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.