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JFK School of Law Resource Center Home

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Legal Citations

Uniform Legal Citations

United States Constitution and Amendments

 

U.S. Constitution

Article Section Clause
U.S. Const. art. II, § 2, cl. 2.
Citation
U.S. Const. art. II, § 2, cl. 2.
 

 

 

U.S. Constitution

Amendment Section
U.S. Const. Amend. XII, § 3
Citation
U.S. Const. amend. XII, § 3.
 

 

  • Citation for the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution is U.S.Const. pmbl.

Uniform Legal Citations

US Supreme Court Caselaw

 

Name

Volume Reporter Page Year
Rebman v. Florida,  555 U.S. 222 (2019)
Citation: Official Reporter US Supreme Court  
Rebman v. Florida, 555 U.S. 222 (2019).
Citation: Unofficial Reporters US Supreme Court
Rebman v. Florida, 25 S. Ct. 1611, 20 L. Ed. 3d 987 (2019).
Parallel Citation 
Rebman v. Florida, 555 U.S. 222, 25 S. Ct. 1611, 20 L. Ed. 3d 987 (2019).
  • Whenever citing to a US Supreme Court case you must use the official reporter (U.S.) citation.
    • Exception: There can be a lag between the time of the Supreme Court decision and its publication in the official reporter. In those cases, you can cite to the unofficial reporters for the Supreme Court decisions:
      • S.Ct. is published by West.
      • L.Ed is an unofficial digest published by the US government.

  • Remember that the volume and page numbers will be different for each reporter.

  • If you want to refer to a specific page in the decision you include it after the comma behind the starting page: Rebman v. Florida, 555 U.S. 222, 225 (2019). You will need to include if for each reporter too since page numbers will vary.

  • You will often see the parallel citations for US Supreme Court caselaw, this is more for the convenience of the reader who may not have an official reporter or may not have one of the unofficial reporters. However, it is not required.

Uniform Legal Citations

United States Circuit (Appellate) Courts

 

Name

Volume Reporter First Page of Case Identify Federal Circuit  Court Year
Rebman v. Trees Co., 555 F.  222 (3d Cir. 2019)
Citation
Rebman v. Trees Co., 555 F. 222 (3d Cir. 2019).

Circuit Courts

  • There are 11 Circuit Courts (1st Cir., 2nd Cir., etc).    
  • In addition, there is the D.C. Circuit Court (D.C. Cir.) and Federal Circuit (Fed. Cir.).
  • They are divided up geographically (see Federal Circuit Map). 

Circuit Court Reporter Abbreviations

  • F.
  • F.2d
  • F.3d

Circuit Courts

  • 1st Cir.: Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Puerto Rico, and Rhode Island
  • 2nd Cir.: Connecticut, New York, and Vermont
  • 3rd Cir.: Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and the Virgin Islands
  • 4th Cir.: Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina
  • 5th Cir.: Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas
  • 6th Cir.: Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee
  • 7th Cir.: Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin
  • 8th Cir.: Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, and Nebraska
  • 9th Cir.: Alaska, Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and the Northern Mariana Islands
  • 10th Cir.: Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah. Plus portions of Yellow Stone Park that extend into Montana and Idaho.
  • 11th Cir.: Alabama, Florida, and Georgia
  • Fed. Cir.: This court has nationwide jurisdiction over international trade, government contracts, patents, trademarks, certain money claims against the U.S. government, federal personnel, veterans’ benefits, and public safety officers’ benefit claims.
  • D.C. Cir.: District of Columbia. This court has jurisdiction over the U.S. Congress and many of the US government agencies. Because of its jurisdiction over government agencies, the D.C. Circuit is regarded as the most powerful of the federal circuit courts.

 

Uniform Legal Citations

Federal District Courts 

 

Name

Volume Reporter First Page of Case Identify Federal District  Court Year
Rebman v. Trees Co., 555 F. Supp. 222 (N.D.  Ind. 2019)
Citation
Rebman v. Trees Co., 555 F. Supp. 222 (N.D. Ind. 2019).

   District Courts

  • Each state can have one or more Federal District Courts, they are separated by geographical location in the state. For example, Indiana has a Northern District Court (N.D. Ind) and a Southern District Court (N.D. Ind.).
  • In the date parenthetical you include the abbreviation for the District Court.

Federal District Court Reporters 

  • F. Supp.
  • F. Supp. 2d
  • F. Supp. 3d

Uniform Legal Citations

United States Official Code

Title Number 

Code Section Date
49 U.S.C. § 4049 2020
Citation
49 U.S.C. § 4049 (2020).

Points to remember.

  • An unannotated code or the official code (U.S.C.) includes the language and legislative history of the law.
  • Citing to the official code is preferred but not required.
  • The date is the most current publication of the reporter.
 

U.S. Code Annotated (U.S.C.A.)

Title Number 

Code Section Date
49 U.S.C.A. § 4049 2020
Citation
49 U.S.C.A. § 4049 (2020).

 

U.S. Code Annotated (U.S.C.S.)

Title Number 

Code Section Date
49 U.S.C.S. § 4049 2020
Citation
49 U.S.C.S. § 4049 (2020).
  • An annotated code has the same information but may also include summaries of related case law, related rules and regulations, attorney general opinions, related secondary resources, and practice guides. The annotated codes are a great way to start your research.
  • The title and section of the official code remain the same for the annotated codes.

Uniform Legal Citations

State Caselaw

Name

Volume Official Reporter Page State and Court Year
Rebman, King v. Florida, Johnson 555 Ind. 222 Omit 2019
Citation: Official Reporter
Rebman v. Florida, 555 Ind. 222 (2019)

 

Name

Volume Reporter Page State and Court Year
Rebman, King v. Florida, Johnson 555 N.E. 222 (Ind. App 2019)
Citation: Regional Reporter
Rebman v. Florida, 555 N.E. 222 (Ind. App. 2019)
Parallel Citation
Rebman v. Florida, 555 Ind. 222, 555 N.E. 222 (2019) *

*When the state or court is clear from the official reporter in the parallel citation omit it from the date parenthetical.

 

State Caselaw Citations:

  • The name of the case is in italics and you only include the first 2 parties listed on either side.
  • The year of the court’s decision is put in parenthesis (2019).
  • When citing to a regional reporter you must also cite to the state and court in the date parenthetical. For example, Indiana Supreme Court (Ind. 2019), Indiana Appellate court (Ind. App. 2019) abbreviations for state courts can be found below.
  • Individual states may have differing rules for legal citations. Always be sure to look up the local rules for the state court.

State Court Abbreviations

State Court                                                              Abbreviation

Alabama Supreme Court                                          Ala.

Alabama Court of Civil Appeals                               Ala. Civ. App.

Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals                        Ala. Crim. App.


Alaska Supreme Court                                              Alaska

Alaska Court of Appeals                                          Alaska Ct. App.


Arkansas Supreme Court                                         Ark.

Arkansas Court of Appeals                                       Ark. Ct. App.


Arizona Supreme Courts                                          Ariz.

Arizona Court of Appeals                                         Ariz. Ct. App.


California Supreme Court                                         Cal.

California Court of Appeal                                       Cal. Ct. App.


Colorado Supreme Court                                          Colo.

Colorado Court of Appeals                                       Colo. App.


Connecticut Supreme Court                                      Conn.

Connecticut Appellate Court                                    Conn. App. Ct.


Delaware Supreme Court                                          Del.

Delaware Court of Chancery                                     Del. Ch.


District of Columbia Court of Appeals                     D.C.


Florida Supreme Court                                             Fla.

Florida District Court of Appeal                               Fla. Dist. Ct. App.


Georgia Supreme Court                                            Ga.

Georgia Court of Appeals                                         Ga. Ct. App.


Hawaii Supreme Court                                             Haw.

Hawaii Court of Appeals                                          Haw. Ct. App.


Idaho Supreme Court                                                Idaho

Idaho Court of Appeals                                             Idaho Ct. App.


Illinois Supreme Court                                             Ill.

Illinois Appellate Court                                            Ill. App. Ct.


Indiana Supreme Court                                             Ind.

Indiana Court of Appeals                                          Ind. Ct. App.


Iowa Supreme Court                                                 Iowa

Iowa Court of Appeals                                              Iowa Ct. App.


Kansas Supreme Court                                             Kan.

Kansas Court of Appeals                                          Kan. Ct. App.


Kentucky Supreme Court                                          Ky.

Kentucky Court of Appeals                                      Ky. Ct. App.


Louisiana Supreme Court                                         La.

Louisiana Court of Appeal                                        La. Ct. App.


Maine Supreme Court                                               Me.

Maine                                                                        No appellate court


Maryland Supreme Court                                          Md.

Maryland Court of Special Appeals                          Md. Ct. Spec. App.


Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court                    Mass.

Massachusetts Appeals Court                                   Mass. App. Ct.


Michigan Supreme Court                                          Mich.

Michigan Court of Appeals                                       Mich. Ct. App.


Minnesota Supreme Court                                        Minn.

Minnesota Court of Appeals                                     Minn. Ct. App.


Mississippi Supreme Court                                       Miss.

Mississippi Court of Appeals                                    Miss. Ct. App.


Missouri Supreme Court                                           Mo.

Missouri Court of Appeals                                        Mo. Ct. App.


Montana Supreme Court                                           Mont.

Montana                                                                    No appellate court


Nebraska Supreme Court                                          Neb.

Nebraska Court of Appeals                                       Neb. Ct. App.


Nevada Supreme Court                                             Nev.

Nevada                                                                       No appellate court


New Hampshire Supreme Court                               N.H.

New Hampshire                                                        No appellate court


New Jersey Supreme Court                                       N.J.

New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division      N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div.


New Mexico Supreme Court                                    N.M.

New Mexico Court of Appeals                                 N.M. Ct. App.


New York Court of Appeals                                     N.Y.

New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division        N.Y. App. Div.


North Carolina Supreme Court                                 N.C.

North Carolina Court of Appeals                              N.C. Ct. App.


North Dakota Supreme Court                                   N.D.

Court of Appeals of North Dakota                            N.D. Ct. App.


Ohio Supreme Court                                                 Ohio

Ohio Court of Appeals                                              Ohio Ct. App.


Oklahoma Supreme Court                                        Okla.

Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals                      Okla. Crim. App.

Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals                             Okla. Civ. App.


Oregon Supreme Court                                             Or.

Oregon Court of Appeals                                          Or. Ct. App.


Pennsylvania Supreme Court                                    Pa.

Pennsylvania Superior Court                                    Pa. Super. Ct.


Rhode Island Supreme Court                                    R.I.

Rhode Island                                                             No appellate court


South Carolina Supreme Court                                 S.C.

South Carolina Court of Appeals                              S.C. Ct. App.


South Dakota Supreme Court                                   S.D.

South Dakota                                                            No appellate court


Tennessee Supreme Court                                        Tenn.

Tennessee Court of Appeals                                     Tenn. Ct. App.


Texas Supreme Court                                               Tex.

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals                              Tex. Crim. App.

Texas Courts of Appeals                                           Tex. App.


Utah Supreme Court                                                 Utah

Utah Court of Appeals                                              Utah Ct. App.


Vermont Supreme Court                                           Vt.

Vermont                                                                    No appellate court


Virginia Supreme Court                                           Va.

Virginia Court of Appeals                                         Va. Ct. App.


Washington Supreme Court                                      Wash.

Washington Court of Appeals                                   Wash. Ct. App.


West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals                W. Va.

West Virginia                                                           No appellate court


Wisconsin Supreme Court                                        Wis.

Wisconsin Court of Appeals                                     Wis. Ct. App.


Wyoming Supreme Court                                         Wyo.

Wyoming                                                                   No appellate court

Uniform Legal Citations

Books, Electronic Resources, and Law Journal Citations

 

Book

Brook S. River & Wood W. Forest, Law Rules § 2.5 (4th ed. 2020).
  • Authors are plain text.
  • Title of Book in italics.
  • Statute, edition, and year are plain text.
Electronic Resource
American Bar Association, Section on Ethics, http://www.americanbarassoc.org/ethics/ (last visited Oct. 25, 2020*).
  • Plain text.
  • If the internet resource has a date use that instead of last visited.
Law Journal
Brook S. River, Standards for Legal Writing, 90 Sup. Ct. Rev. 212 (1990).
  • Author is plain text.
  • Title of Article is in italics.

Legal Citations

To create a Bluebook citation within Westlaw:

  1. Highlight the desired text within the document
  2. A dialog box will automatically appear. Click on Copy with Reference (Standard)
  3. Text is copied message will automatically appear
  4. Paste the text into a Word document.undefined

To create a citation within Lexis Advance: 

  1. Highlight the desired text within the document
  2. A dialog box will automatically appear. Select Copy (Quick): Standard
  3. A message will appear confirming that the citation was copied
  4. Paste the text into a Word document. undefined

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