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Locating Cases with a West Digest

The Law Library has two sets of West Digests:

The United States Supreme Court Digest, used to locate United States Supreme Court cases, is located in Compact Shelving next to the Supreme Court Reporter, at KF 101 .1 U55. Like all digests, each volume in the set is updated with pocket parts.

West's California Digest, located in Row C-9 of Compact Shelving at KFC 57 .W47, is used to locate California Supreme Court and California Appellate Court cases. 

Digests are arranged alphabetically by topic. Examples of the approximately 400 topics are: Banks and Banking, Franchises, Insurance, Libel and Slander, Partnership, Schools, and Trade Regulation.

Each topic is divided into subtopics known as "key numbers." A complete list of topic headings is available in the front of each digest volume. A complete list of key numbers is available at the beginning of each topic.

Locate a topic and key number that interests you by scanning the list of topic headings and key numbers or by using the Descriptive Word Indexat the end of each set of digests. 

Read the case summaries that are listed under each topical key number. A case citation follows each summary. This citation will be composed of a volume number, an abbreviation that indicates the "reporter," or series of books that contains the case you need, and the page where your case begins, e.g., "786 F.2d 491." Some cases can be found in more than one reporter; therefore more than one citation may be listed, e.g., "6 Cal.App.3d 675; 86 Cal. Rptr. 294."

See the list of abbreviations and locations of case reporters below to locate the reporter that contains your case. 

If you have the name of a case and the jurisdiction in which it was decided, you can find the citation to your case using the Table of Casesvolume of the digest covering that jurisdiction. Some digests also have a Defendant-Plaintiff Table volume, where cases are listed alphabetically by defendant instead of plaintiff. These volumes are located at the end of the set.

Abbreviations and Locations of Case Reporters

Official California "Reports" can be found in Compact Shelving, rows C16 – C20.  

  • Cal., Cal. 2d, Cal. 3d, Cal. 4th California Reports, 1st through 4th series: California Supreme Court.
  • Cal. App., Cal. App. 2d, Cal. App. 3d, Cal. App. 4th California Appellate Reports, 1st through 4th series: California Appeals Courts.

West's California "Reporter" contains both California Supreme Court and California Appellate Court cases.  They can be found in Compact Shelving, rows C12 – C13. 

  • Cal. Rptr., Cal. Rptr. 2d, Cal. Rptr. 3d.  

Regional Reporters contain appellate level cases from the 50 states.  These reporters are available electronically through the Library's subscription to WestlawNext.

  • A., A.2d, A.3d Atlantic Reporter, 1st through 3d series: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and the District of Columbia.
  • N.E., N.E.2d Northeastern Reporter, 1st or 2nd series: Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, New York & Ohio.
  • N.W., N.W.2d Northwestern Reporter, 1st or 2nd series: Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota & Wisconsin.
  • P., P.2d, P.3d Pacific Reporter, 1st through 3d series: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Utah, Washington & Wyoming.
  • S.E., S.E.2d Southeastern Reporter, 1st or 2nd series: Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia & West Virginia.
  • So., So.2d, So.3d Southern Reporter, 1st through 3d series: Alabama, Florida, Louisiana & Mississippi.
  • S.W., S.W.2d, S.W.3d Southwestern Reporter, 1st through 2nd series: Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas.

Federal Reporters containing federal cases are located in Compact Shelving, rows C54 - C67:

  • F., F.2d, F.3d Federal Reporter, 1st, 2nd, or 3rd series: United States Circuit Court of Appeals Decisions.
  • F. Supp., F. Supp. 2d Federal Supplement, 1st or 2d series: United States District (trial) Court Decisions.
  • U.S., S.Ct., L.Ed. United States Reports (official), Supreme Court Reporter (West), United States Supreme Court Reports, Lawyer's Edition (LEXIS): Supreme Court Decisions.  The Library carries the Supreme Court Reporter in print.

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