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Citation Tools: Legal Sources

Legal & Public Documents


  1. Citations in predominantly legal works generally follow one of two guides: (1) The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, published by the Harvard Law Review Association; or (2) the ALWD Guide to Legal Citation, prepared and published by the Association of Legal Writing Directors and Coleen M. Barger (


  1. Legal publications use notes for documentation and rarely include bibliographies. Examples from CMOS are accordingly given in note form only.
  2. In Bluebook style, italics are used for titles of articles and chapters (a major difference from nonlegal usage), uncommon words or phrases in languages other than English (but not such well-known terms as de facto or habeas corpus), certain introductory signals indicating a cross-reference (such as See), case history (such as aff’d)
  3. In addition, formal Bluebook style specifies caps and small caps for constitutions, the titles of books and their authors, and the names of periodicals and websites


  1. NLRB v. Somerville Constr. Co., 206 F.3d 752, 752 n.1 (7th Cir. 2000).
  2. Profit Sharing Plan v. Mbank Dallas, N.A., 683 F. Supp. 592 (N.D. Tex. 1988).
  3. United States v. Christmas, 222 F.3d 141, 145 (4th Cir. 2000)
  4. State v. Griffin, 211 W. Va. 508, 566 S.E.2d 645 (2002),
  5. In re D.S., No. 13-0888, 2014 WL 1495489 (Iowa Ct. App. Apr. 16, 2014).