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APA (7th Edition) Style Guide: Legal Reference

APA (7th Edition) Style Guide

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Legal References Standard Format

Court Cases
What Where When URL
Name v. Name Volume and page of where published papers can be found (called reporters) (year). https://xxxx...
Statutes (Laws and Acts)
What Where When URL
Name of Act Title Source § Section Number (year). https://xxxx....
Legislative Materials
What Where When URL
Title of source ### Cong. (year). https://xxxx...


American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed).

Legislative Reference Formatting Rules

  • Legal materials deviate from APA's Who, When, What, Where formula
    • Legal style order- Title, source, and date (What, Where, When)
  • Provide the version of record as published in official legal publications (eg. United States Code or Federal Register)
    • Optional- provide a URL for the version used
  • Court Cases: Title or name of the case is written in standard type for reference entry (italics for in-text citation)
  • Legal Materials include: federal testimony, hearings, bills, resolutions, reports, and related documents.
    • Use this format for enacted bill or resolution not signed into law
    • Bills and resolutions passed by Congress & signed by the President to become law should be cited as statutes

Legislative References Examples

Court Cases
United States Supreme Court Decisions United States v. Lane, 474 U.S. 438 (1986).
CA Court Case People v. Stockton Pregnancy Control Medical Clinic, 203 Cal. App. 3d 225 (Cal. App.3d 1988).
CA Code Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act, Cal. Penal Code § 11164 et seq.
State Statute Nursing Practice Act, Cal Bus & Prof Code § 2700 (2019)
Federal Statute

Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, Pub. L. No. 111-2, 123 Stat. 5 (2009).


Legislative Material
CA Bill/Chapter

California Fostering Connections to Success Act, Cal. Assemb. B. 12 (2010-2011), Chapter 559 (Cal.

Stat. 2010)

Congressional Bill Equitable Health Care for Severe Mental Illnesses Act of 1993, S. 671, 103d Cong., 1st Sess. (1993).