Like U.S. Supreme Court cases, state court cases are often published in more than one place. State court cases may be published in an official state reporter by the state, if there is one. State court cases are also published in regional reporters. Regional reporters are commercially published unofficial reporters that contain decisions of appellate courts from states in a particular region of the United States. Table 1 tells you which regional reporter includes cases for each state's courts as well as whether a state court's cases are also published in an official reporter. You can also check the names of regional reporters and the states included using Westlaw's Regional Reporters Map.
Unlike U.S. Supreme Court cases, however, The Bluebook dictates that you generally cite to a case in the unofficial regional reporter, if therein, rather than the official state reporter (Rule 10.3.1(b)). Note that you may need to cite to an official state reporter as well if required by court rules (Rule 10.3.1(a)).
A citation to a case in a regional reporter has the following six elements:
Here is an example of citation to a Supreme Court of Nebraska case in the North Western Reporter 2d:
Beachy v. Becerra, 609 N.W.2d 648 (Neb. 2000)
*You may be wondering why the parenthetical in this citation simply says "Neb." (the abbreviation for Nebraska in Table 10) when it says above that the citation should include both the state and court. The parenthetical only includes the state here because according to Rule 10.4(b), you do not include the name of the court if the court of decision is the highest court in the state. Since the Supreme Court of Nebraska is the highest court in Nebraska, its abbreviation is excluded.
A citation to a case in an official state reporter has the following six elements:
Here is an example of how to cite a Supreme Court of Nebraska case in the Nebraska Reports:
Beachy v. Becerra, 299 Neb. 299 (2000)
*The abbreviations for the court and state are not included in the parenthetical due to Rule 10.2(b). As noted above, the court is omitted if it is the highest court in the state. Additionally, Rule 10.2(b) states that the court and jurisdiction are omitted as well if they are "unambiguously conveyed by the reporter title" (p. 106).
If you are required to cite to a case in an official state reporter, you will generally also need to provide the citation to the case in the regional reporter using what is called a parallel citation. A parallel citation is simply a citation that provides information on where to find a case (or other document) in multiple sources.
A parallel citation to a state court case has the following five elements:
Here is an example of a parallel citation to a Supreme Court of Nebraska case in both the Nebraska Reports and the North Western Reporter 2d:
Beachy v. Becerra, 299 Neb. 299, 609 N.W.2d 648 (2000)