Public Libraries Toolkit - Citations

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Case citations will have a number followed by an abbreviation then another number. Something like this:
  • 357 A.2d 643
The first number is generally the number on the spine of the volume and the last number is the page. The middle abbreviation is the book that contains the information.

This may vary sometimes if the citation is from a statute. For example:

  • Utah Code Ann. 77-6-104
In this case the abbreviation of the book came first, then the next number is the number on the spine of the book, and the rest of the numbers are found inside the book. With statutes, the first number is generally called a title, and the second number a section. For example:

  • 18 U.S.C. 700
where the first number is the title and the second number is a section. This would be Title 18, United States Code, Section 700.

A list of common legal abbreviations follows. For a more detailed source, check Bieber's Dictionary of Legal Abbreviations by Mary Prince (published by Hein).

CASES Federal/Supreme Court Cases U.S. United States Reports L.Ed., L.Ed.2d Lawyer's Edition S.Ct. Supreme Court Reporter Federal/U.S. Courts of Appeals F. Federal Reporter F.2d Federal Reporter, Second Series F.3d Federal Reporter, Third Series Federal/District Court F. Supp. Federal Supplement State Cases/Regional Reporter Examples A.2d Atlantic Reporter Cal.Rptr. California Reporter N.Y.S.2d New York Supplement, Second Series N.E.2d North Eastern Reporter, Second Series N.W.2d North Western Reporter, Second Series P.2d Pacific Reporter, Second Series So.2d Southern Reporter, Second Series S.E.2d South Eastern Reporter, Second Series S.W.2d South Western Reporter, Second Series STATUTES Federal U.S.C. United States Code U.S.C.A. United States Code Annotated U.S.C.S. United States Code Service State Statute Examples Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. Arizona Revised Statutes Ann. Cal. [subject] Code California Code Mont. Code Ann. Montana Code Annotated N.Y. [subject] Law Laws of New York Annotated Utah Code Ann. Utah Code Annotated ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS C.F.R. Code of Federal Regulations F.R. Federal Register Utah. Admin.R. Utah Administrative Code LEGAL ENCYCLOPEDIAS C.J.S. Corpus Juris Secundum Am.Jur.2d American Jurisprudence 2d AMERICAN LAW REPORTS A.L.R. American Law Reports (1st, 2d, 3d, 4th, 5th & Fed Series) PERIODICAL/JOURNAL EXAMPLES Cal. L. Rev. California Law Review Colum. L. Rev. Columbia Law Review Ill. B. J. Illinois Bar Journal Nat.'t L. J. National Law Journal Yale J. Int'l L. Yale Journal of International Law