The sources in this guide provide access to trial level caselaw from the Common Pleas courts of Pennsylvania. Many states do not publish their trial court decisions. In Pennsylvania, only select common pleas (or trial level) court opinions are published. Online legal databases Lexis, Westlaw, and Bloomberg Law collect select unpublished trial level decisions. Jenkins' Pennsylvania County Cases database includes trial opinions collected and indexed by Jenkins.
Many Pennsylvania trial level decisions are not available from any of the sources listed in this guide and must be obtained from the court.
For information about Appellate level caselaw, see the Pennsylvania Cases - Appellate Level guide.
The Pennsylvania District & County Reports series (Pa. D.&C.) include select opinions from all Pennsylvania judicial districts. The 1st series began in 1922 and the 5th series continues today. The complete D.&.C. series are available in print and on Lexis and Bloomberg Law. Select cases may also be available on Westlaw. Member databases HeinOnline and LLMC Digital include the older series only.
For more information about opinions from the Pennsylvania county courts, see Frank Y. Liu et al., Pennsylvania Legal Research Handbook § 7.9.4 (2008).
The Fiduciary Reporter (Pa. Fiduc.) includes select decisions from the Orphans' Courts of Pennsylvania involving trusts and decedents' estates. Other materials, like Appellate decisions, may also be included. The Fiduciary Reporter is not available electronically, only in print.
Many Pennsylvania counties publish their own reporters which include a limited number of court opinions. These are frequently referred to as Side Reports. Select reporters are available on member databases HeinOnline and LLMC Digital. A few counties may provide access to their reporters on their websites. Coverage varies per county for each resource.