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Bluebook Citations: Statutes

Guide to basic legal citations to the 20th ed. of The Bluebook.


Citations are to the 20th edition of The Bluebook, A Uniform System of Citation.

Rule 12 Statutes (p. 120)

Statutes in Print B12, B12.1.2, R12, T1.3

Cite Title 21 of the United States Code, section 331(a) from the official United States Code in print.

CORRECT CITATION:  21 U.S.C. § 331(a) (2012).

NOTE:  The official United States Code is published every six years (e.g. 2000, 2006, 2012).

SHORT CITE:  21 U.S.C. § 331(a) OR § 331(a).  Notice that the date is not needed in a short cite.

Federal Statutes online in Westlaw R12.5, T1.3

"When citing a code contained in an electronic database, give parenthetically the name of the database and information regarding the currency of the database as provided by the database itself." R. 12.5

NOTE: West by itself indicates the print product, not the online product.

Same statutes found on Westlaw in the United States Code Annotated, a West product.

CORRECT CITATION:  21 U.S.C.A. § 331(a) (West, Westlaw through P.L. 113-9 (excluding P.L. 113-4)).

SHORT CITE:  21 U.S.C.A. § 331(a) (Westlaw).

NOTE:  West, Westlaw indicates that this statute was found online while "West" without Westlaw indicates a print product.

Federal Statutes online in Lexis Advance R12.5, T1.3

Rule 12.5 does not offer an example of a statute found on Lexis Advance.  In former editions, LEXIS, all caps meant the online database.  Therefore, use LEXIS (all caps) to indicate Lexis Advance.

Same statute found on Lexis Advance in the United States Code Service, a LexisNexis product.

CORRECT CITATION:  21 U.S.C.S. § 331(a) (LEXIS through P.L. 113-11).

SHORT CITE:  21 U.S.C.S. § 331(a) (LEXIS) OR § 331(a) (LEXIS).

NOTE:  LEXIS (all caps) indicates that the statute was found online, while "LexisNexis" indicates a print product.

Citing State Statutes IN PRINT

Rule 12 Statutes (p. 120) Table 1 U.S. Jurisdictions (Haw. p. 260-61)

Citing State Statutes in Print using Table 1 for Hawaii.

Example:  Cite the official Hawaii Revised Statutes section 703-309 IN PRINT.

CORRECT CITATION: Haw. Rev. Stat. § 703-309 (2014 & Supp. 2017). Note: there is no indication of the publisher in the parenthetical for the official code. And, the official code is always the first listed in Table 1.

Example:  Cite the unofficial Michie's Hawaii Revised Statutes section 703-309 IN PRINT. Nothing was found in the pocket part or supplement.

CORRECT CITATION: Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 703-309 (LexisNexis 2016).

Example:  Cite the unofficial West's Hawaii Revised Statutes section 703-309 IN PRINT. The pocket part or supplement also contains statutory information.

CORRECT CITATION: Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 703-309 (West 2008 & Supp. 2017).