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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 ?
These primary source raw materials are complemented by extensive headnotes and footnotes, chapter introductions, illustrations, and supplementary materials, filling over 530 8 1/2 x 11 inch pages.
Remove both the preparation of that statement and headnote preparation from the Reporter and, wrote the court, "there .
Chickpeas, eaten for centuries," the headnote continues, "make a deliciously creamy and healthy dip for veggies or corn chips.
When first reading a headnote, I operated from a presumption of "relevance.
For a guide to which issues of the SURVEY OF CURRENT BUSINESS contain the "annual only" NiPA tables, see the headnote to "Revised and Newly Available NIPA Estimates, 1991-95 in the May SURVEY.
As the headnote to the poem informs us, the last eight lines of Roumain's call to arms became a motto of the Negritude movement.
Fourth, while viewing a case headnote on WESTLAW, click on the KeyCite link.
Whatever the editors may think of the argument from the contemporary Haida leaders about Bringhurst's appropriation of what they consider sacred stories, I question Moses and Goldie's decision not even to acknowledge in their headnote that a controversy exists.
In a headnote to the recipe, she said, "I really like it because it is delicious and light, and especially because of tradition.
The documentary appendix (constituting two-thirds of the entire volume) is well-chosen, and each document has a succinct and informative headnote that prepares the reader to understand what follows.