, , , , ,

Bluebook (20th ed.) and Restatements, Model Codes, etc., by Peter Martin, Citing Legally


Prior to publication of the new Bluebook, law journals, lawyers, and judges were in pretty close agreement on how to cite a Restatement section (e.g., Restatement (Second) of Torts § 46 cmt. j (1965) [as cited in the May 2015 issue of the Harvard Law Review] or Restatement (Second) of Contracts § 349, cmt. a (1981) [as cited in an Aug. 2015 decision of the Seventh Circuit]). Journals put the titles in large and small caps.  Lawyers and judges didn’t. Furthermore, consistent with their treatment of other static material, many lawyers and judges left off the date element. In an era in which briefs are held to a maximum word count, why include the redundant ‘(1965)’ or ‘(1981)’? The Bluebook reflected that consensus. Its prescribed formats for citations to provisions in Uniform Codes, Model Acts, the federal sentencing guidelines, and the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct were consistent with it. See The Bluebook R. 12.9.5 (19th ed. 2010).

Without warning the 20th edition of The Bluebook changed that. . . .