Research Guides

TMLL Research Guide - Chapter 8


HIGHLIGHTS OF BLUEBOOK FORM FOR STATE LAW SOURCES


Cases

The Bluebook discusses use of parallel citations in Rule 10.3, B5.1.3, and Table BT2. When citing most states’ cases, one cites only to the appropriate regional reporter. Always check local rules for requirements of specific courts. The Maryland rule, Md. R. 8-504(a), requires inclusion of “. . . a reference to the official Report.” Thus, parallel citation is required when citing Maryland cases in documents submitted to Maryland courts. In scholarly writing and office memoranda, citation to West’s Atlantic Reporter is sufficient.

Maryland Court of Appeals Cases

Cited to a Maryland court:

Figueiredo-Torres v. Nickel, 321 Md. 642, 584 A.2d 69 (1991).

The case appears in volume 321 of the Maryland Reports, beginning at page 642 and also in volume 584 of the Atlantic Reporter, Second Series, beginning at page 69. It must be cited to both reporters. The case was decided in 1991. The official publication, Maryland Reports, includes cases only from the Maryland Court of Appeals, so it is clear from that citation alone which court decided the case.

Cited otherwise:

Figueiredo-Torres v. Nickel, 584 A.2d 69 (Md. 1991).

Citation is made only to the West regional reporter. Because all of the West regional reporters publish cases from a number of states and sometimes more than one court within each state, this citation alone is not sufficient to identify the state, much less the specific court. Thus, the abbreviation of the court (in this instance the Maryland Court of Appeals) must be included with the year. "Md." as used here is neither the abbreviation of the state, nor the abbreviation of the official reporter. It is the abbreviation of the court.

Maryland Court of Special Appeals Cases

Cited to a Maryland court:

Green v. State, 91 Md. App. 790, 605 A.2d 1001 (1992).

The official publication, Maryland Appellate Reports, includes cases only from the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, so it is clear from that citation alone which court decided the case.

Cited otherwise:

Green v. State, 605 A.2d 1001 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. 1992).

The abbreviation of the court must be included with the year because, once again, the citation to the Atlantic Reporter alone is sufficient to identify neither the state nor the court. Note that unlike with the Court of Appeals, the abbreviation for this court is not the same as for the official reporter for the court.

Statutes

Statute form for state codes is governed by Rule 12 of the Bluebook, as described in Chapter 3 of this research guide. A number of examples are provided there as well. Generally, Rule 12 and Table T1 provide most of the information needed to cite state statutes.

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