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Citation Guide: Interpreting, Managing & Creating Bluebook Legal Cites

This guide contains tips on using the Bluebook for legal citation. It includes citation samples of commonly used resources, style and abbreviation guides, and info on using citation managers to organize your research and automatically create cites.

Cases

General case citation is covered in Bluebook Rule 10

General case citation

All Wisconsin cases issued after 1/1/00 include a public domain citation. The abbreviation for the WI Supreme Court is "WI" and for the WI Court of Appeals is "WI App"

Wisconsin case

For more information on citation in WI courts, see Wisconsin Guide to Citation.

Legislation

Statute citation is covered in Bluebook Rule 12

Codes contain the statutes currently in force in a jurisdiction and are arranged topically.  Note that per Bluebook rules, the code cited should be in small caps.

In the U.S., the official code is the U.S. Code which should be cited whenever possible.  U.S.C.A. and U.S.C.S. are unofficial codes. 

US Code citation

In WI, the official code is the Wisconsin Statutes which should be cited whenever possible. The Wisconsin Statutes Annotated is an unofficial code.

Wisconsin statute citation

Session Laws are statutes adopted during a single legislative session and published in chronological order

In the U.S., session laws are published in the United States Statutes at Large.

US Statutes at Large Citation

In WI, sessions laws are published in the Laws of Wisconsin.

 

Citation to other Legislative Documents is covered in Bluebook Rule 13.

Regulations

Administrative and executive materials citation is covered in Bluebook Rule 14

Administrative Codes contain all regulations currently in force in a jurisdiction and are arranged topically.

In the U.S., the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is the annual codification of the final rules published in the Federal Register.  The CFR is divided into 50 titles that represent broad subject areas.

CFR citation

In Wisconsin, the adminstrative code is called the Wisconsin Administrative Code.  It is divided into chapters that represent state agencies.

 

Administrative Registers are registers of administrative activity published in chronological order.

In the U.S., the Federal Register (F.R.) is the official daily publication of the executive branch. It includes a variety of information about agency activities, such as notices, meetings, proposed and final regulations (with explanation & background), as well as Presidential executive orders and proclamations.

Federal regulation citation

In Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Administrative Register is published twice monthy.  It contains new and proposed rules and public notices.