What fields do I use to put in Case Law for a Turabian Paper

I am trying to cite a piece of case law in a paper I am doing. The paper uses Turabian style footnotes and a bibliography. I can generate a citation from the caselaw site that would be sufficient if I were writing a brief, but I do not know what all the numbers and abbreviations are for and what fields they should goto in Zotero to produce the right citation. The citation in casetext is

In re Smith, 77 Ohio App. 3d 1, 601 N.E.2d 45 (Ohio Ct. App. 1991)

  • I am not super familiar with US legal citation, and certainly not Ohio legal citation (I work on non-US jurisdictions and international law), so take the following with a grain of salt, but generally, the format is something like (following Bluebook 10):

    Case Name, Volume of Reporter, Reporter abbreviated, first page of case, page referenced (year decided).

    So here "Ohio App....N.E. 2d" is the reporter. I don't know if 45 is the first page of the case or the page referenced--I am guessing it is the first page since it is not preceded by "at" (which is customary but not required). Your citation also includes the court with the year decided, but that is not necessary according to the Bluebook as the court is obvious from the reporter (Ohio Court of Appeals).

    All of this can be easily put in under "Case" in Zotero, i.e.,

    re Smith -> Case Name
    Ohio Court of Appeals -> Court
    Date Decided -> 1991
    Ohio App. 3d 1, 601 N.E.2d -> Reporter
    77 -> Reporter volume
    45 -> First page (unless this is the page cited).

    A quick test shows that Chicago (full note)--Chicago and Turabian are the same--will output what you have in your example (including the "extraneous" court info), so that would work, i.e.

    re Smith, 77 Ohio App. 3d 1, 601 N.E.2d 45 (Ohio Court of Appeals 1991).

    I do not think this will work with pinpoint citations (page number) though. From my quick test, this is just not included in the citation using Chicago (note) so you would have to manually add it later, which is a pain (since Bluebook asks pinpoints to be kind in the middle of the reference, you cannot just put it in a suffix).

    Generally, legal citation is notoriously complex, and Zotero (depending on what style you us) has some difficulty with a lot of legal materiel (international law and more obscure jurisdictions). But, the Chicago Manual of Style says that for legal citations you should revert to the Bluebook for the legal citations even when using Chicago otherwise (whether you use author-date or notes). For me, 90% of the time it is just easier to do the legal cites manually and let Zotero handle all the journal articles/books, etc.

    There is also a fork of Zotero, Juris-M, that handles legal materiel a bit better (its customized version of Turabian handles pinpoints correctly for example) and I believe some additional reference types (like "Treaty") will be coming in the next major version of Zotero (some reference formats already pick up "Treaty" if put in the Extra field).
  • It would be best to let Zotero handle the importing here if possible. What is a URL for the case law site?

    You might also consult the Indigo Book, a compatible reference for US legal citation. This website shows how to enter items into Jurism for each Indigo Book reference. It can largely apply to Zotero as well.

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