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Legal Citation

This guide provides an introduction to the citation of cases, statutes and regulations, books and journal articles, and electronic sources.

Citing Cases

The citation is a valuable and concise source of information that includes the name of the parties involved in the action, the year the decision was handed down, the jurisdiction and the court in which the case was heard. It also provides information on where a specific case may be found--i.e., in what reporters or databases the case is published. Lawyers use cases to make claims about the strength of their own cases and about the law itself, and other legal professionals--judges, clerks, opposing counsel--are required to determine whether those claims are accurate by finding and reading those cases. As a result, legal professionals are expected to know how to cite cases correctly--the inability to do so can damage one's credibility.