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BUSI 3312: Business Law   Tags: articles, business, course guides, law, pre-law, research  

Tips for finding case reports etc.
Last Updated: Jun 5, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Introduction Print Page

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Basic Information

 What is a Citation?

To search for a case, the citation is:

     ● volume number

     ● name of book (the “case reporter”—often abbreviated)

     ● first page number of the case

            Example:   542 U.S. 1

            Example:   124 S. Ct. 2301

            Example:   159 L. Ed. 2d 98

     542 U.S. 1 is a U.S. Supreme court case.  It is printed in

           volume 542 of United States Reports.  Page 1 in the book

           happens to also be the first page of the case.

     ● TIP:  All the above citations are for the same case, but printed

           In different books by different publishers!


What to “Brief” – U.S. Supreme Court Case:

► Syllabus – written by Supreme Court employee, not judge.

Has summary & holdings.  Not the “Opinion.”  Do not brief it.

► Opinion – appears after Case Summary, Headnotes, Decision,

Summary, Syllabus, Counsel, Judges.  Any information before

Opinion (except syllabus) is written by the publisher and could be

incorrect, so do not rely on it.  Brief the Opinion.  Do not brief the

information before the Opinion.

► Concurring or dissenting opinionsIF written for a case, will

have the heading “CONCUR” or “DISSENT”. These are printed

after the Opinion of the case, so may appear to be part of the text

of the opinion.  But not the Opinion. However you may want to brief.

► Footnotes – sometimes easier to read a case by penciling

an “X” through every footnote. Then read the case. Next, go

back to read the footnotes.

PDF: LexisNexis Academic

     Some recent Supreme Court cases have links to PDFs!


Ask a Librarian

or text to: (806) 337-0808


Sample Citations

Sample Basic Citations

(Ask your instructor if case names should be underlined or in italics.)



Name of the case

Published source

Parenthetical indicating the court and year of decision



Meritor Sav. Bank v. Vinson, 477 U.S. 57 (1986).



Envtl. Def. Fund v. EPA, 465 F.2d 528 (D.C. Circ. 1972).

United States v. Jardine, 364 F.3d 1200 (10th Circ. 2004).



W. St. Group LLC v. Epro, 564 F. Supp.2d 84 (D. Mass. 2008).

Harris v. Roderick, 933 F. Supp. 977 (D. Idaho 1996).



People v. Armour, 590 N.W.2d 61 (Mich. 1999).

Chaudhary v. Gen Motors Corp., 649 P.2d 224 (Cal. 1982).



Kaplan v. Ziff, 530 N.W.2d 807 (Minn. Ct. App. 1995).

Campbell v. Sellers-Morris Corp., 82 Cal.Rptr. 2d 202 (Ct. App. 1999).



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