Skip to Main Content

Records and Briefs at The New York Law Institute: Home


Need a copy of a lower court trial decision?
Do you want to get the actual transcript of a trial?
Looking for the original complaint in a case that made it all the way to the Supreme Court?
All of these – and more – may be contained in a set of materials called the “records and briefs.”


As a court case makes its way through the legal system, it generates an extensive paper trail. For a case that goes up on appeal, the briefs are the written arguments filed by the parties before the appellate court judge. The record is its associated paperwork, such as the original complaint or summons, the actual lower court judgment, decision or order that is being appealed, the trial transcript expert witness testimony, and various other supporting materials. Access to briefs can give an idea of how exactly a winning case was argued, and the record will often include documents that are not available anywhere else.

The NYLI collection includes records and briefs for several different federal and state courts.