Legal Reference

Decoding legal citations in a lawsuit or document

Decoding legal citations in my lawsuit. They filed a motion requesting the lawsuit to be dropped and cited a bunch of cases that read like this:
Bernhard v Los Angeles County 339 F.3d 920, 925
Skip over the name to the number.

The first number in this case is 339. That means it will be in book 339. The 339 is a large number on the side of the book.

What stinking book? Well the 2nd number in this case it is F.3d tells the title of the series of the book, or as the government nannies call them the name of the reporter.

In this case it is F.3d which is the series of books called “Federal Reporter”. The librarian and the two pictures below will tell you the shelves the “Federal Reporter” books are stored on. My cases cited both F.3d and F.2d which are both “Federal Reporter” books. My cases also cited one US book which is a “United States Report”. The F.3d or F.2d is also printed on the side of the book.

Now that we have the 339 F.3d we can find the book. Go to the shelfs where the “Federal Reporter books are stored. Find the book with the number 339 on the side in the 3d series. And bingo we have the correct book.

Now we have to look up the case in the book and the page that they are talking about in that case. The last two numbers which in this case are 920, 925 tell us that.

The first number which is 920 is the page which this case begins on. Go to page 920 and you will see that the case Bernhard v Los Angeles County begins their.

The second number 925 is the page the lawyer is citing in the lawsuit or in this case a motion to dismiss the charges. Read that page to find out exactly what the lawyer is asking.

The following two pages I got at the ASU law library tell the various legal abbreviations which will be cited in lawsuits and that the abbreviation means or the book name of the abbreviation or as they call it the “Name of Reporter”, and where that series of books can be found in the ASU law library.

This stuff was amazingly simple to do after I was show how to use it and looked up all my case in less then 20 minutes.

The only case I got nailed on and could not find was

Chenoweth V Maui Chemical 2007 WL 3254858 at *1 D.Haw.2007
And she had to look it up on the internet for me because it wasn’t in any of their books.

decoding legal citations

decoding legal citations