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Bankruptcy: Case Law

This guide provides assistance with resources and strategies for bankruptcy law research. The guide was adapted from a bankruptcy guide prepared by Jordan Haygood, a law student reference assistant at Oklahoma City University School of Law.

Bankruptcy Cases

Most bankruptcy-related decisions are routine and not reported.

Published decisions can be found in West's Bankruptcy Reporter (B.R.) which was started in 1980. The reporter includes decisions from bankruptcy courts, Bankruptcy Appellate Panels (BAPS), and bankruptcy-related district court opinions and appellate court decisions.  The Bankruptcy Reporter is located on the second floor of the Law Library.

If you do not have a citation, but need to search for bankruptcy cases dealing with specific issues, use West's Bankruptcy Digest.  A digest is a case finding tool. Topics are arranged alphabetically within the digest.  The Bankruptcy Digest is located on the second floor of the Law Library, next to the Bankruptcy Reporter.

Bankruptcy Courts

The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts  (AOC) on behalf of the Federal Judiciary provides free bankruptcy information from and about the Judicial Branch of the U.S. Government. There are many official bankruptcy filing and procedure forms that must be used in bankruptcy proceedings. They are available through the AOC.

The site contains information on the following:

U.S. Courts RSS Feed

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Supreme Court Decisions Online

U.S. Supreme Court The Official website of the U.S. Supreme Court.  Here you will find recent Supreme Court slip opinions and PDFs of the United States Reports, beginning with Volume 502 (October 1991).


The Oyez Project  An archive of Supreme Court related materials including audio recordings of court proceedings. 


Legal Information Institute Supreme Court Collection


Findlaw US Supreme Court Center

Appellate and District Court Decisions

Administrative Office of the Courts The administrative office of the federal judiciary.
Pacer Service Center Online access to federal court docket information. This is a fee based service.
Federal Court Locator from Villanova University A collection of state and federal court materials and links to each federal court.

Bankruptcy Case Law and Materials

Google Scholar is a great resource for identifying scholarly citations. Google Scholar aggregates academic citations and materials. You may also search for legal opinions using Google Scholar.

Google Scholar Search

Thomson Reuters Bankruptcy Legal Materials RSS Feed

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Freely Available Resources

Below is a sample list of resources freely available to anyone with Internet access.