Legal Research and Writing:  Ted Tjaden


   Law Journals
   CLE Papers
   Case Digests
   Reference Tools
   Law Blogs | News

   Case Law | Court Dockets
   International Law
   Foreign Law


   Knowledge Management

   Legal Writing
   Legal Citation
   Teaching LRW

   Law-Related Movies

   About Ted Tjaden


Legal Citation

Legal citation refers to a system of rules for citing primary and secondary legal materials (these rules, for example, would require you to put a case name or statute title in italics). In Canada, these rules have been established largely by the Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation (the "McGill Guide"), now in its 8th edition, available in both print and by subscription here on WestlawNext Canada.
The next most significant source of legal citation rules would come from the work of the Canadian Citation Committee, including The Preparation, Citation and Distribution of Canadian Decisions (2 April 2009), edited by Frédéric Pelletier, Ruth Rintoul and Daniel Poulin and available online in PDF. The work of this Committee has established the use of "neutral citation" for case law. See also the British Columbia Court of Appeal Directive called Citation of Authorities. See also Alberta Law Libraries, "Research Guide: Citing Cases to Alberta Courts."
Aside from those sources, there are a number of online guides that provide examples of how to cite legal materials, including:
In the United States, the McGill Guide equivalent is The Bluebook, available online here by subscription. However, in part due to the complexity of The Bluebook, the Association of Legal Writing Directors has developed a simpler form of legal citation in the ALWD Citation Manual.
There is a free, online "close equivalent" to The Bluebook by Peter Martin called Introduction to Basic Legal Citation.
In the United Kingdom, see the Oxford Standard for the Citation of Legal Authorities (OSCOLA), 4th ed (PDF, 58 pages), with more information available on the OSCOLA website.
In Australia, legal writers use the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (AGLC).
On a related note: I highly recommend Butterick's Practical Typography by Matthew Butterick his recommendations on typography and the formatting of legal documents.

  Cover of 4th edition of Legal Research and Writing
                (Irwin Law)

Legal Research and Writing:
4th Edition

by Ted Tjaden

Softcover 512 pgs.
Published: January 2016
Paperback: 978-1-55221-414-5
Ebook: 978-1-55221-415-2

Purchase here


Irwin Law: Canadian Online Legal Dictionary (click here)

Last updated: January 2016     |    Legal / Terms of Use    |    Ted Tjaden © 2010-2016