85 Calif. L. Rev. 1749 (1997)
Fundamental Principles of American Law

handle is hein.journals/calr85 and id is 1767 raw text is: Fundamental Principles
of American Law
Patrick M. McFaddent
In all types of legal writing, whether by scholars or by practitio-
ners, it is customary to cite an authority or authorities to show
support for a legal or factual proposition or argument.
-THE BLUEBOOK: A UNIFORM SYSTEM OF
CITATION 4 (16th ed. 1996)
With the cool detachment of anthropologists describing human sac-
rifice among the Maya, the editors of the Bluebook thus calmly report
on that peculiar human custom of legal citation. The self-interested na-
ture of the editors' report-providing an apology for both the 365
pages and steady royalty income that follow-makes it no less accurate.
But the measured tone of the report does underplay the significance of
legal citation to those who must actually do it-an importance that
ranges from cultish obsession to defeated indifference. Some of us
never lose the zeal of the newly converted, compulsively searching every
legal text for canonical purity. Others of us become equally ardent
schismatics, embracing, for example, the Maroon heresy. Still others
lapse in the faith, either making a principled decision that there are bet-
ter ways to spend our time or simply feigning contempt because we
can't for the life of us remember if the space goes between the F.
and the 2d or the F. and the Supp.
But one thing is certain: we all complain. Law review editors
grouse about the mindless tedium and thanklessness of cite-checking,'
while authors whine about the tyranny of jump cites, parentheticals, and
Copyright 0 1997 California Law Review, Inc.
   Professor of Law, Loyola University Chicago School of Law. Several reputable scholars
reviewed earlier drafts of this article. It is not in their interest to reveal who they were nor in mine to
reveal their reactions. My sincere and explicit thanks, however, to Alexandra and Stanley
Mamangakis, who for the past three summers have provided me a cool, quiet office in Greece. Just
don't tell them I wrote this, too.
1. See, e.g., E. Joshua Rozenkranz, Lav Review's Empire, 39 HASTINGS LJ. 859 (1988)
(containing, inter alia, a former editor's brief tirade on footnote work, with special bonus sections on
alienation and the reproduction of hierarchy). Wonder who got to Josh?

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