Case Law Citations

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Case Law Citations

Postby tk421991 » Mon Jan 13, 2014 1:15 am

This is from my now-deceased former professor, Dan Donovan:

Here are some correct examples for citing case law for Rhode Island Supreme and US Supreme Court cases. A similar format is used for US Appellate court decisions. Go to the RI Law Library if you do not know the correct citation.

A case number, aka a CA number and a docket number, are only appropriate to use if the case is still pending and you're communicating with the court and the opponent, or if you're going to get a record from the court directly, which is probably harder than just going to the Law Library. It is inappropriate to use the CA number in any publicly published document and will make you look like a wanna-be.

Here's some examples of SCOTUS citations:

Marbury v. Madison: 5 U.S. 137 (1803)
Brown v. Board of Ed: 347 U.S. 483 (1954)
District of Columbia v. Heller: 554 U.S. 570 (2008)

Here's some examples of RISUP citations:

Chambers v. Ormiston: 935 A.2d 956 (R.I. 2007)
Angel v. Murray: 322 A.2d 630 (R.I. 1974)
Picard v. Barry Pontiac-Buick, Inc.: 654 A.2d 690 (R.I. 1995)

Rhode Island cases before April 10, 1980 technically need to be cited in another manner if you want to use the official citation. Since 1980, the RI state government hasn't published its own law reports, and we use the Atlantic Reporter for our Supreme Court cases. The pre-4/10/80 cases need to be cited like so:

Traugott v. Petit: 122 R.I. 60 (1979)
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Re: Case Law Citations

Postby Mddb83 » Sat Jan 18, 2014 1:37 am

In case anyone is interested, here is a Georgetown summary of the Bluebook (the official citation guide used by lawyers). Very helpful. ... /bluebook/
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Re: Case Law Citations

Postby newportri » Sat Jan 18, 2014 3:04 am

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