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Literature and the Law: Home

This guide is for Literature and the Law ENGL 3684

Legal Resouces

How to Read a Legal Citation!

Cases are published in reporters. A case citation is generally made up of the following parts:

  1. the names of the parties involved in the lawsuit
  2. the volume number of the reporter containing the full text of the case
  3. the abbreviated name of that case reporter
  4. the page number on which the case begins the year the case was decided; and sometimes
  5. the name of the court deciding the case.

Below is an example of a case citation:
United States v. Holmes (26 F. Cas. 360 (1842))

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