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Why legal citation?
"When lawyers present legal arguments and judges write opinions, they cite authority. They lace their representations of what the law is and how it applies to a given situation with references to statutes, regulations, and prior appellate decisions they believe to be pertinent and supporting. They also refer to persuasive secondary literature such as treatises, restatements, and journal articles. Court rules go so far as to authorize judges to reject arguments that are not supported by cited authority. Lawyers who appeal on the basis of arguments for which they have cited no authority can be sanctioned. As a consequence, those who would read law writing and do law writing must master a new, technical language: 'legal citation.'" - Peter W. Martin, Basic Legal Citation, § 1-000 (online ed. 2019) at https://www.law.cornell.edu/citation/
This is a quick and basic guide to legal citation. Please see the many sources linked below for exhaustive treatment of the intricacies of legal education. Entire books can, and have, been written on the correct use of citation.
The APA Publication Manual in liberal arts is to The Bluebook in Law School.
The Bluebook, copies available at the Circulation Desk, covers how to cite almost any imaginable document you will encounter in law school: cases, statutes, regulations, law review articles, books, and even Zambian statutes.
Subscribing to an Online Citation Guide
You can subscribe to your own copy of the Bluebook.
ALWD Citation Guide
You can purchase a print copy or an electronic version from Amazon or Wolters Kluwer. Links are available on this FAQ.
The UNH Law Library doesn't subscribe to the electronic versions of either of these guides. You may subscribe yourself or you can borrow a print copy from the Law Library's Reserve Collection.
Quick Hints to Using the Bluebook
The Bluebook is divided into two mail parts - the blue pages (for practitioners) and the white pages (for use in Law Reviews)
Review the table of contents and the tables to get an idea of how the book is organized.
Rule 1 and its subsections contain rules on how to use signals. This can be confusing. Read these carefully.
Aside from Rule 18 (Internet sources - mostly free), most rules are referring to citing print materials. There are sub-rules that deviate from this norm for commercial databases - use these if citing to materials from Lexis/Westlaw/Bloomberg
Use the Index to find the rule on how to cite to a specific item - such as a secondary source.
All rules and tables are listed on the table of contents on the back cover
Examples of how to cite to New Hampshire primary material is found in Table 1.3
Abbreviations for case names are found in Table 6
The inside front cover contains a quick guide for Law Review style and the inside back cover contains a quick guide for practitioner style.
Pay attention to the format of the citation (follow the diagram that is used a the start of each rule.
If you need an example and can't find one in the Bluebook, try looking for an example in a major law review.
Books at the Library
Links contain information of the location and availability of the books.
Understanding and Mastering the Bluebook by The Bluebook provides the rules for legal citation, but can be intimidating and frustrating to use. This survival manual teaches how to understand and master the essential rules for legal practitioners using a simple building block approach. Rules are fully described and illustrated using:
Clear explanations and illustrations of the basic components of legal citations
Step-by-step instructions for building citations to the most common authorities cited by legal practitioners
Detailed guidance for citing legal materials to both print and electronic sources
Examples, comparison charts, illustrations, and bullet-point explanations designed for quick mastery of basic Bluebook citation rules
Tips, hints and cautions to help users avoid common citation errors
Cross references to the controlling Bluebook rules
A user-friendly format gathering
The Bluebook's scattered rules for each authority into one place. This highly accessible companion to 19th edition of The Bluebook, A Uniform System of Citation is an indispensable tool for anyone who is new to legal citation or whose skills need refreshing.
Call Number: Academic Success KF245 .B37 2010
Publication Date: 2010-08-01
User's Guide to the "Bluebook" by This User's Guide is written for practitioners (law students, law clerks, lawyers, legal secretaries and paralegals), and is designed to make the task of mastering citation form as easy and painless as possible. To help alleviate the obstacles faced when using proper citation form, this text is set up as a how-to manual with a step-by-step approach to learning the basic skills of citation and includes the numbers of the relevant Bluebook rules under most chapter subheadings for easy reference when more information is needed.--Publisher.
Call Number: Reserve KF245 .D853 2015
Publication Date: 2015-08-01
Legal Writing Citation in a Nutshell by Learning legal citation is one of the difficult (and sometimes admittedly annoying) tasks that students new to the law face. This book is designed to ease that task. It initially focuses on conventions that underlie all accepted forms and systems of legal citation. Building on that understanding and an explanation of the "process" of using citations in legal writing, the book then discusses and illustrates the particular rules of The Bluebook and the ALWD Citation Manual for citing cases, statutes, and all other major legal sources. Unique appendices provide useful comparative information for these two systems of citation.
Call Number: Academic Success Annex KF245 .T47 2016
Publication Date: 2016-05-17
The Redbook by Since first appearing in 2002, Bryan Garner's The Redbook: A Manual on Legal Style has established itself as the go-to source for all questions of legal style (apart from citation form). The book isn't just one talented man's effort: Garner has two experienced coauthors plus a hands-on team of 54 editorial advisers, most of whom have long and valuable experience teaching LRW. The book is a one-of-a-kind resource--the legal writer's equivalent of The AP Stylebook or The Chicago Manual of Style. The brand-new fourth edition has lots of new material, including an especially helpful new chapter on handling quotations. The two exhaustive indexes (word and subject), plus the detailed table of contents, make it easy to find authoritative guidance within seconds, whatever the question might be. The author, Bryan Garner, is now the most frequently cited author in opinions of the U.S. Supreme Court. It's true: last term, four of his books were cited a total of 14 times (in the somewhat fewer than 90 cases decided). This term the count is on a similar pace. In American appellate decisions generally, Garner is at the top end of sources relied on. You can rely on him, too, in the most comprehensive, nitty-gritty resource available for legal writers: The Redbook. Don't leave home without it.
Call Number: Reserve KF250 .G375 2018
Publication Date: 2018-06-27
ALWD Guide to Legal Citation by ALWD Guide to Legal Citation, Sixth Edition provides the tools needed for all forms of legal writing, using clear explanations and abundant illustrations. In a single set of rules that the novice and experienced legal writers can easily consult, Professor Barger contrasts the formats used in practice-based documents with those used in academic footnotes. New to the Sixth Edition: Updated and expanded coverage of public domain case opinions and other primary authorities published online. Updated and expanded coverage of secondary works in online media, including articles, ebooks, blogs, newsletters, and social media. New and updated subsections of rules addressing federal case reporters, statutes, legislation, and regulations onli≠ new treatment of footnote references and footnotes/endnotes in online sources; new treatment and examples of dictionaries, A.L.R. annotations and articles, Restatements, and Principles of the Law. Updated appendices containing abbreviations, jurisdiction-specific sources and local rules, periodicals (more than 70 new titles added); new appendix addressing abbreviations for titles of BD Loose-leaf services. Every rule and example has been revisited and edited for depth and breadth of coverage as well as improved clarity. Shorter than the Fifth Edition (but with the same amount of information).
Call Number: Reserve KF245 .A45 2017
Publication Date: 2017-05-19