30 Minutes--Shepard’s…What is it? And, Why is it a Critical Part of the Legal Research Process?

Courtesy Earnolyn Smith MILS, JD., LexisNexis Academic

What is the U.S Federal Court System


Within the federal system, there are three primary types of federal courts: 94 District Courts (trial courts), 13 Courts of Appeals (intermediate appellate courts), and the United States Supreme Court (the court of final review). See United States Courts: Courts Role and Structure for a more detailed explanation. 

Online Resources for the Supreme Court

Online Resources for the Federal Courts of Appeal, District Courts and State Courts 

The above image depicts the flow of cases through Arizona's state court system. Cases typically originate in the trial courts and can be appealed to courts higher up in the system. 

Online Resources for the Arizona Court System