Briefs, Dockets, Oral Arguments and Other Court Documents Research Guide

This guide collects sources for dockets and court documents, including briefs and oral arguments, from federal and state courts.


Key to Icons

  • Georgetown only
  • On Westlaw
  • On Lexis
  • On Bloomberg
  • PDF
  • More Info (hover)
  • Preeminent Treatise
  • Study Aid


Court documents are all documents produced by a case, be it a trial or appellate matter. Depending on the jurisdiction, such documents may be easy to find or more difficult. In general, federal court documents are easier to obtain than state documents, but this varies widely from state to state. The official federal database for court documents is known as PACER, but it is usually not the cheapest nor easiest way to obtain such documents. For instance, Bloomberg allows users to obtain PACER and some state court documents at no fee (with an annual usage cap). In addition, the Free Law Project has tools to help automatically capture PACER documents and make them available for use for free through their CourtListener RECAP program (though this is limited in scope).

Please note that trial transcripts and recordings are frequently only available from courts for a fee (and not available via the databases noted above), though some that have been requested by third parties are made available on storage sites such as Scribd and may be more difficult to find as they are not professionally catalogued or indexed.

Williams Library Reference

Photo of Williams Law Library

Reference Desk:
Atrium, 2nd (Main) Floor
(202) 662-9140

Request a Research Consultation


Update History

Updated 09/21 (MK)
Links 4/23 (MK)
Content and Links 4/24 (JAS)