Blue Book or Yellow Book for Legal Citation Format?

Timothy Kowal, Esq.
September 2, 2022

Legal writing and editing nerds, you may have opinions on this. Benjamin Shatz sounds off on whether the Blue Book or the Yellow Book is the superior form of legal citation.

Ben’s answer: It’s a ridiculous question. There is no such thing as a “superior” citation format. Just an appropriate format: If you are in federal court, use the Blue Book. If you are in California court, use the Yellow Book.

And if you want to stick out like a sore thumb, do the opposite.

Watch the clip here .

This is a clip from episode 36 of the California Appellate Law Podcast. The full episode is available here.

Tim Kowal helps trial attorneys and clients win their cases and avoid error on appeal. He co-hosts the Cal. Appellate Law Podcast at, and publishes a newsletter of appellate tips for trial attorneys at His appellate practice covers all of California's appellate districts and throughout the Ninth Circuit, with appellate attorneys in offices in Orange County and Monterey County. Contact Tim at or (714) 641-1232.