Friday, January 25, 2008

Citation form as a sign of excellence

In the following quotation, Professor Ian Gallacher may be right, but is that a good thing?
[A]n ability to generate accurate citations is viewed as a proxy for a lawyer's attention to detail. [5] Some argue that . . . “[a]ttention to citation form . . . will improve the reader's sense of reliability, credibility, and integrity when evaluating the worth of the document and the writer's professionalism.” [7] Others note that “in our legal culture, attention to detail, even in citation form, is a sign of excellence.” [8]
[5]. “Every lawyer needs to know proper citation form. Sloppy or inaccurate form suggests inattention to detail or ignorance of the correct form.” Susan W. Fox, Citation Form: Getting It Right, Fla. B.J., Mar. 2000, at 84, 84; see also Michael R. Smith, Advanced Legal Writing: Theories and Strategies in Persuasive Writing 169 (2002) (identifying the careful and full compliance with applicable citation rules in the citation of authorities as one the ways a legal writer can be “a more persuasive advocate in terms of both logos and ethos”).

[7]. Id. at 95.

[8]. Nancy A. Wanderer, Citation Excitement: Two Recent Manuals Burst on the Scene, Me. B.J., Winter 2005, at 42, 46 (citing Carol Bast & Susan Harrell, Has the Bluebook Met Its Match? The ALWD Citation Manual, 92 Law Libr. J. 337, 338 (2000) .
Ian Gallacher, Cite Unseen: How Neutral Citation And America's Law Schools Can Cure Our Strange Devotion To Bibliographical Orthodoxy And The Constriction Of Open And Equal Access To The Law, 70 Albany L. Rev. 491 (2007).

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