A formal record in which a judge or court clerk briefly notes all the proceedings and filings in a court case
A number that the court clerk assigns to a case on the court's docket.
A particular document (such as a pleading) in the file of a court clerk or record custodian
A formal document in which a party to a legal proceeding (esp. a civil lawsuit) sets forth or responds to allegations, claims, denials, or defenses.
• In federal civil procedure, the main pleadings are the plaintiff's complaint and the defendant's answer
A written statement setting out the legal contentions of a party in litigation, esp. on appeal; a document prepared by counsel as the basis for arguing a case, consisting of legal and factual arguments and the authorities in support of them
The official report of the proceedings in a case, including the filed papers, a verbatim transcript of the trial or hearing (if any), and tangible exhibits.
The records of a case may include pleadings, motions, trial transcripts, orders, instructions to juries, judgments and other materials. Contents of the the published record for each case varies widely.
Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary
Why Records & Briefs?
- To gain insights into legal reasoning used by the parties in advocating their position
- To identify the authorities used to support an argument
- To find specific documents from a trial
- To find transcripts of testimony and other sources for historical research
More on interesting uses for court documents:
Before you start
Gather as much information about the case as you can:
- Docket/Case number
- Party names
Some sources for case Information:
- Published decision
- Law reviews and treatises
- Advocacy websites
With this information, use the resources in this guide to locate a source for your documents.
Need help? Ask Us! , call (6174-495-4516) or visit the reference desk on the fourth floor of the HLS Library.