Rule 10 (and Rule B10 in the Bluepages) governs how to cite cases. It contains extensive instructions on how to format case citations, and Rule 10 also provides guidance on citing briefs, court filings, and transcripts.
In addition to Rule 10, you may need to consult the following tables in order to format the case citation:
- Table 1: A list of (1) reporters* and reporter abbreviations, (2) courts and court abbreviations, and (3) preferred sources to cite for federal courts and each state's courts
- Table 6: Abbreviations for terms used in case names (e.g., America[n] = Am.)
- Table 7: Abbreviations for court names that you would use in the event a court abbreviation is not provided in Table 1
- Table 10: Abbreviations for geographical terms (e.g., Virginia = Va.)
*What Is a Reporter?*
A reporter is a publication containing the opinions of a particular court or jurisdiction, organized chronologically by date of decision. The opinions of a given court or jurisdiction are often published in more than one reporter. As you'll see below, for example, opinions of the U.S. Supreme Court are published in three reporters. If a case is published in a reporter, The Bluebook prescribes which reporter is the preferred one to cite (Table 1).
For more on reporters, see our Case Law Research Guide or watch Anatomy of a Case, Case Citation, and the Case Law Reporter System in our Case Law Research Tutorial (on the right).