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The text of a case can be found in a reporter, a volume of reported court decisions.
There are three reporters for the United States Supreme Court:
United States Reports
Supreme Court Reporter
|United States Supreme Court Reports
||L.E. and L.E. 2d
Finding Cases Using Citations
You need a citation (the volume and page number of the reporter in which the case is published in order to find a case in a reporter (e.g. 309 U.S. 634). Legal Citations are almost always in the following format:
Using Digests to find Citations with Party Names
When all you have is the name of a party to a Supreme Court case, whether plaintiff or defendant, and need to find the citation look in:
U.S. Supreme Court Digest Lawyers' Edition, Table of Cases (volume 15-15D)
Law Library location: KF 101.1 D5 (2d floor, aisle 2)
If you have the plaintiff's name, the citation will be given:
Example: People's Gas Light & Coke Co. v. Hart, 309 U.S. 634; 60 S.Ct. 724; 84 L. Ed. 991
If you have the defendant's name, the entry will appear inverted without a citation, as in:
Example: Hart, People's Gas light & Coke Co. v.
United States Supreme Court Digest, Table of Cases (volumes 14 and 14a)
Law Library Location: KF101.1 U5 (2d floor, aisle 2).
This set has merged plaintiff and defendant names in one entry list.
1. People's Gas Light & Coke Co. v. Hart, 309 U.S. 634; 60 S. Ct. 724; 84 L. Ed. 991
2. Hart; people's Gas Light & Coke Co v., 309 U.S. 634; 60 S. Ct. 724; 84 L. Ed. 991
Supreme Court: An Essential History by Peter Charles Hoffer-- History of the Supreme Court divided by Chief Justice
A People's History of the Supreme Court by Peter Irons -- An extremely readable account of the history of the Supreme Court.