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Universal Citation: Further Information

A South Carolina focused guide to discussions of citation reform, sometimes referred to as vendor neutral citation, medium neutral citation, uniform citation, or public domain citation.


Below is a limited timeline of resources that could be useful to researchers of the history of universal citation proposals, adoptions, and implementations.


The ABA Legal Technology Resource Center provided summaries of actions taken by courts on citation reform. This 2005 capture of the now-defunct website shows the following courts listed as having taken some official action, whether to allow or disallow some form of neutral citations: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

This paper compares strengths and weaknesses of various states' implementations of universal citation recommendations as of 2006. Martin recommends these best practices that some states had already begun to apply:

  1. If a parallel citation to a print reporter is required, only require the first page number, not pinpoint page numbers.
  2. If a parallel citation to a print reporter is required, include that citation information with the opinions on the court's website.
  3. Include final, official versions of opinions on the court's website.
  4. Provide a significant collection of historical case law, carrying full citation information.
  5. Provide opinions on the court's website in truly medium-neutral formats, not as print replicas.


In this 2010 blog post, Minick emphasizes the importance of a unique and permanent identifier for each court opinion, rather than a temporary slip opinion number, and highlights the approaches of North Dakota, Oklahoma, and New Mexico.