Citations to reported cases from state and federal jurisdictions in the United States follow a set pattern. This uniform system of citation allows the reader of a legal document to identify quickly the source in which the case is reported, where the case is located within the source, and the precedential value of the case. The elements of a case citation are:
For example, in the case:
Smith v. Jones, 635 F. Supp. 143 (S.D. Tex. 1994), rev'd, 25 F.3d 245 (5th Cir. 1995).
Most citations make extensive use of abbreviations. The following are some common examples. All reporters are located in Tarlton's second floor reading room.
US Supreme Court Cases:
Federal appellate court cases (e.g., 5th Circuit)
Federal district court cases (e.g., S.D. Tex., D. Mont.):
Texas Supreme Court Cases:
State cases from other states can be found in regional and state reporters. Tarlton's collection includes: