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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 ?
Another of Miltons headnotes shows that he was also alert to the potential significance of typography to translation.
Franklin's headnotes and other explanatory notes are useful for their placement of individual poems within contexts not just of Gothicism, but also of the overall cultural milieu of their times.
editorial headnotes or footnotes briefly indicate possible interpretations of a difficult work or passage.
For example, see the headnotes on Aria Margolin, 152; Tsilye Drapkin, 166; and Rashel Veprinski, 275.
Robert Twombly's biography and headnotes provide further insights into Downing's short but highly influential life.
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.
The recipe and headnotes follow a chef and his chicken on an emotional journey very much like the original trilogy," the author wrote.
Focusing on themes of contact and culture, travel, imagined worlds, genres, oral literature, and varieties of literature, this edition makes introductory material clearer and more informative by shortening headnotes and consistently organizing entries, which begin with the author's biography, then the cultural context and an introduction to the work.
Wakefield has added italicized headnotes to several of the letters, and for this one he explains, " Thomas Wolfe wrote You Can't Go Home Again" (59).
These include headnotes that summarize the court's holding or holdings with a direct reference to the pertinent portion of the opinion, a statement of the underlying facts and the ruling below, followed by summaries of the arguments made and authorities cited by counsel for the parties on appeal and their names.
Brannen has been a frequent speaker on construction law and has written legal articles for various newsletters and journals, including Infrastructure, Texas Construction Law Journal, and the Dallas Bar Association's Headnotes.