Yesterday, I posted a link to an interview I did with University of Oklahoma professor Darin K. Fox. The interview was done a few months ago, but there were delays in posting it online. Professor Fox has informed me that there is a new, improved rule in The Bluebook. Here's the update from Professor Fox, which I think is good news for lawyers.
"After we spoke about legal citations, a new edition of The Bluebook was released in May, 2010. The Pace Law Library prepared a helpful chart indicating the changes from the 18th to the 19th Editions of The Bluebook which can be found here: http://pacelawlibrary.blogspot.com/2010/06/changes-in-19th-edition-of-bluebook.html One of the key changes relates to Rule 18.2 on Internet Sources, which we discussed in the interview. The new Rule 18.2 addresses some of the issues I highlighted back in February. It is now acceptable for attorneys to cite to an Internet source as if it was the original print source in certain cases.
"Here’s the rule: 'When an authenticated, official, or exact copy of a source is available online, citation can be made as if to the original print source (without any URL information appended).'
"An 'exact copy' refers to a PDF file (or scanned page image) that preserves pagination and other attributes of the printed work. So, this permits citing to PDF files of cases on Westlaw and scanned version of journals on HeinOnline. As I mentioned in the previous interview, there is a need for states to make online versions of their statutes 'official.' Along these lines, The Bluebook now says 'Many states have begun to discontinue printed official legal sources, instead relying on online versions as the official resource for administrative or legislative documents.' Where a state government or the federal government designates an online version of the statutes or regulations as official, those may now be cited as if they were the print."