Layer two overview: Cases, Orders, Opinions, Decisions and Writings


The words "decision", "order", "opinion", and "judgment", and even "case" tend to be used both loosely and interchangeably to mean either the act that delivers a court's ruling in a particular case, or the text of the ruling itself.  To make things even more confusing, a decision (in either sense) may affect (either dispositively or nondispositively) more than one case, and a decision (in the sense of the text that records the court's ruling) may consist of more than one document.

For our purposes here:

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