Court opinions are written statements explaining the decision in a case (or the holding) and include statement of facts, points of law, analysis, and reasoning of how the court made its decision. Merits Briefs are the written arguments laying out the legal points and authorities on which the argument is based. Oral Arguments are lawyer’s legal arguments given before the justices to convince the court to find in favor of their client.
Also see the Supreme Court Records and Briefs page which also has links to current awareness services, oral arguments, statistics and more.
See Bluebook Rule 18.2.1(a)(i) for information on authenticated documents.
* Federal courts retain the power to decide whether an unpublished opinion is binding or persuasive (on that court)
* Fed.R.App.P. 32.1 – Appellate courts may not restrict citing federal unpublished judicial opinions issued after 1-1-2007.
* Local appellate rules state whether unpublished opinions before 1-1-2007 can be cited. See 18 Moore's Federal Practice, Civil 134.04.