Presentation on theme: "Case Names in Citations:"— Presentation transcript:
1Case Names in Citations: Case names for full citationsCase names for short citationsPart 2 of the Legal Methods Lecture SeriesBy Deborah GordonThis presentation reviews how to reduce the typically long case names that appear at the beginning of published opinions to properly formatted case names that you will use in your legal memoranda and briefs.
2Case Names - Introduction Use the full case citation, including the full case name, the first time that you refer to the authority.Most of what this presentation covers is in the Bluepages section of your Bluebook under Rule B5 although some of the information also appears in Rules and of the main section of the Bluebook. Two tables – table 6 and table 10 – also are useful for case names and should be tabbed for future reference.As you already know, the first time you mention an authority, whether in the text of your legal writing or in its own citation sentence, you must give the full citation for that authority in proper Bluebook form. Once the authority has been cited, you will use a short form when you refer to the authority again.
3The Components of a Full Case Citation Bluepages Rule 5.1:Name of the casePublished source in which it may be foundParenthetical indicating the court and year of decisionOther parenthetical information, if any (the “explanatory parenthetical”)Subsequent history of the case, if anyThe Bluebook breaks down the components of a full case citation into five items: the case name; the source where it can be found; a parenthetical which tells the reader what court decided the case and when; other parenthetical information, known as an “explanatory parenthetical”; and the subsequent history of the case, generally, whether it has been affirmed or reversed on appeal to a higher court. This presentation will focus specifically on case names.The Bluebook also distinguishes between how to cite cases in text and in their own citation sentences. This presentation will focus on the general rules for case name citations; there is a separate presentation that will focus on the differences between citations in citation sentences and in text.
4Underline 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).Regardless of where a case name appears, whether in text or its own citation sentence, the case name must be set off by underlining or italics. For your Legal Methods work, most professors at Drexel University Earle Mack School of Law prefer that you use underlining for your case names. A comma should follow the case name, and the comma should not be underlined.
5Party 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, DefendantsThe case names that appear at the beginning of published opinions typically include too much information. Learning to reduce that information to a properly formatted case name citation takes practice. In the simplest cases, a full case name consists of the first listed party on either side of the “v.”Not all cases are simple, however. The Bluebook, particularly in Rule 10.2, provides numerous rules to guide you in constructing a case name, the most important of which are introduced in this presentation. Always bear in mind, however, that citation rules are primarily a language for the writer to communicate to the legal reader; if you have any question about how and whether to include a word in a case name citation and your question is not answered by Bluebook Rule 10 and its related tables, use your best common sense as to whether the word should be included, abbreviated, or omitted based on the existing rules and the examples provided in the Bluebook.
6Party 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. WareNot: Martin D. Spiller v. Elliot A. Ware and Randle S. ScottIn the simplest case, a single individual brings a lawsuit against another individual. The full case name will consist of the plaintiff’s last name “v.” the defendant’s last name.If there are multiple individual plaintiffs, the case name will use only the last name (surname) of the first named plaintiff. Similarly, if the case involves multiple individual defendants, the case name will use only the last name (surname) of the first listed defendant. There are some exceptions to this general rule for foreign names, which can be found at Bluebook Rule (g).
7Two 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:Linda R.S. v. Richard D.The only times that you would include more than the surname for an individual are when the individual’s name is part of a business name (in which case you use the full name) or if the case itself abbreviates the individual’s surname (in which case, use the given name and the initial – Linda R.S., for example).
8Multiple PartiesOmit words indicating multiple parties, such as “et al.”;Omit any alternative names.Example:Cheng v. SeinfeldNot: Cheng et al. v. Seinfeld d/b/a The Man, Inc.Omit any words indicating multiple parties, such as “et al.” Also omit any alternative names (as indicated by d/b/a or a/k/a).
9Including or Omitting “The” Omit “The” as the first word of a party’s name, except as otherwise provided in Bluebook Rule (d).Example:Miami Herald v. SercusIn general, omit the word “the” as the first word of a party’s name. Exceptions are where “the” is part of the name of the object of an in rem action (such as “In re The Brooklyn Bridge”) or in cases in which “The King” or “The Queen” is a party. In the example here, your case name is “Miami Herald” not “The Miami Herald.”
10Geographical 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).The Bluebook contains some complicated rules relating to geographical terms and entity names, which frequently appear in case names and tend to drive law students crazy. Memorizing these rules is nearly impossible, so this presentation highlights some of the more important rules. You are nevertheless expected to apply all the rules correctly so should become familiar with flipping to Rule 10.2 to check that you have followed the correct rule.Rule (f), for example, requires that you omit geographical terms such as “state of,” “commonwealth of,” and “people of” unless you are citing to decisions of that state, in which case the citation should read simply “State v. Simpson” (or people or commonwealth, as appropriate). 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?” In the examples in the slide, you can see that when the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a party in a Pennsylvania court, its name is simply “Commonwealth”; in contrast, when the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a party in a federal court, its name is “Pennsylvania.” This rule makes sense because it provides the legal reader with information but avoids undue repetition.
11Other 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. ClintonNot: Mayor of the City of New York v. ClintonBut: Butts v. City of BostonOther geographical terms are not included unless a party’s name begins with the term, such as “Mayor of New York” or “City of Boston.” Even in those cases, omit any unnecessary additional geographical terms.
12Other 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 WardensNot: Surrick v. Board of Wardens of the Port of PhiladelphiaShapiro v. Bank of HarrisburgEimers v. Mutual of OmahaOmit prepositional phrases indicating location unless the omission leaves only one word (such as “Bank”). You also should include prepositional phrases of location if the location is part of the party’s name, such as Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey rather than just Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
13Business 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.In general, try to avoid unnecessary repetition in your citations. If a business contains a word indicating it is a business, you may omit other such designations. Accordingly, 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. In the example, “inc” is eliminated in the plaintiff’s name because “co.” also appears; “inc.” is retained in the defendant’s name, however, because no other business designation is contained in that name.
14Consolidated CasesIf the case is a consolidation of two or more actions, cite only the first listed:Example:Shelley v. KraemerNot: Shelley v. Kraemer, McGhee v. SipesSometimes two or more actions will be consolidated and decided in a single opinion. When citing to that case, you should cite only to the first action.
15Procedural PhrasesCertain 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.Certain procedural phrases should be simplified and abbreviated as follows: “ex rel.” should be used instead of “on the relation of,” “for the use of,” “on behalf of,” “as next friend of,” and similar expressions. “In re” should be used instead of “in the matter of,” “petition of,” “application of,” and similar expressions. If adversary parties are named, omit all procedural phrases except “ex rel.” so you would not say In re Red v. Black but you would say Massachusetts ex rel. Kennedy. This rule is Bluebook Rule (b).
16More on Procedural Phrases Include any introductory or descriptive phrases such as “Accounting of,” “Estate of,” and “Will of.”Example:In re Will of HoltEstate of Haas v. CommissionerInclude introductory or descriptive phrases in your case name, such as “estate of” and “will of.” Again, the rule is intended to give your reader information about the nature of the case. Referring to the example, the plaintiff Haas bringing a lawsuit is substantively different from the Estate of Haas bringing a lawsuit.
17Abbreviations 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.Certain words are abbreviated in citation sentences, such as widely recognized acronyms and the following 8 commonly used words: association, and, brothers, company, corporation, incorporated, limited, and number. Never abbreviate “United States” when it is a named party.Additional words may be abbreviated when the citation appears in a citation sentence as opposed to a textual sentence. As already noted, the rules for the two forms of citation are discussed and compared in greater detail in a separate presentation.The two tables containing abbreviations, both of which you should tab in your Bluebook so you remember to use them, are Table 6 (at pages ) and Table 10 (at pages ). Table 6 (at page 335) also explains how to form the plural of an abbreviation listed in that table. In citation sentences only, you also may abbreviate any word that is longer than seven letters if you will save substantial space by doing so and the resulting abbreviation will be clear and unambiguous to your reader. If you choose to abbreviate a word not listed in the tables, make sure to do so consistently.
18Case 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.The key to short forms is to make sure the reader knows to what case you are referring. In general, the short case name is the name of the first party. However, you would never use the name “State” or any other governmental unit as a short form because the reader is likely to be confused. In that case, you may use the defendant’s name for your short form. Similarly, if the plaintiff’s name is so common (John Doe, for example) that the reader would be confused by its use in a short cite, use the defendant’s name in your short form.
19Are we there yet? Lots of rules – remember what is important! Communicate to your readerBuild or preserve your reputationThe senior attorney or judge who picks up your memo or brief wants to have confidence in the reliability and accuracy of what you write and in your legal analysis. Just like a typographical error in a cover letter, a glaring error in citation, or many errors, generates a sense of unease in your reader as to the credibility of your writing in other respects. The reader may conclude from this careless error that you do not pay attention to detail, which does not help your case or your client. Careful attention to the important citation rules will lend credibility to your work. Remember, you are not expected to memorize the rules but simply to know where to find them and, once found, how to apply them. Good luck!