Will The ALWD Citation Manual v. The Bluebook be the trial of the century?The world's computer systems escaped Y2K See Y2K problem and Y2K compliant.
Y2K - Year 2000 with hardly a hiccup hiccup or hiccough, involuntary spasmodic contraction of the diaphragm followed by a sharp intake of air, which is abruptly stopped by a sudden, involuntary closing of the glottis (opening between the vocal cords); the consequent blocking of air . But the legal community experienced a Y2K crisis of another kind last year with the publication of the ALWD Citation Manual The ALWD Citation Manual is a widely used legal citation system for the United States compiled by the Association of Legal Writing Directors. Its first edition was published in 2000. Currently, it is in its third edition (2005). : A Professional System of Citation.
The new citation manual's arrival received far less attention than the much-anticipated computer catastrophe that never materialized, but its impact on the legal community is likely to be far-reaching and long-lasting.
The world of legal citation Legal citation is the style of crediting and referencing other documents or sources of authority in legal writing.
In addition to the basic rules of footnoting and quotation that closely follows regular citation rules, there are several broad classes of law citation:
The Review is one of the most cited law reviews in the United States and considered by many to be the most prestigious. Association in conjunction with law review journals at Yale, Columbia, and the University of Pennsylvania (body, education) University of Pennsylvania - The home of ENIAC and Machiavelli.
Address: Philadelphia, PA, USA. , the Bluebook has been the preeminent pre·em·i·nent or pre-em·i·nent
Superior to or notable above all others; outstanding. See Synonyms at dominant, noted.
[Middle English, from Latin prae authority on proper citation form for more than 70 years.
The new kid on the block was written by Professor Darby Dickerson of Stetson University College of Law Stetson University College of Law, founded in 1900, is Florida's first law school. Located in Gulfport, FL (moving to the city in 1954 from its original location in DeLand), it also has a campus in Tampa, FL. The law school occupies a historic 1920s resort hotel, the Rolyat. , but it was sponsored and its copyright is owned by the Association of Legal Writing Directors The Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD), formed in 1996, is a non-profit professional association of directors and former directors of legal research, writing, analysis, and advocacy programs from law schools in the United States, Canada and Australia. , the professional association for writing teachers at the nation's law schools.
In January, I reviewed the latest (17th) edition of the Bluebook, which interestingly arrived a year earlier than expected. [Will the Bluebook Sing the Blues? TRIAL, Jan. 2001, at 78.] In that column, I took the opportunity to comment on the prospects of having two competing systems of citation:
[T]he Bluebook is the 'uniform' system of citation. Virtually all large law firms follow it and expect their new associates to know it.... Most of the nation's law journals follow the system. Most federal judges follow the system in their written opinions. So what happens now when the nation's legal writing directors move to adopt the new citation manual published by their own association? What happens to the students at those schools who learn one system and then have to spend the early parts of their legal careers learning the Bluebook system? The number of students facing that problem will likely be quite large. Early data show that 78 of the nation's law schools (that's more than half) have adopted the new ALWD Manual.... Three years from now, the legal profession can expect the first graduates to flood the market with little or no grounding in the Bluebook system of citation. Are the differences in the two systems all that major? Yes.
A few months later, I found out that these questions are being asked by others as well. I received the following e-mail from a student who will be the managing editor of a law review this year.
The board of editors is currently faced with the task of choosing between the ALWD Manual and the Bluebook. Because our legal writing teachers adopted the ALWD Manual this year, our associates next year will have been trained in [that manual]. While the board favors the Bluebook for use next year, we have concluded that the write-on competition should probably be governed by ALWD citation style. Because we are all comfortable with the Bluebook and because we hesitate to break with the norm, we will probably keep the status quo. However, I thought you might be able to offer advice as to the difficulties of making the transition or the tools we might use to ease the difficulty of employing two different manuals during the writing and editing processes.
So the two parties have squared off: In this corner, we have the Bluebook with its history as the ultimate authority on citation form. In the opposing corner, we have the challenger, the ALWD ALWD Association of Legal Writing Directors Manual, backed by those who decide which citation system first-year law students must learn.
Which party will win? I can't predict that, but in comparing the two I'll try to answer which one should win--that is, which has the better citation system, and which is the more usable book.
The differences between the two systems are both subtle and vast, and there are far too many to discuss in depth here. Instead, I'll focus on those of particular interest to trial lawyers.
Layout and appearance. The ALWD Manual wins this category. Like the Bluebook, it breaks down the rules of citation and style into sequentially numbered rules, but the ALWD Manual is less complicated.
The Bluebook subdivides the rules into two levels of decimals. Thus, it might have a rule numbered 20.1.3. The ALWD Manual stops at the first level. Consequently, Rule 20 might be divided into subsections numbered 20.1, 20.2, 20.3, and on to 20.10, or however many subsections are necessary to cover the topic.
I also like how the ALWD Manual includes the complete number and subject of a rule at the top of the page. For example, at the top of a left-hand page, you'll find the "Part," such as "Part 3: Citing Specific Print Sources"; on the right-hand page, you'll find the name of the whole-number rule being covered on those pages, such as "20.0 State Administrative and Executive Materials." On green tabs at the top of each page, you'll find the precise rule number appearing on that page, such as "20.7."
The Bluebook also lists the broad topic at the top of left-hand pages and the precise topic at the top of right-hand pages. But for a rule requiring multiple pages, you have to flip back to discover the precise rule number being covered.
The black tabs running along the right edge of right-hand pages list only the span of rules encompassing a particular section. These sections are printed on the back outside cover. By bending the Bluebook, a user can then line up the section with the right-hand black tabs. While these do aid in location, the absence of the precise rule number on a given page is a drawback DRAWBACK, com. law. An allowance made by the government to merchants on the reexportation of certain imported goods liable to duties, which, in some cases, consists of the whole; in others, of a part of the duties which had been paid upon the importation. .
The ALWD Manual uses graphics and typeface The design of a set of printed characters, such as Courier, Helvetica and Times Roman. The terms "typeface" and "font" are used interchangeably, but the typeface is the primary design, while the font is the particular implementation and variation of the typeface, such as bold or italics to facilitate reading and finding on-point material. Rule numbers and their names appear in bold type bold type n (Typ) → caractères mpl gras
bold type n → Fettdruck m
bold type n (TYP , and examples are labeled as such.
The ALWD Manual identifies each part of a citation and its required typeface. Raised green bullets show where spaces appear. For example, Rule 12.21(b) covers short citation forms when the case name or part of the case name is not included in the textual sentence. The citation formula looks like this:
One party's name, * Volume number * Reporter abbreviation * at * Pinpoint reference.
The Bluebook, meanwhile, covers the same rule by discussing it and providing examples; no formula appears. In the Bluebook we find:
Use of only one party's name in a short form citation is permissible if the reference is unambiguous. When only one party's name is used, it should be italicized. Acceptable short forms include: Calandra, 414 U.S. at 343....
Perhaps the competition offered by the ALWD Manual will prompt some needed changes in the Bluebook's design.
Writing. The quality of writing is about the same. Each manual presents its rules as directives: "Abbreviate words in the title according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. Appendix 3. Present the title in ordinary type."
Instruction. Here, the nod goes to the ALWD Manual. One of the Bluebook's major failings has been its lack of instruction. Granted, its creators probably never viewed it as an instructional tool for fledgling law students, but that is what it became.
Who among us can ever forget that first citation assignment in our legal writing class? Our instructions went something like this: "Take these grossly incorrect legal citations and make them conform to Verb 1. conform to - satisfy a condition or restriction; "Does this paper meet the requirements for the degree?"
coordinate - be co-ordinated; "These activities coordinate well" the Bluebook." We panicked when we began to browse through the Bluebook and quickly learned that our only hope was fortuitously for·tu·i·tous
1. Happening by accident or chance. See Synonyms at accidental.
2. Usage Problem
a. Happening by a fortunate accident or chance.
b. Lucky or fortunate. finding an example that looked sort of like our particular citation problem.
The ALWD Manual instructs its readers not only in rules of legal citation but also in techniques of word processing word processing, use of a computer program or a dedicated hardware and software package to write, edit, format, and print a document. Text is most commonly entered using a keyboard similar to a typewriter's, although handwritten input (see pen-based computer) and . It includes rules of court regarding citations and parallel citations A reference to the same case or statute published in two or more sources.
For example, brown v. board of education of topeka, kansas, a landmark decision by the Supreme Court in 1954, can be located in 347 U.S. 483, 74 S. Ct. . It instructs on the proper use of hyphens and dashes. It tells readers about writs WRITS, JUDICIAL, practice. In England those writs which issue from the common law courts during the progress of a suit, are described as judicial writs, by way of distinction from the original one obtained from chancery. 3 Bl. Com. 282. of certiorari certiorari
In law, a writ issued by a superior court for the reexamination of an action of a lower court. The writ of certiorari was originally a writ from England's Court of Queen's (King's) Bench to the judges of an inferior court; it was later expanded to include writs and much more. The instruction is presented in a series of sidebars, that appear as shaded, boxed text.
In Appendix 2, the ALWD Manual includes a state-by-state listing of court rules governing which citation system to follow in documents submitted to court. This useful feature alone justifies adding the ALWD Manual to your collection of reference books.
Index. Here, the Bluebook wins. It has 38 pages of index material; the ALWD Manual has just 23. The Bluebook's index refers you to the precise page; the ALWD Manual's index refers you only to the rule number.
Abbreviation abbreviation, in writing, arbitrary shortening of a word, usually by cutting off letters from the end, as in U.S. and Gen. (General). Contraction serves the same purpose but is understood strictly to be the shortening of a word by cutting out letters in the middle, system. The edge here belongs to the Bluebook. It uses the period and the apostrophe apostrophe, figure of speech
apostrophe, figure of speech in which an absent person, a personified inanimate being, or an abstraction is addressed as though present. as the two ways to abbreviate words. The ALWD Manual uses only the period to show an abbreviation: "Department" is abbreviated "Dept."; "Society" is "Socy." Like the ALWD Manual, the Bluebook uses a period for an abbreviation that either cuts a word short--"Avenue" as "Ave."--or draws a few letters from a long word--"Building" as "Bldg."
But the Bluebook uses the apostrophe to stand in for consecutive letters preceding the last one, as in "Soc'y" for "Society" and "Dep't" for "Department."
Some other distinctions: The Bluebook's abbreviation system is presented in tables at the end of the book; the ALWD Manual's system, in appendices ap·pen·di·ces
A plural of appendix. . In keeping with its instructional approach, the ALWD Manual includes abbreviations for all federal courts in Appendix 4 and Sidebar A4-1, which tells readers how to cite federal district courts.
The Bluebook includes an exhaustive list of the abbreviations of foreign countries and regions, which the ALWD Manual does not.
When you study the two systems of abbreviating words, you find significant differences in how particular words are abbreviated and which words are abbreviated or not abbreviated in particular settings. For example, the Bluebook uses "So." and "So. 2d" to abbreviate the first and second series of the Southern Reporter. But the ALWD Manual uses "S." and "S.2d," which is potentially confusing because it also uses "S." to abbreviate "Supplement." Furthermore, any practitioner abbreviating the Southern Reporter as "S." or "S.2d" in documents submitted to court faces the distinct probability of confusing the judge and other court personnel.
Consider how each system would abbreviate words in court documents in cases in litigation An action brought in court to enforce a particular right. The act or process of bringing a lawsuit in and of itself; a judicial contest; any dispute.
When a person begins a civil lawsuit, the person enters into a process called litigation. . If you use the ALWD Manual, when you cite court documents from the case being litigated you may abbreviate words in the document's title according to Appendix 3, at 407-13; you may also omit o·mit
tr.v. o·mit·ted, o·mit·ting, o·mits
1. To fail to include or mention; leave out: omit a word.
a. To pass over; neglect.
b. articles and prepositions. (Rule 29.2(a), at 232-33.) You would not enclose en·close also in·close
tr.v. en·closed, en·clos·ing, en·clos·es
1. To surround on all sides; close in.
2. To fence in so as to prevent common use: enclosed the pasture. these citations in parentheses See parenthesis.
parentheses - See left parenthesis, right parenthesis. , but you would include the precise date of the document. For example:
Pl.'s 1st Amend. Cross-claim [para] 5 (July 1, 1999).
Using the Bluebook, you would abbreviate words according to Table 8, at 307-08, but you would also omit articles and prepositions, unless doing so causes confusion. (P. 7, at 18-19.) For example:
(Pl.'s First Am. Cross-cl. [para] 5.)
Thus, many words are abbreviated differently in the two books. A person who has learned one system has some work to do when switching to the other.
Now, look at how the two systems cite documents from decided cases. The ALWD Manual abbreviates words, but does not omit articles and prepositions. (Rule 12.20, at 91.) You would also include a citation to the case in which the document was filed.
Pl.'s 1st Amend. Cross-claim, at 33, Jones v. Smith, 444 F.2d 999 (4th Cir. 1971).
The Bluebook does not abbreviate words in the title. You would also include a citation to the case giving rise to the document. (Rule 10.8.3, at 71.) Thus, a citation to the same document would be:
Plaintiff's First Amended Cross-claim, at 33, Jones v. Smith, 444 F.2d 999 (4th Cir. 1971).
Subsequent case history. There is a subtle, but rather important, difference between the two systems in this area. The ALWD Manual italicizes the comma after an explanatory phrase. If the writer uses true italics, the difference is hardly detectable. But if the writer uses underlines to show italics, following the rule would produce this:
Jones v. Smith, 104 F. Supp. 222 (E.D. Va. 1945), aff'd, 302 F.2d 234 (4th Cir. 1946).
That just looks like a glaring typo typo - typographical error , and under the Bluebook system, it is a glaring typo. The Bluebook would underline underline
an animal's ventral profile; the shape of the belly when viewed from the side, e.g. pendulous, pot-belly, tucked up, gaunt. only the abbreviation aff'd. The comma following it would not be underlined.
Capitalization. The ALWD Manual is woefully woe·ful also wo·ful
1. Affected by or full of woe; mournful.
2. Causing or involving woe.
3. Deplorably bad or wretched: deficient in explaining proper capitalization. For most words, the user is to "consult the most recent edition of the U.S. Government Printing Office Style Manual or The Chicago Manual of Style." (Rule 3.2, at 21.) Neither addresses whether or when to capitalize "court," "act," or other troublesome law-related words.
The Bluebook, by comparison, contains two pages of rules and examples.
The ALWD Manual does contain rules for capitalizing "Words in Titles." (Rule 3.1.) We should capitalize:
* the first word in the title
* the first word in any subtitle sub·ti·tle
1. A secondary, usually explanatory title, as of a literary work.
2. A printed translation of the dialogue of a foreign-language film shown at the bottom of the screen.
* the first word after a colon or dash
* all other words except articles, prepositions, "to" in an infinitive infinitive: see mood; tense. , and coordinating conjunctions co·or·di·nat·ing conjunction
A conjunction that connects two identically constructed or syntactically equal grammatical elements, such as or in They don't know whether they're coming or going.
Noun 1. such as "and," "but," "or," "nor," and "for."
The ALWD Manual is unclear about whether this rule applies to words in headings or just to words in titles, but it does follow the rule in its own headings. In Rule 6.9, for example, the word "within" in the heading is not capitalized.
The Bluebook's Rule 8 differs, and it expressly applies not only to titles but to headings as well. It calls for capitalizing:
* the initial word
* the first word after a colon
* all other words except articles and conjunctions or prepositions of four or fewer letters.
Thus, the prepositions "notwithstanding" and "within," for example, would be capitalized. The ALWD Manual uses lowercase for those two and other long prepositions. That approach would look like a mistake in headings in court documents.
Plural of erratum. . All first printings include typographical ty·pog·ra·phy
n. pl. ty·pog·ra·phies
a. The art and technique of printing with movable type.
b. The composition of printed material from movable type.
2. and editorial mistakes. I located 28 in the ALWD Manual but only 10 in the Bluebook.
In the ALWD Manual, for example, Rule 2.3 states that words in case names should not be abbreviated when the citation appears in the text of a sentence. But examples of case names appearing in textual sentences include abbreviated words ("Co." on p. 294; "Inc." on p. 298). If there are exceptions to the rule, the rule should say so.
Although the Bluebook has fewer mistakes, some are serious. Several examples of law review citations contain titles with the word "to" incorrectly capitalized. Even if the preposition preposition, in English, the part of speech embracing a small number of words used before nouns and pronouns to connect them to the preceding material, e.g., of, in, and about. "to" appears as part of an infinitive, it is still a preposition and should appear in lowercase. (Rule 8, at 51.)
The Bluebook gets it right on page 99i "Which Sources to Cite." But "To" appears in several sample titles of articles: "Should Non-Named Shareholders Be Permitted To Appeal" (p. 118); "... and the Right To Die" (p.119); "Private Schools To Promote..." (p. 119); and "Otterbourg To Represent..." (p. 120).
And the winner is...
I have to declare the ALWD Manual the winner. I do not necessarily think it will topple the Bluebook from its position as the preeminent authority on legal citation. After all, the new manual's improvements may prompt the Bluebook editors to upgrade its design and quality of instruction and make it more user-friendly.
If that happens, by dint of tradition alone the ultimate trophy probably belongs to the Bluebook.
C. Edward Good is counsel and writer-in-residence at the intellectual property firm of Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner in Washington, D.C. He invites readers to e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy of the table listing the differences between the citation rules in the ALWD Manual and those in the Bluebook.