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Circulation and Reserves
Get Help with BUSI 3312
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 opinions – IF 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) 429-4542
Sample Basic Citations
(Ask your instructor if case names should be underlined or in italics.)
Name of the case
Parenthetical indicating the court and year of decision
U.S. SUPREME COURT:
Meritor Sav. Bank v. Vinson, 477 U.S. 57 (1986).
FEDERAL COURT OF APPEALS:
Envtl. Def. Fund v. EPA, 465 F.2d 528 (D.C. Circ. 1972).
United States v. Jardine, 364 F.3d 1200 (10th Circ. 2004).
FEDERAL DISTRICT COURTS:
W. St. Group LLC v. Epro, 564 F. Supp.2d 84 (D. Mass. 2008).
Harris v. Roderick, 933 F. Supp. 977 (D. Idaho 1996).
STATE HIGH COURTS:
People v. Armour, 590 N.W.2d 61 (Mich. 1999).
Chaudhary v. Gen Motors Corp., 649 P.2d 224 (Cal. 1982).
OTHER STATE COURTS:
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).