Friday, December 15, 2017

Bluebook Quick Tip: Case Name when Law Firm is Party to Litigation

large__5129607997A question raised occasionally is how to cite a party’s name under Bluebook Rule 10 when the party’s name is composed of many names (e.g., a law or accounting firm). A brief survey of law review articles citing such cases revealed that many journals are unsure of the answer as well. The answer, as it happens, is buried in Rule 10.2.1(a).

Rule 10.2.1(a) tells us that we should “not omit . . . any portion of a partnership name”; therefore, the full firm name is used in the case name.  The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation R. 10.2.1(a), at 90 (Columbia Law Review Ass’n et al. eds., 20th ed. 2015).


Hunt v. Dewey, Cheatam & Howe, P.A., 173 F.2d 854 (10th Cir. 2013).
Colodny v. Iverson, Yoakum, Papiano & Hatch, 936 F. Supp. 917 (M.D. Fla. 1996).


Hunt v. Dewey, 173 F.2d 854 (10th Cir. 2013).
Colodny v. Iverson, 936 F. Supp 917 (M.D. Fla. 1996).

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Comments: 2

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  • kevin

    what’s the word on leaving the business designation off? Dewey Cheatum and Howe, PLLC is probably correct not just Dewey Cheatum and Howe. BB 10.2.1(h). Its a partnership or a llc or a pllc and i feel like you should make sure the reader understands its a business entity

    • I agree with your interpretation. Particularly because the firm’s name doesn’t include one of the words noted in BB 10.2.1(h) as obviously indicating a business entity (e.g., “Ass’n, Bros., Co., Corp., or R.R”). Moreover, The Bluebook states that 10.2.1(h) should be narrowly construed to avoid confusion and that “[t]he omission of the business firm designation is only appropriate if the name of the business could not possibly be mistaken for the name of some other entity, such as a natural person.”

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