Kansas Case Law Research Guide

Official Reports

The official opinions of the Kansas Supreme Court and Kansas Court of Appeals are reported in the bound Kansas Reports (KFK 45 .A2) and the Kansas Court of Appeals Reports 2d (KFK 48 .A22), respectively.

The Washburn University School of Law Library maintains several copies of both titles. A complete set of each reporter is located in the Quick Reference sections on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floors. Additional copies of both sets are available for circulation. These circulating copies are shelved in the Kansas collection on the 3rd floor.

Advance Sheets (KFK 45 .A3) are shelved following each bound copy set of Kansas Reports. These soft cover pamphlets contain decisions prior to printing in a bound volume. These copies are published monthly except February, June, August, and October. Advance sheets contain the Kansas Supreme Court opinions, followed by the Kansas Court of Appeals opinions. An index provides topical searching of opinions in the advance sheets. There is also a table of cases at the beginning of each section.

Unofficial Reports

Kansas Supreme Court and Court of Appeals opinions are also reported in the West's Pacific Reporter first, second, and third series. The Pacific Reporters are located on the third floor, stacks 308–309. While the Pacific Reporter is a place to read the case, remember, the official citation for any Kansas case is to the Kansas Reports or the Kansas Court of Appeals Reports.

Kansas Cases (KFK 48 .A3) contain only Kansas published opinions reported in West's Pacific Reporter.

Finding Aids

Kansas Digest 2d (KFK57 .K362) provides access to Kansas cases by topic. The Kansas Digest 2d is organized in accordance with the West Key Number system.

It is easy to find a case when a citation is known. A citation consists of the volume where the case is located, the abbreviation for the reporter, and the page number on which the case begins.

The citation:

45 Kan. 334

refers to the 45th volume of Kansas Reports on page 334.

Kansas Courts Slip Opinions

Slip Opinions are published by the Kansas Court of Appeals nearly every week. Kansas Supreme Court opinions are scheduled for publication approximately ten times per year; however, the Court can release opinions at any time. Some opinions are for publication and some are not intended for publication. The Law Library maintains a file of both published and unpublished slip opinions. Current slip opinions are kept in the Reference area of the library. Older unpublished opinions are kept in storage with the briefs from the case. Ask a the Reference Desk for assistance with print slip opinions.

Slip Opinions for published opinions are posted on the Kansas Judicial Branch website each Friday when court is in session.

Court Briefs

The library maintains an extensive collection of briefs submitted in cases heard by the Kansas Supreme Court since 1966. Some earlier briefs are also available. Briefs from the Kansas Court of Appeals are available from 1977 forward. Briefs may be borrowed for three days and should be requested at the Reference Desk. Retrieving requires the docket number of the case.

To obtain docket numbers for cases filed after October 1996, consult the Kansas Supreme Court or Kansas Court of Appeals website. For cases filed since January 1979, you may obtain docket numbers from the appellate court clerk's office (785-296-3229) which maintains a cross-index of filings. Otherwise, consult the Kansas Reports, the Kansas Court of Appeals Reports 2d, the Kansas Reports Advance Sheets or the current slip opinions to determine docket numbers.

Other sources for briefs are:

  • Kansas Supreme Court Library, 301 W 10th, Topeka, KS 66612 (785-296-3257)
  • Kansas State Historical Society Library, 6425 SW 6th Avenue, Topeka, KS 66606 (785-272-8681)

Online Sources

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