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Business 010: Business Law (Patterson): Citing your sources

This class research guide covers finding resources on Business Law, including finding court cases, legal reviews, and articles on your business legal topic.

MLA Handout


You Quote It, You Cite It!

Student at Computer

You Quote It, You Cite It! is Las Positas Library's adaptation of the Acadia University Library's tutorial on avoiding plagiarism.  Click here to take the tutorial.

Citing Court Cases in MLA

Court Case Screen Capture from Nexis Uni

To cite a court case, you will need to recognize the citation of the case listed just ABOVE the document you see in LexisNexis.  For legal and government documents, MLA defers to the procedures established by The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation published by the Harvard Law Review Association.  A court case would read as below:

Last name of first plaintiff v. Last name of first defendent.  Reporter citation (Volume number, name of source (United States Reports, Federal Reporter, etc.), page number).* Name of court. Year. Name of Database. Format. Date retrieved.

The picture above is for the following court case:

Perry v. Schwarzenegger. 704 F. Supp. 2d 921. 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 78817,
     (9th Cir. Aug. 4, 2010).
LexisNexis Academic.  Web. 10 May 2012.

*For the reporter citation information look above the LexisNexis document.  You may need to move your mouse over to see the complete citation fragment which ends with the LEXIS number.  It will include the volume number, proper abbreviation of the court reporter, the first page number, and then the year followed by the type of court.  It then ends with the LEXIS number which MUST be included in citation.  In parenthesies you state more specifity of the court followed by the date of the ruling (beginning with month, instead of day).  The example above pertains to Volume 704 of the Federal Reporter Supplement, Second Series, followed by the first page number. 

(Note: the directions above is subject to revision as we are still interpreting between the Bluebook and MLA of which there are inconsistencies).

If Court case is taken from another site than LexisNexis:

Try to take as much as you can as in the example above.  From Plain Site, for example, you still have the source where the court case came from, except there is no LexisNexis number (although Plain Site is not always clear what Circuit an appellate case came from).  Just cite as much as you can.  Here would be the same citation:

Perry v. Schwarzenegger. 704 F. Supp. 2d 921. 2010 U.S. Dist.,
     (Aug. 4, 2010).  Plain Site.  Web. 10 May 2012.