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Home / Blogs / Q&A: How do I find federal court cases? And Iowa cases, federal or state court?

Q&A: How do I find federal court cases? And Iowa cases, federal or state court?

There are different ways to do this. One approach is to use LexisNexisAcademic or WestLaw Campus. Both are available from the Rod Library Databases A-Z page or from one of the Business Portal pages. In LexisNexis Academic, for example, click the Legal link at the top of the page. After reaching the Legal section, click the Federal & State Cases link on the left side of the screen. The resulting form includes a place to enter the case name or citation if you already have such information. A drop-down menu on the Federal & State Cases search form can be used to pick (and search) only U.S. Supreme Court cases or Iowa, Federal & State Cases combined, for example. One way to find cases that deal in a significant way with some topic, from the North Western Reporter (court cases from Iowa and other midwestern states), is to structure the search as in this example: Cite (n.w.) and headnotes (breach of contract) [and add either more keywords, or a date range, etc.] Or pick the Iowa, Federal & State Cases combined drop-down to search Iowa Federal and State court cases. Here's what LexisNexis says about what's available through the drop-down for Iowa, Federal & State Cases combined: "The Iowa combination of Federal and State case law provides all available case law for jurisdictions relating to Iowa. The Federal case law includes the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, as well as the U.S. District Court and Bankruptcy Courts for the State of Iowa. The State case law includes the Supreme Court of Iowa and the Iowa Court of Appeals."

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