Why Is Legal Citation Important

[…] Your study approach and save time, create a ranking system and categorize your study materials. The proper citation is an aspect of law school that you can`t give up if you want to pass your exams. Go to […] [9] See Bryan A. Garner, The Redbook: A Manual on Legal Style 169 (4th edition 2018); Michael D. Murray & Christy H. DeSanctis, Legal Writing and Analysis 281 (3rd edition 2021) (“If you quote [authorities] correctly, no one will think twice about your competence. However, misquotes can cause significant damage. This quote is very similar to the quote from the opinion of the Court of Justice. The two main differences are the citation of the pin, page 527 here, and the addition of the names of the dissenting judges in parentheses after the date of the case. Typical complaints about The Bluebook usually boil down to the fact that it is a collection of very specific and very technical rules that resemble a foreign language.

But it describes the entire law school and also most of the substantive laws. The use of the Blue Book is only a special application of the ordinary legal profession; The task is not significantly more difficult than the rest of the work. If you`ve ever had to learn immigration law to solve a client`s problem, or if you`ve ever had to give tax advice, or if you`ve ever studied health insurance or social security regulations enough to answer a specific question, then you can learn the blue book enough to have at least a “talkative” understanding of a good quote. Of course, building credibility is not just about following the rules. A lawyer proves to be a reliable source of information by identifying and describing the applicable legislation in a complete and accurate manner. ascertaining all the facts essential to the question on which the judge is called upon to rule; and by a logically consistent application of legislation to the essential facts. [11] In addition, a lawyer establishes credibility by avoiding exaggeration; focus on the specific issues that the judge must decide (not on extraneous issues); and to make the necessary concessions. But compliance comes first. Leave that door and you`ll give the judge a reason not to trust you in these other (usually more difficult) questions. [12] [1] Fed. R. App.

P. 28(a)(8) requires that a case brief in a federal appeal contain an argument containing the party`s “allegations and the reasons for them, with subpoenas to authorities and parts of the record on which [the party] relies.” (emphasis added). Failure to provide the required citations may be reason enough for the Court of Appeal to ignore an issue or argument. See Sapuppo v. Allstate Floridian Ins. Co., 739 F.3d 678, 681-82 (11th Cir. 2014); United States v. Cuchet, 197 F.3d 1318, 1321 n.6 (11th Cir. 1999); Continental Tech.

Servs., Inc. v. Rockwell Int`l Corp., 927 F. 2d 1198, 1199 (11th Cir. 1991) (per curiam); Ordower v. Feldman, 826 f. 2d 1569, 1576 (7th Cir. 1987). Similarly, Ala. R. App. 28(a)(10) that a main procedural document must contain an argument that “sets out [the party`s] allegations concerning the issues submitted and the reasons for them, citing the cases, laws, other authorities and parts of the case”.

and Ala. R. App. P. 21, which governs petitions for mandamus, requires a claimant to “state the reasons why the statement of claim should be issued, including summonses to the authorities and the laws on which it relies”. An Alabama appeals court may uphold a judgment or deny relief if the party seeking the setting aside or other remedy fails to provide the agency with the necessary subpoenas. See Ex parte Showers, 812 So. 2d 277, 281 (ala. 2001); Connerly v. Connerly, 523 So. 2d 461, 462 (Ala. civ.

App. 1988). But quoting is not enough; Citations must be correct in terms of content and form. Correct citations convey useful information in an easy-to-understand form. In other words, the form of the quote reflects the common language of lawyers who write – and read – legal analyses and arguments. It is a kind of shorthand that itself conveys important information about the nature and quality of the authorities that support legal and factual proposals. Many students ask me again and again why quotes are important in a legal writing job. My answer actually consists of two parts: in the same way, lawyers must prove the veracity of the secondary premise.

In a legal argument, the ancillary premise is the application of the law to certain situations. Lawyers learn very early in practice that it only depends on the facts that we can support with evidence. In motions and written briefs, lawyers prove the facts by citing acceptable sources, usually witness statements and written documents. Think about case quotes: each full quote tells the reader (1) the name of the case, (2) the volume and first page of the reporter where the case can be found, (3) the specific page that supports your proposal, (4) the court that decided the case, and (5) the year of the decision. All this is important information, both to locate the case and to determine its importance in the analysis or argument you present. Leave aside any of these elements and suddenly the reader has more work to do – work that every reader expects from the writer. The same goes for legally required citations: each full citation tells the reader (1) the code in which the law can be found, (2) the scope of the code, and (3) the specific section (and subsection or other subdivision) that supports your analysis or argument. Omit any of these and your reader will waste time and breath cursing your name instead of trying to understand your point of view. Make your analysis and legal arguments easier to understand by showing which authorities support your positions in a form that any legally trained reader will recognize and understand. Most arguments, including legal arguments, represent some kind of syllogism. [5] A syllogism begins with a principal premise, a general principle that governs a category of circumstances.

Then comes the secondary premise, which shows how certain facts or circumstances “fit” (or do not fit) the general rule. And then comes the conclusion, which logically follows from the main premise and the secondary premise. “If the main premise (the rule of control) and the secondary premise (the facts invoking this rule) are true. The conclusion inevitably follows. [6] Once you`ve finished a draft of your task, take the time to review the corrections for citations and formatting only. Many students frantically reread an assignment until the last moment, then ignore the quotes as part of their proofreading. For this reason, I think it`s wise to make a proof of the task just to check the quotes and formatting. It won`t take that long, but you can spot mistakes that can cost you points. You should be convinced by now that there are good reasons to dig deep into the authorities you cite and work hard to create correct quotes. But you remember the law school that you should hate everything about The Bluebook and therefore everything about citation.

Legal citation is the practice of attributing and referring to authoritative documents and sources. The most frequently cited sources of authority are judicial decisions (cases), laws, regulations, government documents, contracts, and academic writings. Of course, legal citation in general and citation of specific cases can become much more complicated. Because lawyers must prove that the premises of their arguments are true, and because the quality of evidence depends on the quality of sources, citations are crucial to the substantive legal arguments that lawyers present in memoranda, motions, objections, and briefs.

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