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University of Wisconsin - La Crosse Library Guide # 308 1/12

This Library Guide provides a quick guide to understanding legal citations, which are the number-abbreviation-number groups following the names of court cases. The citation tells where to find the full text of the court case. The information is almost always configured as volume-abbreviation of reporter-page. EX: Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka is cited as: 347 US 483 or volume 347 United States Reports page 483. Paragraph Section For example: Deschutes Co. And Deschutes Co. Sheriffs Assoc., 95-1 ARB 5094 For example: 68 AM.Jur.2d 325

NOTE: Often more than one citation will be given, for example: Brown vs. Board of Education 347 US 483, 74 S.CT 686, 98 L.Ed 873. These additional citations are called parallel citations, which means there is more than one place to obtain a copy of the text. ALWAYS write down parallel citations when doing course work. For a more complete listing of legal citations or for help with legal or tax research see: The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation. Ready Reference KF245 .B58 Wisconsin Guide to Citation. Ready Reference KFW2475 .W57 Legal Research: How to Find and Understand the Law. Reference KF 240 .E35 U.S. Master Tax Guide. Reference KF6335.A6 C64 A. A.2d AFTR AFTR 2d A.L.R. A.L.R.2d A.L.R.5th Am.Jur. Am.Jur.2d A.R.B. Arb. Atl.2d BNA B.T.A. Atlantic Reporter (West). Text of state supreme and appellate court decisions from the Atlantic states north of Virginia (except MA and NY): CT, DE, DC, ME, MD, NH, NJ, PA, RI, VT. Example: Norwin School Dist. V. Belan 507 A.2d 273 American Federal Tax Reports (RIA). All federal court and important state court decisions dealing with issues of federal taxation. Example: General Motors Corp. v. U.S., 67 AFTR2d 91-520 American Law Reports (West). Selected court cases chosen for their significant points of law. Used for the lengthy annotations following each case. Example: Fitzsimmons v Eagle Brewing Co., 126 A.L.R. American Jurisprudence (West). Legal encyclopedia similar to CJS. Example: 68 Am.Jur.2d 325 Labor Arbitration Awards (CCH) (Ref Compact Storage KF 3421.3 .C6 1961-1996). Lists arbitration awards settling grievances between labor and management. Example: Deschutes Co. And Deschutes Co. Sheriffs Assoc., 95-1 ARB 5094 Atlantic Reporter, see A. Bureau of National Affairs. Commercial publisher of news, analysis, and reference products, providing coverage of legal and regulatory developments. U.S. Board of Tax Appeals Reports (Checkpoint 1924-1942, LexisNexis Academic 1924-1942, Cataloged Microfiche HJ10 .H263 1924-1942). Became U.S. Tax Courts Reports (see TC) after 1942. Example: Cook, Sam v. Comm., 25 B.T.A.; 24.107.50 Burnetts Reports. Wisconsin Supreme Court case decisions, 1841-1843 (single volume). See Pin. for parallel and later citations. Example: Bur. 99



Cal.Rptr. C.B.


Chand. C.J.S. ClCt ClsCt CtCl CtCls DC

Digests EdLaw

F. F2d F3d F.C.C. FCC2d FedCl FedCls F.Supp

U.S. Court of Appeals (Cases are in LexisNexis Academic). Federal court immediately below U.S. Supreme Court. Text of decisions also found in the Federal Reporter (cited as F or F2d). Was CCA prior to 1948. Example: People v. St. Andrew 101 CA.3d 450 California Reporter (West). Text of California Supreme Court decisions. Example: People v. St. Andrew 161 Cal.Rptr. 634 IRS Cumulative Bulletin. (LexisNexis Academic, 1954- , GovDocs T 22.25:1950-2003). Semiannual hard bound reprints of the weekly I.R.B. Example: 1988-1 C.B. 892 U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Became CA after Sept. 1, 1948. Commerce Clearing House. Commercial publisher of tax, accounting, legal, and business information. Code of Federal Regulations (LexisNexis Academic, current). Codification of the general and permanent regulations published in the Federal Register by the executive departments and agencies of the federal government. 1996- available at Example: 20 CFR 404.140 Chandlers Reports. Wisconsin Supreme Court case decisions, 1849-1852. See Pin. for parallel citations. Example: 2 Chand. 68 Corpus Juris Secundum (West). (Law Books KF 154 .C57, to 2001) Best known legal encyclopedia. Example: C.J.S. Soc S & PW 131 U.S. Claims Court Reporter, 1982-92 (LexisNexis Academic). Successor to Ct.Cl.; predecessor to Fed.Cl. Example: General Elevator Corp. v. U.S., U.S. 20 Cl.Ct.345 U.S. Court of Claims Reports, 1856-1982 (LexisNexis Academic, GovDocs Ju 3.9:1975-1982). Predecessor to Cl.Ct. U.S. District Court (Cases are in LexisNexis Academic, 1789- ). Beginning level of the federal court system. Text of almost all decisions are also found in the Federal Supplement (cited as F.Supp). Tax cases at this level are also found in USTC. Example: 8th Baptist Church v. U.S., DC Kan 1969 Digests are research tools that provide subject access to case law with very brief summaries of cases. Education Law Reporter (West). (Law Books KF 4110 .A2 W45 1983-2001). Specialized reporter for field of education covering all Federal District Appellate and Supreme Court Cases as well as cases from state Supreme Courts and appellate courts. Federal Reporter (West). Reports of cases argued and determined in the U.S. Courts of Appeal. Labor cases at this level can also be found in Labor Law Reporter (CCH) (Ref Compact Storage KF 3365 .A7 C6, to 1996), and tax cases at this level can also be found in USTC. Examples: U.S. v All Buildings, etc 28 F.2d 774 U.S. v Sandles 80 F.3d 1145 Federal Communications Commission Reports (GovDocs CC 1.12:1990-1995) U.S. Court of Federal Claims, 1992- (LexisNexis Academic). Federal court handling claims against the federal government. Was ClCt before 1992. Federal Supplement (West). Text of cases from: U.S. District Courts, U.S. Court of International Trade, U.S. Court of Federal Claims, U.S. Customs Court. Tax cases at this level can also be found in USTC. Example: Hayes v National Football League 463 F.Supp, 1174 Federal Trade Commission Decisions (GovDocs FT 1.11 1964-1999). Federal Register, 1936- (LexisNexis Academic). Text of all new federal regulations, proposed regulations and notices. 1994- available at Example: 61 F.R. 19546 IRS Internal Revenue Bulletin (LexisNexis Academic, 1954- , Checkpoint, 1996- ). Weekly IRS publication of Revenue Rulings (Rev. Rul.), Revenue Procedures (Rev. Proc.), Treasury Decisions (T.D.), Executive Orders, Tax Conventions, legislation, court decisions, and more. Cumulated into the semiannual Cumulative Bulletin (C.B.). 1996- available at Example: 1996-22 I.R.B. 4 U.S. Internal Revenue Code. (Checkpoint, LexisNexis Academic, or see Title 26, U.S.C.)

F.T.C. F.R.





L Ed L Ed 2d LexisNexis

LRR LRRM Ltr. Rul. LR L. Wis. Michie MSA NE NE2d NLRB

Internal Revenue Mimeograph. A ruling by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (now the IRS) issued before 1953; for 1954- see Rev. Rul. Labor Arbitration Reports (BNA) (BNA Labor and Employment Law Library, Ref Compact Storage KF3421.3 .L3 1946-1996). Full text of labor arbitration decisions under the authority of federal arbitration. Labor Cases (CCH) (Ref Compact Storage KF 3310 .C6 1937-1995). Full text of federal and state supreme court decisions on labor problems. Example: Brock v Casey Truck Sales, Inc., 108 LC 35,027 United States Supreme Court Reports, Lawyers Edition (Michie) (LexisNexis Academic, 1790- ). Reports, with enhancements, the decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court. See also: US. Example: Gully v. Interstate Natural Gas co. 80 L.Ed 1407 Commercial publisher and information provider, with strengths in legal information and news. Owns the publishing brands Anderson, Gould, Martindale-Hubbell, Matthew Bender, Mealeys, Michie, and Shepards. Offers the LexisNexis Academic database. A division of Reed Elsevier. . Labor Relations Reporter (BNA) (BNA Labor and Employment Law Library). Text of laws, regulations, cases, rulings, awards, and opinions covering employment relationships. Labor Relations Reference Manual (BNA) (BNA Labor and Employment Law Library, Ref Compact Storage KF3308 .L3 1935-1960) IRS Letter Ruling. Synonymous with Private Letter Ruling (PLR). See: PLR. Laws of Wisconsin. Wisconsin session laws; 1983- also known as Wisconsin Acts. See: Wis.Laws Commercial publisher of legal resources, including L.Ed. and USCS. An imprint of LexisNexis. Minnesota Statutes Annotated (West). North Eastern Reporter (West). Text of state supreme court decisions from the Northeastern states: IL, IN, MA, NY, OH. Example: Ohio Citizens trust Co. v. Evatt 63 N.E.2d 912 National Labor Relations Board, a Federal agency. . See also BNA Labor and Employment Law Library for coverage. Related publications: NLRB Decisions (CCH) (Ref Compact Storage KF 3372 .A56 C6 1960-1994), Decisions and Orders of the National Labor Relations Board (GovDocs LR 1.8:1964- ) Example: The Windsor School, Inc. 200 NLRB 991 (1972) North Western Reporter (West) (Law Books KF 135 .N7 N62 1879-2001). Text of state supreme court decisions from the Midwestern states. Includes Wisconsin (Wis.), also IA, MI, MN, NE, ND, SD. 1978- includes Wis.Ct.App. case decisions. Another publication, Wests Wisconsin Reporter, is simply a compilation of the Wisconsin cases reprinted from NW, and cases from it are cited as N.W. Example: Bryan v. Scurlock 168 N.W. 144 New York Supplement (West). Text of state supreme court decisions of the state of New York. Example: Claim of Belmar 504 N.Y.S. 867 Pacific Reporter (West). Text of state Supreme Court decisions of the Western and Pacific coast states: AK, AZ, CO, HI, ID, KS, MT, NV, NM, OK, OR, UT, WY. Example: Superior Coal Co. v. Musselshell Co., 41 P.2d 14 Pinneys Wisconsin Reports. Wisconsin Supreme Court case decisions, 1839-1852. (LexisNexis Academic, Law Books KFW2445 .W49). See Wis. for 1853- . Ex: 1 Pin. 261 Public Law (LexisNexis Academic 1988- , 1995- available at Legislation enacted by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by the President. Also published in Stat. Examples: Civil Rights Act of 1964 Pub. L. 88-352, July 2, 1964 or P.L. 88-352


NYS NYSupl P. P2d Pin. P.L. Pub. L.

PLR Priv. Ltr. Rul.

Reed Elsevier Rev. Proc.

Rev. Rul.

RIA So. So.2d S.Ct.

SE SE2d Shepards


State cases State codes State statutes Stats. SW SW2d TAM


IRS Private Letter Ruling (Checkpoint 1950- , LexisNexis Academic 1954- ). Written determinations issued by the IRS that interpret and apply tax law to a taxpayer's specific set of facts. PLRs deal with prereturn filing transactions and are issued directly to individual taxpayers at their request. Synonymous with Letter Ruling (LR, Ltr. Rul.) Example: PLR 9309023 Example: LtrRul 9741031 Corporate parent of LexisNexis. . IRS Revenue Procedure (Checkpoint 1955- , LexisNexis Academic 1955- ). IRS statement of procedure (or how to approach a tax question) that affects the rights or duties of a taxpayer. These appear in the I.R.B./C.B. Example: Rev. Proc. 95-24 9.04 IRS Revenue Ruling (Checkpoint 1954- , LexisNexis Academic 1954- ). Official IRS interpretation of the application of the tax code to an entire set of facts involved in one situation. These appear in the I.R.B./C.B. Was IR-Mim until 1953. Example: Rev. Rul. 95-24, 6 Research Institute of America. Commercial publisher of research, practice materials, and compliance tools for tax, accounting and corporate finance. A unit of Thomson Reuters. Southern Reporter (West). Text of state supreme court decisions from Southern states: AL, FL, LA, MS Example: Palmer v. Perry County Bd. Of Educ., 496 So.2d 2 Supreme Court Reporter (West) (Law Books KF 101 .A322 1882-1998). Text of U.S. Supreme Court decisions. Example: New Orleans v. Houston, LA, 7 S. Ct. 198 South Eastern Reporter (West). Text of state supreme court decisions from Southeastern states: GA, NC, SC, VA, WV. Example: Siefert v. Sanders, 358 S. E.2d. 775 (1987) Commercial publisher specializing in legal reference works that list where any court decision has been cited and the current status of that case. NO legal research is considered complete until Shepards or an equivalent legal citator is checked. Shepardizing a case means to review Shepards. Murphy Library owns: Shepards United States Citations (Law Books KF101.2 .S54, to 1993) and Shepards Wisconsin Citations (Law Books KFW2459 S53, to 2001). Shepards for ALL federal and state court cases is a feature of LexisNexis Academic. Shepards is an imprint of LexisNexis. . U.S. Statutes at Large (GovDocs S 7.9:1789-1948; GS 4.111:1949-1983; AE 2.111:1984- ). Annual compilation of the laws passed by Congress and signed by the President. 1789-1875 also at; 1951-2002 at; 2003- at Example: Civil Rights Act of 1964 78 Stat. 241 State Supreme Court cases and Court of Appeals cases are available in LexisNexis Academic. Found in LexisNexis Academic. Found in LexisNexis Academic. Also generally available on state government web sites. One good starting point is See: Wis.Stat. South Western Reporter (West). Text of state supreme court decisions from Southwestern states: AR, KY, MO, TN, TX. Example: Earnhardt Development Co. v. Ray, 51 S. W.2d 732 Technical Advice Memorandum (Checkpoint 1950- , LexisNexis Academic 1954- ). Issued by the IRS national office in response to IRS field requests arising out of tax return examinations. Unlike letter rulings, which focus on proposed transactions, TAMs cover completed transactions. U. S. Tax Court Reports (Checkpoint 1942- , LexisNexis Academic 1942- , GovDocs Ju 11.7:1942-2002). Federal publication providing text of the decision of the federal court where taxpayer claims are first heard. Was U.S. Board of Tax Appeals Reports (see BTA) before 1942. Example: Conti v. Comm., 99 TC 369 (1992): 50.486.50



Thomson Reuters






Wis. Wis.2d

Wis. Act




U.S. Tax Court Memorandum Decisions (Checkpoint 1942- , LexisNexis Academic 1942- , Ref Compact Storage KF 6282.A5 C6 1942-1998). Memorandum Decisions are decisions of the tax court where the essential acts of the case have been ruled on previously and no change is made in the position of the tax court. Example: Cruise v. Comm., 64 TCM 1421: 55.29 Example: Blassie v. Comm., TC Memo 1966-252 Treasury Decision (Checkpoint 1975- ). TDs contain temporary and/or final Treas.Regs. A final Treas.Reg. carries the full force of law. TDs appear in the I.R.B./C.B., and finally in the F.R. Example: T.D. 8652. Corporate parent of West, RIA, and also owns the WG&L brand. Offers the Checkpoint database. IRS Technical Memorandum (LexisNexis Academic, 1967- ). Memorandum from IRS Commissioner explaining or summarizing proposed Treasury rules, regulations, or policies. Example: 536 TM, Interest Expense Deductions Treasury Regulations (Checkpoint, LexisNexis Academic, Title 26 of the CFR). Stated positions of the IRS concerning particular provisions in the IRC. May be Proposed, Temporary, or Final. Temporary and Final Treas.Regs are issued as Treasury Decisions (TD). All Treas.Regs. are published in the IRB/CB and finally in the FR. A final Treas.Reg. carries the full force of law. U.S. Reports (GovDocs Ju 6.8:1952-1957, 1964- ). Official texts of decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court. See also: L Ed. 1991- at Example: Davis v. Bandemer, 478 US. 109, 147 (1986) U. S. Code. Compilation of all laws passed by Congress and currently in effect, grouped by topic, i.e., agriculture, land, taxation, etc. 1994- at Example: 42 U.S.C. 1988 United States Code Annotated (West) (Law Books, to 2001). Annotated form of the official U.S. Code. Example: 42 USCA 12101-12102 United States Code Service (LexisNexis/Matthew Bender/Michie) (LexisNexis Academic). Annotated form of the official U.S. Code, U.S. Constitution, and more. United States District Court. See DC. U.S. Tax Cases (CCH) (Ref Compact Storage KF 6335 .A7 C6 1913-1998). All federal court decisions and landmark state court decisions that deal with federal taxation. Commercial publisher of legal, regulatory and business information. Also known for: Westlaw, the online legal, financial, and business news information service; KeyCite, the citation research service on Westlaw; and the West Topic and Key Number System. A unit of Thomson Reuters. . Callaghan's Official Wisconsin Reports (1976- ) / Wisconsin Reports (West, 1853-1975) (LexisNexis Academic 1853- , Law Books KFW2445 1853-1976). Wisconsin Supreme Court case decisions since 1853. 1879- also included in NW/NW2d. Also includes Wis.Ct.App. case decisions since 1978. See Pin. for 1839-1852. Example: 209 Wis.2d 538 Wisconsin Act (1983- ) (GovDocs Reference KFW2425.A216 current session). Individually published Wisconsin session law enacted by the Legislator and signed by the Governor. All of the Acts of a session are compiled into the bound volumes, Wis.Laws. Session laws before 1983 are cited exclusively as Wis.Laws. Example: 1995 Wis. Act 27 Wisconsin Administrative Code. ( 1989- , GovDocs Reference KFW2435 1956 .A27 current ed). Compilation of the rules and regulations of various agencies of Wisconsin state government. Example: Wis. Admin. Code DWD 218.03 (current through 604 Wis.Admin. Reg (May 1, 2006) Wisconsin Administrative Register. ( 1996- ) Announcements of newly created rules to be incorporated into Wis.Admin.Code. See Wis.Admin.Code for example. Wisconsin Court of Appeals. (LexisNexis Academic 1978- ) 1978- cited as published in Wis.2d or N.W.2d.


Laws of Wisconsin. (LexisNexis Academic current session, 1969- , GovDocs Wisconsin Z 5:1852- ) Bound compilation of Wisconsin session laws, as enacted by the Wisconsin Legislature and signed into law by the Governor. Since 1983 also known as Wis. Act. Example: 1995 Wis. Laws 27 Wis.Legis.Serv. Wests Wisconsin Legislative Service (West). Commercially published editions of Wisconsin Acts (Wis.Laws). Example: 1995 Wis. Legis. Serv. 27 (West) Wis.Stat. Wisconsin Statutes and Annotations (commonly, Wisconsin Statutes; title variable before 1911) Wis.Stats. (LexisNexis Academic 1989- , 1969- , GovDocs Stats. Wisconsin Z 5/2:1849- , GovDocs Reference KFW2429.W57 current ed.) Compilation of Wisconsin general laws currently in effect, published every 2 years. Example: Wis. Stat. 767.33 (1999) Wis.Stat.Ann. Wests Wisconsin Statutes Annotated (GovDocs Reference KFW2430 1957 .A43 1957, current ed.) W.S.A. Contains exact text of Wis.Stat., but additionally extensively indexed and annotated. Example: Wis. Stat. Ann. 763 (1m)(b) (West 2000)

Hierarchy Of Authority For Tax Materials Listed In Descending Order Of Precedence

Internal Revenue Code (IRC) / United States Code (USC) Treasury Regulations (Treas.Reg.) / Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) U.S. Supreme Court (U.S. or L.Ed. or S.Ct.) U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals (F. or F.2d.). 11 numbered by circuit; 13 total. (Wisconsin is in the Seventh Circuit; the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals is located in Chicago.) 5. Federal courts of original jurisdiction (decisions may be appealed to a Circuit Court of Appeals): A. U.S. District Courts (cited as F. Supp.) Federal District Court decisions will vary on a particular topic since each court decision is rendered by a separate, geographically-bound court. 94 districts nationwide. (La Crosse is in the Western District of Wisconsin. The U.S. District Court--Western District of Wisconsin is located in Madison.) B. U.S. Tax Court The tax court is a national court and will only follow the decision of the Circuit Court in which the taxpayer is domiciled. As a result, Tax Court decisions are not necessarily consistent on a particular topic. Tax court decisions are classified as follows: I. Regular decisions rendered on particular topics which are still unsettled or controversial. Decisions may be made by one judge or reviewed by the entire court. (cited as TC since 1942; BTA before 1942) II. Memorandum decisions, generally made by one judge, are also primary authority but on less controversial, settled issues. (cited as TCM) C. U.S. Court of Federal Claims (cited as FedCl since 1992; ClCt from 1982-1992; CtCl before 1982) National court that handles all types of claims against the U.S. government, including those in the tax area. 7. Revenue Rulings (cited as Rev. Rul.) Issued by the IRS, establishing official IRS interpretation of the tax law for specific types of transactions. Binding for the IRS for future tax treatment of such transactions. 8. Private Letter Rulings (cited as PLR or LtrRul) Issued by the IRS upon request to an individual taxpayer regarding tax treatment for a specific transaction being considered.
1. 2. 3. 4.