Choice of name in short forms for cases

In short forms for cases in citation sentences in practice documents, the Bluebook permits the use of only one party’s name but in that event requires it to be the first party, unless that party is “a geographical unit, a government official, or another type of common litigant.” See rule B10.2. Note that this permits the author to use only one party’s name but does not require it, so using both names is still permissible. Consider this example: You previously cited King v. Bassindale, 220 P. 777, 779 (Wash. 1923), and you wish to cite the case again at page Read More …

Margin notes: An oblique solution to citing in-line vs. citing in footnotes

I previously posted a very preliminary look at how legal writing could be made more comprehensible to all readers while satisfying the needs of law-trained readers using marginal notes for citations instead of footnotes. I continue to doubt that these ruminations will make any difference, but I had to take this to the next step because I’ve been closely reading a couple hundred briefs in cases for an empirical study that I’m doing, and my level of frustration is peaking. I can’t understand how judges can stand to read these things, designed so poorly as they are! Consequently, I decided Read More …