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Anatomy of a Citation - University of South Carolina School of Law

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Anatomy of a Citation
Or
Everything You Need To
Know About Citation In
One Easy Lesson
“The central function of a legal citation
is to allow the reader
to efficiently locate the cited source .”
BLUEBOOK (18th ed.), p. 2
When to use citations
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To point to authority for a legal or factual
argument or proposition
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To point to the source of a quotation
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When restating holdings, facts, or ideas
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To provide supplementary material
Citations to Cases – Rule 10
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Name of the parties
Published source(s) in which case appears
Page on which the case begins
Pinpoint citation, if needed
Court
Date
Subsequent history, if any (Rule B5.1.5)
Party Names (T.6 & T.10)
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Roe v. Wade,
Heard v. Herald Newspapers,
State v. Thompson,
Jackson v. Metropolitan Edison Co.,
In re Winship,
Volume Number & Reporter
Abbreviation (T.1 & T.2)
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410 U.S.
(United States Reports)
132 F.2d
(Federal Reporter)
45 F. Supp.
(Federal Supplement)
380 S.E.2d
(South Eastern Reporter)
21 U.S. (8 Wheat) (early US reporter)
Pinpoint cites
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369 U.S. 186, 195
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784 F.2d 1209, 1215-16
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769 F.2d 195, 196, 199 n.4
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492 F.2d 150, 150
Case citations in the text
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In Penn Central Transportation Co. v. City of
New York, 366 N.E.2d 1271 (N.Y. 1977), the
court applied a version of the diminution in
value rule.
Parenthetical
Date and Court
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Date is the year of decision.
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No court designation is given if the court is
clear from the name of the reporter .
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(1978).
410 U.S. 113 (1973).
Add court designation if not clear from name
of the reporter.
–
132 F.2d 1059 (5th Cir. 1996).
Short Forms – Rule 10.9
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Once a full citation is given, short forms may
be used IF
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it will be clear to the reader;
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the full citation is in the same general discussion;
and
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the reader can locate the full citation quickly.
Examples of Short Forms
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United States v. Calandra, 414 U.S. 338, 343
(1974).
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Calandra, 414 U.S. at 343.
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414 U.S. at 343.
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Id. at 343.
Use of Id. - Rule 4.1
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Use id. when citing the immediately
preceding authority.
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Only use id. if there is no possibility of
confusion. That is, if there are two sources in
the preceding reference, don’t use id., use a
short form that identifies the source.
Citations to Statutes – Rule 12
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Volume, title or chapter number
Abbreviation of code or compilation
Section number
Publisher, editor or compiler
Date
Supplements
Abbreviations (T.1 & T.2)
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U.S.C. - United States Code
U.S.C.S. - United States Code Service
U.S.C.A. - United States Code Annotated
S.C. Code Ann. - South Carolina Code
Annotated
Section Numbers
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12 U.S.C. В§ 1455
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Tex. Fam. Code Ann. В§ 5.01
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S.C. Code Ann. В§ 16-3-220
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Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 5, В§ 37
Publisher, Editor or Compiler
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No publisher needed for official codes
published by governmental entity.
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42 U.S.C.В§ 300a-7 (2000).
Provide publisher for official and unofficial
codes published commercially.
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42 U.S.C.A. В§ 300a-7 (West 1998).
42 U.S.C.S. В§ 300a-7 (Lexis 2002).
S.C. Code Ann. В§ 26-1-10 (West 2000) .
Date
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Year that appears on the spine
Year that appears on the title page
Latest copyright year
Year of replacement volume, not original
Material found in supplement
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42 U.S.C.A. В§ 300a-7 (West Supp. 2005).
Material found in main volume & supplement
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42 U.S.C.A. В§ 300a-7 (West 1998 & Supp. 2005).
Preferred sources for statutes
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Current official code - 42 U.S.C. В§ 1983 (2000).
Current unofficial code - 5 U.S.C.A. В§ 101 (West 2004).
Official session laws - 83 Stat. 852 (1970).
Privately published session laws –
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2004 Minn. Sess. Law Serv., ch. 162, art. 1 (West).
Secondary source –
Social Security Amendments of 1983, Pub. L. No. 98-21,
51 U.S.L.W. 203 (1983).
Court and litigation documents
- Rule B10 (BT.1)
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Plaintiff was driving a blue, late-model sports
car. (Compl. В¶ 21.)
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(Trial Tr. Vol. 2, 31, June 19, 2004)
Books & Treatises – Rule 15
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Author
Editor or translator
Title
Page, section or paragraph
Edition
Publisher
Date
Examples
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Harold W. Fuson, Jr., TELLING IT ALL: A
LEGAL GUIDE TO THE EXERCISE OF FREE
SPEECH 57-58 (1995).
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Charles Dickens, BLEAK HOUSE 50 (Norman
Page, ed., Penguin Books 1971)(1853).
4 Charles Alan Wright & Arthur R. Miller,
FEDERAL PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE В§1006
(2nd ed. 1987).
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Consecutively paginated journals
- Rule 3 (T.10 & T.13)
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Richard A. Epstein, The Supreme Court,
1987 Term – Foreword: Unconstitutional
Conditions, State Power, and the Limits of
Consent, 102 HARV. L. REV. 4 (1988).
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Stephen D. Sugarman, Using Private
Schools to Promote Public Values, 1991 U.
CHI. LEGAL F. 171.
Electronic media & non-print sources –
Rule 18
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Cases available only online
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Statutory material
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Gibbes v. Frank, No. 02-3924, 2004 U.S. App. LEXIS 21357, at
*18 (3rd Cir. Oct 14, 2004).
Wis. Stat. Ann. В§ 19.43 (West, Westlaw through 1995 Act 26).
Internet
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Am. Mining Cong. v. U.S. Army Corps of Eng’rs, No. CIV.A. 931754 SSH (D.D.C. Jan. 23, 1997), available at
http://www.wetlands.com/fed/tulloch1.htm.
“The index is your friend.” S. Etheredge
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Less than half of the Bluebook is devoted to
rules & examples.
Use the aids provided.
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Table of contents
Index
Tables
Deciphering a strange citation
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Bluebook tables
Beiber’s Dictionary of Legal Citations
Beiber’s Dictionary of Legal Abbreviations
When all else fails, ask the author for a copy.
Finally
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The Bluebook doesn’t cover everything.
Analogize.
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Issue: You need to cite an unusual source.
Rule: There is no rule that applies exactly.
Application: Synthesize a rule by analogy.
Conclusion: Construct your own citation.
Remember the central function of citation.
Be consistent.
How does one cite this?
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The Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 has
been passed twice, apparently, in two
different defense appropriations bills
Pub. L. 109-148, 119 Stat. 2680 (Dec. 30,
2005)
Pub. L. 109-163, 119 Stat. 3136 (Jan. 6,
2006)
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I would just cite the most recent version.
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