Skip to Main Content

Chicago Style Guide

Citing legal and government sources

A U.S. Supreme Court case
Note

1. Herring v. New York, 422 U.S. 853 (1975).

Bibliography Court cases are only cited in notes, not in the bibliography. If your teacher wants a legal source listed in the blbiography, use the above format.
  In the citation above, Herring is the plaintiff, New York is the defendant. 422 is the volume number, U.S. is the "reporter" (publisher), 853 is the first page of the text.
 
A state Supreme Court case (example is California)
Note

2. Edelstein v. City & County of San Francisco, 56 P.3d 1029 (Cal.2002).

Bibliography Court cases are only cited in notes, not in the bibliography. If your teacher wants a legal source listed in the bibliography, use the above format.
  In the citation above, Edelstein is the plaintiff, City & County of San Francisco is the defendant. 56 is the volume number, P.3d is the "reporter" (publisher), 1029 is the first page of the text.
 
An appellate court case found in a legal database (example is Arizona)
Note

3. State of Arizona v. Fischer, 2008 Ariz. App. LEXIS 125 (2008).

Bibliography Court cases are only cited in notes, not in the bibliography. If your teacher wants a legal source listed in the bibliography, use the above format.
  In the citation above, State of Arizona is the plaintiff, Fischer is the defendant. Ariz. App. is the proper abbreviation for the court, LEXIS 125 is the identifier in the Lexis-Nexis legal database.
 
An act of Congress
Note

4. Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552 (1996).

Bibliography Congressional acts, statutes, etc. are only cited in notes, not in the bibliography. If your teacher wants a legal source listed in the bibliography, use the above format.
  The citation above indicates the commonly-known title, the publication volume (5),  the "publisher" (United States Code = U.S.C.), the section (552) and the year of enactment.
 
A presidential executive order
Note

5. Exec. Order. No. 13440, 72 Fed. Reg. 40707 (July 24, 2007), http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/executive-orders/2007.html#13440.

Bibliography Executive orders are only cited in notes, not in the bibliography. If your teacher wants a legal source listed in the bibliography, use the above format.
 
Testimony at a state committee hearing
Note

6. Bridging the Digital Divide in California: A Foundation for a Better Way of Life: Hearings Before the Assembly Utilities & Commerce Committee, 2013 Leg.. (Cal. 2013), statement of Ken Simmons, Chief Operating Officer, Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles). http://autl.assembly.ca.gov/sites/autl.assembly.ca.gov/files/hearings/BroadbandTestimony.pdf.

Bibliography Hearings are only cited in notes, not in the bibliography. If your teacher wants a legal source listed in the bibliography, use the above format.
 
A federal or state bill or resolution
Note

7. H.R. Res. 6026, Sess. of 2011 (Kan. 2011), http://www.kslegislature.org/li_2012/b2011_12/year1/measures/documents/hr6026_00_0000.pdf.

Bibliography Resolutions and bills are only cited in notes, not the bibliography. If your teacher wants a legal source listed in the bibliography, use the above format.