Decoding a Case Citation
A case citation usually consists of the following items:
For example, the citation Florida v. Royer 460 U.S. 491 (1983) means that the case of Florida v. Royer was published in volume 460 of United States Reports on page 491. The case decision was issued in 1983, as noted in the parentheses.
It's important to note when the same case is printed in different book series (i.e. reporters), more than one citation may be given. These additional citations are known as parallel citations.
Example: 460 U.S. 491, 103 S.Ct. 1319, 75 L.Ed.2d 229.
In the above example, there are three parallel citations to the same case:
The text of the opinion will be identical in all three sources. Any additional commentary or editorial material will differ with each publisher.
Typically, ANY one of these parallel citations may be used to locate a case within the LexisNexis database.