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Nominative Reports: Home

Brief information on locating nominative reports.

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Nominative Reports

Nominative reporters were the United States' first compilations of federal and state court opinions.  They were generally privately published and the decisions tended to be compiled from the reporter's notes and observations and not actual text written by the judges.  The report generally summarized the facts of the case, the arguments, and the judges' decision and analysis.

Nominative reports are commonly referred to using the reporter's name and sometimes a mention of the specific court's or judge's opinions collected.  For example, Johnson's Chancery Reports is a 7 volume set of opinions from the New York Court of Chancery and the New York Court for the Correction of Errors.

The problem with finding nominative reports in the UMich Law Library Catalog is that the commonly used title is not the actual title and researchers rarely know what this actual title is. The actual title of Johnson's Chancery Reports is Reports of Cases Adjudged in the Court of Chancery New York. 

The following reports each present a list of federal and state nominative reports citations:

To find Nominative using the UMich Law Library Catalog, do an Author/Title search.  For the author name, choose the reporter (in this case 'Johnson').  For words in the title, choose the court if you know it (in this case 'Chancery'), or a word from the name of the jurisdiction (in this case 'York'), or both.

Most federal and state nominative reporters are now available in full text at LLMC Digital.

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Kincaid Brown
Assistant Director & Adjunct Professor