How to Cite a Brief for a Petitioner

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A petitioner is someone who files an appeal against another party. A brief is a document that puts forward the argument of the appeal. It is essential not only to write the document using the appropriate language, but to adhere to the legal system's citation format. It changes from country to country, but in America the most common legal citation guide is the Blue Book. If you are writing a brief and want to be taken seriously, it is highly recommended you strictly follow its rules.

Cite court opinions in the following format:

"Pietersen vs Murray, 154 P2d (cal 2010)."

You only need to cite the person's last names, in this case Pietersen and Murray, and the last named are always italicized. The first number is the volume number of the source. The second is the abbreviated name of the publication. In this case the full name of the publication is Pacific. The second number is the page number. In brackets are written an abbreviated form of the court's location -- California -- and the year the opinion was published.

Cite statutes and regulations in the following way;:

"19 U.S.C. § 101."

The first number is the volume of the book. The names are all in normal font and the title of the book is abbreviated. In this case the full name of the book is "The United States Code." The number following the symbol is the section number. There is a space either on both sides of the section symbol and a full stop at the end of the citation.

Cite secondary sources, such as information found in books and magazine.

If your secondary source is a book you should cite your source as follows:

"William L. Prosser, TORTS, (4th ed. 1971)."

You start with the name of the author in the conventional order of first name, middle initial and then last name. Follow that with the chapter and then the title of the book in capital letters. Finish with the book's edition and the year it was published.

If your secondary source is an article from a periodical, you should cite the source as follows:

"Warren & Brandeis, The Right to Privacy, 4 HARV.L.REV. 193, 196 (1890)."

Write the name of the article followed by the title of the periodical and its volume number. The numbers after the periodical title are the page numbers.

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