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Records, Briefs, Oral Arguments, & Trial Materials   Tags: briefs, constitutional_law, courts_and_judiciary, legal_history, michigan, oral_arguments, records, us_supreme_court  

This guide provides information on finding the court documents listed above.
Last Updated: Nov 13, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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  • Records & Briefs

  • US Supreme Court Records & Briefs

  • Michigan Supreme Court Records & Briefs

Oral Arguments

Trial Transcripts & Other Materials


Records & Briefs

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.


U.S. Supreme Court Records & Briefs



  • 1832-1860 (US Reports volumes 31-65 (6 Peters-24 Howard) organized chronologically by decision date; Microforms (FILM S107) (MLaw Catalog Record); Note: full opinion cases only
  • 1860-1896 (US Reports volumes 66-167) organized chronologically by decision date; Microforms (FILM S107) (MLaw Catalog Record)


  • 1897-1973/1974 term (US Reports volumes 168-418); organized by US Reports citation; Mircoforms (Micro-10 S1) (MLaw Catalog Record); Note: full opinion cases only
  • 1974/1975 term - (US Reports volumes 419 -); organized by docket number; Mircoforms (Micro-10 S1) (MLaw Catalog Record)

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)


Michigan Supreme Court Records & Briefs

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:




Need Help?

Visit Us at the Reference Desk on Sub-1 for immediate in-person assistance. 9 AM to midnight 7 days a week.*

Call Us at the Reference Desk at 734-764-9324. 9 AM to midnight 7 days a week.*

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*Excluding University holidays and semester breaks--check library hours during these times.

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