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Answered By: Sarah Johnson
Last Updated: Feb 07, 2017     Views: 2375

For legal sources, the APA Publication Manual refers users to the latest edition of The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, which provides the following general format for citing briefs:

Document name, pincite, case citation (docket number), commercial database identifier (if you accessed the brief through LexisNexis, Westlaw, HeinOnline etc.).

If you didn't access the brief through a database, provide the retrieval statement — Retrieved from

Here are some examples:

Example #1 — reply brief.


Reply brief of petitioners Jennifer Gratz and Patrick Hamacher, Gratz v. Bollinger, 539 U. S. 244 (2003) (no. 02-516). Retrieved from

In-text citation

Gratz v. Bollinger (2003)   or   (Gratz v. Bollinger, 2003)

Example #2 — amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief.


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.

In-text citation

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


For more citation help, please see our APA Citation & Style Guide.

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