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Moot Court Bluebook Basics

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1 Moot Court Bluebook Basics
Wednesday, November 28, 2012 Mark Podvia

2 History First published in 1926 as A Uniform System of Citation: Abbreviations and Form of Citation. Only 26 pages long! Nicknamed The Bluebook because it had a blue cover.

3 11th Edition, published in 1967, is 117 pages
11th Edition, published in 1967, is 117 pages. 18th Edition, published in 2005, is 415 pages. 19th Edition, published in 2010, is 511 pages.

4 Reviews The plot is quite contrived and character development is stagnant at best, regressive at worst. Apparently, the authors think we'll automatically care for the protagonist, "Statute." Well, newsflash, Harvard Law Review, we don't! Personally (and I don't pretend to be an author of any kind), I would have made "Periodicals" the main character, instead of just an on-again off-again third wheel. And he'd have a drinking problem. Also, it doesn't take a genius to realize that for something to be successful nowadays, it needs vampires! Think outside the box, Harvard Law Review. Seriously. Review

5 Most of the time, I've been extremely pleased with the editing I've received on articles. There are, however, some practices that law review editors routinely do that are incredibly silly and annoying. They bother nearly every professor I talk to. And yet they persist. One of the reasons is the Bluebook. The Bluebook is a thick book with a blue cover filled with more rules than the Internal Revenue Code. It is written by a consortium of law reviews and its primary purpose is as a money-making racket. --Daniel Solove, George Washington University

6 There's no question that lawyers and law professors must use citations, but why on earth do they let a bunch of nerdy, big-headed Harvard law students make the rules? The Bluebook is bloated, verbose, counter-intuitive, poorly laid out, and remarkably anal retentive. Review

7 “The Bluebook Blues” by the Hon. Richard A. Posner http://www

8 Why The Bluebook? The Bluebook is designed to provide a systematic method by which members of the profession communicate important information about the sources and authorities upon which they rely in their work. Hence George W. Bush et al vs. Albert Gore, Jr., et al, 531 U.S. 98, 121 S.Ct. 525, 148 L.Ed. 2d 388, 69 U.S.L.W (2000). becomes Bush v. Gore, 531 U.S. 98 (2000).

9 Navigating The Bluebook: Inside Back Cover—Quick Reference: Court Documents and Legal Memoranda Outside Back Cover Index, page 475

10 Problem Areas

11 Typeface Italicize or underline the following (Rule B1):
Case Names, including procedural phrases; Titles of books and articles; Titles of some legislative materials; Introductory signals; Explanatory phrases introducing subsequent case history;

12 Cross references such as id. or supra;
Words and phrases introducing related authority, such as quoted in.

13 In addition, italicize the following when they appear in the text (rather than in a citation):
Titles of publications; Words italicized in the original; Words you wish to emphasize and any other word that would be italicized such as uncommon foreign words.


15 Rule B2, Citation Sentences and Clauses
Citations appear within the text of the document as full sentences or as clauses directly after the proposition they support. Footnotes should be used only when permitted by court rules.

16 Citation Sentence A citation sentence cites authorities that relate to the entire proceeding sentence. It may contain more than one citation, with each citation being set off by a semicolon: The Second Circuit also did not decide whether the Oneida Nation was entitled to the state law tax exemptions for reservation land in tribal possession. N.Y. Indian Law § 6 (McKinney 2001); N.Y. Real Property Tax Law § 454 (McKinney 2008).

17 Citation Clauses Citation clauses are set off from text by commas and immediately follow the proposition to which they relate. Use citation clauses to cite sources that relate to only part of a sentence: States may of course collect the sales tax from cigarette wholesalers, either by seizing unstamped cigarettes off the reservation, Washington v. Confederated Tribes of the Colville Indian Reservation, 447 U.S. 134, (1980), or by assessing wholesalers who supplied unstamped cigarettes to the tribal stores, City Vending of Muskogee, Inc. v. Oklahoma Tax Comm’n, 898 F.2d 122 (10th Cir. 1990).

18 Signals Rule B3 Rule 1. 2, Introductory Signals Rule B3. 5 and Rule 1
Signals Rule B3 Rule 1.2, Introductory Signals Rule B3.5 and Rule 1.3, Order of Signals Rule 1.4, Order of Authorities within Each Signal page 56 SIGNALS ARE CAPITALIZED WHEN USED TO BEGIN A CITATION SENTENCE BUT LOWER CASE WHEN USED TO BEGIN A CITATION CLAUSE! DO NOT FEEL OBLIGED TO USE EVERY SIGNAL!

19 Rule B4, Cases Italicize the case name, but do not italicize the comma after the case name. For state cases, cite according to court rules. This might means citation to both an official reporter and a regional reporter: Commonwealth v. Noel, 579 Pa. 546, 857 A.2d 1283 (2004).

20 Rule B4.1.4 Pending/Unreported Cases
Cite to LEXIS or Westlaw if available. Docket numbers vary from court to court; cite to the docket number exactly as it appears.

21 Rule B4.2, Short Citation Forms for Cases
You may short cite using a party name, but do not use U.S. as a short citation (using U.S. does not clearly identify what is being referenced) Id. is used only for the immediately preceding citation and only if it contains a single authority. Id. is capitalized only if it begins a citation sentence.

22 Briefs, Court Filings and Transcripts Rule 10.8.3, Page 107
Rule provides for citation to audio recordings of court proceedings. Note that a timestamp should be used for pinpoint citations. Also provides for citation to recordings available online.

23 Rule B5, Statutes Cite to the official code (U.S.C. for Federal) where possible. Rule B5.1.1 Give the name of the statute only if it is commonly cited that way or if the name would aid in its identification. Rule (a), page 114 The date for statutes should be 1) the year on the spine, 2) the year on the title page or 3) the copyright year in that order of preference. Rule , page 115

24 Administrative and Executive Materials Rule 14, Page 133
Much of the material previously contained in Rule 14 is available in Table 1.2, page 218.

25 Rule B5.1.4, Administrative Material
Cite Federal Rules and Regulations to the CFR if therein: 7 C.F.R. § (2000). B5.1.4, Page 17 Rule 14, Page 133

26 State Administrative Material
See Table 1 for citation to State Administrative Compilations or Registers 1 Pa. Code § (2012). 42 Pa. Bull (Sept. 29, 2012).

27 Periodical Materials Rule 16, page 147

28 The Internet, Electronic Media & Other Nonprint Resources Rule 18, page 164
The Bluebook requires the use and citation of traditional printed sources when available unless there is a digital copy of the source available that is authenticated, official, or an exact copy of the printed source.

29 If an online source is available in a format that preserves pagination (such as a PDF), cite to that format.

30 Rule B10 The Internet Page 25
A full citation to an Internet source should include the following: 1) The name of the author (if applicable); 2) The title of the specific page of the website (if applicable); 3) The title of the main page of the website; 4) The date (and time if applicable); 5) The URL.

31 If there is no date associated with the specific matter of the citation, use the following:
The date the website was “last modified” or “last updated.” The date the website was “last visited.”

32 Direct Citation to Internet Sources Rule 18.2.2 (c), page 168
When citing to a Blog include a timestamp when possible.

33 Podcasts and Recordings Available Online Rule 18.7.3, Page 175
Note that timestamps are optional.

34 LEGAL ABBREVIATIONS Bieber’s Dictionary of Legal Abbreviations Reserve, KF246 .B

35 HELP! Peter Martin, Introduction to Basic Legal Citation: Linda J. Barris, Understanding and Mastering The Bluebook, KF245, .B (Reserve) Mark Podvia, (work), (cell),

36 Foreign and International Materials Rule 20, Page 179 and Rule 21, Page 185
Tables: T2, Page 277 Foreign Jurisdictions T3, Page 426 Intergovernmental Organizations T4, Page 428 Treaty Sources

37 Rule 20 Foreign Jurisdictions
See Table 2, beginning on page 277, for abbreviations for foreign jurisdictions.

38 40 Countries are included in Table 2, plus the Catholic Church, Hong Kong and Roman Law.
Iraq and Iran are included; Afghanistan is not.

39 For sources not present in Table 2, follow the respective country’s own citation rules as modified by Rule 20 (Foreign Materials), beginning on page 179.

40 Rule 20.1 Jurisdiction Unless the jurisdiction is clear, indicate it parenthetically (abbreviations found in Table 10).

41 Rule 20.2 Non-English language documents, page 179
For documents published in multiple languages use the English version whenever it is as authoritative as other versions When citing to a document in a language other than English always give the full title or name in the original language the first time the document is cited

42 Translate all titles, name or words cited that are not in the Roman alphabet using a standard transliteration system If a translated version of a foreign language primary authority exists, cite it using translated in

43 Rule 21 International Materials
See Table 3, starting on page 426, for abbreviations for Intergovernmental Organizations.

44 Treaty Sources, Rule Note the distinction between agreements to which the US is a party and agreements to which the US is not a party, pages I.L.M.

45 Questions?

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