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Summer Clerks Research Guide

Strategies and research tips for working law students

California Citation Style

Practice Tip: Use California style for California courts.

Complete Handbook of Legal Style for California Courts and Lawyers style manual available online at: http://www.sdap.org/downloads/Style-Manual.pdf 

Syntax of Note - Case Citations

  • Year of the opinion goes right after the name, enclosed in parens.
  • Parentheses enclose the entire citation unless it's part of the sentence.
  • No spaces in reporter abbreviations.
  • Brackets enclose parallel citations to unofficial and regional reporters.
  • Abbreviations for party names are minimal. See Rule 6.2.
  • Short-form case citations are slightly different from other citation styles.

Examples

  • Contractual waivers of liability that relate to the public interest are void as a matter of public policy. (Tunkl v. Regents of University of California (1963) 60 Cal.2d 92 [32 Cal.Rptr. 33, 383 P.2d 441].)
  • Statement supported by text on page 181. (Jackson v. County of Los Angeles (1997) 60 Cal.App.4th 171, 181.) Another statement supported by text on the same page. (Ibid.)