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The Bluebook 18th ed Cover.gif

The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, a style guide, prescribes the most widely used legal citation system in the United States. The Bluebook is compiled by the Harvard Law Review Association, 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.

Alternative legal citation style guides exist, including the ALWD Citation Manual and 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, and Oregon's rule that just about all periods are omitted (where the Bluebook would normally require them). Delaware's Supreme Court has promulgated rules of citation for unreported cases markedly different from Bluebook standards, and custom in that state as to the citation format of the Delaware Code also differs from the Bluebook. In other states, notably New York, California, Texas and Michigan, the local rules are so different from the Bluebook that they are codified in their own style guides.

An online version of the Bluebook was launched in 2008.[1]



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
  • Subdivisions
  • Short Citation Forms
  • Quotations
  • Abbreviations, Numerals, and Symbols
  • Italicization for Style and in Unique Circumstances
  • Capitalization
  • Titles of Judges, Officials, and Terms of Court
  • Cases
  • Constitutions
  • Statutes
  • Legislative Materials
  • Administrative and Executive Materials
  • Books, Reports, and Other Nonperiodic Materials
  • Periodical Materials
  • Unpublished and Forthcoming Sources
  • Electronic Media and Other Nonprint Resources
  • Services
  • Foreign Materials
  • International Materials

See also


  1. ^

External links



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