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Supreme Court Practice & Advocacy: Briefs

This guide explores resources relating to the United States Supreme Court, including sources for opinions, briefs and oral arguments.

Advocacy in print

Online sources for merits, amicus and petitions granted briefs

Briefs on Lexis, Westlaw, and Bloomberg Law

Lexis's U.S. Supreme Court Briefs database provides access to merit and amicus briefs from 1936 through the current term, including merit briefs for cases granted certiorari and special masters, amicus curiae briefs, and joint appendices beginning in January 1979, with selected coverage from 1936. All briefs are available for cases granted certiorari beginning after the 1993-1994 term, and it also includes briefs petitioning for certiorari in civil cases (other than habeas cases) from the 1999-2000 term through current. For civil cases where cert. is denied, briefs are provided for cases on the paid docket but are not provided for cases on the In Forma Pauperis docket. No cert-stage briefs are provided for habeas cases or for criminal cases that are summarily decided or where cert. is denied.

Westlaw's U.S. Supreme Court Briefs, Petitions & Joint Appendices database has Supreme Court briefs with coverage beginning in 1930. For briefs, selected coverage begins with 1930. For petitions, selected coverage begins with 1985. For joint appendices, selected coverage begins with 1982. A limited number of selected older briefs, petitions, and joint appendices may be included.

Bloomberg Law provides access to selected Supreme Court briefs from 1936 to the present. To access the database, follow this path: All Legal Content -> U.S. Courts -> Court Briefs-> Federal Court Briefs -> Supreme Court Briefs.

Access to these resources is limited to users who have valid accounts on Bloomberg Law, Westlaw, and/or Lexis.

Briefs in Print

Subject Guide

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Joe Mitzenmacher
Reference & Electronic Services Librarian
Philip H. Corboy Law Center
25 E. Pearson St.
Chicago, IL 60611