Research Guides

TMLL Research Guide - Chapter 7


CITATION FORMAT FOR CASES


Case citations have for many years followed a standard format. A typical case citation appears as follows:

O'Donnell v. Sardegna, 646 A.2d 398 (Md. 1994).

The elements of this citation are:

O'Donnell v. Sardegna names of parties to the action
646 volume number of the reporter
A.2d abbreviation of the reporter title; this citation is to Atlantic Reporter 2d, the West regional reporter which includes Maryland cases
398 the page number on which the particular case begins
Md. the abbreviation for the court which decided the case - here the Maryland Court of Appeals (this information is found in Table T. 1 of the Bluebook)
1994 the year the case was decided

 

The dominant citation manual that governs legal citation form is the Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation. Citation rules according to this manual are complex. Many jurisdictions have local citation rules that supplement, alter, or replace the rules of the Bluebook.

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