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College of Law

Florida State University

 

Florida Style Manual

Introduction

The Florida Style Manual is designed to aid practitioners and scholars in the proper use of citation form for legal documents and scholarly articles. The Manual supplements the uniform citation system for Florida legal documents, Rule 9.800, Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure, and the standard citation authority for American legal journals, The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (18th edition). The Manual is an outgrowth of the Florida State University Law Review's annual Review of Florida Legislation. From the conception of that project, the editors realized that citation to many Florida-specific sources-particularly those generated by the Florida Legislature-would lead to confusion if conventional Bluebook citation forms were followed. Other Florida sources were not addressed at all by The Bluebook. This Florida Style Manual provides meaningful citation forms for Florida-specific materials.

History 

The Florida Style Manual citation forms were first developed in 1985 by Floyd R. Self, the 1985 Legislative Editor, along with members of the Florida State University Law Review Volume 15 Editorial Board. The idea for the Manual developed as these Law Review editors realized that citation to many Florida-specific sources - particularly those generated by the Florida Legislature - would be rendered almost meaningless if conventional Bluebook citation forms were followed. Other Florida sources were not addressed at all by the Bluebook. The Florida Style Manual is the product of their struggle to develop meaningful citation forms for Florida materials.

This Manual is periodically updated to reflect the many changes that take place in the Legislature and state government over time. The ManuaI's first revision (the 1991 Edition) was coordinated by Marjorie C. Makar with the help of fellow Volume 19 members.

Stephanie L. Williams spearheaded the next revision (the 1995 Edition) as an editor of Volume 22. The 1995 Edition retained many of the same citation rules provided in the previous editions but was substantially restructured to cater to the needs of not just practitioners, but scholars as well.

James H. Wyman, Editor-in-Chief of Volume 24, coordinated the next revision in 1997, naming it the Fourth Edition. The Fourth Edition clarified some inconsistencies in an attempt to make the Manual a more valuable reference tool for drafting both legal documents and scholarly works. The Fourth Edition also incorporated examples of proper citation forms using the two typefaces commonly employed in legal and scholarly writing.

The Fifth Edition was published in 2002 by Volume 29, and the Sixth Edition came soon after in 2003. The Sixth Edition was coordinated by J.D. DuRant and Brooke Lewis of Volume 30 in order to correct some issues and update the Manual to conform with changes made to the 17th edition of The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation.

This Seventh Edition represents a coordinated effort from members of Volumes 34, 35, and 36 to update the Manual and make it more user-friendly. While many of the substantive citation rules remain unchanged, the format of the Seventh Edition has been substantially modified in an attempt to improve readability and enhance functionality. Additionally, the text of Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.800 has been added to the manual for convenient reference. The organizers of this new edition, Rachel E. Nordby, Alyssa S. Lathrop, and Amanda L. Swindle, the Editors-in-Chief for Volumes 35, 36, and 37, respectively, wanted to give practitioners and scholars a valuable, comprehensive tool that is straightforward and easy-to-use. We hope we have accomplished this mission.

How to Use This Manual

This Manual is designed to be a "user friendly" resource for practitioners and scholars, providing proper citation form for Florida materials. It supplements the uniform citation system for Florida legal documents, Rule 9.800, Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure, and the standard citation authority for American legal journals, The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (18th ed.). Because the proper citation form for various materials differs depending on the type of document the author is writing-legal document or scholarly work-it is important to note the distinction and use the correct form.

The rules in the Manual are applicable to all types of legal writing, from legal documents to scholarly works. Where there are differing citation forms for legal documents and scholarly works, they are so designated. Otherwise, all of the citation examples given in the Manual conform to the typeface conventions required for legal documents.