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Bluebooking for Beginners. Kelli Amanda Metzger Knerr. Bluepages v. Whitepages. Bluepages are used for non-academic citations and are within the text. This includes memos and briefs Whitepages are used for academic citations and are located in footnotes or endnotes.

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Bluebooking for beginners

Bluebooking for Beginners

Kelli Amanda Metzger Knerr

Bluepages v whitepages

Bluepages v. Whitepages

Bluepages are used for non-academic citations and are within the text.

This includes memos and briefs

Whitepages are used for academic citations and are located in footnotes or endnotes.

This includes law reviews and journals

For your 1L class, you will be using the bluepages.

For the law review write-on competition in May, you will be using the whitepages.

Bluepages v whitepages continued

Bluepages v. Whitepages Continued

The Bluebook is really written for law review (hence the large number of whitepages vs. bluepages).

Quick Reference for Whitepages: Inside front cover

Quick Reference for Bluepages: Inside back cover – your hero.

Backcover has a “table of contents.”

When in doubt: Excellent Index (using common sense terms)

Major difference is formatting and font changes



Underline or Italicize (just be consistent)

Case names (including procedural phrases – In re)

Titles of books and articles

Introductory Signals

Cross References (i.e. Id and Supra)

Words and phrases introducing related authority (i.e. “quoted in”)

Never use large and small caps (used in Law Review only)



Unless local rules dictate otherwise, citations are:

within the text of the document

as full sentences

or as clauses directly after the proposition they supports

Use footnotes only when permitted by local court rules.



Five basic components

Name of the case

Published source in which the case can be found

Parenthetical indicating the court and year of decision

Other parenthetical information, if any

Subsequent history of the case, if any

Ex: Holland v. Donnelly, 216 F. Supp. 2d 227, 243 (S.D.N.Y. 2002) (“[W]here the state courts have rejected a constitutional claim, a habeas court may not grant relief simply because it believes constitutional error has been committed.”), aff’d, 324 F.3d 99 (2d Cir. 2003).



1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Holland v. Donnelly, 216 F. Supp. 2d 227, 243 (S.D.N.Y. 2002)

1) First party

2) v. = versus (no s . . . This isn’t baseball).

3) Second party

4) Reporter Volume Number

5) Reporter Abbreviation

6) First page of case

7) Pinpoint citation or Pincite (specific page citing to)

8)Court Abbreviation

9) Year of decision

Cases cont

Cases – Cont.

Citation Sentences

Begins with a capital letter and ends with a period.

Use to cite sources and authorities that relate to the entire preceding sentence

If citing multiple cases in one citation sentence (string citation), separate with a semi-colon.

Citation Clauses

Set off from the text by commas and immediately follow the proposition to which they relate.

Do not begin with a capital letter unless the clause begins with a source that would be capitalized.

Use to cite sources and authorities that relate to only part of a sentence.

Cases case name

Cases – Case Name

If there are multiple parties on each side of the “v” omit all other than the first listed on each side.

If the party is an individual, use only the surname.

Omit et al or alternative names.

Abbreviate words and geographical units pursuant to Tables T6 and T10 (unless the geographical unit is a named party).

I.e. Commonwealth of Virginia v. Univ. of Fla.

Never abbreviate United States if it is a named party

Words of eight or more letters may be abbreviate if the result is unambiguous and substantial space is saved.

The comma after the case name should not be underlined/italicized.

Cases pincites

Cases – Pincites

Pincites tell the reader the exact page of the information or quotation.

Pincites are placed after the page in which the case report begins, separated by a comma and one space. Use a pincite even when it is the first page.

What happens when the information is on more than one page?

Page range

Indicate the first and last page separated by a dash. If the page is three or more digits, drop repetitive digits other than the final two.

Exs: 96-98; 1020-26

Multiple non-consecutive pages

List each page, separated by a comma and one space

Ex: 103, 106, 132


Give the page on which the footnote appears, “n.,” and the footnote number with no space between the “n.” and the footnote number

Ex: 199 n.4

Cases court

Cases – Court

When citing decisions of the United States Supreme Court or the highest court of any individual state, do not include the name of the deciding court.

Use T1 for the abbreviation to courts in all major U.S. jurisdictions

State abbreviations can be found in T10. Note: These are not always the same as a postal abbreviations!

Spacing: Do not include a space between adjacent single capital letters (S.D.N.Y.). Do include a space between a single capital letter and a longer abbreviation (D. Conn.). Individual numbers are treated as single capitals (A.2d).

Some professors (and local rules) require parallel citations (i.e. a citation to both the official state reporter and the unofficial regional and/or state-specific reporter). Be sure to include a pincite for each reporter.

Cases only on lexisnexis or westlaw

Cases only on LexisNexis or Westlaw

If a case is unreported but available on Lexis or Westlaw, include the case name, docket number, database identifier, court name, and full date of the most recent major disposition of the case.

Ex: Silver v. Primero Reorganized Sch. Dist. No. 2, No. 06-cv-02088-MSK-BNB, 2007 WL 2422156, at *2 (D. Colo. Aug. 22, 2007).

Page numbers, if assigned, should be preceded by an asterisk, however, all other pincite rules apply.

Case short citation

Case Short Citation


Palsgraf, 162 N.E. at 100.

Use the first party’s name unless too common or the party is the United States.

Id. at 100

Note: The period is underlined/italicized!

Id. is only capitalized when it begins a citation sentence, not a citation clause.

Refers to immediately preceding citation when immediately preceding citation has one source.



The most common signals you will use in your first-year legal writing course are “no signal” and “see.”

No signal – the citation sentence or clause contains no introductory signal when it:

(1) directly states the proposition preceding it,

(2) is the source of a direct quotation, or

(3) identifies an authority referred to in the text.

If your authority does not meet any of these requirements, you must provide a signal prior to your cite.

See – the citation sentence or clause clearly supports the proposition.

The difference between “no signal” and “see” is one of degree.

You use “see” when the authority does not directly state the proposition but the proposition is obviously supported by the source.

Signals cont

Signals – Cont.

Signals are a monster!

Capitalize when used to begin a citation sentence; lowercase when used to begin a citation clause.

When more than one is used, put them in the order listed in rule 1.2.

When in doubt, see Rule 1.2.




Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and

2 3 4 5

Liability Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 9601-9675 (2006).

1) Official name of the act. Do not use if only citing one section.

2) Published source in which the act may be found

3) § symbol. Use one if one section, use two if multiple sections.

4) Section(s) referencing

5) Parenthetical of year published (code citations) or year statute passed (citations to session laws). (Note: U.S.C. is only published every six years. Citations to U.S.C. should be the codifying year, i.e. 2000, 2006).

If the year is included in the name of the statute, the year parenthetical is omitted (see page 16).

If citing an annotated version, include the publisher in the parenthetical i.e. (West 1999).

Statute short cite

Statute – Short Cite

42 U.S.C. § 1983.

Drop the year parenthetical and name (if any)


Only if in immediately preceding citation.

Citing the record

Citing the Record

When writing a statement of facts, you will need to cite the documents from which you got your facts.


Name of the document

Use Table BT1 to find abbreviations

Ex: “Record” become “R.”

Never use an abbreviation if it will confuse the reader

The pinpoint citation

Date of the document, if required.

Enclose the citation in parenthesis.

If it is a citation sentence, place the period inside the parenthesis. If it is a citation clause that ends the sentence, place the period outside the parenthesis.

Citing the record cont

Citing the Record – Cont.

Ex: (Mot. to Quash Subpoena ¶¶ 2, 3, 4, 6, Feb. 23, 2009.)

Can use a “short cite” after having a full cite as long as it is clear to the reader. Ex: (Mot. ¶ 8.)

I.e. (Smith Dep. 27:4-28:2, Feb.5, 2001.) becomes (Smith Dep. 30:4-18.)

For Court documents, only use id. if significant space will be saved.

Page references should not be proceeded by “p.”, but other subdivisions should be recognized (such as footnotes).

You do not need to precede pincites with “at”, although sometimes it is customary, such as when citing the record.

Provide the date when more than one such document bears the same title, the date of the document is significant to the discussion, OR as needed to avoid confusion.

Citing the record examples

Citing the Record - Examples

The witness ran down the street(Compl. ¶ 7) and saw the defendant steal the television (Knerr Aff. ¶ 15).

(Charge to the Grand Jury, 4, Jan. 26, 2009; Letter to Governor Rogers, Feb. 2, 2009.)

(Pet’r’s Br. 6.)

(R. at 9.)

(Toms Aff. ¶ 2, June 2, 2003.)

(Toms Aff. ¶5, October 15, 2004.)