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Self-Help: Finding Laws, Court Rules & More

Legal Research Basics & Primary Authorities


Generally, caselaw refers to case opinions written by a judge or judges. Not all cases have written opinions, and not all written opinions are considered "published" or precedential.

Here are some options for looking for caselaw:

  • Legal databases like Lexis, Westlaw, and Bloomberg Law (available to use when visiting Jenkins).
  • Online (Opinions found online should be checked in a subscription legal database to make sure it is still "good" law.):
  • Some courts websites link to select opinions. For some cases, especially trial (county) level cases, the only way to obtain the opinion is to contact the court. 


For more information, see the Pennsylvania Cases - Appellate LevelPennsylvania Cases - Trial Level, and Federal Caselaw guides.