Duhaime's Legal Citations

Syllabi - The Syllabi

  • Jurisdiction: United States
  • Dates covered: 1876-
  • Publisher/Reporter: John B. West & Co., St. Paul, Minnnesota

In 1876, John West of St. Paul, Minnesota retained a local lawyer to help him publish The Syllabi which, according to the October 21, 1876 edition summarized “the decisions of the Supreme Court of Minnesota”. Instead of making lawyers wait one or two years for decisions to be published in the official annual law report book published by the courts, West had them summarized within days in The Syllabi, along with full text access on-demand.

West then published the cases, as they were issued, in booklets which were readily bound at the end of the year.

The Syllabi was so popular it was renamed in 1877 and included coverage of Wisconsin courts. The new name: the North Western Reporter (N.W.).

As subscriptions came pouring in, the scope of N.W. expanded in 1879 to include the opinions of the supreme courts of Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, Wisconsin and the Dakota Territory and later evolved into the legal publishing giant, Westlaw as documented in the article John Briggs West, 1852-1922, Founder of Westlaw.

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