If this is all you've got:

H.R. 24, 107th Congr. § 2 (Jan. 3, 2001)

then you've not got much to go on in terms of bibliographic metadata.
This is like having a journal citation that reads:

JAMA, 57(11), pp. 73-84

It would get you there, but there's nothing really "bibliographic" about
it. The citation here is essentially an identifier, and if it was in
addition to some bibliographic metadata it might be in an identifier
field or even a uniform title (see below). The bill DOES have a title
(in this case "Probation Officers' Protection Act of 2001" from the
Thomas database), but if you don't have that it's like having a URL but
no name of the document.

In other words, I don't think  that library cataloging or MODS will be
terribly useful here, unless you have more info. As an aside, however,
the Congressional bill database ( treats "H.R. 24"
as the "number" for the bill. In an earlier discussion the issue of
legal documents as "genre" came up and I asked a law librarian but it
turns out that there isn't much in library cataloging for laws and bills
because that is handled elsewhere (i.e. Lexis/Nexis and Westlaw). 

Thinking outside of the box, I could see developing a uniform title for
bills, not unlike the uniform titles for music. Music uniform titles are
faceted titles with music type, list of instruments, key, etc. in a
proscribed order. The record does also have an author and a more common
title, so Beethoven's fifth ends up as:

  Author:  Beethoven, Ludwig van, 1770-1827.
  Uniform Title: [ Symphonies, no. 5, op. 67, C minor.]
  Title: Fünfte Symphonie c-moll opus 67 : Faksimile nach dem Autograph
in der Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin Preussischer Kulturbesitz

But I don't know that such a thing exists today for legal materials, but
it would make sense to me if it did.


On Thu, 2004-07-29 at 08:57, Bruce D'Arcus wrote:
> Am coming back to figuring out legal citations; in this case a bill.
> The structure ought to be similar to an article, but I get stuck on the 
> details.  From my legal citation guide, here's an example:
> H.R. 24, 107th Congr. § 2 (Jan. 3, 2001)
> 1)  abbreviation for bill ("House Bill" in this case)
> 2)  Bill number
> 3)  Congress number
> 4)  what the manual calls "pinpoint reference" (e.g. a part detail; in 
> this case a section number)
> 5)  date
> What I'm curious about is how to code 1-3?  For example, on 1, here are 
> other examples (this just for U.S. federal bills):
> House Resolution (H.R. Res.)
> House Concurrent Resolution (H.R. Con. Res.)
> House Joint Resolution (H.R. Jt. Res.)
> Senate Bill (Sen.)
> Senate Resolution (Sen. Res.)
> Senate Concurrent Resolution (Sen. Con. Res.)
> Senate Joint Resolution (Sen. Jt. Res.)
> Are these each genres?  Or would they be titles?  Something else?
> Suggestions appreciated.
> Bruce
Karen Coyle
Digital Library Specialist
Ph: 510-540-7596 Fax: 510-848-3913