Guide to Brief Bank

About the Brief Bank

Easily search or browse summaries of recent court filings in select federal courts and link directly to the underlying documents. Use the Brief Bank for instant access to top-quality examples of the types of documents you need to file in your case today.

  • Find the filings you're looking for in the exact jurisdiction with our custom advanced search.
  • Respond to clients faster with instant access to actual court filings in unfamiliar jurisdictions.
  • Maximize your time by reducing time spent on procedure so you can focus on substance.

Brief Bank summaries are recently filed court documents evaluated by our attorney-editors that best reflect the formatting and content requirements. Each one contains the following information about the referenced court filing:

  • Judge(s). The Brief Bank Summary lists the name and title of the judge(s) assigned to the matter.
  • Docket Number (with a link to the federal court's PACER database). The Brief Bank summary provides the docket number assigned to the matter. This enables the user to quickly perform additional research on the federal court's PACER database should the need arise. For the user's convenience, a link to the particular court's portal to PACER is also provided in the docket number screen.
  • Relevant Documents. PDFs of the relevant documents that make up the filing (the Notice of Motion, Memorandum of Law, Declarations, Affidavits, Order and Opinion, etc.) are attached to the Brief Bank summary. The documents are listed with the same number as listed on the court's docket sheet to assist in locating the document on PACER.
  • Parties. The Brief Bank summary includes the name of the party or parties that filed the referenced document with counsel of record as well as the name of the party responding to the filing and with counsel of record.
  • Case Description. A description of the case containing factual and procedural information relevant to the filing is included.
  • Relevant Rules and Statutes. The procedural rules/statutes relevant to the court filing are listed and are linked to the online source where available.
  • Disposition. The disposition of the filing (or action where applicable) is included.
  • Reasons for Selection. The reasons the particular document was selected for inclusion in the Brief Bank are provided including the aspects of the filing that were evaluated.

Practical Law makes no representation about the substantive arguments contained in any of the court documents included in Brief Bank.

Searching the Brief Bank

You can start searching for Brief Bank summaries from the main search bar on the Brief Bank page. Or you can search from any other page on the site and then select Brief Bank on the search results page.

Start Your Search

You can run a free text search to search for court filings in a specific jurisdiction or involving a specific judge or party or other search term.

Note: You can use free text, exact phrases or other query modifiers you would use in a Google search. Please note if you enter more than one search term, the search engine will automatically perform an "AND" search - meaning that it will only return a result if it contains all the terms you have entered.

Refine Your Search

You can refine your search results using the filters to the left of your search results:

  • Court Filing Name. Display search results relating to a specific type of court filing (i.e., motions, discovery, appellate, notices, pleadings and other).
  • Court Filing Sub-type. Display search results relating to a specific sub-filing type (e.g., motion to dismiss, motion to compel arbitration etc.).
  • Circuit. Display search results only from the appellate and district courts from the selected circuit.
  • Court. Display search results only from the selected court (appellate or district).
  • Judge. Display search results only for cases before a specific judge.
When applying filters, you can:
  • Expand the list of available filters in each group by clicking "More" at the end of the list.
  • Clear filters by clicking “All” in the appropriate filter group.
  • Clear all filters by clicking “Clear All" at the top of the filters column.

Switch Between Brief Bank, Know-How and What’s Market Searches

From the search results page, you can switch easily from searching Practical Law’s Know-how resources (Practice Notes, Standard Documents, Standard Clauses, Checklists, Toolkits, Articles, Updates) to searching the Brief Bank or What’s Market by clicking the appropriate tab at the top of the page.

View a Brief Bank Summary

Click on a specific entry in the search results to view a summary of the papers that made up that filing.

The summaries provide numerous links directly to the related documents including notices, motions, party's briefs and court orders and decisions. The Brief Bank summary will explain exactly what formatting and content requirements were reviewed by our team of attorney-editors to ensure that court filing complies with all relevant statutes and rules.

Browsing the Brief Bank

You can find documents in the Brief Bank by court filing type or by court.

By Court Filing Type

You can browse the Brief Bank database by selecting one of the following court filing types:

  • Pleadings. Pleadings filed in federal courts, including complaints (including class action and shareholder derivative complaints) and answers.
  • Discovery. Documents included in discovery related motions, including those documents filed with motions to compel discovery and motions to quash a subpoena.
  • Notices. Examples of properly formatted notices filed in federal court, including notices of removal.
  • Motions. Examples of documents required to be included in a variety of motions, including motions to dismiss, motions for summary judgment, motions to compel arbitration, motions to confirm an arbitration award and motions for default judgment. The Brief Bank also provides examples of the oppositions to these motions.
  • Appellate. Examples of documents required to be included in motion practice in the federal appellate courts.

By Court

You can also browse the Brief Bank database by selecting one of the appellate or district courts:

  • US District Court for the Southern District of New York (S.D.N.Y)
  • US District Court for the Eastern District of New York (E.D.N.Y)
  • US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (N.D. Ill.)
  • US District Court for the District of Massachusetts (D. Mass.)
  • US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (E.D. Pa.)
  • US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (2nd Cir.)
  • US District Court for the Central District of California (C.D. Cal.)
  • US District Court for the Northern District of California (N.D. Cal.)
  • US District Court for the Southern District of Florida (S.D. Fla.)
  • US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (9th Cir.)

In either case, you can then refine or expand your results following the steps in Search.

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