What are pincites, pinpoints, or jump legal references?



As case reporting became more sophisticated and reports became lengthier, lawyers and judges began to include what is now known as jump, pinpoint, or pincite references in their citations to make it easier for the reader to find quoted material or specific discussion within a case. Early on, it became customary to indicate these specific references by adding the relevant page number(s) to the citation, separated from the initial page number on which the case began by a comma. Larry L. Tepley, Legal Citation in a Nutshell (West Academic Publishing, 2nd ed. 2016).


If you’re referring to a citation generally or for background support, you will not use a pinpoint citation. The first time a case is mentioned in the text, include a full citation.

However, if you are directing your reader to a specific quotation or holding, you would point to the pinpoint in that case by including a comma and the pinpoint location after the first page of the reporter number. 

  • The court concluded “there must be a narrowly drawn authority to permit a reasonable search for weapons for the protection of the police officer, where he has reason to believe that he is dealing with an armed and dangerous individual, regardless of whether he has probable cause to arrest the individual for a crime.” Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 27 (1968).

Pinpoint Example

Important Note: 

The section on this information in The Indigo Book is Rule 15 for cases. This short form would also be used for statutes, books, journals, etc., and is included in rules 26, 29, 31, and 34. 

Paralegal Guide:


  • Last Updated Jul 27, 2022
  • Views 6831
  • Answered By Dennis Johnson, CJ, Paralegal & Health Science Librar

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