Research Guides

TMLL Research Guide - Chapter 1


UNDERSTANDING CITATIONS TO BASIC PRIMARY SOURCES


The following examples of citations to cases and statutes, both federal and state, can be used as a guide to help you understand and construct citations. Each example is followed by a brief explanation of its components.

Cases – Federal

Thomas v. Chicago Park Dist., 534 U.S. 316 (2002).

                        Thomas v. Chicago Park Dist. – The parties to the case.

                        534 – The volume in which the case appears.

U.S. – The United States Reports, the official reporter of the United States Supreme Court and which reports cases only from the Supreme Court.

                        316 – The page within volume 534 on which the case begins.

                        2002 – The year the decision in the case was issued by the court.

            Bobby v. Dixon, 132 S. Ct. 26 (2011).

S. Ct. – The Supreme Court Reporter, an unofficial reporter published by West and which reports cases only from the Supreme Court.  Until cases are reported in the advance sheets of the official United States Reports, currently more than two years after the decision is issued by the court, this is the reporter that must be cited. 

            Booth v. Maryland, 327 F.3d 377 (4th Cir. 2003).

F.3d – The Federal Reporter third series, the unofficial reporter of cases from the federal Courts of Appeals, the intermediate level appellate courts within the federal court system.

4th Cir. – The specific court of the 13 Courts of Appeals that decided the case.  The 4th Circuit covers the federal courts within the states of Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.

            Allen v. Rumsfeld, 273 F. Supp. 2d 695 (D. Md. 2003).

F. Supp. 2d – the Federal Supplement second series, the unofficial reporter of cases from the federal District Courts, the trial level courts within the federal court system.

D. Md. – the specific federal District Court that decided the case, the District Court for the District of Maryland.  There is at least one federal District Court for each state.

Cases – State

Lema v. Bank of America, 375 Md. 675, 826 A.2d 504 (2003).

Md. – The Maryland Reports, the official reporter of the Maryland Court of Appeals, the higher of the two Maryland appellate courts.  It reports only cases from the Court of Appeals.

826 A.2d 504 – A parallel cite to the same case as reported in the Atlantic Reporter second series, one of seven regional reporters that publish appellate cases from all the states.  The Atlantic Reporter also publishes appellate cases from Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.  The seven regional reporters are the Atlantic (A.), North Eastern (N.E.), North Western (N.W.), Pacific (P.), South Eastern (S.E.), South Western (S.W.), and Southern (So.).

            Zdravkovich v. Siegert, 151 Md. App. 295, 824 A.2d 1051 ((2003).

Md. App. – The Maryland Appellate Reports, the official reporter of the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, the lower of the two Maryland appellate courts.  It reports only cases from the Court of Special Appeals

            Utsch v. Utsch, 581 S.E.2d 507 (Va. 2003).

S.E.2d – One of the seven regional reporters.  The South Eastern Reporter publishes cases from Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Va. – The abbreviation of the Virginia Supreme Court, the higher of the two Virginia appellate courts and the court that decided this case.

            Griffin v. Griffin, 581 S.E.2d 899 (Va. Ct. App. 2003).

Va. Ct. App. – The abbreviation of the Virginia Court of Appeals, the lower of the two Virginia appellate courts and the court that decided this case.

Statutes – Federal

            8 U.S.C.S. § 1154 (LexisNexis 2008 & Supp. 2014).           

            8 U.S.C.A § 1154 (West 2005 & Supp. 2014).

8 – Title 8, titles being the main unit into which the United States Code is divided.

U.S.C.S. and U.S.C.A. – the United States Code Service and the United States Code Annotated, two of the three print versions of the United States Code.

1154 – The section within Title 8 that is being cited.

LexisNexis and West – The two competing private publishers of the code.  This must be noted as these are not the official versions of the code.

2008 and 2005 – The years the main volumes, containing part of the language being cited, were published.

Supp. 2014 – The year the supplements, containing additional, newer language also being cited, were published.

Statutes – State

            Md. Code Ann., Fin. Inst. § 9-329 (LexisNexis 2011).

            Md. Code Ann., Fin. Inst. § 9-329 (West Supp. 2013).

                        Md. Code Ann. – The abbreviated name of the state code being cited.

Fin. Inst. – The Financial Institutions article, articles being the main unit into which the Maryland Code Annotated is divided.

LexisNexis and West – The two competing publishers of the code.  The publisher must be included according to the example in the Bluebook.  You may cite to either version of the code.

2011 – The year the main volume, containing all of the language being cited, was published.

Supp. 2013 – The year the pocket part supplement, containing all of the language being cited, was published.

            Va. Code Ann. § 33.1-370.1 (2011).

33.1-370.1 – The section that is being cited, this being the main unit into which the Virginia Code is divided.

The publisher of the version of the code held by the library is LexisNexis.  This is not included according to the example in the Bluebook.  If you were citing to the West version, which is disfavored, you would have to include the publisher.

2011 – The year the main volume, containing all of the language being cited, was published.

 

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