Undoubtedly one cause of the tendency of scientific law to become mechanical is to be found in the average man's admiration for the ingenious in any direction, his love of technicality as a manifestation of cleverness, his feeling that law, as a developed institution, ought to have a certain ballast of mysterious technicality. "Philosophy's queerest arguments," says James, "tickle agreeably our sense of subtlety and ingenuity." Every practitioner has encountered the lay obsession as to invalidity of signing with a lead pencil. Every law-teacher has had to combat the student obsession that notice, however cogent, may be disregarded unless it is "official." Lay hair-splitting over rules and regulations goes far beyond anything of which lawyers are capable.
--Roscoe Pound, Mechanical Jurisprudence, 8 Columbia L. Rev. 605, 607 (1908)