Citation Primer. 5 basic parts to a case citation: Parties Volume Reporter Page Year In addition, there are other parts for some cases from some courts. Breaking out a cite: US Supreme Court. Rothgery v. Gillespie County, Texas, 128 S.Ct. 2578 (2008)
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Rothgery v. Gillespie County, Texas, 128 S.Ct. 2578 (2008)
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Parties Vol# Rep. Page# year
This is a cite for a Supreme Court (US) case. Alternative cite forms are:
Smith v. Jones, 401 U.S. 111 (1989).
For Supreme Court (US) cases, use either the U.S. cite (preferred) or the S.Ct. cite (if no U.S. cite is available).
Mize v. Hall, 532 F.3d 1184 (11th Cir. 2006)
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Parties vol. # Rep. Ed. Page # Circuit Year
Osorio v. Secretary, Department of Corrections, 558 F.Supp. 2d 1233 (M.D. Fla. 2008)
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Parties Vol. Rep. Ed. Page Dist & State Year
James v. Florida, 974 So.2d 365 (Fla. 2008)
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Parties Vol. Rep. Ed. Page State Year
Harris v. Florida, 2008 Fla. App. LEXIS 1872 (2d Dist. 2008)
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Parties Year = vol. Reporter Page Dist. Year
Many state appellate court opinions are not printed in official reporters. Use the Lexis format unless there is a citation form that appears to its left at the top of the case.
In the rare case that you see a non-Lexis cite for a state appellate court, it would be like this:
Martelus v. Florida, 979 So. 2d 1137 (Fla. App. 2008).
The “Fla. App.” reference is necessary to indicate what court and what level of court decided the case (compare the cite form for a Fla. Supreme Court decision).
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellee, versus MICHAEL EDWARD PAIR, Defendant-Appellant. No. 06-13064 UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE ELEVENTH CIRCUIT 2008 U.S. App. LEXIS 11577
This tells you
BERTHA JACKSON, Petitioner, vs. STATE OF FLORIDA, Respondent. No. SC07-659 SUPREME COURT OF FLORIDA 983 So. 2d 562; 2008 Fla. LEXIS 938; 33 Fla. L. Weekly S 357 May 29, 2008, Decided
Again, note how this tells us who was involved, what court heard the case, who brought the case (petitioner=appellant), where the case was published, and when.