Skip to Main Content

How to Find Cases

Use this guide to learn how to find federal and state legal cases.

Access to Nexis Uni

Nexis Uni (formerly LexisNexis Academic) provides USC students with a variety of legal resources, including cases.  You can locate Nexis Uni on the USC Libraries Databases page.

Searching Nexis Uni for Cases

On Nexis Uni's home page, you can search for state or federal cases by entering search terms and a date limiter.  For a search with greater specificity, click on "Advanced Search" and then on "Cases".

If you have a case citation, enter it in standard case citation format in the "Citation" search box. Do not omit punctuation from reporter abbreviations. 

If you have one or more of the parties' names, or a case name, you can enter the name(s) in the "Party Name" box.

To search by topic, enter your keyword(s) in one or more of the "Terms" boxes. You can specify either that all of the terms, or that at least one of the terms, must appear in each document.  You can also search for a phrase or specify terms that you do not want to appear in retrieved documents.  

There are additional ways to search case fields and segments on Nexis Uni.

Using truncation, you can do one search for all the different words that begin with the same root.  On Nexis Uni the exclamation point (!) placed at the end of the root will pull up all words that have that root.  For example, a search for educat! would retrieve documents containing educate, educates, educatededucating, educator, educators, or education.



Viewing, Printing, and Downloading Results

After you run your search, you have the option of sorting your results by relevance, title, jurisdiction, court, or date, i e., from the newest to the oldest, or, from the oldest to the newest.  From your citation list, you can retrieve any of the cases by clicking on the name of the case at the beginning of the case citation.

When you have the full text of the case on the screen, you can jump forward and backward to each occurrence of your search terms or to additional terms you specify. 

Using the icons at the top of the screen, you may print, e-mail, or download your results. 


USC Digital Accessibility