Skip to Main Content


An aid to finding law at OSU Libraries and online, this Guide covers both case law, and statutory and regulatory law


The term Case law refers to the legal interpretations contained in the decisions of courts as applied to a specific set of facts. 

For a fine tutorial on doing legal research, visit Indiana University's Legal Research Tutorial libguide here.

Finding Cases in Nexis Uni


Don't have a specific case or citation? You have two options here:

1. Do a subject search from the main Search page. Click on Cases under "What are you interested in?" then on which Jurisdiction (Federal or State), and enter a search term. You have the option of entering date or date ranges, also.

2. Use the Advanced Search feature on the main page, and click on Cases as the content type.


The Shepard's® Citations Service provides a comprehensive report of the cases, statutes, secondary sources, and annotations that cite your authority, including more recent cases that rely on your starting case. You can use this report to quickly validate your research and ensure you have good law.

Shepard's editors assign editorial analysis phrases that best fit the citing case within their editorial guidelines, helping you make a "good law/bad law" determination.

Retrieving a Shepard's® report by citation can be done in a variety of ways.

The most common method is to enter "shep:" in the search box, followed by your citation, then press ENTER or click the search button.

You could also enter just the citation name in the search box, then click the Shepard's Signal™ indicator next to the document name.

Law Reporters

Case Law Reporters in the Valley Library

While case decisions are widely available online (such as LexisNexis Academic), even they use the print citation to identify a particular case. Once you have this citation, you can enter it into LexisNexis to retrieve the text of the decision.

One way to find the full citation is to use a printed book called a  reporter. Reporters usually contain reports from appellate courts in specific geographic areas and specific jurisdictions. There are separate reporters for state courts and federal courts, and, as the legal field increases in complexity and specialization, there are a number of speciality or subject reporters.

Nearly all of the following reporters' citations are included in the results of a search of case law in LexisNexis Academic: Federal & State Cases.

United States Reports (U.S.) - Supreme Court Decisions (Official) KF101 .U58 
OSU has: vol. 284-date (1931-date)

Supreme Court Reporter (S.Ct.) - Supreme Court Decisions (Unofficial) KF101 .A322
OSU has: vol. 1-120 (1809-1999)

Federal Cases (Fed.Cas.) - Important Federal Cases,
1789-1880 K .F295 [note: this is NOT included in LexisNexis]
OSU has: vol. 1-30

Federal Reporter, 1st-3rd series (F., F2d, F3d) - U.S. Courts of Appeals KF105 .F432
OSU has: vol. 1-222 (3rd series) (1880-2000)

Federal Supplement (F. Supp.) - U.S. District Courts, etc. KF120 .F42
OSU has: vol. 1-108 (1932-2000)

Oregon Reports (Or.) - Oregon Supreme Court (official) K .O78
OSU has: vol. 1-231 (1853-1964)

Pacific Reporter, 1st-3rd series (P., P2d, P3d) - Oregon Supreme Court (unofficial) KF132 .P2 P32
OSU has: vol. 1-46 (3rd series) (1884-1999)

Other state reporters exist and you may often see abbreviations for them in LexisNexis Academic and other places.

Finding a Case Online

Internet sources for Case Law can be found on the Law on the Internet tab