Via the (new) legal writer blog post titled Cite Right, take a look at an article in the New York Law Journal, The Fine Art of (Persuasively) Citing Cases written by Harry Steinberg. The article shows that citation matters; and it matters a lot. Mr. Steinberg focuses on New York practice and uses examples of citations relevant to New York practice; however, many of the tips, observations, and advice is applicable elsewhere. Some of Mr. Steinberg’s major points include:
- Do not waste the court’s time with lengthy citations discussing obvious legal points.
- Pay attention to the origin of the case you want to cite.
- All decisions are not created equal.
- Avoid string cites.
- Very carefully read the cases you want to cite.
- Cite cases honestly.
- Pay attention to citation style.
Citation style and reliability of a citation is important. See an earlier blog post, $100 Fine For a Wrong Case Citation. Here, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals fined an attorney for providing a wrong citation to a case in the brief submitted to the court.