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A brief summary of a legal rule or a significant fact in a case that, among other headnotes that apply to the case, precedes the full text opinion printed in the reports or reporters. A syllabus to a reported case that summarizes the points decided in the case and is placed before the text of the opinion.

Each jurisdiction usually determines whether headnotes are part of the law or only an editorial device to facilitate research. Most headnotes are included by private publishers and do not constitute a part of an opinion. The most notable publisher that employs headnotes is the West Group in the National Reporter System, which publishes cases from practically every jurisdiction. Use of headnotes in the National Reporter System is generally consistent, regardless of the jurisdiction. The Reporter of Decisions for the United States Supreme Court also prepares a syllabus for Supreme Court decisions, when feasible, at the time an opinion is issued. The syllabus summarizes the points of law addressed in each case, but does not constitute a part of the opinion and does not constitute binding authority.


n. the summary of the key legal points determined by an appeals court, which appears just above each decision in published reports of cases. Headnotes are useful for a quick scan of the judgment, but they are the editor's remarks and not the court's. (See: reports)

See: caption
References in periodicals archive ?
Sponsler's helpful headnotes are immediately visible, and the web version more effectively informs its reader when to look for editorial support or relocated marginalia.
As the volume introductions and headnotes indicate, EBB also gave careful attention to the structure and sequencing of her various editions of Poems, a point that invites further scrutiny.
Glance at the sections both before and after your headnote topic.
These headnotes provide background to the text itself as well as broader historical, social and political contextual settings to the time and place in which the text originated.
The headnotes are not always carefully edited or accurate, however, as the intro-duction to Lundy's work illustrates.
is "preposterous," and that "informational headnotes and footnotes" reduce "criticism to its dullest common denominator," my use of an anthology best meets the needs of the students in the course.
For in addition to introductions and headnotes the book also inserts editorial prose between extracts, as appropriate, in order to offer both explanation and perhaps continuity.
The impressive 509-page, user-friendly volume is jam-packed with all kinds of technique, ingredient and tool tips along with lively recipe headnotes and several color photographs.
Reading the headnotes serially, especially the "offending issue" lines, makes abundantly evident how complex the study of censorship is or should be.
Ronald Schechter's edited collection is at least the equal of these and, because of the quality of the introduction and the headnotes to each chapter, arguably the best in the field.
In his informative introduction and detailed headnotes to the Harrison collection, editor Jeffrey Perry provides the necessary context to appreciate the evolution and contours of Harrison's thinking.
Those contingents themselves, the movements into which Caws marshals her texts and the headnotes in which she describes each movement, are at best unevenly illuminating: pithy and expert at the heart of the book (Dada, Surrealism, and especially the various Futurisms), but so uninformative as to be mysterious when lesser-known movements appear (e.