How to cite case footnotes

Written by clara chavez
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Pin
  • Email
How to cite case footnotes
Search for justice (bilancia image by Satan from Fotolia.com)

Judges, lawyers, paralegals and law clerks are accustomed to reading legal documents. These are items such as briefs, law journals, treatises or memoranda. If you prepare such items, it is essential to follow citation principles. This ensures the material can be readily procured and reviewed for the person requiring the information. This time-saving device translates into more productive billing hours, which is the goal of all court officers preparing for trials. Writing footnotes in cases is drastically different from writing footnotes for ordinary research. A cite case footnote, the legal phrase for a reference, is part of the sentence if it directly relates to the statement. If it relates to a quotation, however, the citation goes right after the sentence. This specific placement is designed to make recovery of the relevant case easy to retrieve.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Other People Are Reading

Things you need

  • Computer with Internet access
  • Published law reports
  • Online system of case and law reports

Show MoreHide

Instructions

  1. 1

    Write the names of the parties involved (separated with a "v") and either underline or italicise them. The "v" stands for verses or opposing parties. Add a comma afterward, for example, "Kramer v Kramer,".

    How to cite case footnotes
    Name the parties involved. (arguing couple image by Dmitri MIkitenko from Fotolia.com)
  2. 2

    Add the address or ID for the case. Check legal references, called reporters, where cases are published. Write the volume number of the reporter followed by a space, the abbreviated name of the reporter followed by a space and the first page of the case in the volume followed by a comma. For example, "Kramer v Kramer, 4200 WI 30,".

    How to cite case footnotes
    Look it up. (complice image by JMDZ from Fotolia.com)
  3. 3

    Pinpoint a specific portion of an opinion by following the volume number and case ID with the paragraph number(s) and page number(s) of the opinion. For example, "Kramer v Kramer, 4200 WI 30, 378 Wis. 2d 420,". Courts that have implemented a medium-neutral citation, meaning CD ROM or electronic and printed formats, require the North Western Reporter be used for the address of the case. Cite the volume number, then abbreviate North Western Reporter as N.W. and add the paragraph number(s) and page number(s) of the opinion. For example, "Kramer v Kramer, 4200 WI 30, 378 Wis. 2d 420, 412 N.W. 2d 35".

    How to cite case footnotes
    Find the exact spot. (shelves of library books image by nextrecord from Fotolia.com)
  4. 4

    Add the date, enclosed in parenthesis. This is when the decision was reached. For example, "Kramer v Kramer, 4200 WI 30, 378 Wis. 2d 420, 412 N.W. 2d 35 (1999)".

    How to cite case footnotes
    Find the date of the decision (calendar with bow image by Photoeyes from Fotolia.com)
  5. 5

    List the court where the decision was made, inside the parenthesis before the date, only if it is not been adequately identified by the reporter or case ID. In this example--"Kramer v Kramer, 4200 WI 30, 378 Wis. 2d 420, 412 N.W. 2d 35 (1999)"--it is not necessary because Wisconsin has already been listed. If a listing is required, the court name is abbreviated and followed by the year within the parentheses. For example, a decision made at the Kansas Supreme court would read "(Kan. 1982)" and a decision from the Kansas Court of Appeals would read, "Kan. Ct. App. 1984)".

    How to cite case footnotes
    Where was the decision made? (courthouse image by Michael Shake from Fotolia.com)
  6. 6

    Write the legal text. Follow sentence structure rules. Citation sentences start with a capital letter and end with periods. Embed the citation footnote within the text when it relates to a portion of the sentence. If the reference or quote is at the end of a sentence, the citation footnote can be after the period.

    How to cite case footnotes
    Prepare the document (working hands image by Jon Le-Bon from Fotolia.com)

Tips and warnings

  • The traditional authority for cite case footnoting is "The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation."
  • A more expansive source for cite case footnoting is ALWD Citation Manual.
  • The Association of Legal Writing Directors put its citation manual together to include electronic case reports.
  • Be thorough when citing cases.
  • Proofread your documents before sending them on.
  • Follow the procedures of the firm where you work.

Don't Miss

Filter:
  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
Sort:
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the eHow.co.uk site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.