Helpful Resources – Journalist’s Guide
These online resources provide valuable assistance in understanding and reporting on the courts.
Federal court websites. Every federal court has its own website, with court locations and hours, local rules, access to PACER records, and other court information. Access links to all court websites.
The Supreme Court website, supremecourt.gov, includes a court calendar and opinions.
The Judicial Conference of the United States sets policy for the federal Judiciary. Find information about the Conference, including membership and reports on its proceedings.
The Federal Judicial Center, fjc.gov, provides training and research for the federal Judiciary. Its website includes:
Financial disclosure statements of federal judges and senior court personnel may be sought through the Administrative Office’s Financial Disclosure Committee staff. The process is explained in the Judiciary’s disclosure request form.
The United States Sentencing Commission, ussc.gov, establishes sentencing guidelines for the federal criminal justice system.
FDsys, an online Government Publishing Office service, has text-searchable published opinions for all regional U.S. courts of appeals and for some U.S. district and bankruptcy courts.
Title 28 of the United States Code, which governs the federal courts, is available at FDsys.
The Judiciary website, uscourts.gov, has many resources:
- Email Updates includes a subscription form to receive email updates about court news.
- Court Locator provides address and contact information for all federal court units.
- Judiciary News has news articles and video about the federal courts.
- About Federal Courts provides an overview of the federal Judiciary. More detailed descriptions of the federal appellate and district courts are at Court Role and Structure, which also includes the background paper “Understanding Federal Courts.”
- Judges & Judgeships includes information on judicial vacancies and emergencies for the current and previous years, as well as the Code of Conduct for U.S. Judges.
- Statistics & Reports includes Judiciary data tables and access to Judiciary reports, which are described in detail at Analysis & Reports.
Rules & Policies includes information about Federal Rules of Procedure:
- About the Rulemaking Process
Current Rules of Practice & Procedure
- Rules of Appellate Procedure
- Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure
- Rules of Civil Procedure
- Rules of Criminal Procedure
- Rules of Evidence
- Pending Rules and Forms Amendments
- Proposed Amendments Published for Public Comment
- Records and Archives of the Rules Committee
- Educational Resources includes information about the courts, including classroom-ready materials for teachers and students.
- The Glossary of Legal Terms provides a quick reference.
Social Media. Federal courts sometimes maintain their own social media accounts that are linked from individual court websites. The Adminstrative Office of the U.S. Courts maintains a presence in the following social media:
- YouTube: The federal Judiciary’s channel has videos produced by U.S. courts, the Federal Judicial Center, and the United States Sentencing Commission.
- Twitter: @uscourts is the official source for news and information about the U.S. courts.
- LinkedIn: This page provides information about working for the federal Judiciary.