What does "Dispense with formal citation" mean?

In various moot scenarios, I have observed the use of the phrase:

If it pleases the court, may we dispense with formal citation?

when referring to a different case.

I was wondering what exactly this means - I would assume something along the lines of "may I quote this case", but I observed this being said after a chief justice was quoted.

What does it mean? What formal citations are being dispensed?

1 Answer 1


What does it mean?

"If it pleases the court, may we proceed without formal citation?"

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  • 1
    There's an apocryphal story about a pharmacy that had a sign: "We Dispense With Accuracy". Sep 24, 2020 at 4:01
  • What is the "formal citation" that they're dispensing with, though?
    – Ryan M
    Sep 24, 2020 at 4:24
  • @RyanM Whatever it is, it would not affect the meaning of "dispense with" it.
    – Greendrake
    Sep 24, 2020 at 4:42
  • @Greendrake I actually was wondering the same as Ryan M. I've now edited the question to reflect this. What exactly is the formal citation being dispensed (with examples)?
    – global05
    Sep 24, 2020 at 5:03
  • @global05 That's impossible to tell without seeing the context. There must be a specific citation from a different case being referred to, so whoever uses the phrase in question is asking permission to proceed without citing it.
    – Greendrake
    Sep 24, 2020 at 5:10

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