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LAW 331: Law and the Legal Environment

Citation Examples

Citations of cases look like this:

 

Bush v. Gore, 531 U.S. 98 (2000).  

  

Here is a breakdown of the formatting.

 

Bush v. Gore, 531 U.S. 98 (2000).  

 

The "U.S." tells us in what set of books the case resides. In this case, the United States Reports, which is the official reporter for U.S. Supreme Court cases.  

 

"531" is the volume number.  

 

"98" is the page number where the case begins.  

 

Notice too that the plaintiffs' or petitioners', and defendants’ identities are italicized.

 

The parentheses generally house the court and the year of decision.  Here, there is no court listed because it is the highest court, the U.S. Supreme Court.  

 

Similarly:

 

Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973).

 

If it is the highest court of a state (which this one was), the state abbreviation is there without specifying the particular court.  This is in Volume 162 of the Northeast Reporter on Page 99.

 

Palsgraf v. Long Island Railroad Co., 162 N.E. 99 (N.Y. 1928).  

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