (selected subject specific collections)
The Law Library's collection of Michigan Supreme Court briefs is located in the stacks of the Legal Research Building. Volumes must be paged. The Library does not have a complete collection because we receive only the records and briefs that are made available by the Supreme Court of Michigan. Also, we receive the material from 11/2 to 2 years after a case is decided.
Online: Briefs from 2007-present are available at the Michigan Supreme Court website: http://courts.mi.gov/courts/michigansupremecourt/briefs/pages/default.aspx
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