legal citation, legal writing and research, citation, legal profession
Legal citation is based primarily upon the writing habits of a particular profession - lawyers. In all its form, it is mostly a matter of convention, sometimes learned, always untaught. As one of the technical subjects in law, it may well be the most difficult topic in legal research and writing. This is partly because its method tends to concern more with adopted convention than with the abstraction of principles governing the intricacies of citation. Partly it is because there are more precedents for the adoption of a specific convention than there is for the law of citation itself. The trouble with convention lies in the fact that its format is numerous - in varied form it keeps appearing in legal publications. Even if it is a convention adopted by the Canadian Bar Review, it is not necessarily the one adopted by the Chitty's Law Journal.
Chin-Shih Tang, "The Law of Citation and Citation of Law" (1956) 10:1 Dal LJ 124.