West Digests (Finding Cases by Topic)
The Law Library has two sets of West Digests in print format (now published by Thomson Reuters):
The United States Supreme Court Digest, used to locate United States Supreme Court cases, is located in Compact Shelving next to the Supreme Court Reporter, at KF 101 .1 U55. Like all digests, each volume in the set is updated with pocket parts.
West’s California Digest, located in Row C-9 of Compact Shelving at KFC 57 .W47, is used to locate California Supreme Court and California Appellate Court cases.
Digests are arranged alphabetically by topic. Examples of the approximately 400 topics are: Banks and Banking, Franchises, Insurance, Libel and Slander, Partnership, Fraud, and Criminal Law.
Each topic is divided into subtopics known as “key numbers.” A complete list of topic headings is available in the front of each digest volume. A complete list of key numbers is available at the beginning of each topic.
Locate a topic and key number that interests you by scanning the list of topic headings and key numbers or by using the Descriptive Word Index at the end of each set of digests.
West also publishes West’s Analysis of American Law, which is a complete guide to the topic and key number system. This is available at the Reference Desk KF 141 .W485.
Read the case summaries that are listed under each topical key number. A case citation follows each summary. This citation will be composed of a volume number, an abbreviation that indicates the “reporter,” or series of books that contains the case you need, and the page where your case begins. Some cases can be found in more than one reporter; therefore more than one citation may be listed, e.g., “6 Cal. App.3d 675; 86 Cal. Rptr. 294.”
See the list of abbreviations and locations of case reporters on the last page of this document to locate the reporter that contains your case.
If you have the name of a case and the jurisdiction in which it was decided, you can find the citation to your case using the Table of Cases volume of the digest covering that jurisdiction. These volumes are located at the end of the set.
Abbreviations and Locations of Case Reporters
Official California “Reports” located in Compact Shelving, rows C16 – C20:
Cal., Cal. 2d, Cal. 3d, Cal. 4th, Cal. 5th – California Reports: California Supreme Court.
Cal. App., Cal. App. 2d, Cal. App. 3d, Cal. App. 4th, Cal. App. 5th – California Appellate Reports: California Appeals Courts.
Cal. Rptr., Cal. Rptr. 2d, Cal. Rptr. 3d. – West’s California “Reporter”: contains both California Supreme Court and California Appellate Court cases. Located in Compact Shelving, rows C12 – C13.
These reporters contain appellate level cases from the 50 states. These cases are available in the Law Library electronically through the Library’s subscription to Lexis Advance. Click here for a map the United States and the National Reporter system regions. California cases also appear in the Pacific Reporter.
A., A.2d, A.3d – Atlantic Reporter: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and the District of Columbia.
N.E., N.E.2d, N.E.3d – North Eastern Reporter: Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, New York & Ohio.
N.W., N.W.2d – North Western Reporter: Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota & Wisconsin.
P., P.2d, P.3d – Pacific Reporter: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Utah, Washington & Wyoming.
S.E., S.E.2d – South Eastern Reporter: Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia & West Virginia.
So., So.2d, So.3d – Southern Reporter: Alabama, Florida, Louisiana & Mississippi.
S.W., S.W.2d, S.W.3d – South Western Reporter: Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas.
Federal Reporters containing federal cases are located in Compact Shelving, rows C54 – C67:
F., F.2d, F.3d – Federal Reporter: United States Circuit Court of Appeals Decisions.
F. Supp., F. Supp. 2d, F. Supp. 3d – Federal Supplement: United States District (trial) Court Decisions.
U.S., S.Ct., L.Ed. – United States Reports (official), Supreme Court Reporter (West), United States Supreme Court Reports, Lawyer’s Edition (LexisNexis): Supreme Court Decisions. The Library only carries the West Supreme Court Reporter in print. (The L.Ed available in Lexis Advance).
This material is intended as general information only. Your case may have factors requiring different procedures or forms. The information and instructions are provided for use in the Sacramento County Superior Court. Please keep in mind that each court may have different requirements. If you need further assistance consult a lawyer.