The essential elements of a case citation enable you to find the case in a case reporter. They are the case name, the volume number and abbreviation of the reporter in which the case was published, the initial page number of the case, and the year of the case. The volume number is placed before the reporter abbreviation and the page number is placed after the abbreviation. Sometimes, a citation includes an abbreviation for the court that decided the case and/or the state where the case was decided.
If a case is published in more than one reporter, additional reporter references may also be included to enable you to find the case in the other reporter(s). These additional references are sometimes referred to as parallel citations.
Case reporters are published in series, which are designated by a series number (2d, 3d, 4th, etc.). Because each reporter series begins with volume 1, it is important to include the correct series designation in your citation if your case appears in a second, third, fourth, or later series.
The following are lists of standard abbreviations for the major federal and California case reporters as well as for the U.S. regional reporters that cover state cases from different regions of the country. The lists indicate how many series have been published for each reporter and which courts or states are covered by each reporter.
|Reporter Abbreviation(s)||Name of Reporter||Court(s) Covered|
|F., F.2d, F.3d||Federal Reporter (first, second, and third series)||United States Courts of Appeals|
|F. Supp., F. Supp. 2d||Federal Supplement (first and second series)||United States District Courts|
|F.R.D.||Federal Rules Decisions||United States District Courts|
|L. Ed., L. Ed. 2d||U.S. Supreme Court Reports, Lawyers' Edition (first and second series)||United States Supreme Court|
|S. Ct.||Supreme Court Reporter||United States Supreme Court|
|U.S.||United States Reports||United States Supreme Court|
|Reporter Abbreviations||Name of Reporter||Court(s) Covered|
|Cal., Cal. 2d, Cal. 3d, Cal. 4th||California Reports (first, second, third, and fourth series)||California Supreme Court|
|Cal. App., Cal. App. 2d, Cal. App. 3d, Cal. App. 4th||California Appellate Reports (first, second, third, and fourth series)||California Courts of Appeal|
|Cal. Rptr., Cal. Rptr. 2d, Cal. Rptr. 3d||California Reporter (first, second, and third series)||California Supreme Court and Courts of Appeal|
|Reporter Abbreviation(s)||Name of Reporter||States Covered|
|A., A.2d||Atlantic Reporter (first and second series)||CT, DC, DE, MD, NJ, NH, ME, PA, RI, VT|
|N.E., N.E.2d||North Eastern Reporter (first and second series)||IL, IN, MA, NY, OH|
|N.W., N.W.2d||North Western Reporter (first and second series)||IA, MN, MI, ND, NK, SD, WI|
|P., P.2d, P.3d||Pacific Reporter (first, second, and third series)||AZ, AK, CA, CO, HI, ID, KS, MT, NM, NV, OK, OR, UT, WA, WY|
|S.E., S.E.2d||South Eastern Reporter (first and second series)||GA, NC, SC, VA, WV|
|So., So. 2d, So. 3d||Southern Reporter (first, second, and third series)||AL, FL, LA, MS|
|S.W., S.W.2d, S.W.3d||South Western Reporter (first, second, and third series)||AR, KY, MO, TN, TX|