Duke Law Journal
The Bluebook’s introductory citation signals are essential to effective legal discourse. The choice of signal can influence not only the interpretation of cited cases, but also the path of the law. In this Article, Professor Ira Robbins examines one commonly used signal: the cf. After exploring its semiotic function, he details the multitude of ways in which this signal has been used and misused. He argues that lawyers’ and judges’ careless use of the cf. leads to confusing and often incoherent developments in the law, and concludes by proposing a precise working definition for this irksome, but potentially powerful, citation signal.
Robbins, Ira P., "Semiotics, Analogical Legal Reasoning, and the Cf. Citation: Getting Our Signals Uncrossed" (1999). Articles in Law Reviews & Other Academic Journals. 1029.