How do you reference a legal brief in APA format?


The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association does not provide any guidance on formatting citations of legal materials.  Instead, for legal citations, the APA Handbook refers users to a book titled The Bluebook: A uniform system of citation. There are copies of this book in the reference section of the library on the first floor.

On page 106, the Bluebook gives the following general form for citing briefs:
Document name   pincite, case citation (docket number), commercial database identifier (if you accessed the brief through LEXIS, WESTLAW, etc

Example: Brief for Ringling Bros.-Barnum & Bailey Combined Shows, Inc. et al. as Amici Curiae Supporting Respondents, Mosely v. V Secret Catalogue, Inc, 537 U.S. 418 (2003) (no. 01-1015), 2002 WL 1987618.

This is the form you would use in the reference list at the end of you paper. When referring to the brief in the text of your paper, APA says to use the simple citation form for an anonymous work, which is case name, year in parentheses.

Example (Mosely v. V Secret Catalogue, 2003).

For additional help with citations, please see our research guide:

  • Last Updated Apr 16, 2020
  • Views 42918
  • Answered By University Library Webgroup

FAQ Actions

Was this helpful? 25 56