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I am a forensic psychologist who happens to prefer Bluebook citation style over APA style. I mention this fact because while I have some experience using Bluebook citation style, it pales in comparison to the experience and knowledge of most of you.

I use the online Bluebook (20th ed.). I have read Rule 10 - Cases (p. 94 in the print version) several times. But I am not sure how to cite a published decision from the Court of Federal Claims. Here is my best guess, which I assume contains errors:

See: QTC Medical Services, Inc. v. United States, Fed. Cl., No. 17-80C, Memorandum Opinion and Order, filed under seal 23 June 2017; reissued for publication 12 July 2017.

The court decision is at https://ecf.cofc.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/show_public_doc?2017cv0080-69-0 (PDF)

Please let me know what I need to change to make this citation correct.

  • If one of you would create a tag for bluebook and maybe one for cite or citation, that would probably be helpful for searching and such. – Mark D Worthen PsyD Jul 31 '17 at 17:39
  • Ask and ye shall receive! – Zizouz212 Jul 31 '17 at 17:43
  • Services should be Servs. I do not know that you need both dates, especially because there was no material change (or in this case, redaction) made between each. Because it would probably get listed in a reporter on the date of "reissued for publication," I think you would just go with that date. Also, are you citing a specific quote or info from a specific part of the decision? If so, you would need a pincite to that page #. This is probably too recent to be in a reporter, so you'd also need the website at the end, I believe. – A.fm. Jul 31 '17 at 19:40
  • @A.fm. - Thank you very much. Makes good sense to me! :0) – Mark D Worthen PsyD Jul 31 '17 at 20:35
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Reissued for publication doesn't come up very often and I don't believe that there is a specific rule for it, so there is a certain amount of discretion in how that is stated. I would cite it as follows:

QTC Medical Servs., Inc. v. United States, No. 17-80C, 17-83C (Ct. Cl. June 23, 2017) reissued for publication (July 12, 2017).

The date of a case is ordinarily the date that it is decided.

If you were making a pin point cite to the seventh page of the case, you would add:

QTC Medical Servs., Inc. v. United States, No. 17-80C, 17-83C, slip op. at 7 (Ct. Cl. June 23, 2017) reissued for publication (July 12, 2017).

Either way, the citation would have to be updated when it was reported in an official reporter or on Westlaw or Lexis if you had access to those sources.

As of July 31, I was not able to locate a citation to this particular case in an official reporter, which usually lags a few months.

I don't have access to Lexis and I'm not sure that this search would be within my plan on Westlaw, so I haven't confirmed either of those (I usually use a "budget" legal research system called "Casemaker").

  • If I'm not mistaken, "Ct. Cl." refers to Court of Claims Reports, published 1863–1982. I used "Fed. Cl." per Bluebook table T1.1 - Federal Judicial and Legislative Materials (p. 233). However, that abbreviation refers to the Federal Claims Reporter, published by Thomson Reuters. The Wikipedia article on the court states "(in case citations, Fed. Cl. or C.F.C.)." On the other hand, Bluebook table T7 - Court Names lists "Fed. Cl." for the court. {continued...} – Mark D Worthen PsyD Aug 1 '17 at 2:19
  • I looked up a recent Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit case to see how they were doing it. In a recent case, MENDEZ v. US, I noticed three things: i) In the text, they abbreviated Court of Federal Claims as "CFC"; ii) If a CFC decision has been published in the Federal Claims Reporter, they cite as follows (example): "Mendez v. United States (Mendez I), 103 Fed. Cl. 370, 374 (2012)". iii) If a CFC decision has not been published in the Federal Claims Reporter {continued...} – Mark D Worthen PsyD Aug 1 '17 at 2:48
  • {continued from above comment...} they cite to Westlaw (example): "Mendez v. United States (Mendez IV), No. 11-160C, 2014 WL 2772590, at *1 (Fed. Cl. June 18, 2014)." Note in that example that the parenthetical abbreviation for the court is "Fed. Cl.", which is consistent with Bluebook's instructions (although Bluebook could explain it with greater clarity and precision). – Mark D Worthen PsyD Aug 1 '17 at 2:56
  • So, I'm thinking this might be correct: QTC Medical Servs., Inc. v. United States, No. 17-80C (Fed. Cl. June 23, 2017), published July 12, 2017, ecf.cofc.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/show_public_doc?2017cv0080-69-0 . What do you all think? – Mark D Worthen PsyD Aug 1 '17 at 3:03
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    Yeah I'm looking at the 19th edition, don't have the 20th. Go with what the 20th, or the most recent at any time you are writing, says. Not that the Bluebook system is anything but arbitrary decisions made by law students, but I suppose your goal is to get your article published not stick it to the system ;) – A.fm. Aug 1 '17 at 16:39

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