North Carolina Adopts New Case Citation Format

North Carolina has come into the late 20th century by adopting a legal citation system that makes sense for the lawyers of today – and the public.

The state Supreme Court adopted a new format for case citations, the reference that tells the public how to find a specific court opinion. The new format adds a universal pinpoint citation with paragraph numbering so that for parallel citations opinions can be uniformly cited across different research platforms.

According to the Court, “the new citation format will include both a reference to the hardbound case reports and the new universal reference. Beginning January 1, 2021, each paragraph in a published opinion will be numbered so that particular sections can be referenced without a traditional page number. References to paragraph numbers will allow readers to more quickly and accurately identify source material in both electronic and hard copy formats.”

For example, Smith v. Jones, 2021 NC 112, ¶164;  2021 NC  App. 105, ¶34,

Tennessee needs to adopt the same rule.

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