How Often Should Judges Cite Law Review Articles?:
In the New York Times, Adam Liptak has a very interesting article on the apparent decline in citations to law review articles in judicial opinions over the law few decades. You should read the whole thing, but here's an excerpt:
  Articles in law reviews have certainly become more obscure in recent decades. Many law professors seem to think they are under no obligation to say anything useful or to say anything well. They take pride in the theoretical and in working in disciplines other than their own. They seem to think the analysis of actual statutes and court decisions — which is to say the practice of law — is beneath them.
  The upshot is that the legal academy has become much less influential. In the 1970s, federal courts cited articles from The Harvard Law Review 4,410 times, according to a new report by the staff of The Cardozo Law Review. In the 1990s, the number of citations dropped by more than half, to 1,956. So far in this decade: 937.
  Patterns at other leading law reviews are similar. And the drop in the number of citations understates the phenomenon, as the courts' caseload has exploded in the meantime. . . .   "The claim by judges that they have no use for law review articles seems to me an anti-intellectual know-nothingism that is understandable but regrettable," Professor Dorf said.
  There are other reasons for the diminished influence of law reviews. One is the emergence of electronic databases.
  "Before search engines," said Marci A. Hamilton, a law professor at Cardozo, "if you wanted to figure out what all the cases on a given topic said, you went to a law review." Now you punch some words into Lexis or Westlaw. . . . .
  "If the academy does want to change the world," Judge Reena Raggi said, "it does need to be part of the world."
  To an extent, her plea has been answered by the Internet. On blogs like the Volokh Conspiracy and Balkinization, law professors analyze legal developments with skill and flair almost immediately after they happen. Law professors also seem to be litigating more, representing clients and putting their views before courts in supporting briefs.
  There's a lot here, but let me offer two quick thoughts. First, I do think the existence of online databases has caused a great deal of the shift in citation practices. It's now much easier to find the law, as Marci Hamilton suggests. Further, many more people have ready access to all of the original sources. Do you need to find an 1850's decision in the New Hampshire reports? An entry in the Federal Register from 1979? No problem, it's all on Westlaw. As a result, it's much more helpful for judges to cite authorities directly rather than law review articles that discuss them.

  Second, it's impossible to say whether it's good or bad that judges are citing articles less often without knowing what articles are being cited (or not) and why. If judges are now less inclined to engage with thoughtful scholarship that deals seriously with legal sources, then that's a shame. On the other hand, very few law review articles fit this bill. I only read a very tiny fraction of the published legal scholarship, but my sense is that a lot of law review scholarship is not terribly serious about engaging with the law. If judges aren't paying any attention to such scholarship, then good for them: they know enough not to be fooled by fancy academic pedigrees and prestigious journals. Silliness in the Harvard Law Review is still silliness, and it's a good thing if judges recognize that.

  Anyway, that's my preliminary take. There's a lot here, so I look forward to reading the comment thread. (Thanks to How Appealing for the link, and to Adam for the shout-out — just as good as a judicial citation in my book.)