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How to Find a Case Online

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How to Find a Case Online
(if you have the citation)
It isn’t always possible to use a physical reporter to locate a case using a citation.  If you don’t have access to a bound reporter, here is a quick overview of a few of your options for locating cases online.
Paid legal databases:
Your county law library might have patron access to Westlaw and/or Shepard’s (or the full LexisNexis).  Here’s how to retrieve a case from a paid database using a citation:
WESTLAW
  • Open up Westlaw (at our terminals you select “Westlaw Patron Access”)
  • You might have to agree to Westlaw’s terms and conditions
  • Type your citation in the “Find this document by citation” box
  • To print or e-mail: Westlaw does not make e-mailing cases easy.  We have detailed instructions for e-mailing cases from Westlaw posted at our patron access workstations.
SHEPARD’S
  • Open Shepard’s (at our library you select “Shepard’s Citators”)
  • Click on “Shepard’s” tab
  • Type in your citation
  • You can use the “Citation Formats” link for assistance in configuring your citation.  The formatting link allows you to search for your source and simply fill in the blanks for your citation. For example, say you needed to find a case from the Oregon Court of Appeals Reports.  You can enter that source into the Citation Formats search box and discover Shepard’s uses the formula _____ Ore. App.  ____.  For example, 37 Ore. App. 913.  This can be helpful if you’re not entirely sure of the format Lexis uses for your reporter. 
  • You can also find a case by patry name or docket number.
  • To print or e-mail a case from Shepard’s: Click on the printer (not fast print) or letter icons.
Free case-retrieval resources:
LEXISONE
  • Open your internet browser
  • Type in http://www.lexisone.com/
  • Click on the “Free Case Law” tab
  • Select “Search by Citation” and type in your citation
  • To print: Use the browser’s Print and Print Preview buttons.
GOOGLE SCHOLAR
  • Open your internet browser
  • Type in your citation and select the “Legal opinions and journals” search option
  • To print: Use the browser’s Print and Print Preview buttons.
FINDACASE
  • Open your internet browser
  • Type in http://www.findacase.com/
  • Select a state (Oregon, for example)
  • Select the citation search option and enter your citation
  • To print: Use the browser’s Print and Print Preview buttons.