Note on unpublished or unreported decisions:
Since the 1970s, federal courts have issued many opinions that they designate as unpublished. For research purposes, this raises two important points:
• Such opinions used to be difficult to find but are now routinely available online.
• Check the court rules for your jurisdiction to see if unpublished decisions can be cited.
The following map shows the geographic coverage areas of the United States Circuit Courts of Appeals.
The Federal Reporter originally covered decisions of both district and circuit courts. West began publishing district court opinions in the Federal Supplement in 1932, leaving the Federal Reporter to cover U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals decisions.
In 1932, West began the Federal Supplement, which publishes select U.S. District Court decisions.
West's Federal Appendix (2001-present) publishes U.S. Court of Appeals decisions that are not included in the Federal Reporter because they are designated unpublished.
West's Federal Rules Decisions (1940-present) contains a limited number of U.S. District Court decisions dealing with procedural issues under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.