Legal authorities judicial opinions, statutes, regulations, ordinances, and others are identified by legal citations. When a lawyer cites or mentions a legal authority in a document filed before a court, he or she must provide the legal citation. The citation enables the court, other attorneys, and legal researches to identify and locate the legal authority.
Remember that the legal system relies on precedent or past legal authority. Judges care what courts have ruled in the past so that their rulings comport with existing law.