Friday, November 28, 2008

Appeals and the Bluebook

What was the biggest PITA about legal writing in law school? I still think it was learning the Blue Book citations. Still, the most important thing about writing appellate briefs is knowing the Blue Book citation forms.

Why? From Indiana's Appellate Rules, Rule 22. Citation Form

Unless otherwise provided, a current edition of a Uniform System of Citation (Bluebook) shall be followed.

What is the Blue Book? This is from Wikipedia:

"The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, a style guide, prescribes the most widely used legal citation system in the United States. The Bluebook is compiled by the Harvard Law Review Association, the Columbia Law Review, the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, and the Yale LawJournal. Currently, it is in its 18th edition. It is so named because its cover is blue."
Now, in these days of the Internet, things are a whole lot easier. The Bluebook exists online for free here and here. Or, if you want to pay:

The Bluebook

Generations of law students, lawyers, scholars, judges, and other legal professionals have relied on The Bluebook's unique system of citation in their writing. In a diverse and rapidly changing legal profession, The Bluebook continues to provide a systematic method by which members of the profession communicate important information to one another about the sources and legal authorities upon which they rely in their work.

Pricing: Individual subscribers to The Bluebook Online access the full content of The Bluebook with dynamic searching, and annotation features for individuals and groups. The Bluebook anywhere you have internet access. A new annual subscription is $25.00. Subsequent annual renewals are $15.00. Subscriptions of up to three years may be purchased at the current rate.

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