When citing Black’s Law Dictionary on Westlaw, The Bluebook citation looks like this:
Black’s Law Dictionary (9th ed. 2009), available at Westlaw BLACKS.
Black’s Law Dictionary (9th ed. 2009), available at Westlaw BLACKS.
If you use a book, you can eliminate the last 29 characters and put the page number in before (9th ed. 2009).
Black’s Law Dictionary 126 (9th ed. 2009).
Black’s Law Dictionary 126 (9th ed. 2009).
When do we use Rule 18 and when do we ignore it? For example, we use R18.3.2 when we cite statutes, why don’t we use it with cases? The Bluebook requires citation to the regional reporter (R10.3.1(b)). We don’t need to indicate where we found the case – whether online or in Westlaw, Casemaker or LexisNexis – because the text of the case, unlike the text of statutes, does not change once it’s reported. We merely have to validate and update the case using a citator like KeyCite or Shepard’s for the equivalent of the currency statement that we need when citing to statutes.
Remember, you cannot cite to headnotes or syllabi provided by the courts or legal publishers. Headnotes and syllabi are provided to aid the researcher in finding and understanding the case and are not authority. See United States v. Detroit Timber & Lumber, 200 U.S. 321, 336-37 (1906).
The way to cite to state statutes found on Casemaker is to begin with B5.1.2, State Statutes. (Note that you are expected to cite to statutes currently in force according the Rule 12.1, which is the parent rule of B5.1.) B5.1.2 leads us to Table 1.3 to find the official and unofficial statutory compilations for our state. Casemaker uses the information provided by the state legislature whether annotated or unannotated. (Typically state statutes are unannotated with some exceptions as in Hawaii where the official code is annotated.)
According to B5.1.2, Table 1.3 lists the official code first followed by the unofficial codes. Here’s where confusion can begin because some states have stopped publishing their own statutes and have designated the code (usually by statute) produced by legal publishers like West and LexisNexis to be the official statutory compilation for that state. When that happens, it can change what information goes into the parenthetical. For example, T1.3 Maine indicates West’s Maine Revised Statutes, listed first, is the official code, but the citation parenthetical does not include West in it as it would if this were an unofficial code. See T1.3 Hawaii for an example of unofficial codes and how the parenthetical typically changes to include the publisher and the date when it is West or LexisNexis. Of course you can find numerous examples where The Bluebook does not maintain this consistency, so the general rule is to make your citation conform to the citation in T1.3. Yes, be robotic about it!
The final problem with the parenthetical involves Rule 18.3.2 and Table 9. “[G]ive parenthetically the name of the database and information regarding the currency of the database as provided by the database itself . . . ” [emphasis added]. The examples show citations to West, Westlaw; LEXIS; Versuslaw; Loislaw and Deering, LEXIS. Casemaker is not there. But, patterning the parenthetical after Versuslaw and Loislaw, two databases that don’t have the market share of either Westlaw or LEXIS, would be the option I would choose. For example, let’s assume the currency statement on Casemaker read “Current through 2009 Legislative Session.” The parenthetical would be (Casemaker through 2009 Legis. Sess.). I used T9, Legislative Documents, to abbreviate the terms I could in the parenthetical – Legislative and Session.
Welcome to Fall 2010 at the William S. Richardson School of Law Library. Some new and noteworthy happenings in the law library include:
- Casual seating around the library – find new seating nestled in amongst the stacks.
- New classrooms – two new classrooms were added to the law library: Rooms 116 & 115 have been converted for classroom use.
There is a new edition of The Bluebook out. Get the 19th edition. There are over 100 new pages and many changes especially to Rule 18.
In the 18th edition of The Bluebook in the law student/practitioner pages also known as “The Bluepages,” rule numbers have changed as follows
- B3 The Elements of a Citation is gone; B3 is now Introductory Signals, thus,
- B4 is now B3 (Introductory Signals)
- B5 is now B4 (Cases)
- B6 is now B5 (Statutes, Rules and Regulations)
- B7 is now B6 (Constitutions)
- B8 is still B8 (Books and Other Nonperiodic Materials)
- B9 is still B9 (Journal and Newspaper Articles)
- B10 is now B7 (Court and Litigation Documents)
- B10 is now The Internet
- B11 is unchanged (Explanatory Parentheticals)
- B12 is now Quotations
- B13 is gone! It was Typeface Conventions.
The Nineteenth Edition of The Bluebook, A Uniform System of Citation is out. Some of the changes between this edition and the last are listed here.
The Bluepages have been considerably overhauled for the 19th Edition. In addition to general expansion and clarification, the Bluepages now include detailed information for citation to Electronic Case Files (ECF) documents. Bluepages table BT2 has also been updated and expanded to include more local citation rules. NOTE: these rules, which many state and federal courts promulgate, take precedence over Bluebook rules in documents submitted to those courts.
In addition to edits for clarity, concision, and consistency, the 19th Edition contains the following significant changes:
- Rule 1.5(b) now provides comprehensive guidance on the order of multiple parentheticals in a single citation.
- Rule 10.4(b) now allows omission of the jurisdiction and court abbreviation of state courts if unambiguously conveyed by the reporter title.
- Rule 10.6.1(c) now provides guidance on citation to seriatim opinions of the early Supreme Court.
- Rule 10.8.3 now provides details for citations to audio recordings of court proceedings.
- Rule 13.4(d) now establishes specific citation formats for Congressional Research Services and Government Accountability Office reports.
- Rule 14 has been considerably revised to improve citation to administrative agency materials. The rule itself, however, is now shorter as many details on citation to specific agencies have been moved to table T1.2.
- Rule 16.6 now includes provisions for citation to wire services.
- Rule 18 has changed considerably, primarily to allow increased citation to Internet sources.
- Rule 18.2.1(a) now provides guidance allowing citation to authenticated and official Internet sources as well as exact digital scans of print sources as if they were the original print source. These changes in rule 18 allowing citation to official, authenticated, or exact Internet copies of cited materials are also reflected in rules 10, 12, 15, 16, and 17.
- Guidance for citation to webpage titles of main pages and subheadings has been expanded in rule 18.2.2(b). Rule 18.2.2(a) now states that when no author of an Internet source is clearly announced, the author information should be omitted from the citation, unless there is a clear institutional owner of the domain.
- Additionally, institutional authors of Internet sources should be abbreviated according to rule 15.1(d).
- Rule 18.2.2(c) now states that citations to Internet sources should be dated as they appear on the Internet site, using only dates that refer clearly to the material cited. When material is undated, the date of the author’s last visit to the website should be placed in a parenthetical after the URL.
- Rule 18.2.2(c) now also states that for blogs and other frequently updated websites, citations should include timestamps whenever possible.
- Rule 18.2.2(h) still encourages the archiving of Internet sources, but does not require the citation to indicate the location of an archival copy.
- Rules 18.6 and 18.7 now allow for the use of timestamps in citations to audio and video recordings.
- Rule 18.7.3 now provides citation guidance for podcasts and online recordings.
- Rule 20 has been expanded to provide clearer guidance and more comprehensive examples.
- Rule 21 has been updated and now includes improved citations to United Nations materials.
- Rule 21 also specifies the citation format for the International Criminal Court.
All of the tables have been revised and updated. Table T1 has been subdivided into four sections: T1.1 (Federal Judicial and Legislative Materials), T1.2 (Federal Administrative and Executive Materials), T1.3 (States and the District of Columbia), and T1.4 (Other United States Jurisdictions). Table T1.2 represents a significant expansion in the coverage of administrative agency materials.
Table T2 has incorporated significant organizational and substantive improvements for each existing country, and seven new countries have been added: Belgium, Chile, Colombia, Egypt, Iraq, Pakistan, and South Korea.
The editors of the The Bluebook provide authoritative guidance to reasonable questions on subjects covered by it. The most useful answers are gathered as Blue Tips, classified by subject. These tips are searchable and linked to the Bluebook content they address provided you have a subscription to the online version of The Bluebook. Regardless, the rule numbers are listed in the tips so you can simply refer to your hard copy. To ask a question of these authorities, send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. If our answer is useful to Bluebookers generally, it may be formulated into a new tip. Otherwise, you may just get the official answer.
At this site I learned how to cite a photograph that appears on an unnumbered page, how to use Id. with statutes, and other ephemeral Bluebook rules. URL: http://www.legalbluebook.com/Public/BlueTips.aspx
Merely persuasive authority, even if it is the U.S. Supreme Court, is always “trumped” by mandatory authority. And, it is of no use to cite statutes that have no application in the relevant jurisdiction.
Sometimes courts impose specific citation requirements on the practicing bar. Where specific requirement or preferences exits, they must be followed. Therefore, local custom or local court rules trump anything in The Bluebook.
Find out more about Bluebook citations from Legal Writing Citation by Larry L. Teply. It’s a “Nutshell” publication available at the circulation desk. Just ask.
Bluebook Rule 10.3.3 Public Domain Format; Rule 10.9(b)(ii) Short Forms for Cases, “Id.” for parallel citations.
Some states have adopted a citation format that does not reference a particular vendor’s case reporter such as West’s regional reporters. The Bluebook requires that you follow Table 1 when citing a case in a jurisdiction that employs the public domain format. Many states in the U.S. Midwest use this format and Maine. Typically the jurisdiction uses a parallel citation to the regional reporter for cases after a certain date. For example, a citation to a case in South Dakota after Dec. 31, 1996, looks like this: Wulf v. Senst, 2003 SD 105, 669 N.W.2d 135. A pincite to this case might be like this: Wulf v. Senst, 2003 SD 105, ¶ 14, 669 N.W.2d 135, 141.
How, then, do you properly use Id.? Using the example, above, with a hypothetical picite to ¶ 17 where the same information is found on page 147 of N.W.2d, it would look like this: Id. at ¶ 17, 669 N.W.2d at 147.
Bluebook Rule 5.3(b)(i) Omissions, When using quoted language as a full sentence
If you quote an entire sentence, beginning to end, capitalization isn’t much of a problem. But when you begin a sentence with a quotation from another source and it isn’t the beginning of the sentence, you cannot arbitrarily change the capitalization in the quoted material without indicating the change. Do that by enclosing the capital letter in brackets [ ]. The brackets alert the reader to a change from the original.
For example: “[C]itation forms in The Bluebook are designed to provide the information necessary to lead the reader directly to the specific items cited.” The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation 2 (Columbia Law Review Ass’n et al. eds., 18th ed. 2005).