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Company Research: Litigation & Regulation

U.S. Company Litigation

  • Legal case materials often provide revealing, not readily available, information about a company’s internal operations and its stakeholders
  • Major litigation is disclosed in company U.S. SEC 10K reports and the press but the less prominent cases involving both public and private companies are more difficult to locate
  • The following sources do not provide comprehensive coverage of the U.S. court system, but they are still good starting points for locating company legal proceedings
  • Enter the company’s name in the party name or search the complete text

Nexis Uni

Nexis-Uni-Legal

Google Scholar

Coverage:

  • Published opinions of U.S. state appellate and Supreme Court cases since 1950
  • U.S. federal district, appellate, tax and bankruptcy court cases since 1923
  • U.S. Supreme Court cases since 1791

 Search strategy:

  • Check Case Law; Select Courts
  • Search for party name

Pacer

  • Use to find out if a company has any pending law suits.  
  • Operated by the U.S. Administrative Courts, PACER includes case and docket information for all U.S. district, bankruptcy, and appellate courts. 
  • Registration and payment are required to use this service. 

Corporate Violations - US Regulations

Additional Resources - U.S. Federal Agency Enforcement

U.S. federal agencies are responsible for creating rules which administer and enforce U.S. laws.  Valuable information about companies can be found in published business violation complaints and agency enforcement actions.

For a more comprehensive list of agencies with enforcement responsibilities, see the Dirt Diggers Digest.  Below are a few examples of agencies which release their documents: 

Securities Class Action Clearinghouse. Stanford Law School in cooperation with Cornerstone Research

  • Provides detailed information relating to the prosecution, defense, and settlement of federal class action securities fraud litigation
  • Also contains copies of more than 42,825 complaints, briefs, filings, and other litigation-related materials filed in these cases

U.S. SEC Litigation

  • Provides information on SEC enforcement actions, opinions issued by the Commission, briefs filed by SEC staff, trading suspensions, and notices concerning the creation of investors’ claims funds in specific cases

U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission

  • CFTC disciplinary history available here includes Reparations Sanctions in Effect and Administrative Sanctions in Effect
  • Search CFTC disciplinary history by respondent name, other names used by respondent, CFTC docket number, or National Futures Association ID.

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System: Search facility

The Federal Reserve supervises the following entities and has the statutory authority to take formal enforcement actions against them:

  • State member banks
  • Bank holding companies
  • Nonbank subsidiaries of bank holding companies
  • Edge and agreement corporations
  • Branches and agencies of foreign banking organizations operating in the United States and their parent banks
  • Officers, directors, employees, and certain other categories of individuals associated with the above banks, companies, and organizations (referred to as "institution-affiliated parties") 

For additional information, see the U.S. Federal Reserve explanation about enforcement responsibilities

U.S. Department of Treasury. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

The OCC supervises the following entities and has the statutory authority to take enforcement actions against them:

  • National banks and their subsidiaries
  • Federally chartered savings associations and their subsidiaries
  • Federal branches and agencies of foreign banks
  • Institution-affiliated parties (IAPs), including:
    1. Officers, directors, and employees
  • A bank's controlling stockholders, agents, and certain other individuals.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

  • State chartered banks that are not members of the Federal Reserve System and insured branches of foreign banks

U.S. Federal Trade Commission

  • Review cases and proceedings regarding company mergers and anti-competitive practices.

U.S. Environment Protection Agency

  • Investigate the company’s environmental record.  Since company facilities have different names, best to search by U.S. address and postal codes.

U.S. Department of Labor Enforcement Data

  • Look up company and retrieve  enforcement results from U.S. Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Mine Safety & Health Administration (MSHA)

U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission

  • EEOC cases against employers might be available in the collection of briefs filed by the EEOC in the United States Courts of Appeals in cases in which the EEOC is a party and in the EEOC amicus briefs filed in the U.S. Courts of Appeals, district courts, and state courts

Related Guides

Free and Low-Cost Online Legal Research

By the University of Michigan Law Library