Sunday, September 03, 2006

True Blue

True BlueThe explosion of information associated with the Internet and with the blogging craze has not yet come to this, a serious attempt to connect legal education with the music and lyrics of Madonna Louise Ciccone. The subject must be touched for the very first time. The following effort falls far short of an immaculate collection of Madonna's classics, but MoneyLaw does endeavor to be daring and innovative, even at the risk of abject failure. Don't cry for me, Academia.

Is there a bigger atrocity in legal education than The Bluebook? Round and round the bramble bush the students go, driven mad by The Bluebook's arcane, arbitrary rules and epicyclical structure. The military-industrial complex that the legal citation business has become is now so elaborate that it is not altogether absurd to think of the ALWD Citation Manual as the equivalent of the Uniform Commercial Code in a contemporary academy that has largely abandoned commercial law. Surely there are better ways to teach statutory interpretation, but for many law students, legal citation manuals represent their most comprehensive exposure to the dark (and necessary) art of statutory interpretation.

Madonna's Greatest Hits Vol. 2Well, it's time to get into the groove. The problem with The Bluebook is that law review editors take it too seriously. They apply citation rules as if they were edicts handed down by the Spanish Inquisition. Realmente no es una Isla Bonita. The cure lies in taking a holiday from Bluebook mania. As that girl, Madonna, sang on True Blue:
Where's the party [where's the party]
I want to free my soul
Where's the party [where's the party]
I want to lose control
Never fear. Gil Grantmore, webmaster for the Jurisdynamics Network, can now offer everyone who hates The Bluebook something to remember. Gil's ray of light consists of True Blue, a handy guide to Bluebook rules that deserve to be disobeyed. True Blue has now been posted on Gil's SSRN page.

Gil's most hardcore fans might also enjoy Lex and the City, the subject of a Jurisdynamics post that celebrates Gil's return to public prominence.

Editor's note: This item has been cross-posted from MoneyLaw.


Blogger Frank said...

I'm so happy about this piece I could be on La Isla Bonita.

I'll always remember Posner's characterization of the bluebook as the "hypertrophy of ritual," a bizarre homage to form perhaps only rivaled in complexity & futility by Japanese tea ceremonies. But at least the tea ceremonies have a certain aesthetic appeal!

9/04/2006 6:56 PM  

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