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Case Law Research: Abbreviations & Acronyms

This guide provides information on Case Law Research, and identifies pertinent print and online resources available through the NYU Law Library

Commonly Used Abbreviations


"U.S." - United States Reports

"S.Ct." - Supreme Court Reporter

"L. Ed.", "L. Ed.2d" - United States Supreme Court Reports, Lawyer's Edition

"F.", "F.2d", "F.3d" - Federal Reporter

"F.App'x" - Federal Appendix

"F. Supp.", "F. Supp.2d" - Federal Supplement

"F. Cas." - Federal Cases

"F.R.D." - Federal Rules Decisions

"B.R." - West's Bankruptcy Reporter

New York:

"N.E.", "N.E.2d" - North Eastern Reporter

"N.Y.", N.Y.2d" - New York Reports

"N.Y.S.", "N.Y.S.2d" - West's New York Supplement

"A.D.", "A.D.2d", "A.D.3d" - New York's Appellate Division Reports

"N.Y.Sup.Ct." - New York Supreme Court Reports

Deciphering Case Citations

Federal Case Citations:

Cabiri v. Gov't of Republic of Ghana, 165 F.3d 193 (2d Cir. 1999):

   - Cabiri v. Gov't of Republic of Ghana are the names of the parties in the case.  In the trial court, first name is the plaintiff (the party bringing the suit) and the name after the "v." is the defendant.  In the appellate courts, the first name is the appellant (the party bringing the appeal), and the name of the appellee is after the "v." - depending on who files the appeal, the appellant may be either the plaintiff or the defendant from the lower court.

   - "165" is the volume number of the reporter that contains the court's opinion

   - "F.3d" is the abbreviation for the Federal Reporter, third series, which is the reporter containing this opinion

   - "193" is the page in the reporter where this opinion begins

   - "2d Cir." is the designation for the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.  Since the Federal Reporter contains the decisions of all of the United States Courts of Appeals, this information specifies which Circuit Court issued the opinion.  

   - "1999" is the year the case was decided, not the year it was brought.

Parallel Citations: Since cases may be printed by more than one publisher, there may be more than one citation following the name of the case.  The first citation will be to the official reporter for the court, followed by a citation to the "unofficial" reporters.  As set forth more on the Federal Cases page of this guide, Supreme Court opinions will have a citation to the U.S. Reports - the official reporter, and parallel citations to the unofficial reporters, Supreme Court Reporter and U.S. Supreme Court Reports, Lawyer's Edition: Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483, 74 S. Ct. 686, 98 L.Ed. 873 (1954).  The text of the opinion will be the same in all of the sources.

Parallel citations provide additional options for locating the case - since a person may not have access to all of the resources.

State Case Citations:

Arrington v. N.Y. Times Co., 55 N.Y.2d 433, 434 N.E.2d 1319, 449 N.Y.S.2d 941 (1982)

Focusing on the official reporter:

   - "55" is the volume number

   - "N.Y.2d" is the abbreviation for the New York Reports, the reporter containing this opinion

   - "433" is the page in the reporter where this opinion begins

The parallel citations are to the North Eastern Reporter and West's New York Supplement.  It is important to be aware that various circumstances govern whether to include parallel citations (for example, in N.Y. State Courts, parallel unofficial citations are not used for officially reported New York State cases.  This information will be included in the official rules of the court.