UH Law Library's Blog

September 15, 2010

Citing to Cases Found on Casemaker, Westlaw, LexisNexis or the Internet

Filed under: Bluebook, Tips — Tags: — uhlawlibrary @ 11:05 am

When do we use Rule 18 and when do we ignore it?  For example, we use R18.3.2 when we cite statutes, why don’t we use it with cases?  The Bluebook requires citation to the regional reporter (R10.3.1(b)).  We don’t need to indicate where we found the case – whether online or in Westlaw, Casemaker or LexisNexis – because the text of the case, unlike the text of statutes, does not change once it’s reported.  We merely have to validate and update the case using a citator like KeyCite or Shepard’s for the equivalent of the currency statement that we need when citing to statutes.

Remember, you cannot cite to headnotes or syllabi provided by the courts or legal publishers.  Headnotes and syllabi are provided to aid the researcher in finding and understanding the case and are not authority.  See United States v. Detroit Timber & Lumber, 200 U.S. 321, 336-37 (1906).


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