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UIUC Bluebook LibGuide

Space or no space?

When abbreviating courts and reporters, you may notice some funny spacing...

Why are there spaces in "F. Supp. 2d" but not in "F.2d"?

According to R 6.1(a):

  • Do not include a space between two capital letters: S.D.N.Y
  • Numbers, including ordinals, are treated like capital letters: F.3d
  • Include a space between single capital letters and longer abbreviations: F. Supp.
  • Include a space between abbreviations containing two or more letters: Cal. App.

Additional help with the bluebook

Case Citation: B10

The Bluepages rules for case citations are under rule B10, starting on page 10 of your Bluebook. 

Follow the rules below step by step to create a full citation.  Remember, in legal citation "versus" is always abbreviated to "v."  That rule is buried in the Bluebook! (hint: look at the middle of page 94)

Full Citation: B 10.1


Meritor Sav. Bank, FSB v. Vinson, 477 U.S. 57, 60 (1986).

Citation created from this:

477 U.S. 57, 106 S.Ct. 2399, 40 Fair Empl.Prac.Cas. (BNA) 1822, 40 Empl. Prac. Dec. P 36,159, 91 L.Ed.2d 49, 54 USLW 4703
Supreme Court of the United States

Mechelle VINSON et al.

No. 84–1979.

Argued March 25, 1986.
Decided June 19, 1986
  1. First, note the typeface.  The case name is in italics. - B 1
  2. Case Name- B 10.1.1
    1. For individuals, include only their surname - B 10.1.1(ii)
      1. "Mechelle Vinson" is shortened to "Vinson"
    2. Abbreviate words in case names according to Table T6 (p. 496) - B 10.1.1(v)
      1. "Savings" is shortened to "Sav."
    3. Important rule to remember:  Abbreviate states, countries, and other geographical units according to Table T10 (p. 502), unless it's the entire name of the party (e.g., the State of Tennessee) - B 10.1.1(v)
  3. Reporter- B 10.1.2
    1. Choosing a reporter:  You can see this case was reported in no fewer than six places.  How do you choose? 
      1. The general Bluebook rule is to follow the rules for a particular jurisdiction found in Table T1. 
        1. For United States Suprme Court decisions, cite to "U.S." T1.1
        2. If the decision isn't in the U.S. reporter yet, cite to S.Ct., L. Ed., or U.S.L.W., in that order T1.1
      2. Of course, a local court rule will trump the general Bluebook rule.  If you are submitting to a court (a real one), check the jurisdiction-specific rules at BT2 (Bluepages table 2)
    2. Include volume number - B 10.1.2
      1. "477"
    3.  Include the reporter name abbreviated according to Table T1 (p. 233) - B 10.1.2
      1. "U.S."
    4.  Include the page number on which case begins - B 10.1.2
      1. "57"
    5. Finally, include a pincite - B 10.1.2
      1. "60"
  4. Court and Jurisdiction- B 10.1.3
    1. Include name of court and its geographical jurisdiction, unless citing to the United States Supreme Court or the highest court of any state.  In those cases, the name of the reporter you use according to T1 will include the name of the state (i.e. decisions of the Michigan Supreme Court are cited to the Michigan Reports, abbreviated to "Mich.")
      1. Abbreviate courts and jurisdictions according to T1 (p. 233) for U.S. jurisdictions or T2 (p. 307) for foreign jurisdictions, if they are included in those tables
      2. If the court and jurisdiction is not found in T1 or T2, abbreviate according to T7 (p. 498) for court names and T10 (p. 502) for geographical terms
  5. Date or Year of Decision - B 10.1

Short form: B 4.2

When can you use a short form?  If you have already provided a full citation to the authority, you can switch to a short form for later citations if the full citation falls in the same general discussion (ex. the legislative history subsection of the argument section of your appellate brief), and if the reader will be able to tell what authority you're refering to and find the full citation for herself.  If in doubt, give a full citation.

Three basic short forms for cases:

  1. Case name: ex. Meritor Sav. Bank, 477 U.S. at 60
    1. Shortened Case Name (include name of the first party; shorten long party names)
    2. Reporter Volume Number and Abbreviated Name
    3. Pincite
  2. Volume and pincite: ex. 477 U.S. at 60 
  3. Id. (use only if referring to the immediately preceding authority) 


Illinois Public-Domaiin Case Citation

Illinois courts have implemented a system of public-domain case citation for opinions issued on or after July 1, 2011. Opinions issued prior to July 1, 2011 are not subject to the new system and will continue to be cited as they have been in the past.

As of July 1, 2011, the official Illinois court reporters, Illinois Reports and Illinois Appellate Reports, are no longer being published. All opinions issued by the Illinois Supreme Court and the Illinois Appellate Court on or after July 1, 2011, will be assigned a unique public-domain case designator and will be posted on the Supreme Court’s website.

When citing an Illinois court opinion issued on or after July 1, 2011, the public-domain case citation must be used.  Parallel citations to the North Eastern Reporter and West’s Illinois Decisions may be included, but are not required. West Publishing Company will continue to publish all opinions issued by the Illinois Supreme Court and the Illinois Appellate Court in both the North Eastern Reporter and in West’s Illinois Decisions.  West will continue to assign key numbers to those opinions. 

When citing an Illinois court opinion issued prior to July 1, 2011, continue to use the official Illinois Reports or Illinois Appellate Reports citation.  Parallel citations to the North Eastern Reporter and West’s Illinois Decisions may be included, but are not required.