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District of Columbia Legal Research

A short guide to researching the law of the District of Columbia using the resources of the Kathryn J. DuFour Law Library.

Case Law Finding Tools - Indexes and Digests

These publications can be used to locate D.C. case law:

  • West's District of Columbia Digest (KFD1257 .D4) This West Key Number product provides topical indexing to cases interpreting D.C. law.
  • The District of Columbia Official Code (Reference and Stacks KFD1230 2001 .A22) provides references to cases interpreting or discussing D.C. statutory law. The annotated code is also available on Lexis and Westlaw.

Case Law - Print Sources

You'll find the text of D.C. case law, including decisions from the D.C Court of Appeals and the D.C. Superior Court, in these publications:

  • Atlantic Reporter (4th floor)1943-2014: an unofficial reporter for DC Court of Appeals (also included are cases from other regional state courts, e.g. Delaware, Maryland, etc.)
  • Daily Washington Law Reporter (KFD1269.D3), 1960-present: an unofficial reporter for the DC Superior Court with selective DC Superior Court and DC Court of Appeals decisions.
  • District of Columbia Superior Court Opinions (KFD1251.1 .D57): a CD-ROM available in the Government Documents room. Contains opinions from 1972-2001.
  • Note - prior to the enactment of Home Rule in 1971, there were a number of different court structures for the District of Columbia. If you are researching court cases in print prior to 1971, please consult Legal Research in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia for more detail, or ask a reference librarian.


Case Law - Internet Sources

Judge Kathryn J. DuFour Law Library / 3600 John McCormack Road N.E., Washington, DC 20064 / 202-319-5155