Scope and purpose

This blog is a byproduct of the annual revision of Introduction to Basic Legal Citation. That process regularly brings to light issues and practices that don’t warrant detailed treatment in a basic reference, yet seem too interesting to let drop without report or comment.

The aim will be to draw attention to important differences in practice among jurisdictions and distinctive approaches – from the commendable to the lamentable, the new and novel to the archaic. Like the reference from which it springs the focus here will be on how judges and lawyers cite legal authority rather than law journal norms.

I would be pleased to have this become a forum for discussion of citation policy among those who take it seriously. Do comment on what you read here. And if there are topics you would like to see addressed or are tempted to address yourself, send me email.

Peter W. Martin
Jane M.G. Foster Professor of Law, Emeritus
Cornell
peter.martin@cornell.edu

2 Responses to “Scope and purpose”

  1. Is there a way to subscribe to this blog?

    Have you had the opportunity to see the court rule from the Oklahoma Supreme Court that went into effect on January 1, 2014 relating to citation format? It has not made big changes to the public domain citation format it adopted back in the late 1990s. The biggest change is that the Oklahoma Supreme Court is now the “official” publisher rather than West, although it still requires the West Reporter citation together with its public domain citation.

    Regardless, if you had not seen this latest rule, I hope it is helpful. I have looked at your examples of citations to Oklahoma cases and statutes. You are correct that the pure Bluebook format is rarely used to cite to statutes.

    When I worked Justice Opala at the Oklahoma Supreme Court, he taught me that I should include the year the statute became effective if the year was any other than the year of codification (1991, 2001, 2011, and so on). (Oklahoma recodifies its code every 10 years.) So, a statute that became effective in 2013 would be cited: 12 O.S. Supp. 2013 § 2012.

    Again, I hope this is helpful.

    Thank you for your work, which I have followed for years. It has always been tremendously helpful and much appreciated.

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