University Library at St. Cloud State University

HIED 624 pt 2 - Legal Aspects of Higher Ed (Siminoe)

The Supreme Court of the United States
U. S. Supreme Court website

A note about Supreme Court case law reporting: 

Supreme Court decisions are reported in two reporters (series of books containing case law): U.S. Reports, and West's Supreme Court Reporter. U.S. Reports is published by the federal Government Printing Office, and contains only the text of the Supreme Court decisions, along with concurrences, dissents and decisions to grant or deny certiorari. West's Supreme Court Reporter publishes all of the information included in U.S. Reports, along with annotations and indexing produced by West Publishing. The annotations and indexing are included in Campus Research, a Westlaw product available from SCSU's Library.

The legal path to the U.S. Supreme Court

supreme court path

Federal Courts
United States Federal Courts
Includes information on the U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals, the U.S. District Courts, the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts, the U.S. Court of International Trade, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, and more.

US Courts of Appeal and US District Courts 
Minnesota Courts
minnesota court structure
Cases in the Minnesota appellate courts (MN Court of Appeals, MN Supreme Court) are reported in Minnesota Reports and the North Western Reporter (see National Reporter System, below).

Researching Minnesota Law
An excellent guide to research statutory and case law in the state of Minnesota, compiled by Suzanne Thorpe at the University of Minnesota.

Research Guides (Topical)
Guides to research in selected topics in law, compiled by law librarians at the University of Minnesota.
West Pub.'s National Reporter System
regional reporters

Reporters and Digests, Gallagher Law Library, University of Washington
An excellent guide to the regional reporters published by West Publishing Co., assembled by Mary Whisner, Law Librarian at the University of Washington.
Legal Databases available in Saint Cloud


  • It's far easier to read the cases if you download and save them first. Click "Download" in the upper left hand corner, then choose "KeyCite Full History," "Direct History (Graphical View)," and "KeyCite Citing References." WARNING: disable your pop-up blockers first!

  • Red flag: the case is no longer good law for at least one of the legal points made in the case, or the statute(s) or law(s) on which the case was decided has/have been superseded, interpreted differently, or replaced
  • Yellow flag: the case has been criticized in other court decisions and/or case law, but hasn't yet been reversed
  • Blue H: the case has some history
  • Green C: the case has been cited by other cases, but not negatively 
  • Direct History: traces the case through the appellate process; includes both prior and subsequent history
  • Negative Citing References: lists cases that aren't part of the appellate process of the case you're reading, but might have a negative impact on the value of your case as an established precedent
  • Related References: cases that involve the same parties and facts as your case, whether or not the legal issues are the same



Westlaw Next
LexisNexis (NOT the academic version)
For information on using the Stearns County Law Library, including hours and policies, please see SCLL's website:
Subject Specialist
Picture: Robin Ewing

Robin Ewing
Professor, Research Librarian
MC 204F
(320) 308-2093

Legal Research: print materials
The following resources are available in the SCSU Library's print reference collection.

Black's Law Dictionary, REF KF 156 .B532 1999x

United States Reports, REF KF 101 .A212

Supreme Court Reporter, REF KF101 .U6x

United States Supreme Court Digest, REF KF101.1 .U6x 

Minnesota Statutes Annotated, REF KFM 5430 .M5x

Shepard's Minnesota Citations, REF KFM5459 .S5 1995x 

Corpus Juris Secundum, KF 65 .C6x
Legal Citation
The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation
In SCSU Library's print Reference Collection at REF KF 245 .U55 2010.  THE ultimate reference for citing legal materials.

Basic Legal Citation in Bluebook format from the Legal Information Institute at Cornell Law School

Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD)

How to Read a Legal Citation, from the Hawai'i State Law Library

Powered by SubjectsPlus

Education For Life.
St. Cloud State University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity educator and employer.
St. Cloud State University is a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.
© 2013 St. Cloud State University