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How to Cite a Legal Document by MLA

by Rocco Pendola, Demand Media

    Published by the Modern Language Association, scholars and writers, particularly in the humanities, use MLA style to organize their written work. MLA format is best known as a set of rules and guidelines governing documentation of research sources. If you need to cite a large number of legal resources, MLA sends you elsewhere for guidance. If you are merely citing a couple of court cases, you can make direct use of MLA style.

    Step 1

    List the name of the court case you wish to cite. Follow the format shown below. Jones. v. Jones.

    Step 2

    Follow the name of the case with the volume number, the publication where you found the case and the page number the case starts on. If this information is not available, you can skip this portion. Jones v. Jones. 122 Federal Supplement 34.

    Step 3

    List the name of the court where the case was heard, followed by the date the case was published. Conclude your citation by noting the medium of the publication you accessed. Jones v. Jones. 122 Federal Supplement 34. U.S. Supreme Court. 12 Jan. 2000. Print.

    Step 4

    Double-space all entries in your works cited list when using MLA style.

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    • According to MLA, citing legal documents is a complicated process. This how-to provides basic information. For complete details on the many types of cases, opinions and legal documents, the MLA suggests that you use the latest edition of "The Blue Book: A Uniform System of Citation."


    About the Author

    As a writer since 2002, Rocco Pendola has published numerous academic and popular articles in addition to working as a freelance grant writer and researcher. His work has appeared on SFGate and Planetizen and in the journals "Environment & Behavior" and "Health and Place." Pendola has a Bachelor of Arts in urban studies from San Francisco State University.

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