How do I get page numbers for a legal encyclopedia on Westlaw/Lexis?
November 22, 2022 9:13 AM   Subscribe

How do I cite to the page number of a legal document that exists in print when all I have is digital access to it via Westlaw or Lexis?

I am looking at a specific section of an online version of a printed book, for example "McKinney's CPL § 520.10 Bail and bail bonds; fixing of bail and authorized forms thereof" or "1 NY CLS Desk Ed. Gilbert's Criminal Practice Annual § 10.10 The criminal courts; enumeration and definitions."

I would like to include a specific quotation, and when I cite it I would like to use the page number that the quotation is from in the print version. When I look at a case on Westlaw or Lexis, it shows me the page citations for each of the different reporters that the case has been printed in, in the digital version of the case. For these legal encyclopedia digital listings, the page numbers are not included. How do I get those page numbers?
posted by crocodiletsunami to Law & Government (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm no expert in citing legal documents, but if I were citing a digital version of any other source and the digital version didn't have page numbers, than I wouldn't cite the page numbers. If the page numbers are only available on the physical version and you're not citing the physical version, it doesn't make sense that you can cite the page numbers. I think you need to be clear you are citing the digital version, because the digital may differ from the physical.
posted by Tandem Affinity at 9:30 AM on November 22 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: "If the page numbers are only available on the physical version"

There may be a way to find page numbers corresponding to the print version via the digital version that I'm not familiar with.
posted by crocodiletsunami at 9:34 AM on November 22

I'm no expert, but rule 3.3 in the Blue Book says that if an authority is organized by section or paragraph, cite to those subdivisions. So it seems you would not need to use the print page numbers for your two examples, even if all you had was the print version.
posted by catdapperling at 10:25 AM on November 22 [5 favorites]

Best answer: No page required.

Are you quoting from the statute itself or from an annotation (i.e., secondary source)? If you quoting the statute, you only the statute citation. I would argue you don't need even need the publishing information (the McKinney's part) just the N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law section you're quoting. It's the same everywhere, even if you get it from the official NY State website. But if they want publisher, I would cite it just the way you do above.

The same applies for Gilbert's. Lexis's own citation suggests exactly what you wrote, "1 NY CLS Desk Ed. Gilbert's Criminal Practice Annual § 10.10". No page is necessary. If quoting from an annotation rather than the statute, you could just say that it's from the annotation.

Source: Legal Editor at Lexis for over 30 years. Teammates with the man who edits Gilbert's.
posted by ceejaytee at 10:26 AM on November 22 [15 favorites]

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