Case Names in Citations: Case names for full citations Case names for short citations Part 2 of the Legal Methods Lecture Series By Deborah Gordon
Case Names - Introduction • Use the full case citation, including the full case name, the first time that you refer to the authority.
The Components of a Full Case Citation • Bluepages Rule 5.1: • Name of the case • Published source in which it may be found • Parenthetical indicating the court and year of decision • Other parenthetical information, if any (the “explanatory parenthetical”) • Subsequent history of the case, if any
Underline the Case Name • The name of a case must be set off, either by underlining or italics. • The case name is followed by a comma, which is not underlined or italicized. • Example: • Metro. Life Ins. Co. v. McCarson, 467 So. 2d 277 (Fla. 1985).
Party Names in Case Names • A full case name consists of only the first-listed party on either side of the “v.” • Example: • Dow Jones & Co. v. Harrods, Ltd. • Not: Dow Jones & Company, Inc., Plaintiff, v. Harrods, Limited and Mohamed Al Fayed, Defendants
Party Names – Rules for Individuals • For individuals, use only the last name (surname) of the party and omit the given name and any initials. • Example: • Spiller v. Ware • Not: Martin D. Spiller v. Elliot A. Ware and Randle S. Scott
Two Exceptions for Using Individuals’ Surnames • If an individual’s name is part of a business name, use the full name. • Example: • Tanya Bartucz, Inc. v. Virginia J. Wise & Co. • If an individual’s surname is abbreviated in the case name, include the initial in your citation: • Example: • Linda R.S. v. Richard D.
Multiple Parties • Omit words indicating multiple parties, such as “et al.”; • Omit any alternative names. • Example: • Cheng v. Seinfeld • Not: Cheng et al. v. Seinfeld d/b/a The Man, Inc.
Including or Omitting “The” • Omit “The” as the first word of a party’s name, except as otherwise provided in Bluebook Rule 10.2.1(d). • Example: • Miami Herald v. Sercus
Geographical Terms in Case Names • Omit certain geographical terms, such as “State of,” “Commonwealth of,” and “People of,” except when citing to decisions of courts of that state or commonwealth. • In other words, if a state like New Jersey is a plaintiff in a state court, your cite would be State v. Jones because the citation will reference New Jersey either in the reporter or the parenthetical. If New Jersey is a party in federal court, your cite would be New Jersey v. Jones because neither the reporter nor the parenthetical will tell the reader “which state?” • Other Examples: • Commonwealth v. Ferrone, 448 A.2d 637 (Pa. Super. Ct. 1982). • Blystone v. Pennsylvania, 494 U.S. 299 (1990).
Other Geographical Terms • Omit “City of,” “County of,” “Village of,” “Township of,” and similar expressions unless a party’s name begins with them. • Example: • Mayor of New York v. Clinton • Not: Mayor of the City of New York v. Clinton • But: Butts v. City of Boston
Other Geographical Terms • Omit all prepositional phrases of location unless the omission would leave only one word in the name of a party: • Example: • Surrick v. Board of Wardens • Not: Surrick v. Board of Wardens of the Port of Philadelphia • Shapiro v. Bank of Harrisburg • Eimers v. Mutual of Omaha
Business or Entity Names • Omit business firm designations, such as Inc., Ltd., and L.L.C., if the name also contains a word such as Ass’n, Bros., Co., Corp., and R.R., clearly indicating that the party is a business. • Example: • Wisconsin Packing Co. v. Indiana Refrigerator Lines, Inc. • Not: Wisconsin Packing Co., Inc. v. Indiana Refrigerator Lines, Inc.
Consolidated Cases • If the case is a consolidation of two or more actions, cite only the first listed: • Example: • Shelley v. Kraemer • Not: Shelley v. Kraemer, McGhee v. Sipes
Procedural Phrases • Certain procedural phrases should be abbreviated in case names (and omit all but the first procedural phrase). • Examples: • “On the relation of,” “on behalf of,” and “as the next friend of” are abbreviated to ex rel., • “In the matter of” and “application of” are abbreviated to In re.
More on Procedural Phrases • Include any introductory or descriptive phrases such as “Accounting of,” “Estate of,” and “Will of.” • Example: • In re Will of Holt • Estate of Haas v. Commissioner
Abbreviations • Certain words must be abbreviated in case names. • For example, abbreviate widely known acronyms (e.g., NAACP). • Abbreviate the following 8 words unless they begin a party’s name: • Ass’n, &, Bros., Co., Corp., Inc., Ltd., and No. • Tables 6 and 10 contain other common abbreviations. • Never abbreviate “United States” when it is a named party.
Case Names – Short Forms • When using only one party name in a short form citation, use the name of the first party, unless that party is a geographical or governmental unit or other common litigant. • Examples: • Collins v. Brown, . . . becomes Collins, but… • United States v. Francis, . . . becomes Francis, . . • You may also shorten a long party name, for example from First Nat’l Trust & Inv. Corp. to First Nat’l, so long as the reference remains unambiguous.
Are we there yet? • Lots of rules – remember what is important! • Communicate to your reader • Build or preserve your reputation