Please help me with a proper legal citation?


How would I cite this properly:

James Smith v. Julia Smith, a 2000 case from the California Court of Appeals, second district, located in volume 112 of the relevant unofficial publication, page 309, with quoted materials on pages 314 to 315.

So far I've come up with:

Smith v. Smith, 112 Cal. Rptr. 2d 309, 314-315 (2000).

Is that correct? It doesn't seem right to me :(, please help.


3 Answers

  • John S
    Lv 7
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    It is wrong for more than one reason, since that citation does not match any decision (112 Cal.Rptr.2d p. 309 is in the middle of Community Assisting Recovery, Inc. v. Aegis Security Ins. Co., which begins at page 304). There also is no reported decision involving a James and Julia Smith.

    Once you have the correct citation, you need to know whether you are using the California Style Manual, which is usual in a California court, or the Harvard Blue Book, which is usual in other states or federal court. Then it would look like this:

    California: Smith v. Smith (2000) ___ Cal.App.4th ___, ___; ___ Cal.Rptr.2d ___, ___.

    Harvard: Smith v. Smith, ___ Cal.App.4th ___, ___, ___ Cal.Rptr.2d ___, ___ (2000).

    Source(s): 35+ years as a criminal defense attorney
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  • Bruce
    Lv 6
    8 years ago

    That's fine, but for court purposes you must give the official cite to CalApp4th. The cal reporters do have the official cite and the page numbers are overprinted on the pages. I don't know if anyone uses real books anymore!

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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    you shouldn't be citing "unoffical publication" anyway. find the offical publication and cite it. if you mean "unpublished opinion," you really shouldn't be citing it either.

    btw. looks okay if you are citing westlaw publications.

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