How to Cite Legal Cases As References in APA Format

APA format is a set of style rules developed by the American Psychological Association as a means for enabling easier reading of scientific writing. These rules allow for greater reading comprehension as well as the ability to cite resources in a consistent manner. Citing legal cases as references in APA style varies slightly, depending on the court where the case was heard, but follow the same basic format.

Step 1

List the case name followed by a comma. For example Green v. Douglas,.

Step 2

Follow the case name with the volume number. If this case was a supreme court case, also list the U.S. page number after the volume. For lesser court decisions, the volume should be followed by the reporter abbreviation then the page number. So far your reference would look similar to this: Green v. Douglas, 12 B, 4d 11.

Step 3

Next place the date in parenthesis. If the case took place in a court lesser than the Supreme Court also include the court name in the parenthesis. Abbreviations of the court name are acceptable. Now your reference should look similar to this: Green v. Douglas, 12 B, 4d 11 (Juvenile Dom. 2010). A completed Supreme Court example would resemble this: James v. Andrew, 328 U.S. 594 (2010)

Step 4

Cite the references in the text wherever you have used the information. In-text citations should include the name of the case followed by a comma then the year in parenthesis. For example (Green v. Douglas, 2010).