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Bluebooking and Legal Citation



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Caution by kaneiderdaniel/ CC BY SA 3.0

Do not rely solely on this page to Bluebook.

Please keep in mind:

  1. Your professor or court system may have special rules.
  2. Rules or situations may have changed since this page was last updated.
  3. We may be wrong! 

Double check with your professor, outside guides, and the Bluebook rules themselves.

If you notice a mistake, please contact

Basic CSM Format for Statutes

Basic Format for California Statutes

Corp. Code, § 1

Basic Format for U.S. Statutes

For U.S. statutes in the official U.S.C., use 1 U.S.C. § 1. For U.S. statutes on Westlaw, use 1 U.S.C.A. § 1. For U.S. statutes on Lexis use 1 U.S.C.S. § 1.

Formatting Tips

  • For California statutes, CSM allows citations to Deering's California Codes Annotated (in print or on Lexis), West's Annotated California Codes (in print or on Westlaw), or the California legislature's website. However, no matter where you access the statute, the citation is the same.
  • For U.S. statutes, CSM prefers citations to the official United States Code (U.S.C.) but also allows citations to West's United States Code Annotated (U.S.C.A.) and Lexis's United States Code Service (U.S.C.S.) The citation is the same except for the central abbreviation and it does not matter whether you access the codes in print or online.
  • To make the § symbol in Word, select Insert > Symbol, then select §. Click Insert to add the symbol or Shortcut Key to create an easy to remember keyboard shortcut, like Alt S. (See Screencap tab.)
  • Citations to subdivisions of the California code should include the word subdivision or subdivisions, written out in text, or abbreviated in parentheses. For example: 

Fish & G. Code, § 2250, subd. (a)

Fish & G. Code, § 2250, subds. (a), (b)


1 U.S.C.  § 1(a)

Finding the Citation Information for Statutes

Copy the citation shown at the top of the screen on Lexis or Westlaw and at the top of the page and the beginning of the statute in print or on the legislature's website.

For California statutes, skip the Cal. and any information on the publisher (e.g. West's Ann.) It's assumed that you're citing the California codes and the CSM does not require you to identify the publisher for California statutes. Additionally, Lexis and Westlaw often abbreviate the subject differently than the CSM does, so check the subject against: