Duty to cite adverse binding authorities
La. 5th Circuit closed Oct. 5–6

How to abbreviate LSU

With the Labor Day weekend almost here, I offer a labor-saving hint for Louisiana practitioners. Let’s say you want to a case with this title:

Arthur Tolis v. Board of Supervisors of Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College1

A slave to the Bluebook might abbreviate the case name like this:

Tolis v. Bd. of Supervisors of La. State Univ. & Agric. & Mech. Coll.

I’ve actually seen Louisiana lawyers cite Tolis like this. Don’t do that. If you must follow the Bluebook, then heed Rule 6.1 (17th ed.). According to that rule, when an entity is known by its initials rather than its full name, you may substitute those initials for the party’s complete name. Certainly in Louisiana, LSU is a well-known set of initials for the Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College. So you can comply with the Bluebook by citing Tolis this way:

Tolis v. Bd. of Supervisors of LSU

If you follow the ALWD Guide to Legal Citation instead of the Bluebook (good for you!), then you get to the same place under ALWD Rule 12.2(e)(3) (5th ed.).

So the next time you want to cite a case with LSU’s full name in the caption, save yourself some labor and abbreviate it LSU. Everyone will know which entity you’re referring to.


1 95-1529 (La. 10/16/95), 660 So.2d 1206.


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