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Introduction to "The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation"   Tags: alta, bluebook, law review, legal citation, legal writing  

Last Updated: Oct 17, 2017 URL: http://libguides.udmercy.edu/bluebook Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Quick References

Court & Date
Court & Jurisdiction..................R10.4
U.S. Jurisdictions..........................T1
Foreign Jurisdictions.....................T2
Court Names...............................T7
Geographical Terms....................T10

Date or Year...........................R10.5
Month Abbreviations...................T12

Blue Pages Court & Date.........B5.1.3

 

Typeface Conventions

Regular typeface is used for the court and date parenthetical in both law review and practioner citation formats.

 

General Rules for Court & Date

The last major part of a case citation is the court and date, contained in a parenthetical following the case location. The reader should easily be able to ascertain what court decided the case, its geographical jurisdiction, and the year of the decision. Table 1 includes the abbreviations for courts in the United States. Some basic rules apply to the court and date portion of case citations:

State Courts - Include both the name of the state and the name of the court, omitting the court name if it is the highest court in the jurisdiction.

Mich. Ct. App. (Michigan Court of Appeals)
Mich. (Michigan Supreme Court)

Not: People v. Armour, 590 N.W.2d 61 (Mich. 1999).
Not: People v. Armour, 590 N.W.2d 61 (Mich. Sup. Ct. 1999).

Generally - Omit court abbreviation if unambiguously conveyed by the reporter title.

Bates v. Tappan, 99 Mass. 376 (1868).
Boerne v. Flores, 521 U.S. 507 (1997).
But: Commonwealth v. Virelli, 620 A.2d 543 (Pa. Super. Ct. 1992).

Date - For cases in reporters, provide the year the case was decided. For cases in all other sources, include the exact date.

Charlesworth v. Mack, No. 90-567, slip op. 3458 (1st Cir. Jan. 19, 1991).

 

Court & Date Abbreviations

Generally - Abbreviate court names and geographic jurisdictions according to Table 1 and Table 2. If not found within those tables, follow Table 7 and Table 10.

U.S District Courts - Combine district and state abbreviations, along with abbreviation for multiple districts if applicable. Do not include the division, however.

D. Mass. (District of Massachusetts)
S.D.N.Y. (Southern District of New York)
C.D. Cal. (Central District of California, Eastern Division)
Not: C.D. Cal. E.D. 

U.S Courts of Appeals - Combine circuit and numerical abbreviations.

2d Cir. (U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit)
Fed. Cir. (U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit)

Dates - Months are abbreviated according to Table 12.

 

Tips

When indicating the date in a reported case citation, only include the date the case was decided, not argued or heard.

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