Citations are to the 20th edition of The Bluebook, A Uniform System of Citation.
Westlaw and LexisNexis Citations Aren't Bluebooked
One mistake students and attorneys alike make is assuming that research systems like Westlaw and Lexis Advance provide properly Bluebooked citations. This is usually incorrect, but the citations these services produce look pretty good. Be sure to verify the components of a proper citation, especially the abbreviation. A citation copied directly from Westlaw, in particular, is easy to identify, because the source name will be an abbreviation, but not one approved by the Bluebook.
- Forgetting to put a court designation in the court and date parenthetical when the reporter information is not sufficient.
- Guessing on the abbreviations in case names instead of checking Table 6.
- Omitting the volume and reporter information in a case short form.
- Omitting the comma between the case name and the volume information in a case short form.
- Omitting the space between "F." and "Supp." for cases reported in the Federal Supplement.
- Omitting the space between "Supp." and "2d" for cases reported in the Federal Supplement, Second Series.
- Abbreviating U.S. instead of writing it out "United States" when the party is the United States. (See R10.2.2)
- Forgetting to put the word, "Annotation," in an A.L.R. citation. (See R16.7.6)
- Omitting the date or currency statement in the parenthetical for a citation to a statute found on Westlaw or Lexis Advance.
Forgetting Punctuation at the end of the citation sentence.