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Supreme Court of Ohio Writing Manual

The Supreme Court of Ohio Writing Manual is a comprehensive guide to judicial opinion writing published by the court. It is also widely used as the standard for drafting briefs and pleadings.

Image showing the cover of the Supreme Court of Ohio Writing Manual, second edition.

The second edition was effective on July 1, 2013.

Image showing the cover of the Supreme Court of Ohio Writing Manual, third edition.

The third edition will become effective June 17, 2024.

Both electronic editions will be available here to aid practitioners in preparing for the updated standards.

The third edition of the Writing Manual includes various revisions and updates designed to improve the readability of opinions issued by, and briefs filed in, the Supreme Court of Ohio and the Ohio Court of Appeals.

Consisting of three parts, the Writing Manual addresses broad areas of interest to judges, court staff, and practitioners.

  • Part I, the Manual of Citations, governs the citation format used in Supreme Court opinions. It sets forth rules for the forms of citation for cases, statutes, and other sources, provides examples for each category, and explains the use of webcites.
  • Part II, the Style Guide, provides direction on certain aspects of style used in Supreme Court opinions. Subjects covered include capitalization, punctuation, use of footnotes and headings, captions, and commonly misused words.
  • Part III, the Structure of a Judicial Opinion, is a guide intended to assist writers of judicial opinions. It offers an outline setting forth the basic components of an opinion in the traditional sequence, followed by several examples written in the Supreme Court style.

The Supreme Court will follow the Writing Manual in its opinions. The committee strongly recommends that other Ohio courts and lawyers follow Parts I and II of the manual, and the committee hopes that Part III will be useful in writing opinions and drafting briefs and pleadings. See S.Ct.Prac.R. 3.01 (“Parties should refer to the Supreme Court’s Writing Manual: A Guide to Citations, Style, and Judicial Opinion Writing for guidance on the style of documents filed with the Supreme Court.”).

If you have any questions about or comments on the Writing Manual, please contact the Reporter’s Office at the Supreme Court of Ohio, 65 South Front Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215-3431. Telephone: 614.387.9580 or toll-free at 1.800.826.9010. Email:

Contact Information

Reporter's Office
Reporter of Decisions
Supreme Court of Ohio
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