Case law consists of laws that result from court cases, and these laws exist at all three levels of the judiciary: federal, state, and municipal. Follow the instructions below to locate case law in the Nexis Uni database and Google Scholar.
On the GovInfo homepage, select the Advanced tab located above the main search box.
In the Refine by Collection column, scroll down and check the box next to United States Courts Opinions.
In the Search In column, enter your keywords (e.g. "elder abuse") into the search box. To add more search boxes, click Additional Criteria link below the search box.
On the results page, refine your search further using the tools along the left-hand side of the screen. You can limit by Collection, Date Published, Government Author, Organization, Person, Court Type, etc.
To access a document, either click on the title or the PDFbutton at the bottom of the entry.
Locate case law in Google Scholar
Google Scholar will also allow you to search case law. Please note that Google Scholar is limited to case law and may not provide direct history of a case. The following steps will walk you through the process.
Under the search box select Case law and then click Select courts.
From the list that appears, click the check mark boxes next to the state you are researching and the corresponding courts. Then click Done.
You will now be directed to the search box. Type in keywords related to your topic. Click Search and explore your results.
Sample topic and keywords: "duty to warn" OR "duty to protect" OR "duty to report"
Using thelimiters on the left side of the page, you can narrow your results further by date, jurisdiction, etc. You can also choose to set a search alert using Create alert to receive e-mail notifications when new case law that meets your search criteria is added to Google Scholar.