The Bluebook v. California Style Manual

For many years, the California Style Manual has served as the official guide for styling citations to legal materials in documents filed with state courts in California. Effective January 1, 2008, however, California Rule of Court, Rule 1.200 provides: Citations to cases and other authorities in all documents filed in the courts must be in the style established by either the California Style Manual or The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, at the option of the party filing the document. The same style must be used consistently throughout the document.

Document The Bluebook (19th ed.) California Style Manual (4th ed.)
Case citations See Rule B4 – B4.2 See §§ 1:1 – 1:37
U.S. Supreme Court  case Bush v. Gore, 531 U.S. 98 (2000) (Bush v. Gore (2000) 531 U.S. 98.)
U.S. Court of Appeals case Craig v. United States, 81 F.2d 816 (9th Cir. 1936) (Craig v. United States (9th Cir.1936) 81 F.2d 816.)
U.S. District Court Dworkin v. Hustler (Dworkin v. Hustler Magazine, Inc.

Regardless of the citation style used, you should ensure that your citations are formatted consistently in accordance with the rules of the citation style selected as well as any local rules in your jurisdiction that may apply.

Although Rule 1.200 authorizes parties to choose their preferred citation style, some

California courts continue to recommend use of the citation style set forth in the California Style Manual. For those students who will be practicing in firms or appearing before judges that prefer the citation system established by the California Style Manual, a comparison chart showing several rules and examples of commonly used citations in Bluebook and California Style Manual form are provided on the following pages. If your judge or court has not stated a preference for the citation style of the California Style Manual, you may default to the Bluebook citation style.

NOTE: when using the Bluebook style of citation for legal documents, make sure you also refer to the Bluepages in the Bluebook, which may be found at the beginning of the text.

case Magazine, Inc., 611 F.Supp. 781 (D.C.Wyo. 1985) (D.C.Wyo. 1985) 611 F.Supp. 781.)
Cal. Supreme Court case Waller v. Truck Ins. Exchange, Inc., 900 P.2d 619 (Cal. 1995) (Waller v. Truck Ins. Exchange, Inc.(1995) 11 Cal.4th 1.)
Cal. Court of Appeal case City of Stanton v. Cox, 255 Cal. Rptr. 682 (Ct. App. 1989) (City of Stanton v. Cox (1989) 207 Cal.App.3d 1557.)
Subsequent references to a case in the same paragraph where no intervening authorities have been cited Id.-OR-Id. at p. X. Ibid. is used to refer to an identical citation within a paragraph when no intervening authority has been cited. The signal id. at p. X is used to refer to an earlier citation with a different point page. Ibid. and id. may not be used when the citation was first cited in a string citation.
Subsequent references to a case in the same paragraph where intervening authorities have been cited Waller, 900 P.2d at 620. Use the signal supra, together with the case title and point page. to refer to an earlier citation within a paragraph.
Case reference in text when case already cited:: Plaintiffs rely on Waller for reversal. Plaintiffs rely on Waller, supra, 11 Cal.4th at page 23, for reversal.
Constitutions, statutes, and rules citations See Rule B5.1 – B6 See §§ 2.1 – 2:50
U.S. Constitution U.S. Const. art. I, § 5, cl. 3 (U.S. Const., art. I, § 5, cl. 3.)
State Constitution Cal. Const., art. VI, § 10 (Cal. Const., art. VI, § 10.)
Federal Statute Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 9601-9675 (2000) (7 U.S.C. §§ 9601-9675.)
State Statute Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §§ 16700 -16703 (West 2000) (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 16700 et seq.)
State Rule of Court Cal. R. 8.200(a)(5) (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 8.200(a)(5).)
Secondary Sources See rule B8-9 – B9.2 See §§ 3:1 – 3:15
Treatise or encyclopedia 7 Cal. Jur. 3d Attorneys at Law § 43 (1989) (7 Cal.Jur.3d (1989) Attorneys at Law, § 43.)
Law review article Sewali K. Katel, Immunizing Internet Service Providers from Third Party Internet Defamation Claims: How Far Should Courts Go?, 55 Vand. L.Rev. 647, 684 (2002) (Patel, Immunizing Internet Service Providers From Third Party Internet Defamation Claims: How Far Should Courts Go? (2002) 55 Vand. L.Rev. 647, 684.)
Book Jeremy Rifkin, The Biotech Century 137-139 (1998) (Rifkin, The Biotech Century (1998) pp. 137-139.)

 

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