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Massachusetts Legal Research

Supreme Judicial Court

Appeals Court

Superior Court

  • Dates: Varies by source but no earlier than 1986.
  • Access: Password required for LexisNexis, Westlaw. Law School only for Social Law Library.
  • Description: The state's superior court functions as both a trial court and, in some instances, an appeals court. Jurisdiction information is available on the court's web page. Most opinions are not reported, but some back to 1986 may be found at LexisNexis (short filename MASS;SUPER), Social Law Library - Massachusetts Substantive Law Library database from 1997 - present (Business Litigation Session, October 2000 - present), and Westlaw (database MA-CS) from 1993-present.

District Court Appellate Division

  • Dates: 1990 - present LexisNexis Westlaw.
  • Access: Password required.
  • Description: The state's appellate division of the District Court hears appeals from cases in the District Court; it is a separate entity from the Appeals Court. Text of those published opinions from the Appellate Division of the District Court appear in print in the Decisions of the Appellate Division of the District Court and the Boston Municipal Court. Some additional cases available from LexisNexis (short filename MASS;MAAPDV) and Westlaw (database MA-CS).

Housing Court

  • Dates: 1998 - present (Boston Division); 1991 - present (Southeast Division); 1990 - present (Northeast Division).
  • Access: Law School only
  • Description: For information on the court's jurisdiction see the Housing Court's web page. Text of selected opinions from Housing Court divisions available at Social Law Library (Massachusetts Substantive Law Library database.)

Land Court

  • Dates: Varies by source.
  • Access: Password required for Westlaw. Law School only for Social Law Library.
  • Description: For information on the court's jurisdiction see the Land Court's web page. Opinions are available from Social Law Library through Massachusetts Substantive Law Library database from 1990 - present, and on Westlaw from 2003 - present (database MA-CS)

Massachusetts Court Rules

  • Dates: Current
  • Access: Password required for LexisNexis, Westlaw. Law School only for Social Law Library.
  • Description: The Massachusetts Court Rules include all procedural rules from Trial Courts and appellate court levels. LexisNexis (short file name MASS;MARULE), Social Law Library - Massachusetts Substantive Law Library database, Westlaw (database MA-RULES).

Records and Briefs

  • Dates: Varies by source.
  • Access: Password required for Westlaw.
  • Description: Westlaw offers selected coverage of Supreme Judicial Court briefs from 1990 - present (database MA-BRIEFS). Briefs from Supreme Judicial Court available in Boston College Law Library's Microform Collection from 1915 - 2004; briefs from Appeals Court available in Boston College Law Library's Microform Collection from 1972 - 2004.

Oral Arguments

  • Dates: Sept.6, 2005 - present (Supreme Judicial Court)
  • Description: Live and archived webcasts of Supreme Judicial Court oral arguments. Court generally hears arguments in the first week of the month; check link for schedule.

Dockets and Calendars

  • Dates: 1992 - present (Supreme Judicial Court); 1988 - present (Appeals Court)
  • Description: Docket and Calendar information for the Supreme Judicial Court and Appeals Court. Searchable by docket number, party name, attorney name, lower court, and lower court judge.