What are Bluebook citations?
The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, prescribes the most commonly used legal citation system for law professionals in the United States. The Bluebook is compiled by the Harvard Law Review Association, the University of Pennsylvania Law Review and the Yale Law Journal.
Generations of law students, lawyers, scholars, judges and other legal professionals have relied on the Bluebook’s unique system of citing in their writing.
How to create Bluebook citations
There are many sources supported within the Bluebook including legal cases, Supreme Court cases and statutes. The way in which Bluebook citations are formatted depends on which type of source you are citing.
A case citation, for example, includes the name of the case; the published sources in which it may be found, if any; a parenthetical that indicates a court and jurisdiction and the year or date of decision; and the subsequent history of case, if any. It may also include additional parenthetical information and prior history of the case.
It’s important to note that the Bluebook citation format in which your source should be cited depends on a number of factors (filed but not decided, unpublished interim order etc.) explained in most detail in the latest version of The Bluebook, Edition 19; alternatively, check with your lecturer if you are unsure.
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Bluebook citation example
Legal case citation (filed but not decided)
Sobieski v. Cook, 556 S.W.2d 701 (Tenn. 1999).