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Legal Research for UNT Students

Resources for students new to legal research

Understanding Citations

A case citation is a reference to a where a case is printed in a book. A case citation consists of a volume number, an abbreviation of the title of the book, and a page number.

Example:

                                                                   

What is a Reporter?

The set of books where cases are published are called reporters, and each one has a specific abbreviation which is used in citations.  Click on the following links for more information about the different for abbreviations to federal reporters and state reporters.

What are Parallel Citations?

When a case is published in different books, the citations to more than one book may be included. For example, parallel citations for Brown v. Board of Education include the following:

347 U.S. 483, 74 S. Ct. 686, 98 L. Ed. 873

In this example, the case you will find at page 483 of volume 347 of United States Reports will be the same as that found on page 686 of volume 74 of the Supreme Court Reporter (published by West), and the exact same as that found on page 873 of volume 98 of Lawyers’ Edition (published by Lexis).

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