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Moot Court Research Help

This guide provides general resources that can be helpful for moot court teams and individual resources for each moot team at Boston College Law.

Locating Briefs from a Decision

On Westlaw

If you have found a decision relevant to your issue on appeal and you would like to review the underlying appellate briefs, from Westlaw you can try  accessing the Filings tab at the top of the case to quickly identify any briefs available on Westlaw. 

 

 

On Lexis

When you are in the full text of a court decision for which you would like to read or review the appellate briefs, you can browse the bar to the left of the decision and locate the Related Court Materials section and then link to a list of available briefs.

Briefs

If you are unable to obtain the briefs through the case using the Westlaw Filings tab or the Lexis Related Court Materials link, you may be able to find the briefs along with other relevant briefs through searching online databases of appellate briefs. Print and microfiche collections are also available in the Boston College Law Library Collection.

Online

  • Westlaw: The Supreme Court Briefs database contains Merits briefs (1990-91 term -) and Amicus briefs (1995-96 term -).  On Westlaw, use the Briefs tab to find Supreme Court briefs.
  • Lexis:  On Lexis Advance, use the Browse Sources feature and search for U.S. Supreme Court Briefs.
  • Bloomberg Law:  Bloomberg Law has a database of U.S. Supreme Court Briefs (1942-). You can access this database by drilling down through Search & Browse › All Legal Content › U.S. Courts > Court Briefs.  Although there is no stand-alone briefs database for other jurisdictions, briefs are accessable on particular cases by looking through the dockets.  Also accessible through the Search & Browse tab.

 

Print

  • Landmark Briefs and Arguments of the Supreme Court of the United States:  Constitutional Law, Law General Collection KF 101.88.K87
  • May it Please the Court:  Landmark Cases Argued Before the Supreme Court, Law Permanent Reserve KF 4770.M35 1997

Microfiche

  • Records and Briefs of the United States Supreme Court in Microfiche since 1971, Microform Room cabinets 7- 9.

Recording and Transcripts of Oral Arguments

Online

  • Oyez Project:  MP3 Audio files in streaming format – complete coverage from 1995 to present; selective coverage from 1955 to 1994.
  • Lexis: US Supreme Court Transcripts database begins with October 1979 Term. You can search this database by keyword or case name.
  • Westlaw U.S. Supreme Court Oral Argument Transcripts. Coverage begins with the 1990/1991 term. You can search this database by keyword, case name, or court. 
  • U.S. Supreme Court Website:  The Supreme Court post transcripts and audio recordings of oral arguments. Transcripts are available on the site from 1968 to present. Audio recordings are available from 2010 to present.
Print & Cassettes
  • May It Please the Court: Landmark Cases Argued Before the Supreme Court, Transcripts and Cassettes. Law Permanent Reserves and Law A/V KF 4748 .M39 1993
     
  • Landmark Briefs and Arguments of the Supreme Court of the United States: Constitutional Law, Law General Collection KF 101.8 .K87
Microform
  • Oral Arguments of the Supreme Court of the United States Law Microform Room cabinet 6, drawer 8.

Briefs & Oral Arguments from Past Moot Court Competitions

You can generally find the winning briefs from past year's moot court competitions on the official website. See the page for your moot court on this Research Guide to locate those materials.  In addition, HeinOnline maintains libraries for the National Moot Court and the Jessup Moot Court Competition. Links to those databases are included below.

What Are Dockets, And Why Would I Need To Find One?

Dockets basically are a summary of proceedings in a case at either the trial or appellate level. For moot court research, they provide a handy way of seeing what happened in a particular case and can also lead you to the briefs filed in the lower appellate court. 

Accessing Federal Dockets and Court Filings at BC Law

  • Access: requires password; all BC Law students can register for Bloomberg Law passwords using their BC email addresses
  • Coverage: varies by jurisdiction; from left-hand navigation menu, click into the Litigation Intelligence Center and use the "Docket Coverage" link for specific coverage information
  • Filings: if a filing is immediately available, it will say "View." Click to open. If it says "Request," you can request the document (we do not incur a fee). If the document is not available electronically, you'll get a message saying that a courier is necessary. This has to be approved and requested by a reference librarian. 
  • Note: be sure to check currency information at the top of the docket; you can click on the "Update Docket" and it will refresh with current information. BC Law does not incur a charge for updating or tracking dockets.
  • Access: click on Dockets tab from main page. Choose the court of interest. 
  • Coverage: varies by court; typically 1997 for federal appeals court dockets and 2000 for district court dockets. Make use of information icon "i" for details
  • Filings: links to briefs and other filings will often be available under the Filings tab near the top of the screen. 
  • Note: be sure to check currency information at the top of the docket and update if necessary.