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Research Guides

Supreme Court of the United States

Supreme Court Records & Briefs

records and briefs volumes

Burns Law Library Databases

Gelman Library Databases

GW Law users can access Nexis Uni remotely or at the Gelman Library to find Supreme Court briefs and petitions. You may search by keyword, party names, citation, counsel, brief type or appeal statement. Selected coverage begins in 1936, but all briefs are available for cases granted certiorari beginning after the 1993-94 term. Other briefs and appendices may be available back to January 1979.

Non-commercial Internet Sources

Burns Law Library Microfiche & Print Sources

Briefs at the Law Library of Congress

Many briefs are only available at the Library of Congress. Check the Library of Congress U.S. Supreme Court Records and Briefs collection.

Where the fiche collection indicates "All cases," denied petitions for certiorari should be included.

See the Law Library of Congress' blog posts on the brief collection itself and the binding process.

Federal Court files

Most case files created prior to 1999 are maintained in paper format only.

Paper case files may be stored at the courthouse or at one of the Federal Records Centers (FRCs). A case file may be obtained through the court or directly from the FRC. Contact the court in which the case was filed for more information.

Supreme Court Rules for the Joint Appendix

The current Supreme Court Rule 26 requires that the following be including in a Joint Appendix:

"The joint appendix shall contain: (1) the relevant docket entries in all the courts below; (2) any relevant pleadings, jury instructions, findings, conclusions, or opinions; (3) the judgment, order, or decision under review; and (4) any other parts of the record that the parties particularly wish to bring to the Court's attention."

1980 - 1990: Former Supreme Court Rule 30 provided the requirements for the joint appendix.

1967 - 1980: Former Supreme Court Rule 36 provided for the first time the requirements for a single appendix produced as a joint effort of the parties.

Source: Moore's Federal Practice - Civil § 526App.100, HISTORICAL ANALYSIS OF RULE 26

Locating Other Appellate Briefs

Contains four sections: United States Supreme Court, United States Circuit Courts of Appeals, State Final Appellate Courts, and State Intermediate Appellate Courts.

Each section is arranged by court, with the address and phone number of the clerk of court before listing libraries that hold briefs from that court. Next are listed libraries in alphabetical order by location, giving the name, address, phone number, URL, holdings information, format of the holdings, and when possible, its lending policy.