Do not rely solely on this page to Bluebook.
Please keep in mind:
Double check with your professor, outside guides, and the Bluebook rules themselves.
If you notice a mistake, please contact email@example.com.
The fastest way to collect all of the citation information for a case is to highlight the specific text you would like to cite and use the database's copy with citation feature. (See Video tab.) This will provide you with all of the information you need to cite the case but it will not be properly Bluebooked. In particular, you should check:
Alternately, you can find most of the citation information you need at the top of the screen on Lexis and Westlaw. (See Screencap tabs.)
A pin cite (also called a pinpoint or point cite) identifies the specific page of the case you are citing. Include a pin whenever possible: your goal is to point the judge to the exact portion of the case that proves you are correct, not to irritate the judge by forcing them to slog through a forty page case.
Online, the start of each page is indicated by a starred number, such as *190 or **807. If you copy with citation after highlighting the specific text you would like to cite, your citation will generally include the correct pin.
When determining the correct pin, keep in mind these common trouble spots (Shown on the Screencap tabs):
In sentences, follow the rules in R10.2.1. In citations, follow the rules in R10.2.1 plus the rules in R10.2.2, T6, and T10.
Unfortunately, there's no simple trick to memorizing all the rules but over time you'll get a feel for what looks right. If you're feeling overwhelmed, start with B10.1.1, which summarizes the rules that come up most often.
Occasionally, students are thrown off by unusual case name formats. Most case names use the basic format but some cases use the format (commonly used in juvenile court), (commonly used in inheritance cases), and (commonly used in litigation over property.) If the case name shown at the top of the screen uses the format, you do not need to "correct" it to .
Cases are published in "reporters": large multivolume sets of books that publish cases by date. Usually, each court's cases are published in one or more competing reporters. Table T1 identifies which reporter to cite to (the "preferred reporter") with the phrase "Cite to [reporter abbreviation], if therein." The major preferred reporters are:
Do not use spaces between single capitals (e.g. U.S.) or single capitals and ordinals (e.g. F.3d) but do use spaces between any abbreviation containing more than one letter (e.g. F. Supp. 2d) (R6.1(a).)
For most courts, the reporter the Bluebook tells you to cite is part of West's National Reporter System, an unofficial set of reporters that covers all federal and state courts. However, courts and professors often tell you to cite to the official reporter instead. For example, Table T1 tells you to cite California state court cases to West's unofficial Cal. Rptr. or P. reporters, such as:
People v. Foranyic, 74 Cal. Rptr. 2d 804, 806 (Ct. App. 1988)
However, Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.1113(c) and some professors tell you to cite California state court cases to Lexis' official Cal., Cal. App., and Cal. App. Supp. reporters, such as:
People v. Foranyic, 64 Cal. App. 4th 186, 189 (1988)
Some courts and professors require you to provide "parallel citations" to multiple reporters. B10.1.3 provides a suggested format for parallel citations:
People v. Foranyic, 64 Cal. App. 4th 186, 189, 74 Cal. Rptr. 2d 804, 806 (1988)
BT2 provides a list of court rules that require you to cite the official reporter or provide parallel citations.
B10.1.3 tells you to indicate the deciding court unless it is unambiguously conveyed by the reporter title. When providing parallel citations, omit the court if any of the reporter titles conveys the court. As with reporters, do not use spaces between single capitals but do use spaces between any abbreviation containing more than one letter (e.g. C.D. Cal.) (R6.1(a).)
Meritor Sav. Bank v. Vinson, 477 U.S. 57 (1986) (U.S. publishes only U.S. Supreme Court cases. No court is needed.)
, 296 F.3d 894, 908 (9th Cir. 2002) (F. publishes federal Court of Appeals cases from across the country and some older district court cases. Use 9th Cir. to indicate that this case was decided by the Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeal.)
, 702 F. Supp. 2d 1139 (C.D. Cal. 2010) (F. Supp. publishes federal district court cases from across the country. Use C.D. Cal. to indicate that this case was decided by the Central District of California.)
Chaudhary v. Gen. Motors Corp., 649 P.2d 224 (Cal. 1982) (The unofficial P. reporter publishes cases from multiple states and multiple court levels. Use the Cal. abbreviation to indicate that this case was decided by the California Supreme Court. For California Court of Appeals cases, use Cal. Ct. App.)
Chaudhary v. Gen. Motors Corp., 32 Cal. 3d 112, 649 P.2d 224 (1982) (The official Cal. reporter publishes only California Supreme Court cases. No court is needed.)
People v. Foranyic, 74 Cal. Rptr. 2d 804 (Ct. App. 1988) (The unofficial Cal. Rptr. publishes cases from California courts of all levels. Indicating the state is unnecessary, but use the Ct. App. abbreviation to indicate the court level.)
People v. Foranyic, 64 Cal. App. 4th 186 (1988) (The official Cal. App. reporter publishes only California Court of Appeals cases. No court is needed.)
Indicating the court allows you to see at a glance if a case is mandatory (such as a case from the U.S. Supreme Court, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal, California Supreme Court, or any California Court of Appeal) or persuasive (such as a federal Court of Appeal case from another circuit or a trial court case.)