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State of Oregon Law Library Legal Research Blog

Library Spotlight: The Oregon Reports

by Lynne Palombo on 2020-07-10T07:48:00-07:00 in Oregon History, Legal Research | Comments

The Publications Program within the State of Oregon Law Library publishes and distributes decisions, or opinions, of the Oregon Supreme Court, Oregon Court of Appeals, and the Oregon Tax Court as mandated in the Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS 2.150).  

Written opinions of appellate courts are reported, or published, in court reports. The Oregon Reports have been published continuously since 1862 (with opinions dating back to 1853 when Oregon was still a territory). 1962 saw the establishment of the Oregon Tax Court and the first issuance of the Oregon Tax Reports.  The Oregon Court of Appeals and the first issue of the Oregon Reports - Court of Appeals began in 1969.

Preparing for print

Copies of opinions appear first as “slip opinions” which are copies of the original filed in the clerk’s office.  Slip opinions are then published in “advance sheets.” The Advance Sheets (AS) is a soft-cover publication, published every two weeks, that includes opinions in a preliminary format, paginated such that citing is possible. The AS will go on to be published in permanent bound volumes (the Reports) and include additional material, such as orders regarding rules and tables listing cases pending review by the Supreme Court.   


The size of each Oregon Reports volume is determined by the number of pages.  It takes about 2 months for the Court of Appeals and 6 for the Supreme Court to accumulate enough material to close out a volume. The Publications staff then prepares the master for printing, which includes: final formatting and proofing, insertion of citations that might not have been available when the opinions originally issued, updating of case histories as they progress through the appeals process, creation and formatting of tables.  This process takes approximately 4 months to complete. The final product is then transmitted to an outside vendor who prints, binds, and ships the volumes, which takes about another 2 months. 

Digital collection

Until an opinion is published in a bound volume, it is listed on the Publications website with a link to the AS-version in the State of Oregon Law Library (SOLL) digital collection: 

When a new bound volume becomes available, the links to the AS-version opinions for that volume are deleted from the Publications website, the AS-version opinions are replaced by final versions and are accessible by visiting the SOLL digital collection.  All opinions published online have been formatted per OJD policies designed to address confidentiality and privacy laws. The digital collection dates back to January 1998, when the Judicial Department began publishing opinions on the internet.

Purchase Bound Volumes

Bound volumes have always been and still remain available for purchase. Preorder upcoming volumes to avoid shipping fees! (301 Or App is available for preorder through July 23, 2020)


Read Justice Balmer's essay on the origin of the Oregon Reports and their insight into the legal documents of Oregon's history.

Balmer, Thomas A. "The Oregon Reports, 1862-1900: A Brief History." Oregon Appellate Almanac, 2006. 

--Pat Zollner, Mary Yunker, and Lynne Palombo

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