Law nerd alert: An examination of New Mexico’s unique case-citation rule

Peter W. Martin, the Jane M. G. Foster Professor of Law (Emeritus) at Cornell Law School, has a blog which is a law nerd’s delight.

The blog is called Citing Legally: Occasional observations concerning the citation of legal authorities by lawyers and judges, and contains posts about all sorts of citation-related subjects, such as the proper placement of citations in briefs, vendor-neutral citation, the origins of the Bluebook, and so forth.

Citing Legally came to my attention because Professor Martin has written an interesting, detailed, and comprehensive post about New Mexico’s case citation system, which you can find here.

In New Mexico, each appellate decision is assigned a cite that identifies the case by year, court, and decision number, and each paragraph in the decision is assigned a number. So, for example, if you wanted to cite a particular sentence in Paragraph 10 of Potter v. Pierce, a case decided by the New Mexico Supreme Court earlier this year, you would cite it as 2015-NMSC-002, ¶ 10. In 2013, the rule was changed to assign case and paragraph numbers to all New Mexico cases, from 1852 to the present. I love this system, because it makes it very easy to find and read the exact portions of cases that are being cited.

If you, like me, are a law nerd, then this terrific blog belongs on your reading list.

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