Skip to main content
libguides-logo

Legal Research Basics

General Tips

  • Use the index! You can look up how to cite pretty much anything by just checking the index.
  • See Bluebook Table T1 for information on citing federal and state cases, statutes, regulations, etc.
  • See Bluebook Tables T6-T16 for abbreviations.
  • See the Bluepages for non-academic legal documents (briefs, motions, memoranda, and opinions).

Cases - Bluebook Rule 10

Elements of Citation: Party v. Party, vol.# Reporter Abbrev. page#, citing page# (Court Abbrev. year).

Examples:

  • U.S. Supreme Court: Meritor Sav. Bank v. Vinson, 477 U.S. 57, 60 (1986).
  • U.S. Courts of Appeals: United States v. MacDonald, 531 F.2d 196 (4th Cir. 1976).
  • U.S. District Courts: Smith v. Westover, 123 F.Supp. 354 (S.D. Cal. 1954).
  • California Supreme Court: People v. Jones, 57 Cal. 4th 899, 306 P.3d 1136 (2013).
  • California Courts of Appeal: Roach v. Lewis, 14 Cal. App. 4th 1179, 18 Cal. Rptr. 2d 281 (Cal. Ct. App. 1993).

Statutes - Bluebook Rule 12

Federal - Elements of Citation: Title# Abbrev. § # (year of edition cited).

  • Example: 42 U.S.C. § 9601 (2012).

California - Elements of Citation: Cal. Subject Code § # (year)

  • Example: Cal. Penal Code § 594.6 (2016).

Regulations - Bluebook Rule 14

Federal - Elements of Citation: Title# Abbrev. § # (year).

  • Example: 7 C.F.R. § 319.76 (1999).

California - Elements of Citation: Abbrev. tit. #, § # (year).

  • Example: Cal. Code Regs. tit. 11, § 2070 (2017).

Books - Bluebook Rule 15

Elements of Citation - Author's name, Title page# (Editor, edition, year).

  • Example: Steven W. Feldman, Government Contracts 47 (6th ed. 2015).

Law Review/Journal Articles - Bluebook Rule 16

Elements of Citation - Author's name, Title of article, vol.# Journal abbrev. page#, citing page (year).

  • Example: Charles A. Reich, The New Property, 73 Yale L.J. 733, 737-38 (1964).