Every lawyer and law student knows about The Blue Book, that absurdly complex guide to legal citation forms inflicted on the legal community by the editors of the law reviews at Harvard, Yale, Penn, and Columbia. But how many realize that a number of citations in The Blue Book are inside jokes among the editors?
Here’s one example. On page 128 of the Seventeenth Edition — what law review editors would refer to as THE BLUEBOOK: A UNIFORM SYSTEM OF CITATION 128 (Columbia Law Review Ass’n et al. eds, 17th ed. 2000) — the following citation is offered as an example of a proper citation form for a forthcoming publication:
F. Brandon Baer & James M. Feldman, We’re Low on Vermouth: The Trials and Tribulations of Two Summer Associates, 1 J.L. & OPPRESSION (forthcoming 2001) (Manuscript at 3, on file with authors).
If you happen to have a detailed recollection of the Harvard Law School Drama Society spring parody show from 1996 — which I do, having been a cast member — you’ll get that this is a reference to at least two different jokes in that show, “Raiders of the Lost Hark.” Brandon was the producer of the show and Jamie was the director. (Neither was on law review — nor was I, for that matter — but a bunch of the cast members were.)
So here’s the question: What are the other inside jokes in The Blue Book?