Search Opinions

The court posts published and unpublished opinions and selected orders daily beginning at 2:30 p.m. All opinions issued by the court from 1996 to date are available in a text-searchable database. Orders that are the functional equivalent of opinions are also included in the database. Several search options are available.

Text Search

Several options are available when searching the opinions database. A text search may be limited to a specific date range. Text searches are also available by category: All Opinions and Orders is a search of the entire database, including unpublished opinions; Published Only limits the search to opinions and orders published in the Federal Reporter; and Orders Only limits the search to orders that are the functional equivalent of opinions. In additional to Natural Language, Menu-Assisted and Advanced queries are also available.

Case Number, Name or Date Search

Opinions issued by the court from 1996 to date can be searched by lead docket number or last name of a lead party. Orders that are the functional equivalent of opinions are also included in the search. In consolidated cases, opinions and orders are posted under the lead case number.

  • Lead case number

    Enter a two-digit year, followed by a hyphen, followed by the one, two, three, or four digit number assigned by the court of appeals. Do not use leading zeros after the hyphen:
    11-1 not 11-01
    or 11-0001 09-5500 not 9-5500
  • Lead party name

    Use the last name (or firm name) of the lead appellant or appellee. The search is not case sensitive and does not use wild cards. Results will be returned for any names that contain the string of letters entered. If more than one word is entered, results will be returned that exactly match the word string. Entering Sack returns Sacks v. Philip Morris and Smith v. Pepersack. Entering Bell Atlantic returns all cases in which Bell Atlantic was a lead party.
  • Date Issued or Amended

    Use the date the opinion was issued or, if it was subsequently amended, the date the opinion was amended. You may search for a date range or an exact date. If you know the exact date, enter that date in both fields.