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Dockets, Court Documents, Transcripts, and Recordings

Accessing Dockets and Court Documents From A Case on Westlaw

If you have a citation to a case, access the case on Westlaw and then check the Filings tab to view any available dockets and court documents.

For example, to access the dockets and court documents for Medellin v. Texas, 552 U.S. 491 (2008), type 552 U.S. 491 in the main Westlaw search bar and hit enter. Then, click the Filings tab to access the dockets and court documents for the case.

Searching Dockets and Court Documents on Westlaw

On Westlaw, if you do not have a citation to a case, you must separately search dockets, trial court documents, and briefs:

For each type of source, click the Advanced link to the right of the search bar for a customized search form. For example:

  • Advanced Search: Dockets lets you retrieve federal and state dockets by topic, using Westlaw's Key Nature of Suit system 
  • Advanced Search: Trial Court Documents lets you browse by type of trial court document. This can help you locate models for your own complaints, answers, and motions. 

Try the following search tips:

  • All advanced search forms allow you to search by keyword, party, judge, and attorney. When searching an individual party, judge, or attorney's name, place /3 between their first and last name to retrieve cases that use their middle name. You may also want to place quotes around law firm or company names to search for only that exact name.
  • To check what dates Westlaw covers for a court, browse to a specific court and then click the i symbol just beneath the court's name.
  • Once you have located and accessed an individual docket, trial court document, or brief, check its Filings tab and Related Opinions/Dockets tab to view other dockets and court filings from the same case.

Updating Dockets on Westlaw

At the top of each docket, Westlaw writes "This docket is current through" followed by the date the docket was last updated.

If Westlaw is able to update the docket, it will give you the option to do so, as shown below: 

Screencap of Westlaw docket reading "To retrieve an updated version of this docket, click update."


Creating Alerts for New Trial Court Documents and Briefs on Westlaw

  • To receive an email notification every time a new brief or trial court document is filed by an attorney or party or on a topic, create a custom Trial Court Documents or Briefs search and then click the Create Alert icon at the top of the screen.
  • Law school Westlaw accounts do not allow you to track dockets or receive email alerts about new dockets.