Legal materials are cited in this book according to the conventions of legal scholarship. Under that scheme, cases are cited by name, volume of the reporter in which they appear, followed by the standard abbreviation of the name of the reporter, and finally the page on which the report of the case begins. Parenthetical matter following the citation includes the date of the decision as well as the name of the court deciding it if that information is not clear from the name of the reporter. A reporter which bears the name of a state (for example, N.Y. or Mass.) is assumed to report the decisions of that state's highest court.
Many standard legal treatises, such as Blackstone Commentaries, Kent Commentaries on American Law, and Parsons's work on contracts have appeared in numerous editions. Editions appearing after the author's death usually are prepared by adding to the case citations in the work and by appending notes rather than by altering the text. In order to facilitate reference to the author's original work, these later edictions usually preserve the original pagination (or the pagination of the last edition prepared by the author) by inserting in the text the original page numbers enclosed in square brackets and preceded by an asterisk. These so-called "star pages" are the standard of legal reference to these works. In this book star pages are supplied in parentheses following the page reference to the actual edition cited.