Frequently Asked Questions

Please click on a question below.

General Questions

What is ALWD?

ALWD is the Association of Legal Writing Directors, which is a learned society of professors who coordinate legal writing instruction in legal education. Founded in 1996, ALWD has more than 210 members representing approximately 150 law schools. ALWD’s goals include improving the educational quality of law school legal writing programs, encouraging research and scholarship on the educational responsibilities of legal writing directors, collecting and disseminating data relevant to directing legal writing programs, and improving understanding about the field of legal writing. ALWD is headquartered at Chicago-Kent College of Law, 565 West Adams Street, Chicago, IL 60661–3691.

How do you pronounce ALWD?

ALWD, which is the acronym for the Association of Legal Writing Directors, is variously pronounced “all-wid” or” allwood”.

When will citation information for international and foreign materials be available?

Work on international and foreign sources is progressing. Current plans are to publish the ALWD CM—International & Foreign Materials edition in late 2003 or 2004.

When will citation information for tax materials be available?

The new Appendix 7 to the Second Edition addresses citing tax materials. This appendix is not yet available online.

Will there ever be an electronic version of the Manual?

Possibly. Aspen Publishers and ALWD are studying this matter.

Would you use local court citation rules when writing an office memorandum?

Technically, no. Local court citation rules are “required” only when submitting a document to a court in the jurisdiction with the local rule. However, out of custom, some attorneys use local court citation rules in other settings. Therefore, you should ask what a particular supervisor prefers.

It seems like some legal periodicals are omitted from Appendix 5. Why is that?

The print version of Appendix 5 had to be cut to keep the book a manageable size. So, the print version of Appendix 5 is not complete. The Web version of Appendix 5 is 19 pages longer than the print version and contains many more publications. If you cannot find a particular publication in the print version, please consult the Web.

Citation Questions

Rule 2 and 12 (Abbreviations in Case Names). The Bluebook says that 'Co.' and other business designations are always abbreviated, even in text. Does this rule apply under ALWD?

No, there is not a similar list. In addition, ALWD Rule 2.3 states not to abbreviate the name of an authority used in a textual sentence.

Rule 2 and Rule 12 (Abbreviations in Case Names) When writing an abbreviation for a case where Northern Railroad is a party, should there be a space between N. R.R. or should it be N.R.R.?

Use N. R.R. (space after the N.) so that the abbreviation is clear. Although the abbreviation for “Railroad” is R.R., two consecutive capital letters, analogize to an ordinal. The most important concept is that the reader be able to tell what the abbreviation is and N.R.R. (no space) would be confusing.

Rule 12.2(d) (Case Names). What if you have a party whose last name is abbreviated to preserve anonymity, such as Nancy P.?

The ALWD Citation Manual does not address this situation, but to avoid confusion, keep the first name and the last initial. So, in the example, that party’s name would appear as Nancy P., not P.

Rule 12.6 (Cases–Courts). The California Court of Appeal has both districts and divisions. Should both be included in a case citation? Rule 12.6(b) says 'districts or divisions.'

You should include only one—the “larger” subdivision.

Rule 12.6 (Cases–Courts). When using a West regional reporter, if you cite a case from the state's highest court, will the abbreviation always be the state's abbreviation? Is this stated anywhere in the Manual?

The answer to the first question is “yes.” The answer to the second question is “not explicitly.” Rule 12.6(d) refers to Appendices 1 and 4 (Web-based), which contains the specific abbreviations. The abbreviations for each state’s highest court is always the state’s own abbreviation as listed in Appendix 3.

Rule 12.8 (Cases–Subsequent History). Is 'review denied' a type of subsequent history that should be included?

Yes. Analogize to “certiorari denied.”

Rule 12.10(d) (Cases–Multiple Decisions by a Single Court). On pages 82–83, when citing multiple decisions from the same case, if both decisions are from the same year, do you include the dates in citations to both decisions?

Yes, which is different from Bluebook Rule 10.5.

Rule 45 (Introductory Signals). What takes the place of 'accord' and 'see also'?

In the second edition, “accord” and “see also” have been added as proper signals.

Rule 46 (Order of Authorities within a Signal). Suppose you are citing two cases from the same court, both decided in the same year. Which goes first?

Cite the cases in reverse chronological order. If the cases are from the same year, move to the month, and so on.

How do you cite advisory committee notes?

After the rule number or section number, insert “advisory comm. nn.” Example: Fed. R. Civ. P. 11 advisory comm. nn. (West 2000).