February 25, 2008
Bluebook Enters 20th Century
The second-best-selling law book in history (right behind Deuteronomy) is now on the web. Yep, the 18th edition of the Uniform System of Citation (better known as the Bluebook) is now available on line. You can thus now actually search the thing for such gems as the Five Footnote Rule:
If the case has been cited (not referred to textually) anywhere in the preceding five footnotes (including in a (citing) or (quoting) parenthetical or a citation of a brief or oral argument from that case), use a short form citation. An id. citation within the previous five footnotes does count if it’s referring to the case in question. When counting footnotes for the purposes of this rule, count all five of the preceding footnotes. For example, if the case in question is in note 49, references in notes 44–48 count for purposes of the rule.
The new online format, says a Yale Law Review editor, "responds to requests from customers for a Bluebook that is easier to search, use, and teach." The editors apparently chose not to respond to the requests of other customers, who wanted a Bluebook that was simpler, cheaper, and more comprehensible. But it's a start.
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