National Reporter System

National Reporter System in the United States

Sets of volumes that contain state supreme court decision. The National Reporter System publishes these decisions on a regional basis. For example, decisions from Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, New York, and Ohio appear in the North Eastern Reporter. Cases can be found in the North Eastern Reporter, now in its second series, by citation numbers that identify both volume and page number. The citation abbreviation for the North Eastern Reporter is N.E.2d. The other regional reporters are: Atlantic Reporter (abbreviated A.2d and including Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont); North Western Reporter (N.W.2d.; Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin); Pacific Reporter (P.2d.; Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming); South Eastern Reporter (S.E.2d.; Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia); Southern Reporter (So. 2d.; Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi); and the South Western Reporter (S.W.2d.; Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee, and Texas). The National Reporter System also has sets of volumes for federal court decisions and a digest for each of the regions.

Practical Information

The published opinions of the federal courts and the courts of every state, those of several states being published in the same bound volume. This system of reports, published by West Publishing Company, covers the entire United States. Some of the reporters are designated “Second Series.” The designation is for numbering purposes and indicates that the numbers of the volume have started over with 1.

These reporters, which are “unofficial” reports of the courts’ opinions, are published much sooner than the official reports (in U.S. law), especially those in some states. Some states have discontinued the publication of state reports and use the appropriate reporter of the National Reporter System as the official report.

Before the opinions are published in bound volumes of the National Reporter System, they are published in weekly pamphlets known as Advance Sheets. (Some official reports also have advance sheets.) Thus the lawyer is informed immediately of the decisions of courts in which he or she is interested. The page numbers in the advance sheets correspond with the page numbers that will appear in the bound volumes.
(Revised by Ann De Vries, 1982)

The nine reporters, together with West’s federal court reporters, comprise a uniform system that is tied together by the key number indexing and digesting scheme.

Name of Report with Abbreviation and Jurisdictions Covered:

  • Atlantic Reporter (A. and A.2d): District of Columbia, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsyvania, Rhode Island and Vermont
  • Northeastern Reporter (N.E. and N.E.2d): New York (Court of Appeals), Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts and Ohio
  • Northwestern Reporter (N.W. and N.W.2d): Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin
  • Pacific Reporter (P. and P.2d): Alasaka, Arizona, California (limited), Colordao, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming
  • Southeastern Reporter (S.E. and S.E.2d): Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia
  • Southern Reporter (So. and So.2d):  Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi
  • Southwestern Reporter (S.W. and S.W.2d): Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas
  • New York Supplement (N.Y.S.): New York supreme and intermediate appellate courts
  • California Reporter (Cal. Rptr. and Cal Rptr.2d): California supreme and intermediate appellate courts.

Analysis and Relevance

The National Reporter System contains the decisions of state appellate courts. While some states publish these decisions, the system has come to be the official reporter for decisions in many states. The system is a comprehensive and authoritative source for those engaged in legal research on state law.

What is National Reporter System?

For a meaning of it, read National Reporter System in the Legal Dictionary here. Browse and search more U.S. and international free legal definitions and legal terms related to National Reporter System.


Notes and References

  1. Definition of National Reporter System from the American Law Dictionary, 1991, California

See Also

National Reporter System in the Context of Law Research

The Thurgood Marshall School of Law Library defined briefly National Reporter System as: The network of reporters published by West Group, which attempt to publish and digest all cases of precedential value from all state and federal courts.Legal research resources, including National Reporter System, help to identify the law that governs an activity and to find materials that explain that law.

National Reporter System: Open and Free Legal Research of US Law

Federal Primary Materials

The U.S. federal government system consists of executive, legislative, and judicial branches, each of which creates information that can be the subject of legal research about National Reporter System. This part provides references, in relation to National Reporter System, to the legislative process, the federal judiciary, and the primary sources of federal law (cases, statutes, and regulations).

Federal primary materials about National Reporter System by content types:

Laws and Regulations

US Constitution
Federal Statutory Codes and Legislation

Federal Case Law and Court Materials

U.S. Courts of Appeals
United States courts of appeals, inclouding bankruptcy courts and bankcruptcy appellate panels:

Federal Administrative Materials and Resources

Presidential Materials

Materials that emanate from the President’s lawmaking function include executive orders for officers in departments and agencies and proclamations for announcing ceremonial or commemorative policies. Presidential materials available include:

Executive Materials

Federal Legislative History Materials

Legislative history traces the legislative process of a particular bill (about National Reporter System and other subjects) for the main purpose of determining the legislators’ intent behind the enactment of a law to explain or clarify ambiguities in the language or the perceived meaning of that law (about National Reporter System or other topics), or locating the current status of a bill and monitoring its progress.

State Administrative Materials and Resources

State regulations are rules and procedures promulgated by state agencies (which may apply to National Reporter System and other topics); they are a binding source of law. In addition to promulgating regulations, state administrative boards and agencies often have judicial or quasi-judicial authority and may issue administrative decisions affecting National Reporter System. Finding these decisions can be challenging. In many cases, researchers about National Reporter System should check state agency web sites for their regulations, decisions, forms, and other information of interest.

State rules and regulations are found in codes of regulations and administrative codes (official compilation of all rules and regulations, organized by subject matter). Search here:

State opinions of the Attorney General (official written advisory opinions on issues of state law related to National Reporter System when formerly requested by a designated government officer):

Tools and Forms

Law in Other Regions

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