Brief Writing – Washington Style Sheet

Every attorney turns to the Bluebook at some point during their brief writing, but what about the Washington Style Sheet? If you are asking yourself what this is, then you may want to review it. The style sheet sets out specific rules of writing for Washington State. It deviates from the Bluebook in several places and, where is does, it controls.  Here are some of the deviations to keep in mind:

  • Only spell out numbers 0-9.
  • Always spell out “percent.”
  • Cite to Wash. or Wn.2d; additionally citing to P., P.2d or P.3d  is optional
  • Pin cites are made to Wn.2d or Wn. App. pages, paragraph numbers, or both; pin cites to P., P.2d or P.3d are optional. Pin cites should not be made to P.3d paragraph numbers.
  • For non-Washington cases cite to the regional reporter; additionally citing to the official reporter is optional.
  • Only use “Overruled by” or “abrogated by” when a case explicitly repudiates an earlier decision of a lower court and an earlier decision of the same court.
  • Do not use “superseded by statute” or “superseded by constitutional amendment” subsequent history.
  • Do not add the year in parentheses after a citation to a presently effective version of a statute or code.
  • Do not add “Wash.” for codes and ordinances of Washington local governments.
  • Do not add the year in parentheses after a citation to a presently effective version of a local code or ordinance.
  • “Section” may be spelled out in text when referring to U.S.C. sections.

Washington Style Sheet is available here.

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