All publishers have standards and style guides that they adhere to. OSB Legal Publications is no different. Often our volunteer authors want to know why we made a particular edit when they thought the way they wrote it was just fine. The answer is usually that the Attorney Editor was adhering to one of the style guides that we rely on.
For in-house editing, we rely on the following style guides on issues of citation format, grammar, and style, with a few minor exceptions:
- Oregon Appellate Courts Style Manual, available online at http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/UpdatedStyleManual2002.pdf.
- The Bluebook, A Uniform System of Citation
- Bryan Garner’s A Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage
- The Chicago Manual of Style
- For forms, the American Bar Association’s A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting
The first style guide on this list takes top billing so that if a Bar member wants to quote from one of our books into a brief, they can copy and paste the quote from BarBooks™ and have the citations conform to the same style guide they need to follow to keep the court happy.
But some citation style issues aren’t specifically spelled out in the Oregon Appellate Courts Style Manual and so The Bluebook is the appropriate back-up.
The other three style guides are in our repertoire to provide consistency from one chapter to another and from one book to another. We don’t want to just be making stuff up, after all, because we’d all make it up a little differently.
So if you wonder why we do things the way we do in our publications, you can either check out these style guides to see if we are following them, or you can just ask us. Drop us a line at [email protected] if you have questions.