US Slower to Adopt Neutral Citation Than Canada

Courtney Minick has written a post on Universal Citation for State Codes over at VoxPopuLII, a blog published at the Cornell University Law School.

She discusses the spread of universal, or vendor-neutral, citation in the United States. The bulk of the article is devoted to developing neutral citation for state laws, but one detail attracted my attention. In contrast to Canada, where neutral citation has been widely adopted for caselaw, the practice is still not very widespread South of the border:

To date, 16 states assign universal citations to their highest court opinions. (To date, Arkansas, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin, and Wyoming have adopted universal citation for caselaw.) Illinois is the most recent state to adopt the measure (in June 2011)…

In March 2010, Ivan Mokanov of the Université de Montréal, wrote on VoxPopuLII about neutral citation practices in Canada. He pointed out that “nearly three quarters of citations to recent case law [in Canada] use the neutral citation”.


  1. It does not help, though, when the journal publishing one’s article replaces CanLII cites with their house commercial database cites and paper report cites. I’m told it wasn’t a replace CanLIi with our own per se issue so much as the publisher hadn’t yet update its instructions to the production editor parallel cites.