Cases are covered in Rule 10. Several of The Bluebook's tables are helpful for citing cases:
T1 lists reporters to cite for each federal and state court.
T6 provides case names and institutional authors
T7 tells you how to abbreviate case names and court names.
T8 gives you abbreviations for explanatory phrases, such as affirmance or overruling.
T10 tells you how to abbreviate state names in case citations.
Keyword searching in case law databases is not always the best starting place. You may save a great deal of time on research by taking a short cut through some other legal sources. Consider first whether your topic is generally addressed by common law or whether it may be constitutional, procedural, or statutory. Interpreting case law will still be relevant, but the route to the cases will be more direct.
Use Secondary Sources
Secondary sources give the framework of the law, introduce the topic, offer expert analysis, and provide references to primary authority (cases, statutes, regulations). Books, law review articles, legal encyclopedias, and attorney practice materials are examples of secondary sources.
Use an Annotated Code
If you are researching a statute, there may be case law interpreting it. Annotations summarize and cite to case law. The federal annotated statutes are in two sets.
All states have an annotated code. Wyoming statutes are in two sets.
Use KeyCite or Shepard's
If you have one good case in your jurisdiction, you can identify later court decisions that refer to or mention it. Both services can be used to determine if a specific case has been affirmed, overruled, or modified by a later court decision. They also reveal cases citing to the same legal issue.
Use a Digest
If you have a good case, regardless of whether it is in your jurisdiction, you can use West's Key Number Digest (online or in print) or Lexis's headnotes to find related cases on your topic.
Search full-text online
For U.S. Supreme Court cases, use one or more of the following sources (coverage varies):
For U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals cases, try the following:
For U.S. District Court cases, try:
For state cases, consult the following sources: