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Reading Legal Citations

Legal citations convey a lot of information about the referred to source in a very compact manner. The more you know about legal citations, the more information you can glean in a very short time.

Series Numbers

Note: 2d indicates second series, 3d indicates third series.  Unlike edition numbers, which indicate revised material, series numbers indicate newer material which supplements, but does not replace the older material.  The series number is an essential part of the title.

For Further Information

For further information and abbreviations see: A Uniform System of Citation and Bieber’s Dictionary of Legal Abbreviations.

Some Common Legal Abbreviations

A., A.2d                  Atlantic Reporter

A.L.R.                     American Law Reports

Am. Jur. 2d            American Jurisprudence (encyclopedia)

C.F.R.                     Code of Federal Regulations

C.J.S.                     Corpus Juris Secundum (encyclopedia)

C.M.R.                   Code of Massachusetts Regulations

F., F.2d, F.3d         Federal Reporter

F. Appx.                 Federal Appendix

F. Cas.                    Federal Cases

F.R.D.                     Federal Rules Decisions

F. Supp., F. Supp. 2d   Federal Supplement

Fed. Reg.            Federal Register

L. Ed., L. Ed. 2d    Lawyers’ Edition Supreme Court Reports

M.G.L.A.                Massachusetts General Laws Annotated

Mass.                     Massachusetts Reports

Mass. Acts            Acts and Resolves of Massachusetts

Mass. App.           Massachusetts Appeals Court Reports

Mass. App. Dec.   Massachusetts Appellate Decisions

Mass. App. Div.      Massachusetts Appellate Division Reports

Mass. L. Rev.        Massachusetts Law Review

Mass. Reg.           Massachusetts Register

N.E., N.E.2d         North Eastern Reporter

N.W., N.W.2d       North Western Reporter

N.Y.S., N.Y.S.2d   New York Supplement

P., P.2d, P.3d       Pacific Reporter

S. Ct.                   Supreme Court Reporter

S.E., S.E.2d       South Eastern Reporter

S.W., S.W.2d, S.W.3d    South Western Reporter

So., So. 2d        Southern Reporter

Stat.                   Statutes at Large

U.S.                    United States Reports

U.S.C.                United States Code

U.S.C.A.           United States Code Annotated

U.S.C.S.           United States Code Service