Slatebook - Virginia Law Review

Introduction ................................................................................................ 1
Editing Checklist......................................................................................... 2
VLR Initial Edit & Cite Check Source Gathering Guide ....................... 6
Virginia Law Review Conventions ........................................................... 14
Changes, Additions, and Clarifications .................................................. 14
BB Rule 1.2: Introductory Signals.......................................................... 14
BB Rule 1.3: Order of Signals ................................................................ 15
BB Rule 1.4: Order of Authorities.......................................................... 15
BB Rule 1.5: Parenthetical Information.................................................. 15
BB Rule 2: Typefaces for Law Reviews................................................. 16
BB Rule 2.1: [Italicization in] Citations ................................................. 17
BB Rule 2.2: [Italicization in] Textual Material ..................................... 18
BB Rule 4.2b: “Hereinafter”................................................................... 19
BB Rule 5.3: Omissions and Ellipses in Quotations............................... 20
BB Rule 5.4: Quotation Paragraph Structure.......................................... 21
BB Rule 6.1: Abbreviations.................................................................... 21
BB Rule 6.2: Numerals and Symbols ..................................................... 22
BB Rule 8: Capitalization....................................................................... 23
BB Rule 9: Names of Courts, Judges, and Professors ............................ 24
BB Rule 10: Cases (BB p. 55)................................................................. 25
BB Rule 10.2.1(h): Business Firm Designations .................................... 25
BB Rule 10.6: Parenthetical Information Regarding Cases.................... 26
BB Rule 10.7: Prior and Subsequent History ......................................... 27
BB Rule 10.9: Short Forms for Cases..................................................... 27
BB Rule 12.3: Statutes: Current Official and Unofficial Codes ............. 29
BB Rule 12.5: Statutes: Secondary Sources ........................................... 29
BB Rule 12.6: Statutes: Repeal, Amendment, and Prior History ........... 29
BB Rule 12.8.1: Internal Revenue Code................................................. 29
BB Rule 12.9: Short Forms for Statutes ................................................. 30
BB Rule 13.5: Debates ........................................................................... 31
BB Rule 14: Administrative and Executive Materials............................ 31
BB Rule 14.2: Rules, Regulations, and Other Publications.................... 31
BB Rule 14.6: SEC Materials ................................................................. 32
BB Rule 15.4: Edition, Publisher, and Date ........................................... 32
BB Rule 15.5: Shorter Works in Collection ........................................... 33
BB Rule 15.8.2: Short Forms for Shorter Works in Collection .............. 33
BB Rule 16: Periodical Materials ........................................................... 34
BB Rule 16.3: Consecutively Paginated Journals and Magazines.......... 34
BB Rule 16.4: Nonconsecutively Paginated Journals and Magazines.... 34
BB Rule 17.1: Unpublished Materials .................................................... 35
BB Rule 17.2: Forthcoming Publications ............................................... 35
BB Rule 18: Electronic Media and Other Nonprint Resources .............. 35
Some Additional Points of Style and Grammar..................................... 38
Internal References to the Piece ............................................................. 38
Grammar, Punctuation, and Word Choice ............................................. 38
Formatting Tips for Departmental Editors............................................ 43
This manual (the “Slatebook”) provides you with an editing
checklist, a source gathering guide, and the stylistic conventions used
by the Virginia Law Review. Refer to the editing and photocopying
checklists to guide you through the steps of an editing assignment.
This Slatebook is keyed to the 17th edition of the Bluebook, and
that is the edition of the Bluebook you should use. References to the
18th edition found in the text are for your information, but you are
not required to use the 18th edition. Questions about this should be
directed to the Executive Editors.
The main section of the Slatebook, “Virginia Law Review
Conventions and Explanations,” contains changes and additions to
Bluebook rules as well as explanations for confusing Bluebook
Rules. Please apply these VLR conventions to every piece that you
edit. Every member of the Review must be familiar with these
stylistic conventions, as well as the entire Bluebook.
The next section of the Slatebook provides guidance on grammar
and style.
The last section lists formatting tips for the Departmental
Editors; Editorial Board members can ignore this section unless
specifically instructed otherwise by a Department Editor.
Editing Checklist
More substantive discussions of each stage of the editing process
outlined below can be found in the Editorial Board Manual. Keep
your DE up to date on all problems with the piece or anything you
don’t understand as you go through your editing assignment.
(1) Read the entire piece: Critique style, structure, grammar,
and spelling.
(2) Gather sources: Refer to the "Source Gathering Guide"
below for photocopying checklists for each type of source.
(a) The overriding principle of the source gathering process is to
copy everything you and your DE will need to verify both
the substance (that what the author is saying is supported)
and the form of the citation (making sure the citation is in
correct Bluebook/Slatebook format).
(b) There must be separate copies for each citation in every
(c) If you are doing a Cite Check and come across copies that
were not done properly during the Initial Edit, the default
rule is that you must make the necessary copies, unless the
DE provides otherwise.
(3) Check Citation Substance.
(a) Check the substance of the citation. Highlight all supporting
language. If there is an assertion in the text that needs
support, or if the cited source does not support the
proposition in the text, make a real attempt to locate an
appropriate source and provide a suggested citation to the
(b) Check quotations. Place a checkmark over each word and
punctuation mark in the quote (in the physical photocopy or
printed source) as you check it. Count the words in every
quotation that might have 50 words and indicate the number
of words in the quotation as an embedded note to the DE.
(c) Check whether a pincite can be added for general citations.
(d) Determine whether a footnote has been unnecessarily
included and recommend its deletion, or determine whether a
footnote may be needed and recommend its inclusion.
(4) Check Citation Form – Bluebooking/Slatebooking.
(a) Check: Author and editor name, volume and page numbers,
title (including punctuation of title), parallel cites, pinpoint
cites, dates, and so on.
(b) Order of authorities. Bluebook p. 25, Slatebook p. 15.
(c) Format of case names in text and citations according to the
Bluebook rules (pp. 55–62). Make special note of the areas
in which the Slatebook rules differ from the Bluebook.
– Business designations, Slatebook p. 25.
– Parenthetical information, Slatebook p. 15.
– Short forms for cases, Slatebook p. 27.
(d) Proper use of the short form, both the format and when it can
be used, for:
– Cases, BB pp. 71–73 and Slatebook p. 27.
– Statutes, BB pp. 89–90 and Slatebook p. 28.
– Books & nonperiodic materials, BB pp. 115–17.
– Periodicals, BB pp. 125–26.
– Unpublished and nonprint sources, BB p. 126.
(d) Abbreviations using tables in the Bluebook:
– Periodical Names (table T.14, BB p. 317) (errors are
extremely common).
– Explanatory Phrases (e.g., aff’d, rev’d, vacated) (table
T.9, BB p. 309).
– Case Names (table T.6, BB p. 302).
– Format for a particular jurisdiction’s courts or statutes:
– Table T.1: United States Jurisdictions (BB p. 183).
Note that Bluebook state abbreviations are not identical
to standard (postal) state abbreviations (table T.11, BB p.
– Table T.2: Foreign Jurisdictions (BB p. 245).
(e) Usage of id., supra, infra, hereinafter (BB pp. 39–43; SB p.
19), and check “jump cite” references (i.e., internal cross
references to other sections or footnotes in the same piece) to
ensure the reference is to the correct footnote.
(f) Order of sources within the footnote (BB p. 25).
(g) Parentheticals: whether they are required (Slatebook, p. 14),
and whether they are in the appropriate format (Slatebook p.
16). Where a parenthetical is required but absent, supply a
draft parenthetical and provide a highlighted copy of the
source for your DE. Note the rule for indicating concurring
and dissenting opinions on Slatebook p. 26.
(h) For books, editor vs. edition (BB p. 108).
– Ex.: Ben Angelette ed., 2d ed. 1951.
(i) Formatting
– Every footnote should end with a period.
– Check the location of the footnote call. See Slatebook,
pp. 27.
– Note hyphens that should be en-dashes or em-dashes and
vice versa. See Slatebook, p. 39.
(j) Check font formatting in each citation (for example, only use
italics where used in the original or for the word “in” where
the source is an article in a book): Bold, underline and
SMALL CAPS should not be used. See Slatebook p. 16.
(5) Wrapping Up.
(a) Deliver all copied sources to the source boxes.
(b) Ensure that all electronic sources are uploaded to the
appropriate folder on the VLR intranet
(c) Write memo to DE containing the following:
– A list of all sources checked out or requested, broken
down by: : (1) all sources that you have checked out for the
edit, including whether the source was checked out to your
DE’s personal ID or to the carrel and the due date; (2) all
sources that you have ILL’d and their due date; (3) all
sources that you have requested, but not yet received via ILL
and the date that you requested them; and (4) all sources that
you have recalled from within the UVA library system, or
any other sources you have requested, but not yet received,
and the date on which you requested them. Also list any
missing sources, along with a brief explanation of the steps
you have taken to locate them thus far.
– Substantive comments about the piece as a whole,
structural suggestions, and/or recurring issues (basically,
anything that would be unwieldy in an embedded
– All other comments, questions, and changes should be
embedded in the electronic document itself.
(c) Upload electronic versions of your memo and the manuscript
to the appropriate folder on the VLR intranet.
N.B. – ensure that you save a copy of these documents in a
secure location other than your laptop and the VLR intranet –
e.g., Home Directory, a CD-R disc, or a flash drive.
VLR Initial Edit & Cite Check Source Gathering Guide
The following checklists give Editorial Board members a quick and
portable guide for source gathering. It lists only the most common
types of sources. If you run into a source that seems odd and you
aren't sure what to copy, contact your DE for guidance.
REMEMBER: The overriding principle of the source gathering
exercise is to copy or upload everything you and your DE will need
to verify both the substance (checking that what the author is saying
is supported) and the form (making sure the citation is in correct
Bluebook/Slatebook format) of the citation. Make sure you copy or
upload all that is required to do these two things, even if this list
seems to suggest otherwise. The Bluebook indicates which form of a
source should be copied, and we require that source if available (ex.
for Supreme Court cases, cite to the U.S. Reporter (__U.S.__) if
The overriding principle of uploading to the VLR intranet is to only
upload PDF files, unless otherwise noted, of the complete source
such that the DE can verify the substance and the form of the
citation. If a source is cited multiple times, it only needs to be in the
appropriate folder on the VLR intranet once.
For Cite Checks: Please also remember that if you are doing a Cite
Check and come across copies that were not done properly during
the Initial Edit, the default rule is that you make the necessary copies
and/or uploads, unless your DE provides otherwise.
When copying and printing, please help VLR save money by USING
PRINTING whenever possible!
Photocopying/Print Rules Are Organized Below as Follows:
Finding Sources Generally
The Constitution
Law Review Articles
Newspaper/Magazine Articles
Legislative History
Administrative and Executive Materials
Treaties and Other International Materials
Internet Sources
Material That Quotes or Cites to Other Sources and
Parallel Citations
Supras & Infras to Other Parts of the Article Itself
Anything Else
I. Finding Sources Generally (for sources not on Internet)
□ Use VIRGO. The law library catalog is pretty useful, although
not user-friendly. If you know the exact title, use the "First
words" or "Exact" search options.
□ Use WorldCat. If you get sick of Virgo, a much better tool is
WorldCat (a link is available from VIRGO Æ go to "Reference
Sources" under the "Databases" category, then click "W," and
click "WorldCat (Web)"). This allows you to search not only the
UVA catalog, but the catalogs of other schools. You should look
here before you make an ILL request, to (a) make sure that UVA
does not actually have the book, and (b) get more information
about the source.
□ Use the Law Library web page. The Law Library web page
details the major collections (including U.S. government
documents, international materials, and microforms) and how to
find sources within those collections.
□ Ask a reference librarian. The reference librarians are very
helpful, but it is best if you go to them after having made your
best effort at finding the source yourself. Kent Olson is the
librarian assigned to the Law Review, but you may ask any
librarian who is available.
II. Constitutions
□ Federal: The official language of the U.S. Constitution should
be copied from the first volume of the U.S. Code (1 U.S.C.).
□ State: Look first in the first volume of the official code of each
□ Copy the entire section or amendment, as applicable (do not
copy just the particular clause cited).
III. Statutes
Copy the entire section (not just the particular subsection) from
the United States Code or the entire act if cited to the Public Law
(i.e. in Statutes at Large). If more information than the Title and
Section are mentioned in the citation or the text (i.e. Subtitle,
Chapter, etc.) be sure to photocopy the relevant pages to make it
easy to verify that information.
If a statute has been repealed or has been amended, the fact and
date of repeal or amendment must be indicated in the citation.
IV. Cases
□ General Rules: (1) All cases must be copied as they appear in
the relevant official reporter; only PDFs or actual photocopies
are sufficient. Non-PDF print-outs from Lexis or Westlaw are
not sufficient, unless otherwise noted; (2) if volume/year info is
not available on the case itself, copy the title page of the volume.
□ Rules for First Time the Case is Cited in the Piece and
Subsequent Citations Thereafter:
o First Time in the Piece: Upload the PDF to the intranet
folder if the PDF is available. If the first citation
includes a pincite, print out the necessary pages and
follow the rules for “Subsequent Pincite” below. If the
first citation is properly a general citation, the entire
document should be printed out in addition to uploading
the document. If the PDF is not available, make a
photocopy of the actual case.
o Subsequent General Citation: (a) Make best efforts to
find a pincite that would work, and then follow rules for
“Subsequent Pincite” below (Tip: pincites can be found
most easily by pulling the case up on Westlaw or Lexis,
and searching for key terms or quotes); or (b) if cite
remains a general cite, print/copy out the first page of the
case only.
o Subsequent Pincite: (a) Print/copy first page of the case;
(b) print/copy first page of dissent/concurrence, if
applicable; and (c) print/copy pincited page(s) and ONE
page before and after.
□ Supreme Court Cases: (a) PDF versions of the U.S. Reports are
available on HeinOnline; or (b) if S. Ct. or some other reporter is
cited, use Lexis or Westlaw to locate the parallel cite in the U.S.
Reports, and photocopy from the bound volumes in the library.
Pre-1875 Supreme Court Cases: copy spine of reporter
if the reporter’s actual name is used (i.e. 1 Wall. or 1
Non-Supreme Court Cases: (a) Make copies from the official
reporter, and (b) title page if necessary to get all citation
Shepardizing/Key Citing: You do not have to print out a
Shepard's or Key Cite report for every case, unless the case is
being cited for a current proposition of law (i.e. "The law in
Kansas on contributory negligence is . . . "). (You can copy the
report into a Word document and upload that document.)
V. Law Review Articles
□ Locating: Always check HeinOnline first.
□ The first time the article is cited in the piece: (a) Upload the
entire article, including information from the title page and table
of contents, to the intranet folder. PDFs from HeinOnline (or
other PDF source) are required if available; otherwise upload the
Lexis or Westlaw versions. If article is uploaded from Lexis or
Westlaw, or if the PDF does not have the title page and/or table
of contents, copy the title page and table of contents of the actual
law review volume to indicate the year and volume in which the
article appears; (b) if article is not in PDF form, copy from the
actual law review the first page of the article, the page(s) cited
plus ONE page before and after; (c) if article is from HeinOline
(of other PDF source), print out the page(s) cited plus ONE page
before and after. NOTE: If the front page of the Law Review
indicates a year span (ex. 2002–2003), the year span IS NOT
SUFFICIENT. Print/copy the page showing the exact year of
□ Every subsequent citation:
o General citations: (a) Make best efforts to find a pincite
that would work, and then follow rules for subsequent
pincite citation below (Tip: pincites can be found most
easily by pulling the article up on Westlaw or Lexis, and
searching for key terms or quotes); or (b) (i) Copy/print
the front page of the law review volume, if necessary to
establish the volume in which the article appears; and
(ii) Copy/print the entire introduction for the law review
article (or the first 15 pages, if the introduction is
cursory) [this is most easily done from HeinOnline when
the source is available there].
Pincite: (a) Copy/print the front page of the law review
volume, if necessary to establish the volume in which
the article appears (if you cannot locate the title page on
the intranet, you must print out a hard copy from the
bound volumes); and (b) Copy the page(s) cited, plus
ONE page before and after [this is most easily done from
HeinOnline when the source is available there].
VI. Books/Treatises
□ First, check books out to the appropriate carrel. (This is only
possible with Law Library books; for books from other UVA
libraries, check them out to your DE’s student identification
□ Copy the title page and anything else with publication
□ Copy the cited page(s) or sections, plus ONE page before and
ONE page after.
□ If it is a general citation to the book that you are unable to turn
into a pincite, copy the table of contents, introduction or first
chapter, plus any other pages that might be necessary to establish
substantive support.
□ If the book is on reserve at another library and cannot be brought
to the carrel, copy the entire chapter in which the pincite appears.
VII. Newspaper/Magazine Articles
□ The Law Library has the Washington Post and the New York
Times on microfilm. Many other newspapers and magazines are
on microfilm at Alderman Library and their availability is listed
□ Copy the full article and make sure that all citation information
is indicated; otherwise, copy the cover page (or other appropriate
page) to capture all of the needed citation information.
□ If no library has the newspaper or magazine that you need, use
the ILL service to request a photocopy of the pages you need.
Make sure you are very clear as to the exact citation information
(i.e. double-check the citation on Lexis or Westlaw).
□ As a last resort, print out the most obscure periodicals from
electronic databases, such as Lexis and Westlaw. Be careful,
because both these databases contain multiple editions of the
same day's paper. VLR has a strong preference AGAINST
internet citations to newspapers and magazines.
VIII. Legislative History
□ A good resource for finding official texts of recent (generally
from 1994 onwards) legislative history on the web is the General
Printing Office website at As long as
you find PDF files created from scans of the original, official
texts, you can upload this source to the intranet folder and print
the necessary pages for any pincite (including the first page/title
page and one page before AND after the pincite).
□ The Congressional Record and Senate and House Reports are
available in bound form and on microfiche at the Law Library;
these are not particularly easy to figure out, so get a reference
librarian to give you a lay of the land.
o Note that whenever possible you are to give parallel
citation to the permanent edition of the United States
Code Congressional and Administrative News
(U.S.C.C.A.N.). You must make a photocopy of this
□ Copy enough to make it clear that the form and substance are
correct. (For example, if the main text says that a particular
statement in the Senate was made on a certain date by a certain
Senator, make sure that enough pages are copied and cited to
make clear both the date and the name of the Senator).
IX. Administrative and Executive Materials
□ Pages 96–104 of the Bluebook detail the various sources of
administrative and executive materials. The vast majority of
these sources are available in bound form in the Law Library.
A number of recent executive branch materials (including the Code
of Federal Regulations, the Federal Register, Executive
Orders, and other Presidential papers) are available at As long as you find PDF files created
from scans of the original, official texts, you can upload this source
to the intranet folder and print the sufficient pages for any pincite
(including the first page/title page and one page before AND after
the pincite) to verify the substance and the form of the citation.
X. Treaties and other International Materials
□ Treaties: Look at the Bluebook to determine what citation
information is required. For instance, multilateral treaties where
the U.S. is a party require citation to both an official U.S. source
and an international source.
U.S. Sources: After ratification, U.S. treaties appear as
Senate Treaty Documents if they have been submitted to
the Senate for its advice or consent. Five to six years
later, U.S. treaties appear in "slip" form in Treaties and
Other International Acts Series (TIAS). Three or so
years after that, they finally appear in United States
Treaties and Other International Agreements (UST).
UST is preferred over TIAS, and TIAS is preferred over
Senate Treaty Documents.
o International Sources: The United Nations Treaty Series
(UNTS) continues the League of Nations Treaty Series
(LNTS), and is generally the best intergovernmental
source for international treaties.
Other International Sources: Generally, you should look to the
Bluebook for guidance as to the citation information that is
required. A good resource is the Law Library's international
reference librarian, Xinh Luu, but it is best to go to her with
some idea of what you are looking for.
XI. Internet Sources
□ VLR has a strong preference against internet citations. Many
times, an author has simply Googled a news item and listed the
first available internet citation. For news items, make your best
efforts to locate a credible newspaper article (see
“Newspaper/Magazine Articles above). To locate articles, try
the New York Times or Westlaw.
□ If the webpage is the only available source, print out the
webpage(s) with the relevant material, and mark on the copies
what date the site was visited.
□ But note: when a hard copy is reasonably available, internet
citations are not acceptable (ex. if a U.N. document is cited to a
webpage, find the actual U.N. document, and copy that instead).
XII. Material That Quotes or Cites to Other Sources and Parallel
□ Sources Citing Sources: When a citation cites one source
quoting or citing to another source, you must copy BOTH
sources and follow the appropriate copying rules for the second
source (ex. “Case A quoting Case B” Æ copy both cases).
□ Parallel Citations: When the Bluebook requires parallel
citations (this occurs occasionally for international sources), both
sources must be copied.
XIII. Supras & Infras to Other Parts of the Article Itself
□ If supra/infra cite is not to the piece itself, but to a source
previously cited in the piece, follow the citation rules to that
source (ex. see Angelette, supra note 14, at 12), follow the law
review copying rules, and do not follow this section.
□ If supra/infra cite is to the piece itself (ex. see supra note 9 and
accompanying text), leave a blank piece of paper in the
document box as a placeholder, with the fn. # in the corner, and
indicate what part of the piece is being referenced (i.e. “supra
note 9 and accompanying text”). Do not copy the portion of the
article being cited, but verify that the citation is correct.
XIV. Anything Else
□ Look at the Bluebook/Slatebook for citation form. This will tell
you what source to pull. Copy enough to make it clear to
yourself and other editors that the form and substance of the
citation information are correct.
Virginia Law Review Conventions:
In general, the Virginia Law Review follows the conventions
outlined in the 17th edition of the Bluebook. This Section outlines
where VLR conventions and Bluebook conventions differ and
provides clarifications of some of the more obscure Bluebook rules.
Where the Slatebook addresses a subject, the Slatebook governs. If a
topic is not covered in the Slatebook, follow the Bluebook.
Occasionally the Execs will clarify particularly troublesome rules via
The Slatebook conventions are organized by the Bluebook rule to
which they correspond (with parenthetical indications of the page
where each rule appears in the Bluebook). Refer to the quick
reference guide on the back cover, or the table of contents on the
inside front cover, to locate the Bluebook and Slatebook Rules. The
end of the Slatebook also has an index, much like that in the
Bluebook. Because the Slatebook is designed principally to point out
where VLR conventions differ from those of the Bluebook, it is
essential to look at the Bluebook in all areas. In other words, you
1. Look up the Bluebook rule for every citation when editing
and proofreading. Citations often fool you into thinking that
look like they are correct, but you won’t be sure until you
look it up!
2. Check the Slatebook for VLR Conventions changing the rule.
Changes, Additions, and Clarifications
This section includes all the rules where the VLR convention
changes or adds to the Bluebook. The rules in this section always
supersede the Bluebook. This section also provides elaboration or
additional examples for confusing or often misapplied Bluebook
Bluebook Rule 1.2: Introductory Signals (BB p. 22)
● Parentheticals after signals: Unlike the Bluebook, VLR
convention requires parenthetical explanations after the following
• cf.
• compare/with
• but cf.
VLR does not require a parenthetical after one of these signals if
the author is referencing the same piece (that is, “supra” and
“infra” cites to other parts of the same work). Parentheticals are
optional with all other signals.
● Signals as verbs. Spell out signals when they are used as verbs.
For example, “cf.” becomes “compare” and “e.g.” becomes “for
example.” When used in this way, information that would normally
be included as a parenthetical should be made part of the sentence
Ex. For a more in-depth discussion of this issue, see, for example,
David Reid, Why My GPA Is Better Than Yours, 70 Harv. L.
Rev. 223 (2000).
Bluebook Rule 1.3: Order of Signals (BB p. 24)
● Signals of the same basic type: String these together in one
citation sentence, separated by semicolons.
● Signals of different types: Separate by periods (that is, placed
in separate citation sentences).
○ Also be sure that the signals are in the correct order within
footnotes, as per the Bluebook rule.
Bluebook Rule 1.4: Order of Authorities (BB p. 25)
Make sure authorities in footnotes are properly ordered—this is a
very common mistake. Do not assume there is a substantive reason
for an unusual order; if there is, the DE will let you know.
Bluebook Rule 1.5: Parenthetical Information (BB p. 28)
Unless exceptional circumstances dictate, all parentheticals must
conform to one of the following formats:
(1) A clause beginning with a participle (providing a
paraphrased explanation of the source’s meaning);
Ex. Cf. Monifa Wright, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and
Love the Bluebook 543 (1995) (discussing the relative merits
of the Bluebook’s 17th and 18th edition rules for the use of
(2) A noun or noun phrase (generally appropriate only when the
source’s general relevance has already been explained);
Ex. The Notes Department typically becomes famous for their
ability to create complex bell curves and statistical models.
See, e.g., Mike Nemelka, Complex Methods in Editorial
Board Selection, 18 J.L. Soc’y 223 (1985) (bell curves); Brad
Ervin, Why Aren’t There More Ones on My Grade Chart?, 25
Yale L.J. 164 (1989) (models).
(3) A quoted sentence from the source (note that the final
punctuation from the quoted sentence is included in the
Ex. Cf. Kate Stanley, Marriage in Ten or Fifteen Years, reprinted
in Selected Stories 74, 74 (Catherine Cockerham trans.,
Penguin Books 1960) (1885) (“Everything in this world
improves: Swedish matches, operettas, locomotives, French
wines, and human relations.”).
(4) The word “same” or “similar” if the source is part of a string
cite and the first source after the signal has a full parenthetical.
Ex. See, e.g., Chad Bell, Overcommitment for Dummies, 90 Harv.
L. Rev. 627 (1988) (arguing that one can easily run peer
advising, be on Law Review, plan the Libel Show, and
realistically participate in about seventeen other different law
school organizations); Ann Robinson, Bring it on, 92 Yale L.J.
573 (1999) (same).
Bluebook Rule 2: Typefaces for Law Reviews
(a.k.a. VLR Italicization Conventions) (BB p. 30)
The Virginia Law Review does not follow the elaborate typeface
conventions of the Bluebook. Notwithstanding the use of typeface in
the Slatebook, in the VLR itself the following rules apply:
LARGE AND SMALL CAPITALS are used only for headings for Parts.
Bold face and underlining are never used.
Italicization is used only in the circumstances described below.
Note that italics are used differently in citations and textual
The difference between citations and textual material:
● A “citation” is any reference in a footnote that has a
signal (or “no signal,” according to Bluebook rule 1.2)
followed by a source.
● “Textual material” is anything that is not a citation,
whether it is in the footnotes or in the main text. Thus,
case names that are themselves part of sentences are
considered text, even in footnotes. Parentheticals are
also text. This rule is confusing to explain, so we hope
the following examples (and those throughout the
Slatebook) will clarify.
Kendrick v. Six Authors in Search of a Journal, 87 F.3d
372 (4th Cir. 1996) (distinguishing the case from Bress v.
Yale Law Journal, 85 F.3d 275 (4th Cir. 1995)).
The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the
district court’s decision in Nerd Herd v. Sexual
Chocolate, 95 F.3d 973 (4th Cir. 1998).
Bluebook Rule 2.1: [Italicization in] Citations (BB p. 30)
The following italicization rules apply exclusively to citations in
footnotes. (Textual material in footnotes and the main text is
governed by the next section.) If it’s not on this list, and it’s in a
citation, it should not be italicized.
● Case Names: The italicization of case names is governed by
the following principles:
(1) Never italicize case names when they are part of a full
See, e.g., Doffermyre v. Michigan Law Review, 98 F.3d 473
(4th Cir. 1998).
(2) Always italicize case names when used in a short citation.
Doffermyre, 98 F.3d at 478 (Attrep, J., concurring in part)
(noting that VLR publishes on time and is a light-edit journal).
● Other items that must be italicized in citations include:
(1) The phrase “____ in.” Common examples include
“reprinted in,” “quoted in,” and “cited in.”
Robert Lyman, The Inchoate Losses Utilized by the
Callipygian Jurisprudentialists, in Christine Kim,
Words You Probably Don’t Understand and Neither
Does Your Reader 486 (1999).
(2) The word “to” when citing to a preface, foreword,
introduction, or epilogue by someone other than the
authors according to rule 15.6;
See Andrew Gelfand, Introduction to Patricia
Freshwater, From Air Force to North Grounds: An
Unauthorized Biography of Brad Barlow 17 (2002).
(3) Words or phrases in the title of a book or an article that
are italicized in the original.
See Adam Steinbauer & A.J. Stephens, Larry Franklin’s
Chinese Corporate Finance Debunked 46 (1998).
Bluebook Rule 2.2: [Italicization in] Textual Material (BB p. 32)
Only the following should be italicized in textual material:
(1) All case names.
Ex. This situation is governed by Nelson v. Dallas Cowboys,16
which denied recovery for damages due to emotional
distress. . . .
The court in Nelson transformed the face of tort
(2) The names of books, journals, movies, plays, paintings, and
continuing television series (but not the name of particular
episodes of TV shows or song names).
Ex. Professor Diem Tran verified that Friends’ “The One With the
Prom Video,” accurately represents the mating behavior of
Ex. Professor James Tysse required his small section to purchase
his textbook, Surviving Law School on Slim Jims and String
(3) Equations (e=mc2).
(4) Individual letters, when used to represent the names of
hypothetical parties or places;
Ex. A formed a contract with B to purchase Blackacre, which is
located in state X.
(5) Words in quotations or titles that are italicized in the original
(note, though, that words italicized in the original and italicized
under one of the other Slatebook conventions should be in
Roman, because the two italicizations cancel each other out).
Ex. Steinbauer and Stephens’s Larry Franklin’s Chinese
Corporate Finance Debunked overturns traditional thinking…
(6) Words the author wants to emphasize (Editorial Board
members should mark these for the Departmental Editor’s
(7) Certain foreign words.
If the word is on the following list or is a variation of
one of the words therein, it should be in ordinary roman
type and NOT italicized.
Common foreign phrases: a fortiori, a posteriori, a priori,
amicus curiae, certiorari, de facto, de jure, dictum, ex ante,
ex post, mens rea, prima facie, res ipsa loquitur, stare
If the word is not on the above list or a variation of a
word on the above list, leave it (italicized or not) as the
author put it, and the Execs will make a final decision.
Bluebook Rule 4.2b: “Hereinafter.” (BB p. 43)
“Hereinafter” is generally only used when the same author is
cited multiple times in the same footnote or when the shortened form
would be confusing. VLR also allows use of “hereinafter” when
multiple pieces by the same author are cited extensively throughout
the text, even if the original citations are in different footnotes.
Note that the shortened form should appear in the same typeface
used in the full citation.
Ex. Proposed Amendments to the Slatebook: Hearings Before the
Virginia Law Review Subcommittee on Citation Management,
108th Cong. 92-93 (2002) [hereinafter Hearings].
Ex: Kendra Robins, The Secret Ceremonies of Commissioners
(2002); Kendra Robins, The Life of an Editor-in-Chief:
Finding Time for Four Hours of Sleep (2d ed. 2002)
[hereinafter Editor-in-Chief].
Bluebook Rule 5.3: Omissions and Ellipses in Quotations (BB p.
Please pay extra attention to ellipses. The Bluebook rules are
complicated and it is very important that ellipses are done correctly
at the initial edit and cite check stages. If you are not sure, please
come by the Executive Editors’ office for help.
Read the Bluebook rules carefully, then follow this process. The
Bluebook rules in parentheses contains an example of each.
1. Look at the quote in the piece. Is it used as a phrase or a full
a. Phrase – The omitted material should be represented with an
ellipsis (three periods). Punctuation within the omitted material
is not indicated, although there may be a comma immediately
before or after the omitted material that may be indicated. There
should be no 4-period ellipses when the quote is used as a
phrase. (BB 5.3(a))
b. Full Sentence – Compare the original source and the quote in the
piece to determine where the material is omitted from. The
material will be omitted from one of five places:
i. Beginning of the sentence (BB 5.3(b)(i))
Never use ellipses. If the first word is not capitalized in the
original, capitalize it and put it in brackets.
ii. Middle of a single sentence (BB 5.3(b)(ii))
Use a 3-period ellipsis.
iii. End of the sentence (BB 5.3(b)(iii))
This is when the material immediately preceding the final
punctuation is omitted. Put a space after the final quoted
word, followed by a 3-period ellipsis, and then the final
iv. After the end of the sentence (BB 5.3(b)(iv))
If the last word quoted is the last word of the sentence,
include the final punctuation, but no ellipses. If a sentence
ends, but there is more quoted material after the end of the
sentence, include the final punctuation and then the ellipses.
v. At the end of the sentence and after the sentence (BB
Use a 4-period ellipsis.
Bluebook Rule 5.4: Quotation Paragraph Structure (BB p. 47)
Follow the rules for the use of paragraph structure as
outlined in this Bluebook rule. Do not assume that you already know
the rules.
Most importantly, when you have a block quote, check to
see if the start of the block quote is the start of a paragraph in the
original. If it is, indent it. If it is not, do not indent it.
When the block quotation is placed in a textual paragraph in
the footnotes, it should set off from the rest of the text in block quote
If a quotation appearing in the footnotes is within a
parenthetical, the quotation is enclosed in quotation marks and not
otherwise set off from the rest of the text, regardless of its length.
Bluebook Rule 6.1: Abbreviations (BB p. 47)
● Format: Always use quotation marks within parentheses to
identify an abbreviation on its first reference in the piece.
Ex. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”)
● First Appearance: If the term is first used in a footnote that
precedes the first reference in the main text, introduce the
abbreviation again at the first main text reference.
● Organizational Names: Note the Bluebook rule provides that
organizational names may be abbreviated without periods only when
the entities “are commonly referred to in spoken language by their
initials rather than their full names.” Thus, “CIA” and “NASA” are
acceptable without periods, but the Western District of Virginia must
be abbreviated “W.D. Va.”
● Political Entities (e.g., “United States”): Use periods when
abbreviating the names of all political entities (for example, the
U.S., U.N., the E.U., and N.Y.). Such abbreviations may only be
used as adjectives; the abbreviations cannot be used as nouns.
“United States” may not be abbreviated in a case name.
Ex. The European Union announced a new trade agreement on
The E.U. trade agreement provides . . . .
Bluebook Rule 6.2: Numerals and Symbols (BB p. 49)
Numerals: Follow the Bluebook rules for deciding whether a
number should be spelled out or written as a numeral (rule 6.2(a), BB
p. 49), and for the use of dollar and percent symbols (rule 6.2(c), BB
p. 50).
Ex. Robert Prince embezzled $9 million from the Virginia Law
Review Association.
Jen Attrep collected the nine dollars in copyrights owed to the
Virginia Law Review Association.
● As stated in Bluebook Rule 6.2(a)(v), when percentages or
dollar amounts are repeatedly referred to within a Section, numerals
should be used for those percentages or amounts (see Slatebook p. 38
for the definition of a Section).
● Exception: When indicating the number of votes a court’s
opinion received, use the numerals separated by a hyphen. (“In
Brown, the Court surprisingly voted 9-0 to desegregate public
Symbols: VLR convention differs slightly from the Bluebook in its
treatment of section (§) and paragraph (¶) symbols. (BB p. 50)
● In the main text, spell out and capitalize the words “Section”
and “Paragraph” when referring to a specific part of a code or statute.
Ex. “The case was filed under Section 1983.”
● In footnote text and citations, the § or ¶ symbols should always
be used, except at the beginning of sentences (where the word must
be spelled out).
The case was filed under § 1983.
42 U.S.C. § 1983 provides a cause of action in similar
Section 1983 claims have increased over the years.
● Remember to make sure there is a non-breaking space after
either symbol.
Bluebook Rule 8: Capitalization (BB p. 51)
The VLR follows all of the capitalization rules in this section of
the Bluebook. Particularly note the treatment of “Commonwealth,”
“State,” “Federal,” and “the President” (as used to refer to the
office); mistakes are frequently made with these words.
Below are a few additional capitalization rules, which
supplement those given in the Bluebook.
(1) The terms Article, Essay, Book Review, Note, and so on (as
well as subdivisions such as Part and Section) should be
capitalized when used to refer to the piece itself. The terms
should not be capitalized when used to refer to another work or
subdivisions of another work.
Ex. The third Part of this Article will discuss Paul Rugani’s
seminal tract on the metaphors implicit in Superman: For
Stacie Boothe discusses the reasons why she enjoys page
proofing so much in the third part of her latest article.
(2) Do not capitalize “constitutional,” “governmental,”
“congressional,” “presidential,” and similar adjectives.
(3) Do not capitalize “government”: While “State” and
“Commonwealth” are capitalized when used to refer to litigants
in a suit, “government” should not be.
(4) Do capitalize references to foreign political units that are
capitalized in the native language. For example, “several German
Lander,” should be capitalized as in the native language.
(5) Capitalization of words in the titles of books, articles, and
similar materials should follow the original, to the extent that the
original provides such capitalization information. If the original
is unclear (if, for example, the Lexis/Westlaw version is in all
caps), follow the VLR default rule: Always capitalize the first
letter of the first word of any title, and the first letter of the first
word after a colon. Capitalize the first letter of every word in the
title as well, except for prepositions, articles, and conjunctions of
four letters or fewer (which should begin with lowercase letters).
Bluebook Rule 9: Names of Courts, Judges, and Professors (BB
p. 53)
● Judges and Justices: The Bluebook rule requires use of the
titles “Judge,” “Justice,” “Chief Judge,” and “Chief Justice.” Ed.
Board members should add the appropriate title whenever a
judge or justice is mentioned in the text.
○ Student authors should always use the honorific title
“Professor” when referring to professors’ work in their
Notes or Comments.
○ Other authors are encouraged to use it; Editorial Board
members should insert the honorific title if the biographic
material for the source’s author indicates that is appropriate.
Most importantly, be sure that this title is used consistently
(either give all professors a title, or don’t use the title at all).
Previous Jobs/Positions: Indicate, by reference to the former
title, when a justice, judge, or other person is mentioned in
regard to his or her previous position.
Ex. As then-Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote . . . .
Give the full name of a court the first time that court is
mentioned in the text.
Ex. The United States District Court for the Southern District
of New York awarded Brege $2 million in damages for
being forced to work in a termite-infested office.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Second
Circuit reversed.
Subsequent mentions of the same court may be
shortened so as to avoid ambiguity. (For these purposes, the
first mention of any one circuit court or district court is
considered to be the first reference for all subsequent circuit
courts or district courts; that is, following a first reference to
the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, it would be acceptable
to say “the Third Circuit” the first time that court is
If the first textual reference to a court occurs in the
footnotes before the first reference in the main text, use the
full name in both instances.
Bluebook Rule 10: Cases (BB p. 55)
The rules in the Bluebook govern. Note that the 18th edition of
the Bluebook’s T.6 has an expanded list of abbreviations for case
names in citations. The Bluebook also requires the abbreviation of
the first word of case names in citations. Please remember that the
words in T.6 are not abbreviated in textual material—including
parentheticals—but the abbreviations are used in citations.
Ex. See Litland v. Univ. of Va., 102 F. Supp. 2d 226 (2004)
(finding that under Philpott v. University of Virginia, 101
F. Supp. 2d 420 (2003), utter ignorance of flex exam
procedures is not a valid excuse for failing to take an
Bluebook Rule 10.2.1(h): Business Firm Designations (BB p. 61)
As the Bluebook rule states, omit “Inc.,” “Ltd.,” “N.A.,”
“F.S.B.,” and similar terms if the name of a party also contains
words such as “Ass’n,” “Bros.,” “Co.,” “Corp.,” “Ry.,” and “R.R.”
that clearly indicate that the party is a business firm. Additionally,
omit “Inc.” and “Ltd.” even where they are the only business
designations, whenever the name of the party itself clearly indicates
that it is a business.
Ex. United Van Lines v. Brooks Bros.
Not: United Van Lines, Inc. v. Brooks Bros., Ltd.
“Inc.” and “Ltd.” are always retained with one-word business
firm names, because, in theory, the one word might be a party’s last
Ex. Microsoft Corp. v. Albertson’s, Inc.
Not: Microsoft Corp. v. Albertson’s
“Ass’n,” “Bros.,” “Co.,” “Corp.,” “R.R.,” and “Ry.” are retained
in all circumstances.
Bluebook Rule 10.6: Parenthetical Information Regarding Cases
(BB p. 67)
Follow the Bluebook rule, with the following additions regarding
the treatment of concurrences and dissents.
● When an “id.” refers to the same case and to the same
opinion cited in the preceding citation, no parenthetical is necessary.
But when the “id.” refers to a different opinion (i.e., concurring or
dissenting), the fact must be indicated parenthetically, even if the
second opinion cited is the majority opinion. A series of footnotes
might read:
Yuengling Lager v. Samuel Adams, 580 U.S. 201, 204
Id. at 250, 253 (Hansel, J., concurring in part, dissenting
in part, and concurring in the judgment).
See id.
See id. at 204 (majority opinion).
Id. at 280 (Kier, J., dissenting).
Id. at 206 (majority opinion).
● Judges Joining an opinion: VLR generally only includes the
name of the judge or justice who wrote the dissenting or concurring
opinion, but in some cases the names of those who joined the opinion
are particularly important to the author’s point. In that case, the
author of the opinion should be first; the order of those who joined
the opinion should follow that used in the case:
Yuengling, 580 U.S. at 240 (Mahler, Schaffer, & Reid,
J.J., concurring in part, dissenting in part, and concurring in
the judgment).
● When the text of the opinion itself does not say whether the
opinion is a concurrence or a dissent, use the same format cited
above but retain the description used in the opinion. These alternate
descriptions are most likely to appear in citations to foreign courts.
Public Service v. Private Profit, 501 U.S. 23, 68 (1994)
(Short, J., separate opinion).
Broadway v. Dinner Theatre, 480 U.S. 142, 170 (1994)
(Allen, J., statement).
Bluebook Rule 10.7: Prior and Subsequent History (BB p. 68)
Do not italicize phrases dealing with subsequent and prior
histories. In all other respects, the Bluebook rule governs.
Bluebook Rule 10.9: Short Forms for Cases (BB p. 71)
● Bookman, 480 U.S. at 170: Although the Bluebook offers a
choice of short forms, the one we use is: Bookman, 480 U.S. at 170.
Id., of course, must be used where applicable under Bluebook rule
4.1 (BB p. 40).
● When case names first appear in the main text, we require a
footnote call immediately after the first sentence in which the case is
mentioned. If, in the same textual sentence, there appears a quotation
or other proposition for which the case is cited, be sure to include
pinpoint citation information as well.
Ex. In Robins v. Virginia Law Review Association the Supreme
Court of Virginia held that the 2004–2005 managing board
could, “as a matter of law, be held liable for the mono
epidemic.” 1
543 S.E.2d 587, 597 (Va. 1997).
Exception: When more than one case is introduced in the same
textual sentence, use “call cites” after the case names to provide
the basic citation information for the individual cases.
Ex: Chief Justice Marshall gained notoriety with his majority opinions
in Marbury v. Madison1 and McCulloch v. Maryland.2
5 U.S. (1 Cranch) 137 (1803).
17 U.S. (4 Wheat.) 316 (1819).
Exception: When the sentence asserts the author’s argument
rather than the holding of the case, use a footnote call
immediately after the case name.
Ex: The doctrine of judicial review pursuant to Marbury v. Madison1 is
long-established, but I believe that the case was wrongly decided.
5 U.S. (1 Cranch) 137 (1803).
● In the main text, use a case’s shortened name (generally, the
name of one of the parties) only when the case has already been
named in full in the same textual discussion (which we consider to
consist of the main text of the “Part”).
II. The Supreme Court’s Approach
The Court in Robins v. Trammell attempted to resolve the
conflict among the various circuits.3
A. Criticisms and Commentators
Many scholars have questioned the Court’s reasons for
granting certiorari in Robins.
III. New Directions
It is uncertain whether the Robins v. Trammell approach
will be followed in the future.24
● In footnotes, do not use a shortened name or a short form
citation unless the case has been either:
(1) named or cited in the last five footnotes, or
(2) previously named in the same textual discussion (that is, the
main text of the Part) to which the footnote is appended.
● Exceptions: All case names that appear anywhere in the main
text may be short-cited in the conclusion, and cases that are the focus
of the piece should be short-cited throughout, after the first main text
Bluebook Rule 12.3: Statutes: Current Official and
Unofficial Codes (BB p. 78)
As the Bluebook states, “Cite to the official code whenever
possible.” For federal laws cite to the U.S.C. unless the law is too
recent to have been codified there. For state laws, cite to the state
code in the law library (though this code often is not the official
Always be sure to check the code’s supplement. (For citations to
the U.S.C., check the U.S.C.A. and its supplement, since the U.S.C.,
which was last updated in 2000, does not have a supplement.)
Legislators have joined in a dark, cabalistic conspiracy to amend and
repeal laws on a regular basis. Your law may be next.
Bluebook Rule 12.5: Statutes: Secondary Sources (BB p. 83)
Be aware that U.S.C.C.A.N., which is mentioned in this rule and
in rules 13.4 and 14.7(b), was, in an earlier incarnation, the U.S.
Congressional Service. Make sure that you check the volume’s spine
carefully to ensure that the citation is to the correct name. Otherwise,
follow the rule.
Bluebook Rule 12.6: Statutes: Repeal, Amendment, and Prior
History (BB p. 84)
When the author cites an early version of a law that has later
been amended or repealed, this later history should be included in the
citation. This means that most citations to statutes must be checked
for subsequent history. Because this is a pain, laws passed before
1900 (most notably the Judiciary Act of 1789) are exempt from this
rule unless the subsequent history is relevant to the author’s point.
Bluebook Rule 12.8.1: Internal Revenue Code (BB p. 85)
The Bluebook suggests that in citations to the Internal Revenue
Code, one “may” replace “26 U.S.C.” with “I.R.C.” In recognition of
the fact that the IRS itself is not exactly known for its leniency, VLR
convention says one must use I.R.C. instead.
Bluebook Rule 12.9: Short Forms for Statutes (BB p. 89)
Follow the short forms indicated in the Bluebook (pp. 89–90),
with the following exception: U.S. Code provisions may be
shortened simply to their section number (for example, “Section
1983” or “§ 1983”), so long as the volume number and code are clear
by context.
Remember that the word “Section” should be abbreviated to “§”
in footnote citations & footnote text (Slatebook p. 22).
When statutes are first named in the main text, put a footnote call
immediately after the statute’s name; this footnote (or “call cite”)
should provide a citation to the entire statute. The name of the
statute should be given if the author is referencing the entire statue as
opposed to a discrete section.
Ex: Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, 18 U.S.C. §
1962 (2000).
If in the same textual sentence there appears a quotation or other
proposition for which the statute is cited, another footnote call should
appear at the end of the sentence; this footnote should take the form
of “Id. § ___.”
Note: the DE’s may, after consultation with the author and
Execs, remove these call cites if (1) the textual discussion only
discusses a case’s or book’s interpretation of the statute and (2) the
statute is clearly cited within the source discussed by the author.
Ex: The Gun Free School Zones Act,1 invalidated in United States v.
Lopez on Commerce Clause grounds, was intended to protect
schoolchildren from gun-related violence.2
Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990, Pub. L. 101-647, 104 Stat. 4844
(previously codified at 18 U.S.C. § 922).
514 U.S. 549 (1995).
Ex: United States v. Lopez held that the Gun Free School Zones Act
was an unconstitutional use of federal power to protect school children
from gun-related violence. 1
514 U.S. 549 (1995).
Bluebook Rule 13.3: Legislative Materials: Hearings (BB p. 93)
As suggested by the examples given in the Bluebook (although
not the text itself), always identify the speaker for any citation to a
Ex. The Use of Ouija Boards in Selecting Law Review Articles:
Hearings on H.R. 334 Before the House Committee on
Improving Legal Scholarship, 182d Legis., 1st Reg. Sess. 45
(Pa. 1998) (statement of Alan Trammell, policy analyst).
Otherwise, follow the Bluebook rule.
Bluebook Rule 13.5: Debates (BB p. 95)
As with hearings, always identify the speaker for any citation to
a debate. Otherwise, follow the Bluebook rule.
Bluebook Rule 14: Administrative and
Executive Materials (BB p. 96)
The Bluebook’s treatment of administrative materials is, quite
frankly, abysmal. If you encounter an administrative source that does
not correspond to any of the documents listed below or in the
Bluebook, just take a deep breath and give it your best shot,
remembering always that the point of a citation is to enable a reader
to find the original source. When in doubt, include more helpful
information rather than less. Who knows? Someday, future VLR
members might see your suggestion here (wouldn’t that be exciting).
Bluebook Rule 14.2: Rules, Regulations, and
Other Publications (BB p. 97)
Federal Register materials
In addition to the “final rules” and “proposed rules” discussed by
the Bluebook in rule 14.2, lots of other things seem to be published in
the Federal Register as well. We’re not quite sure what all these
things are, but we do know how we cite them: by title (even if very
long), followed by the regular Federal Register citation information
shown in rule 14.2.
Ex. Request for Proposed Standards for Unrelated Allogeneic
Peripheral and Placental/Umbilical Cord Blood Hematopoietic
Stem/Progenitor Cell Products; Request for Comments, 63
Fed. Reg. 2985, 2986 n.5 (1998).
Cord Blood Stem Cells: Discussion of Procedures for Preparation and Storage; Notice of Public Workshop, 60 Fed. Reg.
58,088 (1995).
Comments and Letters
Individuals and entities that may be affected by a proposed
administrative rule often submit comments and letters to the agency
for it to consider during the rulemaking process. The agencies
generally keep the materials on file under a specific docket number.
These comments and letters are unpublished; therefore, copies
should be obtained from the author or agency to keep on file at the
VLR office. In the past, we have cited such materials in accordance
with the following examples.
Ex. Jennifer L. Attrep, Vice President and General Manager,
Cellcor, Inc., Comments for Public Meeting before FDA on
Proposed Approach to Regulation of Snacks in the Law
Review Office, Docket No. 97N-0068 (Mar. 17, 1997) (on file
with FDA and the Virginia Law Review Association).
Letter from Sarah Teich, Senior Vice President, OsteoTech
Inc., to FDA concerning Docket No. 97N-0068 (June 16,
1997) (on file with FDA and the Virginia Law Review
Bluebook Rule 14.6: SEC Materials (BB p. 102)
When citing SEC materials, cite to both the Federal Register and
the Federal Securities Law Reports (instead of following the
Bluebook, which only requires citation to one of the two). We
parallel cite for the following reason: The Federal Register is
accessible to everyone, but SEC practitioners have easier access to
the service reporter.
Ex. Exchange Act Release No. 12,345, 77 Fed. Reg. 586 (1985),
reprinted in [1984–1985 Transfer Binder] Fed. Sec. L. Rep.
(CCH) ¶ 81,098, at 81,222 (Feb. 28, 1985).
In all other respects, follow the Bluebook rule.
Bluebook Rule 15.4: Edition, Publisher, and Date (BB p. 110)
Follow the Bluebook rule. Note particularly that there is always a
comma after the abbreviation of “editor” to “ed.”, but never a comma
after the abbreviation of “edition” to “ed.”
There will normally be only two situations where a work’s
publisher will need to be cited: a work that has been published by
someone other than the original publisher per Rule 15.4(a)(iii) and
works published before 1900 per Rule 15.4(c).
Ex. A.J. Stevens, The Frustrations of Designing an Intranet for the
Technologically Challenged 129–53 (Kendra Robins ed.,
Penguin Books 2d ed. 2005).
Ex. Lindsay Buchanan, Aging Beautifully Through the Ages 129–
53 (Monifa Wright ed., Cambridge Univ. Press 1975) (1875).
Bluebook Rule 15.5: Shorter Works in Collection (BB p. 112)
General reminder: Always indicate the page on which a shorter
work in collection begins the first time you cite it. If citing to that
page, give the number twice.
Ex. Chris Termini, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Playing Bass
Guitar, in Preparing for the Libel Show 251, 251 (Katherine
Allen ed., 2004).
Bluebook Rule 15.8.2: Short Forms for Shorter Works in
Collection (BB p. 116)
General reminder: Remember to use supra appropriately as
described on Bluebook pages 116 and 117.
If a shorter work in a collection has been cited previously, supra
to the shorter work only; no further supra is necessary for the
Eben Hansel, A Night of Ridiculously Heavy Drinking or an
Evening of Exec Page-Proofing?, in How to Push the Limits
of Your Own Mortality, 14, 28–29 (2000).
Hansel, supra note 24, at 32.
If the collection has been cited previously, but a particular
shorter work in the collection has not, use the supra for the earlier
cite to the collection.
See generally Cite Checks, the Law Review, and You
(Lindsay Buchanan ed., 2004).
See Stacie Boothe, The Bluebook is Your Friend, in Cite
Checks, the Law Review, and You, supra note 23, at 156, 173.
Bluebook Rule 16: Periodical Materials (BB p. 117)
General reminder #1: Always indicate the page on which a
periodical article begins the first time you cite it. If citing to that
page, give the number twice. Newspapers have a unique page
number rule, however, so look to Bluebook Rule 16.5 for guidance
when citing them.
General reminder #2: Always refer to Bluebook Tables T.11 and
T.14 when abbreviating periodical names. You’ll be surprised what’s
Bluebook Rule 16.3: Consecutively Paginated Journals
and Magazines (BB p. 119)
For works found within periodicals that are consecutively
paginated throughout an entire volume (like most law review
articles) follow this rule. When using HeinOnline, however, please
refer to the title page of the article (and/or the issue in which the
article appears) to determine the article’s actual year of publication.
That is, if the footer on the HeinOnline PDF contains a two-year date
span, please look to the date at the top of the article’s title page.
Bluebook Rule 16.4: Nonconsecutively Paginated Journals
and Magazines (BB p. 119)
Look out for journals that are separately paginated within each
issue, and cite them appropriately under this rule.
There is one perennial problem of which you should be aware:
The American Economic Review, which is published in standard
paginated volumes, has a separate annual issue—typically, and
confusingly, bound in the regular volumes—containing their Papers
and Proceedings. We generally have cited it:
76 Am. Econ. Rev. (Papers & Proc.) 323, 323 (1986).
Additionally, there exists at least one journal (the Justice System
Journal) which is separately paginated, but, oddly enough, does not
have any date indication other than the year—just the volume and
issue numbers. We have cited it:
17 Just. Sys. J., Issue 5, at 89, 98 (1995).
Bluebook Rule 17.1: Unpublished Materials (BB p. 126)
We try to put unpublished materials on file in the VLR office
before the relevant issue is published. Additionally, Departmental
Editors always try to get at least oral permission from the
unpublished source’s author to cite or quote the source.
As indicated in the Bluebook rule, most unpublished source
citations include a parenthetical which explains where the material
can be found. The parentheticals we use are: (unpublished
manuscript, on file with the Virginia Law Review Association) or
(on file with the Virginia Law Review Association), depending on
what the Bluebook citation form calls for.
Note that “Virginia Law Review Association” is not italicized,
since it refers to the name of the corporation, not the journal itself.
Bluebook Rule 17.2: Forthcoming Publications (BB p. 128)
Follow the citation conventions of the Bluebook. Editorial Board
members should bring these sources to the attention of the
Departmental Editors, so the Departmental Editors can phone the
journals to ask for correct citation information and/or copies of the
article. (The Execs or Departmental Editors will continue to check
for this information, if necessary, up to the time the pages are sent to
the printers.)
Bluebook Rule 18: Electronic Media and Other Nonprint
Resources (BB p. 129)
When citing Internet sources we follow the general rules put
forth in the Bluebook, which are virtually unintelligible. This section
is intended to explain and simplify the rules for the citation of
Internet sources.
● Traditional Source Accessed, Parallel Cite to Internet: “available at”
As a general rule, if a source is available via traditional sources,
those traditional sources must be cited.
When a traditional source is available and that traditional source
is accessed, the traditional citation may be supplemented by a
parallel citation to the Internet following the explanatory phrase
“available at”:
Clara Vondrich, Office Decorating Tips, N.Y. Times, June 16,
2005, at D3, available at
Kendra Robins, The Four Hundred Seventy-three Habits of Highly
Effective People Who Are Forced to Work With Less Effective
People (2001), available at
Date: The citation should provide a date for the traditional
source according to the rule applicable to the traditional source. This
means that the date for the traditional source will precede the citation
to the Internet. A date for the Internet source is not necessary but
may be included whenever such information will assist the reader.
● Source Only Available on Internet: “at”
If a source is available only on the Internet, it is still best to cite
it (insofar as is possible) according to the rule which governs
traditional sources of the same general type. Thus, an article found
in an online journal would be governed by the forms and conventions
governing traditional magazine or journal articles.
When material is found exclusively on the Internet, use the
explanatory phrase “at”:
Leslie Kendrick, How to Skip Class, Read Literature, Follow
Current Events and Still Succeed in Law School: Lessons from a
Master, at (last accessed April 13,
Olivia Wang, How to Use Instant Messenger, Surf the Web, and
Still Take Good Notes in Class: Lessons from a Master, 5 Va. J.L.
& Tech., ¶ 6 (June 30, 2004), at
Date: The citation must provide a date for the Internet source,
before the URL in the case on an online journal and after the URL in
● Traditional Source Available, Only Internet Accessed
When a traditional source is available, but the traditional source
is not accessed (because completely unavailable), the traditional
citation must be supplemented by a parallel citation to the Internet
using no explanatory phrase:
Chris Termini, Bass Licks for Masters, 83 Yale J.L. & Music 663
Before using this citation form, Editorial Board members should
make every effort to find and cite traditional sources. For example,
Newspapers and Magazines should always be accessed in the
traditional form. If a hardcopy or microfilm copy is not available in
the Law Library, such sources are almost always available at one or
more of the other libraries in the University of Virginia System (for
example, Alderman and Clemons). If a good faith effort fails to
produce the traditional source, we assume the author used the
Internet source as well.
Date: When available, there should be a date provided for the
traditional source, according to the rule applicable to the traditional
source. A date for the Internet source may be included whenever
such information will assist the reader. Again, if there is only a
citation to the Internet, the date should be provided after the URL,
whether the date the work was created/published or, if that is
unavailable, the date it was last accessed: “last accessed.”
● Dates Generally
The date provided should be one of the following, in order of
preference: the date of the case, statute, article, or other material as
specified in the information itself; the date the Internet site was last
modified, using the terminology provided by the Internet provider; or
the date the Internet site was last visited to confirm the presence and
location of the information.
The nature of the date provided should be stated in the date
parenthentical. Ex: (last accessed Dec. 25, 2004).
Some Additional Points of Style and Grammar
Internal References to the Piece
Articles, Essays, Book Reviews, Notes, and so on should refer to
themselves in the future tense in the Introduction.
Ex. This Note will discuss the significance of the Court’s latest
opinion on . . . .
Generally, an Article, Essay, or Note should refer to itself in the
present tense once it is past the Introduction.
Ex. This Part shows how . . . .
Subdivisions of pieces designated by Roman numerals are
referred to as “Parts”; all other, smaller subdivisions should be called
“Sections.” Internal references should be capitalized, but external
references should not.
Ex. The third Part of this Note will discuss the incoherent thesis of
Professor Ervin’s article.
Grammar, Punctuation, and Word Choice
This Section provides a quick reference list for some recurrent
grammar and style issues that past and present Managing Boards
have considered. If you want an answer to a question that’s not
addressed by this list or the Bluebook, note that the Government
Printing Office Manual is the penultimate authority on most
grammar and style issues. (The ultimate authority is a proclamation
of the Executive Editors.) The Chicago Manual of Style, Strunk &
White’s The Elements of Style, and Fowler’s A Dictionary of Modern
English Usage can also be helpful. All of these guides can be found
in the Executive Editors’ office.
(1) Complex nouns: Usage is generally situational; note,
however, that we use “decisionmaker” and “policymaker” rather
than “decision maker” and “policy maker.”
(2) Contractions: Contractions are generally inappropriate in the
(3) First person: Student note authors are strongly discouraged
from using the first person. Other authors may use it as they see
(4) “However” and “but”: “However” should almost never
appear at the beginning or end of a sentence; it should generally
appear after the word or phrase that provides the basis for
contrast. Use “but” to begin sentences sparingly.
(5) Hyphens and prefixes: Generally, hyphens are unnecessary
unless their absence would result in ambiguity. We generally omit
the hyphen after “anti,” “pro,” “non,” and most other prefixes.
“Self-,” “quasi-,” and “well-,” however, are usually hyphenated.
If lack of a hyphen would lead to confusion (for example, “recall” vs. “recall”) or awkwardness (for example, “anti-male” vs.
“antimale”), use the hyphen. The following “rule” may be of
some help.
The Stroh’s hyphenation rule: When using two words as a
unitary modifier, generally use a hyphen. However, when the
modifier is a past participle (the two-word modifier will be
preceded by a form of the verb “to be”), there is no hyphen.
This is more easily explained by an illustration: “fire-brewed
beer” (beer brewed over a fire) but “this beer is fire brewed.”
But do not use a hyphen when the first word of the unitary
modifier is an adverb ending in “-ly” (for example, “highly
qualified editor”).
When “century” is used as part of an adjectival phrase
(“Mike Nemelka is a twenty-first-century renaissance
man.”), the phrase is hyphenated. When used as a noun
(“Pat Noonan’s favorite ball club last swept the World
Series in the early twenty-first century.”), it is not.
When writing ages, hyphenate “year-old” (“Martin
Totaro has a twelve-year-old bottle of scotch on his desk
for ‘emergencies.’”).
(6) Hyphens and dashes:
• Use hyphens for compound words and adjectives as
noted above (for example, “The free-form sculpture,
‘The Lovely Pamela Bookman,’ stood defiantly in the
town square.”).
Use the en-dash, a slightly longer version of the hyphen
to indicate continuing or inclusive numbers, dates, time,
or reference numbers (for example, 1968–72; Id. at 38–
42). Use a regular hyphen for section numbers or other
hyphenated numbers that do not indicate a range (for
example, M.G.L. § 38-10).
Use the em-dash, a significantly longer version of the
hyphen to set off amplifying, explaining, and digressive
elements (for example, Andrew—an unskilled but
occasionally lucky pool player—somehow survived the
first round).
(7) Split infinitives: Use the split infinitive sparingly, when the
sentence needs extra stress on the adverb. The most important
rule for split infinitives is to follow your ear. As The Elements of
Style says, “Some infinitives seem to improve on being
split . . . .”
(1) Colons: Use only one space after a colon. Capitalize the first
letter of the word after the colon when what follows would be a
complete sentence if it were standing alone and is not a mere
amplification of the material before the colon.
(2) Decades: “1980s,” not “1980’s.”
(3) Lists and series: The preferred comma usage is “X, Y, and
Z,” not “X, Y and Z.” The same rule is used for other
(4) Parentheses: Leave a space between right and left
Ex. Loatman v. Teich, 547 U.S. 357 (1994) (Totaro, J.,
(5) Quotation marks: Commas and periods go inside quotation
marks, colons and semicolons outside.
(6) Apostrophes: The possessive of singular nouns is formed by
the addition of an apostrophe and an s, the possessive of plural
nouns (except for a few irregular plurals) by the addition of an
apostrophe only. The only exceptions are too few to mention and
will be fixed by the Execs (if anyone cites, for example, to
Ex. The horse’s mouth
Congress’s perks
the puppies’ tails
the editors’ ire
(7) Footnote calls: Place after commas, semicolons, colons,
periods, and quotation marks, but before dashes and ellipses.
Place outside parentheses unless referring only to material within
the parenthetical.
Word Choice
(1) “Guaranty” or “guarantee”: Use the first when referring to
a right afforded by a legal provision (for example, “constitutional
guaranty” or “guaranties”), use the second when referring to
guaranteed loans or when using the word as a verb (for example,
“Ryan Schaffer guarantees that VaSE is the second-best journal
at UVA.”).
(2) “Legitimate” or “legitimize”: The first is an adjective, the
second a verb.
(3) “Alternate” or “alternative”: The first is used in the sense
of “every other” or “replacement,” the second in the sense of
other available paths. (The more common error is to use
“alternate” where “alternative” is needed.)
(4) “Which” or “that”: We painstakingly limit our usage of
“which” to introducing nonrestrictive clauses, which follow a
comma. For restrictive (that is, no-comma) clauses, use “that.”
For example: “The Virginia Law Review, which is published
eight times a year, is the only legal periodical that publishes a
cartoon issue.” In contrast: “The only journal that publishes a
cartoon issue is the Virginia Law Review.”
(5) “Whether”: Delete the words “or not” from the phrase
“whether or not” where possible. (Retain “or not” when the
phrase is used to mean “regardless of whether.”)
(6) “I.e.” or “that is” and “e.g.” or “for example”: In textual
sentences, whether in the text or in a footnote, we prefer the
second, English form. There are enough unintelligible Latin
phrases in legal writing that we can improve a piece aesthetically
with this simple rule.
(7) “On the one hand” must precede “On the other hand”: Many
authors tend to use the “other hand” all by itself. When reminded
that one hand comes before the other, they usually relent.
(8) “Impact”: When used as a verb, “to impact” refers to
physical contact (think car accidents), but as a noun it can be
used to mean “effect.” In other words, the Supreme Court
opinion cannot have impacted the legislators (unless the opinion
fell on their toes), but it may have had an impact on the
Formatting Tips for Departmental Editors
Nonbreaking Spaces: Ellipses
The spaces within any ellipsis (whether three or four periods in
length) should be nonbreaking spaces. (Departmental Editors should
note that nonbreaking spaces can be typed in Microsoft Word by
pressing ctrl-shift and the space bar at the same time.) Similarly, the
space between the word preceding an ellipsis and the ellipsis itself
should be a nonbreaking space. That is, the ellipsis is attached to the
word that comes before it. The space after the ellipsis should be a
regular space. This allows text lines to break after an ellipsis, while
preventing an ellipsis (or worse, part of an ellipsis) from starting a
new line of text.
A nonbreaking space must be used between a § or ¶ and the
numbers that follow, to prevent a line break from separating the two.
Nonbreaking spaces can be typed in Word by pressing ctrl-shift and
the space bar together, or by going to InsertÆSymbolsÆSpecial
Characters and selecting the appropriate symbol.
As noted above, the en-dash is used for continuing or
inclusive numbers, dates, times, or reference numbers. An en-dash
can be formed in MS Word by pressing Ctrl at the same time as the
hyphen key on the number keypad.
As also noted above, the em-dash is used to set off
amplifying, explaining, and digressive elements. An em-dash can be
formed in MS Word by pressing Ctrl+Alt at the same time as the
hyphen key on the number keypad.
When using supra or infra to refer to another footnote or
footnotes in the piece, it is imperative that you insert a crossreference rather than just type in the number. This means replacing
all existing jump cites with cross-references. This will save time in
the long run because the cite will then automatically update when
new footnotes or added or others deleted. To insert a cross-reference,
got to InsertÆCross-referenceÆFootnote and click on the
appropriate footnote. Note that supra and infra should only be used
below the line.
Id., 26, 27, 30
Internal cross-references, 38
Italicization, 16, 17, 18, 27
Justice System Journal, 34
Justices, names and titles, 24
Justices, opinions, 26
Legislative materials, debates,
Legislative materials, hearings,
MS Word formatting shortcuts,
Nonbreaking spaces, 43
Paragraph symbol, 22
Parallel citations, 32
Parentheticals, 15, 16, 26
Part, 38
Periodicals, 33
Periodicals, annual issues, 34
Periodicals, nonconsecutively
paginated, 34
Quotations, 21
SEC materials, 32
Section symbol, 22, 29
Short forms, cases, 17, 27
Short forms, statutes, 29
Signals, 14
Subdivisions, 38
Typeface, 16, 17, 18
U.S.C., U.S.C.S., 28
U.S.C.C.A.N., 29
Unpublished materials, 34
Abbreviations, 21, 33
Abbreviations, cases, 25
Administrative materials, 31
comments and letters, 31
American Economic Review, 3
Books, 32
Capitalization, 22, 23–24
Comments and letters to
rulemaking agencies, 31
Courts, 23
Cross-references, internal, 14,
Debates, 31
Edition, 32
Editor, 32
Em-dashes, 38, 39, 43
En-dashes, 38, 39, 43
Federal Register, 31
Footnote and text interaction,
16, 21, 25, 27, 29, 40
Footnote calls, 27, 40
Forthcoming publications, 35
Hearings, 30
Hereinafter, 19
History, prior and subsequent,
cases, 27
History, prior and subsequent,
statutes, 28, 29
Honorifics, 24
Hyphens, 39
I.R.C., 29