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BlueJayBook: Signals

This Guide presents Bluebook exercises and instructions that are used in Creighton Law School Legal Research & Writing classes.

Signals Quiz

Answers to this quiz are given in the box on the opposite page.

You are researching a state water quality issue for a partner in your firm, and you have uncovered a number of authorities that support, contradict, or supplement the following excerpt from a Maryland statute:

Factories may not dispose of hazardous materials in the Chesapeake Bay.

What signal would you use to best cite each authority described below?

1. A case decided by the Maryland Court of Appeals (the highest court in Maryland) that holds that factories cannot dispose of hazardous materials in Maryland rivers.

a. No signal
b. But see
c. See, e.g.,
d. Cf.
e. Contra

2. A law review article that discusses hazardous waste disposal laws in several states on the eastern seaboard, including Maryland.

a. No signal
b. See generally
c. See
d. Cf.
e. Contra

3. A Delaware statute that prohibits dumping of hazardous materials in the Chesapeake Bay.

a. No signal
b. See generally
c. Accord
d. Cf.
e. See

4. One of several Maryland cases holding that factories may not dispose of hazardous waste in Maryland waters.

a. No signal
b. See, e.g.,
c. See
d. See generally
e. Compare…with…

5. A Maryland Court of Appeals case holding that factories may not dispose of hazardous materials in the Chesapeake Bay.

a. No signal
b. See
c. But see
d. Contra
e. Cf.

6. A Maryland Court of Appeals case holding that no individual or organization may dispose of polluting materials in the bays or other marshland areas of the state of Maryland.

a. No signal
b. Cf.
c. See
d. But see
e. See, e.g.,

What We Teach on Signals

We teach Rule 1.2, Introductory Signals. This includes 1.2(a), Signals that indicate support, 1.2(b), Signal that suggests a useful comparison, 1.2(c), Signals that indicate contradiction, and 1.2(d), Signal that indicates background material. We only mention Rule 1.3 on the Order of Signals and do not refer at all to Rule 1.4 on the Order of Authorities Within Each Signal. These latter rules go beyond what we want to accomplish with our first year law students.

Signals Quiz ANSWERS

1. d

2. b

3. c

4. b

5. a

6. c


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