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Levin College of Law

Florida Case Law

This guide describes the structure of the state courts in Florida and explains how to find, validate, and cite court decisions.

For Law Students & Faculty

Law students and faculty also have access to all the content described in the boxes below (For LIC Patrons, Free Resources, Print Resources).

For LIC Patrons

There is one computer terminal in the LIC with access to Westlaw.  This terminal is available to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Free Resources

Print Resources

Finding Case Law in Print 

Some--not all--decisions from the Florida Circuit Courts and County Courts (trial-level courts) are available in the following print resources:

  • Florida Supplement and Florida Supplement Second contain selected decisions from Florida circuit and county courts beginning in 1952.
    • The Florida Supplement and Florida Supplement Second are available on the 1st Floor of the LIC, Call Numbers KFF51.A3 and KFF51.A32.
  • Florida Law Weekly Supplement contains selected decisions from Florida circuit and county courts, as well as some reports of state agency proceedings.  This publication is available in print and also online, though the online version requires a subscription.  To be included in the Florida Law Weekly Supplement, a decision must be specifically submitted by the court or an attorney for inclusion. 
    • The Florida Law Weekly Supplement is available on the 1st Floor of the LIC, Call Number KFF51.F56.

Decisions from the Florida Supreme Court and the five District Courts of Appeal can be found in the following print resources:

  • Southern Reporter, a multi-volume West publication that begins with 1886 and has been the official publication for Florida court decisions since 1948.  Also includes decisions from the state courts of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi.  Because the Florida District Courts of Appeal were not created until 1957, decisions from those courts begin with 1957.  The Southern Reporter has been published in three series:  Southern Reporter (So.), with cases from 1886-1941; Southern Reporter Second (So. 2d), with cases from 1941-2008; and Southern Reporter Third (So. 3d), with cases since 2008.
    • A complete set of the Southern Reporter and Southern Reporter Second, and a partial set of Southern Reporter Third (ending in 2012), is available on the 2nd Floor of the LIC, Call Number KFF135.S8.
  • Florida Cases, a subset of the Southern Reporter that uses the same pagination as the Southern Reporter but consists of only the Florida state court decisions. 
    • Florida Cases is available on the 1st Floor of the LIC, Call Number KFF45.A22.
  • Florida Reports, which began publication in 1848, was the first official publication for Florida Supreme Court decisions.  It ceased publication in 1948. From 1886-1948, Florida Reports and West's Southern Reporter were both in publication, so Florida appellate decisions from these years can be found in both publications.
    • Florida Reports is available on the 1st Floor fo the LIC, Call Number KFF45.A2.
  • Florida Law Weekly and Florida Law Weekly Supplement contain decisions from the Florida Supreme Court and the five District Court of Appeals (Florida Law Weekly) and selected decisions from the Circuit Courts (Florida Law Weekly Supplement).  
    • Florida Law Weekly and Florida Law Weekly Supplement are available in binders on the 1st Floor of the LIC, Call Number KFF47.F54.

If you have a case citation, such as 594 So. 2d 292, you can go directly to an applicable print resource listed above and find the case.  If you are researching an issue and want to find relevant cases in print, you will need to start with a digest, which is an index of case law.  For Florida state court decisions, the original digest is called the Florida Digest, and it indexes decisions from the Florida Supreme Court between 1846 and 1935.  For more recent cases, the Florida Digest 2d indexes decisions from the Florida Supreme Court since 1935 and the District Courts of Appeal since 1957.  The LIC has a set of the entire Florida Digest and of the Florida Digest 2d through the end of 2018, but no longer subscribes to this publication.  For instructions on using a digest to find case law, watch this step-by-step video, or ask a reference librarian.

Updating Case Law in Print

After you find a case, it is very important to confirm that it is still good law.  In other words, you must make sure that the case has not been overruled or otherwise limited by subsequent decisions or legislative action, either directly or indirectly.  See Validating Florida Case Law in this guide at https://guides.law.ufl.edu/floridacaselaw/validating for instructions on how to update the cases you found.