"The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation", a
style guide, prescribes the most widely used legal citationsystem in the United States. The "Bluebook" is compiled by the Harvard Law ReviewAssociation, the Columbia Law Review, the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, and the Yale Law Journal. Currently, it is in its 18th edition. It is so named because its cover is blue.
Although The Bluebook is in its 18th edition, older editions continue to be useful. For example,
WashingtonCourt Rule 14(d) states that the "Seventeenth Edition of The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation is the basic citation resource for Washington appellate court opinions" except for specific instances noted elsewhere in the rule.
Alternative legal citation style guides exist, including the
ALWD Citation Manualand the Maroonbook, used by journals published at the University of Chicago Law School. Many state courts have their own citation rules that take precedence over the Bluebook for documents filed with those courts. Some of the local rules are simple modifications to the Bluebook system, such as Maryland's requirement that citations to Maryland cases include a reference to the official Maryland reporter. In other states, notably New York, California, and Michigan, the local rules are so different from the Bluebook that they are codified in their own style guides.
The 18th edition of the "Bluebook" governs the style and formatting of various references and elements of a legal publication, including:
* Structure and Use of Citations
* Typefaces for Law Reviews
* Short Citation Forms
* Abbreviations, Numerals, and Symbols
* Italicization for Style and in Unique Circumstances
* Titles of Judges, Officials, and Terms of Court
* Legislative Materials
* Administrative and Executive Materials
* Books, Reports, and Other Nonperiodic Materials
* Periodical Materials
* Unpublished and Forthcoming Sources
* Electronic Media and Other Nonprint Resources
* Foreign Materials
* International Materials
Legal citation signals
* [http://www.legalbluebook.com/ The Bluebook Official Site]
* [http://www.law.cornell.edu/citation/ Introduction to legal citation]
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