Whether you are an appellate practitioner appearing before the Nation’s highest appellate court, or simply a law nerd, The Cockle Bur Blog has a new series of posts just for you entitled “Matters of Practice.”
The first in the series highlights citations and quotations in U.S. Supreme Court Briefs and offers invaluable advice. For example, the United States Supreme Court prefers cases to be cited using only the official United States Reports. Additionally, although there is no specific guideline in any rule, Bluebook is the safest bet for citation form, even if the Court itself does not use Bluebook for 100% of its citations. Also, case names should be italicized and not underlined (this is something every former law review junkie should already know, and is good advice for all briefs not produced on a typewriter).
We adhere to these conventions when we file briefs in the Supreme Court. See Winter v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. an amicus on behalf of nine retired Admirals, the Navy League and other civic organizations, United States v. Tohono O’odham Nation an amicus on behalf of the National Home Builders Association, and Guggenheim v. City of Goleta an amicus on behalf of the Manufactured Housing Institute, for examples.
The post also notes that the Court changed its stated preference for citations to statutes: Rule 34.5 states that “[a]ll references to a provision of federal statutory law should ordinarily be cited to the United States Code, if the provision has been codified therein.” If the statute has not been codified in the Code, then a lawyer should cite to the “Statutes at Large.”
In addition to advice, the post also links to briefs filed by Supreme Court practitioners.
The full post can be read here.
We look forward to the next “Matters of Practice” post.