Legal Research and Writing:  Ted Tjaden


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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 10th edition, available in both print and by subscription here on Westlaw Edge 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.

The following free online resources also discuss legal citation:
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 Guide to Legal Citation.
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,.
In Australia, legal writers use the Australian Guide to Legal Citation, 4th ed (AGLC).
On a related note: I highly recommend Butterick's Practical Typography (2nd ed) by Matthew Butterick for 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
e-bbook: 978-1-55221-415-2

Purchase here


Irwin Law: Canadian Online Legal Dictionary (click here)

Last updated: January 2024     |    Legal / Terms of Use    |    Ted Tjaden © 2010-2024