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Researching Trials

This guide was developed for the Famous Criminal Trials Seminar offered at SLU LAW, but it will provide any user with some of the best resources available for locating and researching court filings and other trial-related documents.

Trial Transcripts and Other Court Filings

Trial transcripts are the written record of testimony given during a trial.  The availability of trial transcripts varies.  With the expanding use of electronic filing systems, court documents, including transcripts, are increasingly available online.  For older materials, you may need to contact the court in which the trial was held.

Westlaw and Lexis also provide access to selected transcripts from some courts.

For cases that were appealed, check the record for the appellate case for the transcript from the proceedings below.  For cases that were not appealed, you may still find transcripts requested by the parties in the docket on BloombergLaw or PACER.  You may also contact the court to have a transcript produced for a fee.

For famous or historic trials, you may find transcripts of testimony and other related documents in books, pamphlets, newspapers, or in some of the trial document collections described in this guide.