The masthead of the Tulane Law Review spans two pages. The first page introduces the reader to the Review‘s student editors as well as to other individuals who participate in the daily business of publication. The names change from year to year as students graduate from law school and others from their first year of study. The steady turnover coupled with the ever-present threat of rebellion in the event of a misspelled name forces the editor in chief of each volume to spend a substantial amount of time reviewing the contents of the page. Given that the page is read with some frequency, it is time well spent.
Although no less important, the second page of the masthead receives far less attention. Appearing on the second page is a listing of contributing and advisory editors (generally persons of some prominence) as well as an enclosed area providing readers with information of a general nature-subscriptions, copyrights, back issues, etc. The contents of the page are, in fact, so static that in most years student editorial boards adopt the masthead page proofs of the previous volume, making only minor adjustments to account for the Review‘s increased circulation or the occasional change in subscription price. Defying tradition, the editorial board for volume sixty-six made a discrete but significant change to the second page of the masthead in its May issue. Under the heading of “Production,” the following was replaced:
The citations of the Review conform to THE BLUEBOOK: A UNIFORM SYSTEM OF CITATION (15th ed. 1991). Except when context suggests otherwise, the Review follows the guidelines set forth in the TEXAS LAW REVIEW MANUAL ON STYLE (6th ed. 1990).
The editorial board substituted:
The citations of the Review conform to THE BLUEBOOK: A UNIFORM SYSTEM OF CITATION (15th ed. 1991). On most matters of style, the Review follows the guidelines set forth in the TEXAS LAW REVIEW MANUAL ON STYLE (6th ed. 1990). The Tulane Law Review follows The Bluebook and the Texas Style Manual except when common sense or local custom dictates otherwise.
With this revision, the Review formally recognized a practice it had adopted some time ago-departure from the The Bluebook and the Texas Style Manual when their rules of form and style conflicted with “common sense or local custom.” For anyone who has worked with The Bluebook or the Texas Style Manual, the common sense exception is apt to be self-evident, and thus further explanation would be superfluous. The local custom exception, on the other hand, is surely a bit more ambiguous. Local custom, as used here, is defined as those rules of form applied by the Review to materials especially relevant to the practice of law in Louisiana.
The Tulane Law Review‘s departure from The Bluebook in matters of local custom was motivated by two concerns. First,The Bluebook‘s treatment of Louisiana and civilian legal materials is incomplete and, at times, misguided. This lack of clarity leads to inconsistent citation forms among authors and, in turn, confusion among readers. By providing rules of form for such materials, the Review hopes to alleviate any confusion and to reduce the workload of authors and editors by sparing them the tasks of deciphering, interpreting, and interpolating The Bluebook or simply from having to create their own cite forms. Secondly, many rules of form found in The Bluebook conflict with traditional rules of form employed in Louisiana and by practitioners in areas of law to which the Review has a unique commitment. These traditional rules often contain information that assists readers in their evaluation of a cited source and in many instances makes retrieval of the source more convenient.
The Guide was conceived as and became a true community effort for the Law Review. Members of three differentReview classes participated in some fashion in the preparation and publication of the Guide. Grateful acknowledgement for their comments on various drafts of the Guide is especially due the following individuals: Professor Shael Herman (Faculty Advisor, volume 67); Louis L. Plotkin (Editor in Chief, volume 65); Luke LeVasseur (Editor in Chief, volume 66); Marcy V. Massengale (Editor in Chief, volume 67); David V. Snyder (Senior Managing Editor, volume 65); Laura Hegedus (Senior Managing Editor, volume 67); John Hogerty II (Senior Articles Editor, volume 66); and Michael D. Rubenstein (Managing Editor, volume 67). Any mistakes or inadequacies should, of course, be attributed to no one but the author.
Finally, it must be noted that this compilation could not have been completed without the assistance and direction of the staff of the Tulane Law Library. Many of the materials discussed within the Guide are identified in print for the first time. Without the library staff, the existence of these materials would have remained confined to a few individuals. Special thanks are due staff members James Donovan, Kevin Hourihan, and Ray Lytle, who were forced to expend more patience than most. James Donovan’s guidance and comments on an earlier draft were also invaluable in the preparation of the Guide for publication. The Tulane Law Review, and I, hope that the Guide’s publication will assist authors, editors, and its readership in their efforts to access the legal materials especially relevant to the practice of law in Louisiana.
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