Case Law

Texas uses a common-law system. In a common-law system, decisions from high courts are binding on lower courts — a concept known as setting a precedent. Case law is derived from these past decisions made by the courts. Because the courts are always hearing new cases and interpreting the law, case law is constantly evolving.

Researching case law involves reading court opinions. If you are not familiar with how to read a court opinion, see our Guide to Case Law Research.

To locate case law, you will need to use tools like online case law databases or print case law reporters. These sources compile and categorize case law research to help make it accessible by topic or by keyword searching. You can also use footnotes or other annotations in secondary sources like a legal encyclopedia or a legal practice guide to locate case law on a topic.


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page last updated: 12 Oct 2020 5:42 PM