How do I locate circuit splits?

Circuit splits, which occur when two or more circuit courts issue conflicting rulings on the same legal issue or point of law, are popular potential topics for law journal notes/comments. Jurisdictional conflicts provide great opportunities for authors to provide legal analysis and commentary. 

To easily identify recent circuit splits, visit U.S. Law Week: Circuit Splits on Bloomberg Law. U.S. Law Week summarizes selected splits among U.S. federal courts of appeal each month. 

Other strategies to find circuit splits include: 

  • Conducting a keyword search on Westlaw or Lexis for something like (court OR circuit) /s split and then refining your results by date to recent years. 
  • Browsing American Law Reports annotations, which contain a summary and analysis of the law for a specific issue along with a Table of Jurisdictions to find cases addressing that issue across jurisdictions. 

See the Writing for Journal Research Guide for additional tips and resources:

Updated: Jul 26, 2022

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