Michigan State Courts

Michigan Supreme Court

Michigan Supreme Court Oral Arguments (Via State Bar’s Virtual Court Project)

Michigan Court of Appeals

Guide to Reading Michigan Court of Appeals Docket Sheet

Michigan Trial Courts (via SCAO website)

Michigan Tribal Courts (via SCAO website)

Kent County Circuit Circuit Court (“Access Kent”)

Oakland County Circuit Court Online Docketing System (“Court Explorer”)

Wayne County Circuit Court Criminal Docketing System (“Odysey”)

Michigan Federal Courts

United States District Court Eastern District of Michigan

United States District Court Western District of Michigan

United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit



Michigan Legislature

Michigan Legislature

Researching Online Sources for Michigan Legislative History. Michigan legislative histories are difficult to do properly. This guide by Susan Adamczak (head librarian of the Michigan State Law Library) does a nice job of explaining the process with some localization for individual Michigan law libraries. To do a proper legislative history, be prepared to drive to some brick and mortar institutions.

United States Legislature

Congress.org. A non-partisan new service. This is not an official service of the United States Congress, but it is very valuable. It should not be confused with the Library of Congress’s beta service Congress.gov. Thomas includes an online copy of Congressional Record -- an invaluable tool for doing federal legislative histories.

United States House of Representatives. The official website of the United States House of Representatives.

United States Senate. The official website of the United States Senate.

Thomas. The online legislative library from the Library of Congress. In 2014, this service will be replaced with Congress.gov. You can try the beta version of it now.

United States Supreme Court Resources

United States Supreme Court Official Website

Supreme Court Database. The U.S. Supreme Court Database by Professor Harold J. Spaeth houses 247 pieces of information for each U.S. Supreme Court decision/order case, roughly broken down into six categories: (1) identification variables (e.g., citations and docket numbers); (2) background variables (e.g., how the Court took jurisdiction, origin and source of the case, the reason the Court agreed to decide it); (3) chronological variables (e.g., the date of decision, term of Court, natural court); (4) substantive variables (e.g., legal provisions, issues, direction of decision); (5) outcome variables (e.g., disposition of the case, winning party, formal alteration of precedent, declaration of unconstitutionality); and (6) voting and opinion variables (e.g., how the individual justices voted, their opinions and inter-agreements).

SCOTUS Blog. Great discussion on current cases before the United States Supreme. Supreme Court briefs are available on its Wiki.

Supreme Court Criminal Docket. A nice summary of upcoming oral arguments in the US Supreme Court. The list is compiled by the conservative Criminal Justice Legal Foundation


Public Resources

State Appellate Defender’s Office

Michigan Government TV Schedule

United States Sentencing Commission. The website of the United States Sentencing Guideline Commission. This this a great research resource including many of the Commission’s reports, commentaries, proposed amendments, and the text of old versions of the guidelines.

Innocence Projects

Cooley Innocence Project

U of M Innocence Project Clinic. The Nation’s first non-DNA Innocence Project. The U of M clinic focuses on claims of innocence based in cases not involving DNA such as cases based on bad expert testimony in arson cases, child abuses, and other forensic matters. The clinic also considers cases where a defendant did not have effective representation of counsel. The only restriction in their selection is that the accused must be actually innocent of the crime. They are not interested in cases involving individuals who were overcharged, received too much time, or received an unfair trial (but were guilty).

Other Innocence Projects (via the Wisconsin Innocence Project)

Of Counsel and Affiliated Firms

Law Offices of Lauri Longo (michigancivilappeals.com). A practitioner focusing on Michigan civil appeals.

Kirsch and Satawa. A boutique law firm specializing in defense of false allegations of sexual abuses, challenges to prosecution cold case prosecutions, and flawed forensic evidence.

Other Law Firms

The Injustice Line. Attorney James Sterling Lawrence’s website outlining cases he believes to be particularly unjust.

Hulka/Porter. A Canadian immigration law firm in neighboring Windsor, Ontario. Drew Porter has been a friend for years and a great lawyer. Drew is exceptionally good at restoring the rights of former offenders to visit or immigrate to Canada. This includes people guilty of serious criminality under Article 36Canada’s Immigrant and Refugee Protection Act.

Frankel & Cohen. A Chicago law firm that I do a lot of work with. Highly recommended.

Patrick Levine Rose. A Lansing area appellate attorney who handles a number of different types of appeals.


Criminal Law Organizations

The State Appellate Defender’s Office. Michigan appellate defender’s office with a top rated website

Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan. Michigan’s criminal defense organization

National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys.
The oldest and most respected criminal law organization in the country.

Public Records

ICHAT -- Michigan State Police Criminal Records Search Engine

Michigan Attorney Directory (via MichBar.org)

Michigan Attorney General Opinions. The Michigan Attorney General issues advisory opinions to various state officials. While the rulings are not binding on individuals, they are binding on state agencies and often a good place to start your research.

Michigan Department of Corrections Inmate Locator

Michigan Sex Offender Registry

Federal Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator

VineLink - Offender Information for Victims. (Even though the site is for victims, it is a great location for learning about offender whereabouts and pending cases generally.


Other Resources


Efiling Guide for the Sixth Circuit. This 2009 article by John Bursch (now Michigan’s Solicitor General) is a nice guide on how the Sixth Circuit’s exiling system works.

Google Scholar. Google Scholar contains many scholarly works which are out of copyright. Starting in November of 2009 it also includes many court decisions and law reviews. According to Google’s content page, “Currently, Google Scholar allows you to search and read opinions for US state appellate and supreme court cases since 1950, US federal district, appellate, tax and bankruptcy courts since 1923 and US Supreme Court cases since 1791 (please check back periodically for updates to coverage information). In addition, it includes citations for cases cited by indexed opinions or journal articles which allows you to find influential cases (usually older or international) which are not yet online or publicly available.”

Adam Walsh Resource Center. A comprehensive collection of resources about the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act maintained by Professor Corey Rayburn Yung at the John Marshall School of Law in Chicago.

Cap Net. The Capital Defense Network. This website contains a huge amount of information about habeas corpus and post-conviction petitions from the capital defense perspective.

CrimeLynx. Links to legal research, experts, investigation and forensic sites, crime policy; designed for criminal defense practitioners.

Governor’s Interview Protocol for interviewing child witnesses in criminal sexual abuse cases.

Michigan Collateral Consequences. A nice listing of the collateral consequences of a criminal conviction and civil rights restoration possibilities for Michigan former offenders. It was prepared by Attorney Margaret Love (a national expert on the law of pardons and President Clinton’s former pardon attorney) in conjunction with the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys. Last Updated: 10/12.

Michigan Bar Journal. The official publication of the State Bar of Michigan.

Netlawtools Links to legal research, experts, investigation and forensic sites, crime policy; designed for criminal defense practitioners

Foreign Law by Jurisdictions. A great collection of foreign law resources courtesy of New York University Law School.

Marty Tieber’s 2012 Criminal Law Updates. F. Martin Tieber’s 2012 summary of Michigan legal developments.