When to Capitalize Section in Legal Writing

Luckily for my students and for you as a practitioner, these capitalization rules are pretty intuitive, and once you start focusing on them in your design, you can learn them quickly. So it`s an easy way to improve the overall efficiency of your writing. Rule 7.3.1. and Rule 8 of the Blue Book: A uniform system of citations requires us to capitalize the word “court” in all written submissions and other legal documents filed in federal courts in the following cases: And, of course, capitalize the court if it is the first word of a sentence and if it appears in the title of a document or document. Good question! The Blue Book does not give a specific answer here. The general rule for uppercase titles in Bluebook, rule 8(a), is that you must capitalize the title. (“Claim of Infringement of Count I”) You can also consult the analogous rule for capitalizing court documents in B7.3.3 (the blue pages). In my experience, capitalizing the title of an action is also the common custom. Learn in detail about California`s rules on when and when should not be capitalized in court or tribunal by reviewing the lists of correct examples in the California Style Manual, sections 4:1 and 4:2. Note that if you are referring to a party without adding its last name, add the word “the”. See Anne Enquist & Laurel Oates, Just Writing 265 (3rd edition 2009).

Example: “Plaintiff Ludke alleges that defendant committed theft by contractor.” The problem may seem trivial, but it is not. Knowing when to capitalize the âc in court and when to leave it lowercase is a matter of jurisdiction. I agree – the hearing does not need to be capitalized in the body of the statement, as in your example: “At the hearing, the tenant testified.” At least in the first few years, you should also capitalize on whatever your boss wants to capitalize. (3) If you refer to the court before which you appear, regardless of its lower rank In addition, the capitalization of cross-references in a book if they refer to a particular section: I was wondering if the name of the lawsuit should be capitalized in a count. Would I write, “The court should dismiss the plaintiff`s claim for infringement” or should it be “Count I of breach of contract”? The Federal Supreme Court is a generic term, so it is not capitalized. However, you would capitalize some references to proper names such as Seventh Circuit, as in the following example: The Seventh Circuit is a federal court. Thanks to you and Vance, I am now sensitive to the idea that parts effectively become titles when considered in isolation. All commentators agree that the words “plaintiff” and “defendant” should be capitalized when referring to specific parties in the case being written. Do we know why so many courts do not take this rule into account? In the following examples, when should the word continuation and others be capitalized? I think the subject is more subtle than you allow.

It`s like deciding when the designation of seasons is capitalized: we do it when we use them as names, not when we describe their function, so to speak. (1) if you refer to the U.S. Supreme Court – even if you only use part of the name @Lee – I agree. I tell students that they are simply replacing the party`s first name with the party`s legal category. They would not say, “Plaintiff Ludke alleges Smith committed theft by a contractor.” In addition, Bluebook rule B7.3.2 shows an example where the “the” is omitted. Laura Graham, associate director of legal analysis, writing and research, is an associate professor of legal writing at Wake Forest University`s School of Law, where she has taught for 15 years. It welcomes readers` emails at [email protected]. Situations like this always remind me of Lewis Carroll`s taxonomy of things: there`s the thing, there`s the name of the thing, there`s what the thing is called, and there`s what the name of the thing means. I leave it to others to assign section references to the appropriate category. Those who consult MSCD will be familiar with the idea that it is unnecessary and distracting to use initial capital (“nitcaps”, for connoisseurs) when referring to the parties to a contract.

In other words, in cross-references, the words section, problem, and timeline (among other things) should all be lowercase. 4. When references to a constitution must be capitalized: If you are doing an internship or a judge (and without specific instruction in some way), should a person capitalize “court” in an objective note? The Just Writing rule that applies is Rule 3 of Chapter 10 on page 263: Use the definite article “the” with both counting and non-counting names if the specific identity of the name is clear to the reader. I wouldn`t use reason 3 on superlatives and rank adjectives, because we often have neither plaintiff nor defendant with words. Reason 1 is rather the best explanation: readers know the specific identity of a name after it has already been used once in a certain context. Informal references to chapter and subject titles can be capitalized and written without italics or quotation marks: would you capitalize a reference to “answers to questions”? Thank you very much! Like The Bluebook, the California Style Manual requires the capitalization of courts when it uses only a portion of the official names of the U.S. Supreme Court and U.S. courts of appeals, such as “the ninth circle.” And like the Bluebook, the California Style Manual tells us to keep the dish in lower case when we refer to a dish or dishes in general. Like what. “District Court Bluebook B10.6.3” or “the High Court” requires you to capitalize the title of a document if “(i) the document was filed in the case that is the subject of your document; and (ii) the reference refers to the title of the document itself or to an abridged version thereof. Generic references to a document are not capitalized. This is unusual.

I have heard the opposite from all my colleagues, especially when quick reading is necessary to find a clause in a meeting, etc. Their statement only confirms that “there is no one-size-fits-all solution.” However, I think most practitioners will continue to use the initial letters due to readability issues.