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Judge Posner's Hatred of the Bluebook Goes to Eleven

Bluebook How much does Judge Richard Posner of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals hate the Bluebook, which I have previously attempted to describe here as "a dastardly creation that attempts to create a uniform and hyper-complex method by which lawyers are expected to cite to legal authority in briefs, articles and so on"?

Let me count the ways:

  • He hates it even more than I do, and that's saying something.
  • He hates it so much that he wrote an entire law review article about it in 1986 "naively entitled 'Goodbye to the Bluebook.'"
  • He hates it so much that he wrote another entire law review article about it in the January 2011 Yale Law Review entitled "The Bluebook Blues."
  • He hates it so much that when he writes his law review articles about hating the Bluebook, he asks the law review editors not to make his citations conform to the Bluebook (his request was granted).
  • He hates it so much that he compares its page growth through the years to a cancer, one that also metastasizes to other organs (e.g., other style guides such as the Chicago Manual of Style).
  • He hates it so much that he further compares its "monstrous growth" to a hypertrophic, diseased organ that "grows to an abnormal size because of the uncontrolled growth of the cells that constitute it."
  • He hates it so much that he doesn't use the Bluebook in his judicial opinions.

You get it. His hatred of the Bluebook 'goes to eleven.'* For all 12 pages of why Judge Posner hates the Bluebook, including his own personal citation system that he asks his clerks to follow, read the full article here.

* Spinal Tap reference

Posted by Bruce Carton on February 1, 2011 at 05:29 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)


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