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
- 2003-4 to present, full-text briefs on the American Bar Association website
- 1999-2007, selected full-text briefs on FindLaw
- 1998-present, all briefs filed by the United States Solicitor General on the Office of the Solictor General website
- 1982-1996, selected briefs filed by the United States Solicitor General on the Office of the Solictor General website
- 1832-1978 (US Reports volumes 31-439), full-text available in U.S. Supreme Court Records and Briefs,
1832-1978 (MLaw Catalog Record)
- 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)
- Antitrust: Antitrust Law: Major Briefs and Oral Arguments of the Supreme Court of the United States, 1955-75 (MLaw Catalog Record)
- Constitutional Law: Landmark Briefs and Arguments of the Supreme Court of the United States: Constitutional Law (1793-1979) (MLaw Catalog Record)
- Criminal Law: Criminal Law Series (1970-2004) (MLaw Catalog Record) (Index: MLaw Catalog Record)
- Securities Regulation: Securities Regulation Series (1976-1984) (MLaw Catalog Record) (Index: MLaw Catalog Record)
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: http://courts.mi.gov/courts/michigansupremecourt/briefs/pages/default.aspx
- 5 Mich. - 396 Mich. (1858-1976) - you will need the name of the case and the Mich. Reports Citation (MLaw Catalog Record: 5 Mich. - 246 Mich. / 247 Mich. - 396 Mich.)
- 397 Mich. - Present (1977-Present) - you will need the name of the case and the Docket Number (MLaw Catalog Record)
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