Found at the beginning of judicial opinions published in the National Reporter System, each one is a statement of an important legal proposition found in the opinion and is the result of careful reading and analysis. A quick scan of the headnotes lets you know right away if the opinion contains law relevant to your research problem -- and shows you where in the opinion that information can be found. TIP: Because West Reporter cases show the Key Number classification on each headnote, you can easily locate other opinions concerning the same subject matter.
A headnote is a brief summary of a particular point of law that is added to the text of a court decision to aid readers in interpreting the highlights of an opinion. As the term implies, they appear at the beginning of the published opinion.