Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Idioms, Encyclopedia.


n. the published decisions of appeals courts in all states and federal courts, which are found in federal, state and regional series (called "reporters") which are constantly updated with pamphlets called "advance sheets" which are soon followed by bound volumes. There are also reports of specialized courts and particular subject matters such as taxes, bankruptcy and federal procedure. Thus there are Massachusetts Reports, Georgia Reports, Kansas Reports, California Supreme Court Reports, California Appellate Reports and similar series for every state. Regional reporters include Northeast, Atlantic, Southeast, Southern, Northwest, Pacific and so forth, and combine several states' decisions. For Supreme Court cases there are three major reporters, including U.S. Reports, Supreme Court Reporter, and Lawyer's Edition Supreme Court Reports. These reports are available in almost all law libraries.

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.

REPORTS. Law books, containing a statement of the facts and law of each case which has been decided by the courts; they are generally the most certain proof of the judicial decisions of the courts, and contain the most satisfactory evidence, and the most authoritative and precise application of the rules of the common law. Lit. s. 514; Co. Lit. 293 a; 4 Co. Pref.; 1 Bl. Com. 71 Ram. on Judgm. ch. 13.
     2. The number of reports has increased to an inconvenient extent, and should they multiply in the same ratio which of late they have done, they will so soon crowd our libraries as to become a serious evil. The indiscriminate report of cases of every description is deserving of censure. Cases where first principles are declared to be the law, are reported with as much care as those where the most abstruse questions are decided. But this is not all; sometimes two reporters, with the true spirit of book- making, report the same set of cases, and thereby not only unnecessarily increase the lawyer's already encumbered library, but create confusion by the discrepancies which occasionally appear in the report of the same case.
     3. The modern reports are too often very diffuse and inaccurate. They seem too frequently made up for the purpose of profit and sale, much of the matter they contain being either useless or a mere repetition, while they are deficient in stating what is really important.
     4. A report ought to contain, 1. The name of the case. 2. The court in which it originated; and, when it has been taken to another by appeal, certiorari, or writ of error, it ought to mention by whom it was so taken, and by what proceeding. 3. The state of the facts, including the pleadings, as far as requisite. 4. The true point before the court. 5. The manner in which that point has been determined, and by whom. 6. The date.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in classic literature ?
There may possibly be something in the report of the commission of inquiry touching on Ferrari's disappearance.
Report, on coming out: "Sergeant Cuff is depressed in his spirits; but Sergeant Cuff is a perfect gentleman." My lady's own maid followed.
KERGUELEN, MARK BOAT reports last call from Cymena freighter(Gayer Tong Huk & Co.) taking water and sinking in snow-storm South McDonald Islands.
"Search this man," he said, "and report how many pockets he has."
"Yes, I shall have a few reports. You'd better let them know at the Admiralty, and what time you want to go over."
Will you give up that report? You can find out all there is in it for yourself.
"Not yet reported." Mina's morning and evening hypnotic answer is unvaried.
The government already possesses a complete official report of my adventures beyond thirty.
You are not going to be Missish, I hope, and pretend to be affronted at an idle report. For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbours, and laugh at them in our turn?"
"There's your report. You'd better see what it says," he remarked, as he ran his fingers through the wrapper of a catalogue of second-hand books.
The smoke of the first shot had not yet dispersed before another puff appeared, followed by a report. The battle had begun!
The act from Annapolis recommends the "appointment of commissioners to take into consideration the situation of the United States; to devise SUCH FURTHER PROVISIONS as shall appear to them necessary to render the Constitution of the federal government ADEQUATE TO THE EXIGENCIES OF THE UNION; and to report such an act for that purpose, to the United States in Congress assembled, as when agreed to by them, and afterwards confirmed by the legislature of every State, will effectually provide for the same."