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ResearchRoundup - Slip Opinion Listservers

By Kathy Biehl, Published on July 15, 2000

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Attorney and author Kathy Biehl practiced law privately in Houston, Texas for 18½ years before relocating to New York City in 1998. She has taught legal research and writing at the University of Houston Law Center and business law at Rice University. A member of the State Bar of Texas, she earned a B.A. with highest honors from Southern Methodist University and a J.D. with honors from the University of Texas School of Law, where she was a member of Texas Law Review and Order of the Coif. She is co-author of The Lawyer’s Guide to Internet Research (Scarecrow Press, Nov. 2000), with Tara Calishain.

Each edition of Research Roundup will pull together related, practical online services that take outstanding advantage of the convenience and efficiency of the Internet. 


There’s no need to wait for the advance sheets to arrive in the mail, if a slip opinion listserver or notification service is available for the jurisdictions you follow. Though traditional fee-based subscription services exist, a number of these list emanate directly from courts, at no cost. This list represents my most recent tally of both types of alert services and will be periodically updated. The fee-based listings include services that are available at no additional charge to paid subscribers of a publication or members of an organization.

Free Slip Opinion Listservers

U.S.Supreme Court / Fifth Circuit / Ninth Circuit                                  Alabama / Illinois / Massachusetts / New York / North Dakota / Tennessee / Texas

U.S. Supreme Court

To receive the Report of Decisions’ official syllabi of opinions the day they are issued, send the message “subscribe liibulletin [your name]” to listserv@listserv.law.cornell.edu. (Do not use brackets, and replace “[your name]” with the name for the subscription.) This service is provided by the Legal Information Institute at Cornell School of LawFindLaw’s Supreme Court announcement list sends out abstracts of recent cases.

Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals sends out opinions by e-mail as they are released; subscribe at the Court’s site.

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

Subscribe at FindLaw to receive e-mails abstracts of slip opinions as they are released.

Alabama

Wallace, Jordan, Ratliff & Brandt, L.L.C. sends out descriptions of the previous week’s Supreme Court opinions; subscribe at the firm’s Website.

Illinois

Illinois Court Reports sends e-mail notification of new opinions.

Massachusetts

The Social Law Library alerts mailing list members to state appellate decisions as they are issued. (Although membership is necessary to use the library, it is not to subscribe to this service.)

New York

For an analysis of recent Court of Appeals decisions (which may be two weeks), send the message “subscribe liibulletin-ny [your name]” to listserv@listserv.law.cornell.edu. This is another service of Cornell’s Legal Information Institute.

North Dakota

The Supreme Court notifies list members when new opinions have been issued.

Tennessee

TBALink Opinion-Flash, a service of the Tennessee Bar Association, distributes the latest appellate decisions by e-mail to anyone (not merely bar members) who subscribes at http://tba.org/op-flash.html.

Texas

The Court of Appeals of the Fifth Judicial District                                      The Court of Appeals of the Fifth Judicial District will e-mail you your choice of civil, criminal, published or all opinions.  Look for the vNotices! icon at the site.

Fee-Based Slip Opinion Services

Ninth Circuit  / California / Colorado / Georgia / Massachusetts / Michigan / Missouri / New Jersey / North Carolina / Ohio / Texas / Virginia

LEXIS-NEXIS / Loislaw.com

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

JuriSearch subscribers receive Ninth Circuit opinions the day after their release.

California

A Cal Law subscription includes daily opinions by e-mail.

Colorado

The Colorado State Bar e-mails summaries of Supreme Court and Court of Appeals decisions to bar members; sign up here.  

Georgia

E-mail notification of newly issued Georgia appellate decisions comes with a paid subscription to Daily Report Online.

Massachusetts

Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly subscribers may sign up to receive Supreme Court and Court of Appeals slip opinions by e-mail.

Michigan

Michigan Lawyers Weekly subscribers may sign up to receive Supreme Court and Court of Appeals slip opinions by e-mail.

Missouri

Missouri Lawyers Weekly subscribers may sign up to receive Supreme Court and Court of Appeals slip opinions by e-mail.

New Jersey

New Jersey Law Journal offers an e-mail service summarizing state, federal and administrative decisions. The Web page does not give pricing, but instructs readers to phone for information.

Ohio

Ohio Lawyers Weekly subscribers may sign up to receive Supreme Court slip opinions by e-mail.

North Carolina

North Carolina Lawyers Weekly subscribers may sign up to receive Supreme Court and Court of Appeals slip opinions by e-mail.

Texas

TexLaw subscribers may receive daily e-mail alerts of the latest opinions.

Virginia

Virginia Lawyers Weekly subscribers may sign up to receive Supreme Court and Court of Appeals slip opinions by e-mail.

LEXIS-NEXIS

The Daily Opinion Service allows visitors to retrieve summaries of slip opinions (from all state courts and federal district courts, the Circuit Courts of Appeal, the U.S. Supreme Court and some specialized courts) that have been issued within the previous two weeks – including the current day, if it is during the work week. There is no charge to run searches or view summaries of core terms in the opinions. To read an opinion, you must have a Web subscription to LEXIS-NEXIS or purchase the document by credit card.

Loislaw.com

Loislaw.com subscribers may set up the LOIS LawWatch feature to e-mail new caselaw (and other developments) in areas selected by the user. (Alternatively, this feature saves the updates on the user’s personal Loislaw.com start page.)