West's National Reporter System (NRS) is a set of case law reporters for federal courts and appellate state courts in the United States. It started with the North Western Reporter in 1879 which has its origin in The Syllabi (1876, LCCN 2010-213400).
Federal reporters include:
|Supreme Court Reporter||S.Ct.||1882–||1–||LCCN 99-537|
|Federal Cases||F.Cas.||1789–1880||1–30||LCCN 99-32|
|Federal Reporter||F.||1880–1924||1–300||LCCN 99-4395|
|Federal Reporter, second series||F.2d||1924–1993||1–999||LCCN 79-641716|
|Federal Reporter, third series||F.3d||1993–||1–||LCCN 90-657017|
|Federal Supplement||F.Supp.||1932–1997||1–999||LCCN 33-14431|
|Federal Supplement, second series||F.Supp.2d||1997–2014||1–999||LCCN 89-642487|
|Federal Supplement, third series||F.Supp.3d||2014–||1–|
|Federal Rules Decisions||F.R.D.||1941–||1–||LCCN 90-657008|
|Bankruptcy Reporter||B.R.||1980–||1-||LCCN 80-644389|
|Federal Appendix||Fed.Appx.||2001–||1-||LCCN 2001-208088|
For the purpose of state court reporting the 50 states and the District of Columbia are divided into seven regions as follows:
|Atlantic Reporter||A.||1885–1938||1–200||LCCN 75-641819||CT, DE, DC, ME, MD, NH, NJ, PA, RI, VT|
|Atlantic Reporter, second series||A.2d||1938–2010||1–999||LCCN 39-6316||CT, DE, DC, ME, MD, NH, NJ, PA, RI, VT|
|Atlantic Reporter, third series||A.3d||2010–||1–||LCCN 90-655067||CT, DE, DC, ME, MD, NH, NJ, PA, RI, VT|
|North Eastern Reporter||N.E.||1885–1936||1–200||LCCN 75-641653||IL, IN, MA, NY, OH|
|North Eastern Reporter, second series||N.E.2d||1936–||1–||LCCN 36-20384||IL, IN, MA, NY, OH|
|North Western Reporter||N.W.||1879–1941||1–300||LCCN 99-1342||IA, MI, MN, NE, ND, SD, WI|
|North Western Reporter, second series||N.W.2d||1941–||1–||LCCN 42-12503||IA, MI, MN, NE, ND, SD, WI|
|South Eastern Reporter||S.E.||1887–1938||1–200||LCCN 75-641818||GA, NC, SC, VA, WV|
|South Eastern Reporter, second series||S.E.2d||1938–||1–||LCCN 89-642322||GA, NC, SC, VA, WV|
|Southern Reporter||So.||1887–1940||1–200||LCCN 75-641740||AL, FL, LA, MS|
|Southern Reporter, second series||So. 2d||1940–2009||1–999||LCCN 45-30734||AL, FL, LA, MS|
|Southern Reporter, third series||So. 3d||2009–||1–||LCCN 88-647630||AL, FL, LA, MS|
|South Western Reporter||S.W.||1886–1928||1–300||LCCN 75-643936||AR, KY, MO, TN, TX|
|South Western Reporter, second series||S.W.2d||1928–1999||1–999||LCCN 88-647631||AR, KY, MO, TN, TX|
|South Western Reporter, third series||S.W.3d||1999–||1–||LCCN 88-647631||AR, KY, MO, TN, TX|
|Pacific Reporter||P.||1883–1931||1–300||LCCN 75-643937||AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, KS, MT, NV, NM, OK, OR, UT, WA, WY|
|Pacific Reporter, second series||P.2d||1931–2000||1–999||LCCN 31-34985||AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, KS, MT, NV, NM, OK, OR, UT, WA, WY|
|Pacific Reporter, third series||P.3d||2000–||1–||LCCN 89-647235||AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, KS, MT, NV, NM, OK, OR, UT, WA, WY|
These regional reporters are supplemented by reporters for a single state like the New York Supplement (N.Y.S. 1888–1938; 2d 1938–) and the California Reporter (Cal.Rptr. 1959–1991; 2d 1991–2003; 3d 2003–) which include decisions of intermediate state appellate courts. The New York Supplement covers both intermediate appellate courts and state trial courts, since there is also an official reporter for the latter in New York State.
In states without an official reporter, many attorneys and law firms balked in the pre-Internet age at the considerable expense of subscribing to a West regional state law reporter when all they really needed was case law from the appellate courts of their home state. This caused West to produce so-called "offprint" reporters for specific states like Texas and Missouri, of which there are now around 30. With the sole exception of Illinois Decisions (which is consecutively paged), all cases in offprint reporters maintain the volume and page numbers of the regional reporters from which they were taken. In other words, the contents of the offprint reporters look like the relevant regional reporter after all cases from unwanted states have been deleted.
Today, the NRS is the primary publication route for opinions from the federal courts of appeals, the federal district courts, and state appellate courts in many states that currently do not have an official reporter (either because they never had one or they are one of the 21 states who abolished their official reporter in favor of the NRS). The NRS is available at law libraries throughout the United States, and is also available through online legal research databases like Westlaw and LexisNexis. Since the NRS now comprises over 10,000 volumes, and many older cases have been overruled or superseded, only the largest law libraries keep a complete hard copy set on site. Most law libraries either do not carry older volumes or retrieve them on request from off-site compact storage.
While enormous in size and vast in scope, the NRS is not entirely comprehensive. In the 1890s, West retroactively brought all pre-1880 published cases of all lower federal courts into the NRS framework by compiling them into the Federal Cases reporter. But West never did the same thing with all U.S. Supreme Court cases which predate the publication of the Supreme Court Reporter, nor with all published state cases that predate the start of the NRS regional or state-level reporters. The NRS does not include opinions from state trial courts, courts administered by territorial governments (as distinguished from federal territorial courts), Indian courts, or administrative agencies at either the federal or state level. Certain opinions from federal courts of appeals, federal district courts, and state appellate courts are not selected or designated for publication. However, all these materials can be found separately on legal research databases.
- Farnsworth, E. Allan (2010). Sheppard, Steve (ed.). An Introduction to the Legal System of the United States (4th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 55. ISBN 9780199733101.
- Barkan, Steven M.; Bintliff, Barbara A.; Whisner, Mary (2015). Fundamentals of Legal Research (10th ed.). St. Paul: Foundation Press. pp. 64–85. ISBN 9781609300562.
- Barkan, Steven M.; Bintliff, Barbara A.; Whisner, Mary (2015). Fundamentals of Legal Research (10th ed.). St. Paul: Foundation Press. p. 83. ISBN 9781609300562.
- Farnsworth, E. Allan (2010). Sheppard, Steve (ed.). An Introduction to the Legal System of the United States (4th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 57. ISBN 9780199733101.
- Farnsworth, E. Allan (2010). Sheppard, Steve (ed.). An Introduction to the Legal System of the United States (4th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 56. ISBN 9780199733101.
- Barkan, Steven M.; Bintliff, Barbara A.; Whisner, Mary (2015). Fundamentals of Legal Research (10th ed.). St. Paul: Foundation Press. p. 67. ISBN 9781609300562.
- Map of West's National Reporter System
- Albaum, Shelly (2002-10-15). "Past, Present and Future: The National Reporter System Celebrates Historic Anniversary". LLRX.com. Archived from the original on 2010-01-11. Retrieved 2010-05-17.