Table of Authorities

There are really are three ways to generate a Table of Authorities :  (a) manually; (b) using the table of authorities generation software built into the program; and, (c) using third party solutions that do the process automatically.


In the old days, after a brief on appeal was completed.  The secretary or the attorney took out a stack of three by five cards and wrote every citation in a brief down  together with their page numbers.  He or she then alphabetized the citations and typed the final index of authorities from this list.
While that day is gone, many people still use a modified version of this approach where they cut and paste every citation from a brief to a separate screen and create the table of authorities in this fashion.

Using The Tools that Microsoft (or Corel) Provided.

Both Microsoft and Corel now provide programs which semi-automate this process.  Using these tools, the individual marks every citation in a brief with a blocking function.  The individual then defines the table of authorities in its appropriate page in the brief and then generates the table of authorities.
Microsoft and Corel have excellent tutorials on how to use their dedicated functions.

 Third Party Solutions

 West Publishing offers a plug-in based table of authorities generator for free called
Citelink.  It is available for download here.

West also offers a free online tool called
West Check which allows you to upload your files and generate an index automatically.  This website is a good solution for individuals using a Macintosh or individuals using Open Office.

Lexis has a competing program called
Full Authority.  It is part of their brief suite package. Lexis charges a monthly fee for this service.
Note: Neither of these programs like the semi-colon used in the Michigan citation system to divide parallel citations. Use a comma instead.

There is an interesting product called CiteIt from
Sidebar Software which has received significant praise for its ability to automate not only Table of Authorities, but also the ability to move data from Lexis and Westlaw directly into briefs. Unfortunately, Sidebar is currently in the middle of revisions and the current version of the product is not for sale. Stay tuned!