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LEGAL RESEARCH
FINDING A CITATION OR CASE: A GUIDE

If you have one or more citations for a case, you can locate it in this Library by following the steps below. A citation usually consists of three elements. In the middle is a standard legal abbreviation for a specific case reporter (i.e., set of books) in which the case can be found. To the left and right of the abbreviation are numbers. The number on the left is the volume number of the case reporter in which the case will be found. The number on the right is the page number in the volume where the case begins. See the following illustrations of a case given with two parallel citations:

People v. Podar, 518 P.2d 342, 111 Cal. Rptr. 910

Volume

Reporter

Page

518



111

P. 2d
Pacific Reporter, second series)


Cal. Rptr.
(California Reporter)

342



910

In People v. Podar, a criminal case, the ‘People’ (of the State of California) is the complaining party (the Plaintiff) and ‘Podar’ is the Defendant. The complete text of the court decision in this case may be found in either of the two reporters listed. To locate a case in this Library by citation, choose a citation in which the standard legal abbreviation matches one in the first column in the table below. Then use the information given in the other columns to locate the case, whether in a print legal reference or an online legal reference.

List of Case Reporters/Codes/Regulations
and Their Locations

ABBRE-
VIATION

FULL TITLE

CALL NUMBER &
LIBRARY LOCATION

LEXIS/NEXIS LOCATION
OR WEB ADDRESS (URL)

AFTR

American Federal Tax Reports

KF6280 A2 A5

Reference, 1st Floor, North, East Wall

Legal Research/ Tax Law/ Federal Tax Cases

AFTR 2d

American Federal Tax Reports, second series

KF6280 A2 A5 ser. 2

Reference, 1st Floor, North, East Wall

Legal Research/ Tax Law/ Federal Tax Cases

Cal. [subject] Code

West’s Annotated California Codes

[each subject separately named: e.g., Civil (Civ.), Education (Educ.), Penal (Penal), etc.]

KFC30.5 W4 [various]

Legal Research/ State Codes/ California

CCR

California Code of Regulations

[formerly titled California Administrative Code]

Library print copy replaced with online version.

http://ccr.oal.ca.gov/

C. or Cal.

Cal. 2d

Cal. 3d

Cal. 4th

California Reports

(same) second series

(same) third series

(same) fourth series

Library does not own. See California Blue & White Book [KFC50 W554] at Reference Center for parallel citations.

Legal Research/ State Case Law/ California

C.A. or Cal. App.

C.A.2d

C.A.3d

C.A. 4th

California Appellate Reports

(same) second series

(same) third series

(same) fourth series

Library does not own. See California Blue & White Book [KFC50 W554] at Reference Center for parallel citations.

Legal Research/ State Case Law/ California

Cal. Rptr.

West's California Reporter

KFC50 W55

Reference, 1st Floor, North

Legal Research/ State Case Law/ California

List of Case Reporters/Codes/Regulations
and Their Locations

ABBRE-
VIATION

FULL TITLE

CALL NUMBER &
LIBRARY LOCATION

LEXIS/NEXIS LOCATION
OR WEB ADDRESS (URL)

Cal. Rptr. 2d

West's California Reporter,

second series

KFC50 W55 ser. 2

Reference, 1st Floor, North

Legal Research/ State Case Law/ California

C.B.

Cumulative Bulletin [of the Internal Revenue Service]

KF6282 A2 I495

Reference, 1st Floor, North, Opposite Index Table 9

Legal Research/ Tax Law/ Internal Revenue Bulletin/ Cumulative Bulletin

C.F.R.

Code of Federal Regulations

AE2.106/3:

Located in Government Information Services (GIS).

http://www.access.gpo.gov/
nara/cfr/index.html
;
see also
Legal Research/ Federal Regulations/ Code of Federal Regulations

F.

Federal Reporter

KF105 F41

3rd Floor, North

Legal Research/ Federal Case Law/ Court of Appeals

F. 2d

Federal Reporter, second series

KF105 F41b

3rd Floor, North

Legal Research/ Federal Case Law/ Court of Appeals

F. 3d

Federal Reporter, third series

KF105 F41b ser. 3

3rd Floor, North

Legal Research/ Federal Case Law/ Court of Appeals

F.A.R.

Federal Acquisition Regulations [in Title 48, Code of Federal Regulations]

Library print copy replaced with online version.

http://www.access.gpo.gov/
nara/cfr/index.html
;
see also
Legal Research/ Federal Regulations/ Code of Federal Regulations

F. Supp.

Federal Supplement

KF105 F42

3rd Floor, North

Legal Research/ Federal Case Law District Courts

Fed. R. Civ. P.

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

[in Title 28, United States Code]

KF62 1994 A2 1995

Reference, 1st Floor, North, Opposite Index Table 9

Legal Research/ Federal Code/ Federal Rules

Fed. R. Crim. P.

Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure [in Title 18, United States Code]

KF62 1994 A2 1995

Reference, 1st Floor, North, Opposite Index Table 9

Legal Research/ Federal Code/ Federal Rules

Fed. R. Evid.

Federal Rules of Evidence [in Title 28, United States Code]

KF62 1994 A2 1995

Reference, 1st Floor, North, Opposite Index Table 9

Legal Research/ Federal Code/ Federal Rules

F.R.D.

Federal Rules Decisions

(After 1991, F.R.D. cases are available at L.A.County Law Library, 301 W. 1st)

KF8830 U35

 

L. Ed.

Lawyers Edition, U. S. Supreme Court Reports

KF101 U36

Reference, 1st Floor, North

Legal Research/ Federal Case Law/ Supreme Court Cases

L. Ed. 2d

Lawyers Edition, U. S. Supreme Court Reports, second series

KF101 U36 ser. 2

Reference, 1st Floor, North

Legal Research/ Federal Case Law/ Supreme Court Cases

See also on Supreme Court Website: Opinions.

Op. Att’y Gen.

Opinions of the Attorneys General [of the United States]

Not owned by CSLA Library.

Legal Research/ Federal Regulations/ US Attorney General Opinions

List of Case Reporters/Codes/Regulations
and Their Locations

ABBRE-
VIATION

FULL TITLE

CALL NUMBER &
LIBRARY LOCATION

LEXIS/NEXIS LOCATION
OR WEB ADDRESS (URL)

P.

P. 2d

Pacific Reporter

Pacific Reporter, second series

Library does not have subsequent series, use Lexis Nexis

KF135 P2

KF 135 P2, ser.2

Legal Research/ State Case Law/ California

P-H Memo TC

(Prentice-Hall) Memorandum Decisions of the United States Tax Court

KF6280 A2 T39

Reference, 1st Floor, North, East Wall

Legal Research/ Tax Law/ Federal Tax Cases

P-H TC

(Prentice-Hall) United States Tax Court Reported Decisions

KF6324 A515

Reference, 1st Floor, North, Opposite Index Table 9

Legal Research/ Tax Law/ Federal Tax Cases

P.L. or Pub. Law

Public Law (found in U. S. Statutes at Large; see "Stat.", below)

KF50 U55

3rd Floor, North

Current and recent historical statutes may be found at http://thomas.loc.gov/

S. Ct.

Supreme Court Reporter

Library does not own.

Use L. Ed. (Lawyers Edition, U. S. Supreme Court Reports) or U.S.

(United States Reports)

Legal Research/ Federal Case Law/ Supreme Court Cases

Stat. or Stat.-at-L.

United States Statutes-at-Large

KF50 U55

3rd Floor, North

Current and recent historical statutes may also be found at http://thomas.loc.gov/

T.C.

U.S. Tax Court (reported decisions, official set)

KF6280 A2 T37

Reference, 1st Floor, North, Opposite Index Table 9

Legal Research/ Tax Law/ Federal Tax Cases

T.C.M.

Tax Court Memorandum Decisions (CCH)

KF6280 A2 C6

Reference, 1st Floor, North, East Wall

Legal Research/ Tax Law/ Federal Tax Cases

U.S.

United States Reports (official set for the U.S. Supreme Court)

KF101 U35

Reference, 1st Floor, North

Legal Research/ Federal Case Law/ Supreme Court Cases

U.S.C.

United States Code

KF62 1994 A2 1995

Reference, 1st Floor, North, Opposite Index Table 9

http://www.access.gpo.gov/
congress/cong013.html

U.S.C.A.

United States Code Annotated

KF62 A3

Reference, 1st Floor, North, East Wall

Legal Research/ Federal Code/ U.S. Code

U.S.C.C.A.N.

United States Code Congressional and Administrative News

KF48 U35

Reference, 1st Floor, North, East Wall

Current statutory information is also at http://thomas.loc.gov/

USTC

United States Tax Cases (CCH)

KF6280 A2 C63

Reference, 1st Floor, North, East Wall

Legal Research/ Tax Law/ Federal Tax Cases

Sample Legal Periodical Abbreviations

All the titles listed below are currently received in the Library. All current and back issues are located in Periodicals, A-Level, Library North. Many more are available in full-text online through Lexis-Nexis/ Legal Research/ Law Reviews.

ABBREVIATION

PERIODICAL TITLE

CALL NUMBER

Am. J. Int’l L.

American Journal of International Law

K1 M442

Brandeis L. J.

Brandeis Law Journal

(continues Brandeis Journal of Family Law)

K10 O86

Cal. L. Rev.

California Law Review

K3 A433

Fam. L. Q.

Family Law Quarterly

K6 A437

Harv. L. Rev.

Harvard Law Review

K8 A69

Hastings L. J.

Hastings Law Journal

K8 A87

J. Crim. L. & Criminology

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

HV6001 J63

J. For. Sci.

Journal of Forensic Sciences

RA1001.A57

J. Law & Educ.

Journal of Law and Education

K10 O873

J. Tax'n

Journal of Taxation

KF750 A1 E83

L. & Soc’y Rev.

Law and Society Review

K12 A865

Mil. L. Rev.

Military Law Review

K13 I4

Real Estate L. J.

Real Estate Law Journal

K18 E14

S. Cal. L. Rev.

Southern California Law Review

K23 O76

Stan. J. Int’l L.

Stanford Journal of International Law

JX1 S72

Stan. L. Rev.

Stanford Law Review

K23 T32

UCLA L. Rev.

UCLA Law Review

K25 C52

Frequently Used Legal Abbreviations

ABBREVIATION

DEFINITION

Acq (or A)

Acquiescence

Aff'g

Affirming

BNA

Bureau of National Affairs (publisher)

BTA

Board of Tax Appeals (now United States Tax Court)

CA-2 (CA-9 or CA-3)

U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals and pertinent Circuit Court Number (CA-9 9th Circuit Ct. of Appeals)

CCH

Commerce Clearing House (publisher)

Cert.

Certiorari

P-H

Prentice-Hall (publisher); see RIA

Reg.

Regulation

Rem'g.

Remanding

Rev'g.

Reversing

Rev. Rul.

Revenue Ruling (in IRS Cumulative Bulletins)

Rev. Procs.

Revenue Procedures (in IRS Cumulative Bulletins)

RIA

Research Institute of America (publisher)

T.D.

Treasury Decision (in IRS Cumulative Bulletins)

ANALYTICAL ABBREVIATIONS
IN SHEPARD'S CITATIONS TO CASE LAW
History of Case

a

affirmed

same case affirmed on appeal

D

dismissed

appeal from same case dismissed

m

modified

same case modified on appeal

r

reversed

same case reversed on appeal

s

same case

same case cited on appeal

S

superseded

substitution for former opinion

v

vacated

same case vacated

US cert den

certiorari denied

 

US cert dis

certiorari dismissed

 

US reh den

rehearing denied

 

US reh dis

rehearing dismissed

 

US cert gran

hearing or rehearing granted

 
Treatment of Case

c

criticized

soundness of decision criticized

d

distinguished

case at bar different from cited case

e

explained

decision's import not merely restated

f

followed

cited as controlling

h

harmonized

apparent inconsistency explained

j

dissenting opinion

citation in dissenting opinion

L

limited

case not extended beyond issues

o

overruled

ruling expressly overruled

p

parallel

citing case on all fours w/cited case

q

questioned

decision or reasoning questioned

LOCATING ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Standard legal abbreviations for case reporters (and other legal materials) may be located and "decoded" by using The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation [KF245 U55b] located at the Reference Center. Note that ‘reporters’ are unofficial collections of court decisions and ‘reports’ are generally the official collections. However, the content is the same, with the ‘reporters’ generally giving additional cross-reference information and annotations not typically found in the official ‘reports.’

If the standard legal abbreviation for your case does not match those that appear above, ask for help at the Reference Center, First Floor, Library North.


AUTHORS - This Library Guide was created by Alan Stein and Ken Ryan. Please send any questions, comments, or suggestions about the content of this Library web page to them. Thank You.