Skip to Main Content

Researching Domestic Violence

Court Documents in Westlaw and Lexis

Both Lexis and Westlaw house cases, briefs, trial court documents, transcripts and oral arguments, and dockets.  You may limit to searching these materials by using the links on the Lexis and Westlaw homepages respectively.  It's important to gather as much citation information as possible to locate your case.  Docket numbers, case numbers, party names, and dates are essential in the finding process.

Both databases offer selected court filings.  The only way to determine whether the document you are seeking will be there is to conduct a search.  Trial court-level filings are limited to cases with heavily-litigated topics, high-value cases, cases with jury verdicts or settlements.

Westlaw's Key Number System

Westlaw assigns numbers to various legal issues, and you can find cases that address these issues by clicking on their key number icon.  You will see these keys embedded within cases, and you may also search the key number system for the topic you are seeking from the WestlawNext home screen.



Narrow Your Case Search

Here are a few suggestions for getting more relevant results:

  • Choose "Family Law" as a practice area
  • Limit your jurisdiction to a particular circuit or state
  • Once you have found a relevant case, in Westlaw click the "citing references" tab to see related cases and secondary materials.  In Lexis, this is the Shepardize function.
  • Start with practice manuals and other secondary sources, and follow the footnotes to relevant cases.


Free Online


Profile Photo
Rebecca Valentine

Law Library
Room 102
333 Faunce Corner Road,
Dartmouth, MA 02747
Subjects: Law