Monthly Archives: May 2011

Throw Away Your Bluebook – New Case Citation Rule in Illinois!!!

The State of Illinois changed good ole’ Rule 23 again. The days of the big old legal volumes (specifically the Illinois Reporter and Illinois Appellate Reporter) have gone the way of telegraphs, newspapers and polar bears.

Throwing away my old citation guide (but not really)

The proper way to cite a case in Illinois is (after July 31, 2011) to the public domain citation (with additional citations to the Northeast Reporter, if you want to go the extra mile). What is the public domain citation, you ask?

It’s a unique identifier given to each case by the Court.

A proper citation would include the relevant paragraphs and look like this:

People v. Doe, 2011 IL App (1st) 101234, ¶ 15
People v. Doe, 2011 IL App (1st) 101234, ¶¶ 21-23
People v. Doe, 2011 IL App (1st) 101234, ¶¶ 57, 68

Truth be told, I don’t know if this will be easier or harder, and I’m not sure when Westlaw and Lexis  (not to mention Fastcase) will catch up. Either way, the dinosaurs will have some catching up to do.

For further reading:

The new rule and commentary

Illinois Lawyer Now

(Howard Zimmerle is a lawyer practicing in the Quad City area of Illinois. He can be reached at 309-794-1660 or hzimmerle [at] 






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