19th Edition of the Bluebook

The Brooklyn Law School Library has ordered multiple copies of the 19th edition of The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation which will be available at the circulation desk this month. The 18th edition of The Bluebook was published in 2005 and had 415 pages. The 19th edition has 511 pages. The first edition of The Bluebook published in 1926 consisted of 28 pages.

The preface to the 19th edition states that the “current edition of The Bluebook retains the same basic approach to legal citation established by its predecessors . . . Some citation forms have been expanded, elaborated upon, or modified from prevision editions to reflect the ever-expanding range of authorities used in legal writing and to respond to suggestions from the legal community.”

The 19th edition of The Bluebook changes Rule 18 dealing with the Internet, Electronic Media, and Other Nonprint Resources primarily to allow increased citation to Internet sources. For example, Rules 18.6 and 18.7 now allow for the use of timestamps in citations to audio and video recordings. Before, The Bluebook had no rule for citing podcasts. Rule 18.7.3 now provides citation guidance for podcasts and online recordings. Citation to a podcast is found in Rule 18.7.3. with this example: Splitting Verbs, Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing (Feb. 26, 2009) (downloaded using iTunes).

Other changes in the 19th edition include Rule 10.8.3 on Briefs, Court Filings, and Transcripts. The revised rule provides details for citations to audio recordings of court proceedings. Rule 13.4(d) on Reports, Documents, and Committee Prints now establishes specific citation formats for Congressional Research Services and Government Accountability Office reports. Changes in Rule 14 help improve citation to administrative agency materials.

Pace Law Library has compiled a list of the changes to the 19th edition and the associated rule numbers that are in this chart. Click on the image for the full-size PDF.

Critics of The Bluebook have called for its abolition. See the Volokh Conspiracy post Abolish the Bluebook. Practicing lawyers are also critical. See the post at the (new) legal writer The Bluebook (19th ed.): Something I don’t need to practice law says “I practice law for a living. There are many resources I need to do what I do. Not among them is the latest edition of the Bluebook.” Critics aside, the 19th edition of The Bluebook is indispensable for any judge, lawyer, or law student.