Legal Research Guide


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 ‘PeopleÂ’ (of the State of California) is the complaining party (the Plaintiff) and ‘PodarÂ’ 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 ACADEMIC
OR WEB ADDRESS (URL)

 

AFTR

American Federal Tax Reports

KF6280 A2 A5

Reference, 1st Floor,

North, East Wall

Select Legal, select Tax Law, see Sources, choose Federal Courts Tax Cases

AFTR 2d

American Federal Tax Reports, second series

KF6280 A2 A5 ser. 2

Reference, 1st Floor,

North, East Wall 

Select Legal, select Tax Law, see Sources, choose Federal Courts Tax Cases

ABBRE-VIATION

FULL TITLE

CALL NUMBER &

LIBRARY LOCATION

LEXIS/NEXIS ACADEMIC 
OR WEB ADDRESS (URL)

Cal. [subject] Code

WestÂ’s Annotated California Codes

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

KFC30.5 W4 [various]

Select Legal, select Federal & State Codes, see Sources, choose CA - Deering's California Codes, Annotated

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], Reference, 1st Floor North.

Select Legal, select Federal & State Cases, see Sources, choose CA Federal & State Cases, Combined

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], Reference, 1st Floor North.

Select Legal, select Federal & State Cases, see Sources, choose CA Federal & State Cases, Combined

Cal. Rptr.

West's California Reporter

KFC50 W55

Reference, 1st Floor, North

Select Legal, select Federal & State Cases, see Sources, choose CA Federal & State Cases, Combined

Cal. Rptr. 2d

West's California Reporter,

second series

KFC50 W55 ser. 2

Reference, 1st Floor North

Select Legal, select Federal & State Cases, see Sources, choose CA Federal & State Cases, Combined

Cal. Rptr. 3d

West's California Reporter,

third series

KFC50 W55 ser. 3

Reference, 1st Floor North

Select Legal, select Federal & State Cases, see Sources, choose CA Federal & State Cases, Combined

C.B.

Cumulative Bulletin [of the Internal Revenue Service]

KF6282 A2 I495

Reference, 1st Floor, North, Opposite Index Table 8

Select Legal, select Tax Law, see Sources, choose IRS Cumulative Bulletin and Internal Revenue Bulletin

C.F.R.

Code of Federal Regulations

AE2.106/3:

Located in Government Information Services (GIS), 2nd Floor, South.

http://www.gpoaccess.gov/cfr/index.html

 

See also Legal/Federal & State Codes/Sources/Code of Federal Regulations

 

ABBRE-VIATION

FULL TITLE

CALL NUMBER &

LIBRARY LOCATION

LEXIS/NEXIS  LOCATION
OR WEB ADDRESS (URL)

 

F.

Federal Reporter

  

KF105 F4

3rd Floor, North

Select Legal, select Federal & State Cases, see Sources, choose US Courts of Appeals Cases, Combined

F. 2d

 

Federal Reporter, second series

KF105 F41

3rd Floor, North

Select Legal, select Federal & State Cases, see Sources, choose US Courts of Appeals Cases, Combined

F. 3d

Federal Reporter, third series

KF105 F41b ser. 3

3rd Floor, North

Select Legal, select Federal & State Cases, see Sources, choose US Courts of Appeals Cases, Combined

F.A.R.

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

Library print copy replaced with online version.

http://www.gpoaccess.gov/cfr/index.html

 

See also Legal/Federal  & State Codes/Sources/Federal Acquisition Regulations

 

F. Supp.

Federal Supplement

KF105 F42

3rd Floor, North

Select Legal, select Federal & State Cases, see Sources, choose US Courts of Appeals Cases, Combined

F. Supp. 2d

Federal Supplement, second series

KF105 F42 ser.2

3rd Floor, North

Select Legal, select Federal & State Cases, see Sources, choose US Courts of Appeals Cases, Combined

Fed. R. Civ. P.

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

[in Title 28, United States Code]

KF62 [base year] A2 [suppl. year]

Reference, 1st Floor, North, Opposite Index Table 8

Select Legal, select Federal & State Codes, see Sources, choose USCS Federal Rules Annotated

Fed. R. Crim. P.

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

 KF62 [base year] A2 [suppl. year]

Reference, 1st Floor, North, Opposite Index Table 8

Select Legal, select Federal & State Codes, see Sources, choose USCS Federal Rules Annotated

ABBRE-VIATION

FULL TITLE

CALL NUMBER &

LIBRARY LOCATION

LEXIS/NEXIS  LOCATION
OR WEB ADDRESS (URL)

 

Fed. R. Evid.

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

KF62 [base year] A2 [suppl. year]

Reference, 1st Floor, North, Opposite Index Table 8

Select Legal, select Federal & State Codes, see Sources, choose USCS Federal Rules Annotated

F.R.D.

Federal Rules Decisions

KF8830 U35

3rd Floor, North

Available in Westlaw Campus/All Federal Cases

L. Ed.

Lawyers' Edition, U. S. Supreme Court Reports

KF101 U36

Reference, 1st Floor, North

Select Legal, select Federal & State Cases, see Sources, choose U.S. Supreme Court Cases, Lawyers' Edition

L. Ed. 2d

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

KF101 U36 ser. 2

Reference, 1st Floor, North

Select Legal, select Federal & State Cases, see Sources, choose U.S. Supreme Court Cases, Lawyers' Edition

 

Op. AttÂ’y Gen.

Opinions of the Attorneys General [of the United States]

Not owned by CSULA Library

Visit the County Law Library at 301 W 1st ST

P.

 

P. 2d

Pacific Reporter

 

Pacific Reporter, second series

Library does not have subsequent series; use LexisNexis Academic

KF135 P2

 

KF 135 P2, ser.2

Select Legal, select Federal & State Cases, see Sources, choose CA Federal & State Cases, Combined

P-H Memo TC

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

KF6280 A2 T39

Reference, 1st Floor, Opposite Index Table 8

Select Legal, select Tax Law, see Sources, choose Federal Courts Tax Cases

P-H TC

(Prentice-Hall) United States Tax Court Reported Decisions

KF6324 A515

Reference, 1st Floor, North, Opposite Index Table 8

Select Legal, select Tax Law, see Sources, choose Federal Courts Tax Cases

P.L. or Pub. Law

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

KF50 U55

3rd Floor, North

Select Database titled Lexis/Nexis Congressional choose Legislative Histories, Bills & Laws/Public Laws

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)

Select Legal, select Federal & State Cases, see Sources, choose Federal Court Cases, Combined

 

ABBRE-VIATION

FULL TITLE

CALL NUMBER &

LIBRARY LOCATION

LEXIS/NEXIS  LOCATION
OR WEB ADDRESS (URL)

 

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 8

Select Legal, select Tax Law, see Sources, choose Federal Courts Tax Cases

T.C.M.

Tax Court Memorandum Decisions (CCH)

KF6280 A2 C6

Reference, 1st Floor, North, East Wall

Select Legal, select Tax Law, see Sources, choose Federal Courts Tax Cases

U.S.

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

KF101 U35

Reference, 1st Floor, North

Select Legal, select Federal & State Cases, see Sources, choose Federal Court  Cases, Combined

U.S.C.

United States Code

KF62 [base year] A2 [suppl. year]

Reference, 1st Floor, North, Opposite Index Table 8

http://www.gpoaccess.gov/uscode/index.html

U.S.C.A.

United States Code Annotated

KF62 A3

Reference, 1st Floor, North, East Wall 

Select Legal, select Federal & State Codes, see Sources, choose United States Code Service. (Note: USCA is also available via Westlaw Campus.)

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

Select Legal, select Tax Law, see Sources, choose Federal Courts Tax Cases

 

 

 

Sample Legal Periodical Abbreviations

 

None of the titles listed below are currently received in print format in the Library unless otherwise indicated [current].  All current and back issues are located in Periodicals, A-Level, Library North.  All these and many more are available in full-text online through a variety of sources.  To locate, use the Library web and search for "Journals by title."  Enter the title of the journal you wish to locate.  In LexisNexis Academic, select Legal/Sources/US Law Reviews and Journals, Combined.

 

ABBREVIATION

PERIODICAL TITLE

CALL NUMBER

Am. J. IntÂ’l L.

American Journal of International Law [current]

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

HJ2360 J6

L. & SocÂ’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. IntÂ’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 Desk.  Note that ‘reportersÂ’ are unofficial collections of court decisions and ‘reportsÂ’ are generally the official collections.  However, the content is the same, with the ‘reportersÂ’ generally giving additional cross-reference information and annotations not typically found in the official ‘reports.Â’

 

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