Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The Bluebook

Christine Hurt of Conglomerate writes a review of the Eighteenth Edition of The Bluebook. For my non-lawyer readers, the Bluebook is a guide (the guide, some might say) to citing legal materials, the form of which can be a bit arcane. The Bluebook will tell you whether you need to italicize your periods or not, and allows attorneys and law students to write things like this:
Charlesworth v. Mack, 925 F.2d 314 (1st Cir. 1991), cert. granted, 60 U.S.L.W. 3562 (U.S. Jan. 21, 1992) (No. 92-212).
And what's more amazing, for other lawyers to understand it compeletely.

Now for you non-Texas lawyers, this a good time to mention that Texas writ history (the equivalent of cert.) is so screwed up, we have to have our own "green book" to keep track of it. At least as far as the 9th edition (and I think it's been changed again since then), there were 13 different writ history status notations for civil cases and 8 different petition history notations for criminal appeals. Sheesh.

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