August 18, 2019

Colorado Revised Statutes Now an eBook for Mobile Devices

We are excited to announce that Circuit Media, in partnership with CBA-CLE, has developed a 3-volume, digital version of the Colorado Revised Statutes (C.R.S.). An essential part of any attorney’s work day, the C.R.S. eBook will be available for purchase and download on any eReader (this includes your iPad, iPhone, Droid, and Kindle) for research on the go.

Benefits of using the C.R.S. eBook:

  1. Officially sanctioned version using the official text of the C.R.S. – ensuring accuracy and integrity
  2. Access anywhere, any time – no Internet connection needed
  3. Provides you with productivity tools to make your work easier including highlighting, copy and paste, bookmark and note creation
  4. Keyword and text search capabilities
  5. All 43 Titles accessible at your fingertips without the headache (and backache!)

The C.R.S. eBook will be utilized by thousands of attorneys daily. Looking for attorney referrals to increase your brand awareness or your business? Advertising within the C.R.S. eBook is an easy and cost-effective way to expand your net.

For all the details, email info@circuitmedia.com.

The complete eBook information guide and advertising order form can be read below, or click here to download or print it.

Colorado Revised Statutes Now an eBook

CBA Upgrades to the New Casemaker on July 18

Casemaker, the Colorado Bar Association’s free legal research member benefit, will be upgraded on Wednesday, July 18, 2012, to provide new features and functionality that will greatly improve users’ legal research experience.

Users will have three months to explore the new interface before the old Casemaker 2.2 version goes away for good. When using the New Casemaker, if you find yourself stumped, assistance is just a phone call away at (877) 659-0801, or revert to Casemaker 2.2 by clicking on the “Return to 2.2” link at the top of the New Casemaker search window. You can also call the CBA’s Casemaker Hotline for assistance at (303) 860-1115, and ask for Reba Nance or Lauren Eisenbach.

To make the transition easier, the CBA has created a video tutorial, specifically tailored for Colorado attorneys. The tutorial is broken down by chapters, allowing you to easily locate the information you need. In addition, trainings are available in person and via webinar.

The new version of Casemaker offers many improved features. Here are just a few:

  • Faster search results with a single, Google-like search field
  • Personalized search history—save and reuse your searches
  • Create folders to save your searches and cases and organize your research
  • Results can be filtered by most relevant, most cited, and date decided
  • Adjustable font sizes for easier viewing

Find the complete list of features here. As you explore the latest version of this member benefit, take advantage of the many video tutorials (one provided below), and access the schedule of upcoming trainings.

The Google-Powered Law Office: Quick Tips for Gmail and Word Processing

On June 29, Carole Levitt and Mark Rosch, internationally recognized Internet trainers and authors of five American Bar Association books, will be in the CBA-CLE classroom to show you how super-charging your Google search strategies will assist you in your discovery and trial preparation needs, in addition to locating missing persons and successfully completing transactions.

In anticipation of their presentation, they have provided two quick Google Apps/Docs tips to enhance your email communications and word processing to the next level. Carole and Mark will be discussing these and many more amazing and often untapped Google features and resources on the 29th – click here for registration information or view more options below.

Undo Sending a Gmail Message

At one time or another, just about all of us have inadvertently sent an email message before we’ve actually finished writing it or pressed “Send” on a message that we never actually intended to send. Gmail and Google Apps for Business give users the ability “undo” that mistake.

While not all that new anymore, the ability to recall a message after you’ve clicked the send button, but before it’s actually been sent, is still surprisingly little-known. “Undo Send” lets you set a cancellation period—up to 30 seconds—within which you can pull that message back.

To turn on this feature, click the gear icon in the upper right-hand corner of the Gmail Inbox window and then scroll down, check the “Enable Undo Send” box, and select an amount of time (5, 10, 20, or 30 seconds) in which you can undo sending a message.

After you send an email with “Undo Send” enabled, a blue “Undo” link appears at the top of your screen. Clicking the link pulls the message back from being sent and reopens the message in a composition window so you can edit (or delete) it.

Customizable Styles in Google Docs

One of the complaints we hear most about Google Docs is the lack of sophisticated styles, like those found in packaged commercial word processing software. This is one of the areas where Google Docs has made some of its biggest strides. Now, not only can you set styles using a drop-down menu on the Google Docs toolbar, but you can also customize and automatically update existing styles throughout an entire document.

Previously, if you wanted to update all the text assigned the style Heading 1 in your document to look a particular way, you had to change each of them one at a time. Now you can customize all the Headings, Titles, Subtitles, and regular text in your documents using an intuitive “Styles” drop-drown menu or using your mouse buttons. For example, if you want to change all the text assigned the style Heading 1 in your document to be a 10 point Arial bold, you can select one line of type to which you’ve assigned the style Heading 1, change it to 10 point Arial bold, select it, right click, and choose “Update Heading 1 to match selection.” This will change all the text assigned the style Heading 1 already in your document and automatically update the style for any new text you assign the style Heading 1.

Using the “Options” menu in the styles drop-down, you can also save the current document’s styles as your new default set of styles for new documents.

CLE Program: The Google-Powered Law Office – Search Tricks, Cloud Apps, and Research Tips

This CLE presentation will take place on Friday, June 29. Participants may attend live in our classroom or watch the live webcast.

If you can’t make the live program or webcast, the program will also be available as a DVD homestudy.

Colorado Bar Association Sending Lawyer Delegation to Cuba in October 2012

The Colorado Bar Association is announcing the opportunity to join a delegation of attorneys to visit Cuba for the purpose of researching the country’s legal system.  As President of the Colorado Bar Association, I am honored to have been selected to lead this delegation and invite you to join me in this unique opportunity.

Our delegation will undertake a comprehensive study of the Cuban legal system, from the teaching of law, to the criminal justice and judicial systems; civil and family code; business and commercial rights; and resolving domestic and international commercial conflicts.

Travel to Cuba is restricted by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the United States Treasury Department.  This delegation will be travelling under OFAC regulation 31 CFR §515.564 General license for professional research.  This license supports our access to the highest level professionals in Cuba.

Each member of the delegation must be in compliance with the General License issued by OFAC authorizing full-time professionals to conduct a full-time schedule of research activities in Cuba with the likelihood that this research will be publicly disseminated. To ensure compliance, each participant in the program will be required to provide a resume and sign an affidavit attesting to his or her status as a full-time professional, paid or unpaid, in the field of research.

Travel arrangements will be made through our cooperation with Professionals Abroad, a division of Academic Travel Abroad.  The 60-year-old organization handles the logistical arrangements for prestigious organizations, such as National Geographic, The Smithsonian, The American Museum of Natural History and many top professional associations and universities. Academic Travel Abroad is licensed by the OFAC as a Travel Services Provider for US travel to Cuba, and has also arranged travel for members of the Minnesota, Illinois, New Mexico, and Washington bars.

This delegation will convene in Miami, Florida on October 7, 2012 at which time we will depart for Cuba.  We will return to the United States on October 12, 2012.  Delegates will participate in professional meetings and site visits each day; the specific meetings and topics for discussion will be determined by the research interests and composition of the team.

The estimated cost per delegation member is $4,595 U.S.D. This cost includes roundtrip international air arrangements between Miami and Havana; group transportation, meetings, accommodations in double-occupancy rooms, most meals, and essentially all other costs associated with participation, as outlined in the final schedule of activities.

For U.S. citizens, expenses associated with this program may be tax deductible as an ordinary and necessary business expense.  We suggest that you consult with a tax advisor to determine if tax deductibility is applicable to you.

Due to the extensive planning and communication involved in coordinating a program of this nature, please respond with your intentions regarding this invitation as soon as possible. Please RSVP to Professionals Abroad at 1-877-298-9677 or via the web at www.professionalsabroad.org and search for the CBA program by name: Colorado Bar Association.   A $500 deposit is required to secure your place on the team. I look forward to hearing from you regarding your participation.

If you have questions regarding the delegation, contact our Program Representative at Professionals Abroad, at 1-877-298-9677. For additional program details, please visit www.professionalsabroad.org.

I am pleased to be involved in this exciting opportunity and hope that you will strongly consider participating in the delegation to Cuba.

Stacey L. Bowers: Free and Low-Cost Online Legal Resources

There are an abundance of free or low-cost legal research sites available on the Internet. Some sites provide all of their content for free; others provide a mixture of free and fee-based information. Although each site is different, there can be significant overlap among the materials available.

Many of the free sites are “mega-sites,” which are ideal for accessing a wide range of information. Many universities and nonprofit organizations also provide legal resources on their sites, either as a free service to the public or as a free service to paying members. Government sites also are valuable for free legal research at both the federal and state levels.

This article discusses a few key sites from each of these categories. It provides an overview of the site, as well as some background information and the type of information that can be located through each resource.

Mega-Sites

Legal mega-sites provide access to a wide variety of information, including summaries of legal topics, cases, statutes, legal news, and directories of legal professionals and experts. Two of the most well-known mega-sites are FindLaw and Justia. Neither site charges users to access its content.

FindLaw

FindLaw, which is owned by Thomson Reuters, claims to be the “world’s leading provider of online legal information” and initially was launched in 1996 by two attorneys. FindLaw maintains two versions of its site—one for the public and one for legal professionals. Though each version is a comprehensive portal to legal information, this discussion will focus on the version for legal professionals.

FindLaw provides a number of high-level options for searching or browsing cases and codes, practice management topics, jobs and careers, legal news, legal blogs, and service providers. It also offers a number of “quick links” that lead users directly to main points of interest, including forms, law technology information, and newsletters. The newsletter quick link also contains case summaries and blogs.

From the home page, researchers can use the general search box to search across the entire site and retrieve the broadest number of results. A section called “Research the Law” allows users to narrow their search to find specific cases, contracts, or articles. The home page also enables users to browse research materials by type, jurisdiction, or practice area, and to review the latest blog posts and legal news headlines.

The “Cases & Codes” section provides access to federal laws, U.S. Court of Appeals opinions and resources, federal trial courts, and state resources. Coverage varies depending on the court. Additionally, researchers can use the “Search Opinion Summaries” feature to look for specific legal topics in selected courts.

Consider using the advanced search option when searching from the home page or from the cases and codes section. Use the operators AND, OR, and NOT and the proximity locator NEAR, which searches for terms within fifty words of one another. Use the asterisk (*)—which acts as the truncation symbol—to find multiple roots for the indicated search term.

Justia

Justia’s mission is to “advance the availability of legal resources for the benefit of society,” and its site is “focused on making primary legal materials and community resources free and easy to find on the Internet.” From the home page, users can search the entire Justia site by using the keyword search box, or can limit their search to a specific legal practice area by clicking on an area of law listed. Selecting a specific legal practice area brings up a custom search box, as well as an overview of the practice area and related information, including Web resources, important cases, legislation and regulations, articles, and news.

The Justia home page also has a legal research section where users can gain access to information regarding cases and codes, federal and state courts, federal and state government, blogs, legal forms, and podcasts. A section discussing cases that are currently in the news is accessible through the home page, as well.

Justia maintains a U.S. Supreme Court Center that is useful when researching information or cases at this level. It can be accessed by clicking on the “more” tab on the home page. Justia also provides the option to search dockets and court filings, which also is located under the “more” tab.

A unique feature of Justia is its Latin America section. Here, researchers can access laws, codes, and cases for Mexico and countries in Central and South America. Most of this information is provided in the specific country’s language but can be translated into English by clicking the “translate” button on the Google toolbar. Keep in mind that when using any type of free translation service, there may be nuances that are lost or errors in translation that may occur.

When searching in Justia, use the operators AND and OR. A space between keywords defaults to the use of the AND operator. To exclude a term from the search query, place a minus sign (-) directly to the left of the term to exclude, with no space in between.

Additional Mega-Sites

In addition to FindLaw and Justia, mega-sites worth exploring are MegaLaw, the Public Library of Law, LexisOne Community, HG, LexisNexis InfoPro—Zimmerman’s Research Guide, and Google Scholar. As with any resource, users will discover that one is more valuable than another for particular types of research.

University and Nonprofit Organization Sites

Many universities and nonprofit organizations provide legal information online. Some organizations provide free access to all of the information on their site; others require membership to gain full access to their legal research tools.

Cornell’s Legal Information Institute

One of the best sites is the Legal Information Institute (LII), which is hosted by the Cornell University Law School. The site was created to further the school’s belief that “everyone should be able to read and understand the laws that govern them, without cost.” To that end, LII publishes laws, creates materials that help assist in understanding the law, and explores technologies that allow people to find the law easily.

Unlike many home pages on legal research sites, the LII page is clutter-free and easy to navigate due to its simplicity. From the home page, researchers can use the keyword search box to search across the entire site or can choose to explore one of LII’s sections in more depth.

Within the site’s “Read the Law” section, researchers can access both federal and state constitutions, laws, codes, statutes, and cases. Where applicable, the site provides links to other sites where this information is available, rather than creating a repository for the data. The “Popular Topics” section allows users to explore specific legal topics. In many instances, LII provides a narrative overview of the topic and supplies a list of relevant resources, including applicable statutes, recent court decisions, and other key Internet resources. In the “Learn More” section, searchers can access the online legal dictionary called Wex, the Supreme Court bulletin, the annotated U.S. Constitution, and the LII legal blog. LII also has sections to assist in locating a lawyer, asking a question, or following the site via a social network.

When searching within LII, use the operators AND, OR, and NOT. If an operator is not indicated, the default is AND. The asterisk (*) acts as the truncation symbol and finds multiple roots of the search term.

American Bar Association

Although the American Bar Association (ABA) is member-driven, the organization’s site contains both free and fee-based information. From the home page, researchers can use the keyword box to search the entire site. The home page also provides relevant news stories, a list of upcoming ABA events, and links to popular resources.

The “Resources for Lawyers” tab directs users to a page where they can access the career center, search practice management information, locate information based on the type of practice setting, and access the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct. Within the practice setting area, there is a section dedicated to solo practitioners that contains useful information. By clicking on the “Publications & CLE” tab, researchers can access the newsletters section. Many of these newsletters are available for free to non-ABA members.

Additional Nonprofit Sites

The Colorado Bar Association (CBA) website offers a variety of legal information in its “For Lawyers,” “For the Public,” and “From the Courts” sections. Some of the information is available for free to anyone, and some of it is available only to CBA members. Other resources to check are local state bar associations, the American Association for Justice site, and the WWW Virtual Library—Law site.

Government Sites

Most federal and state government entities maintain a website. These sites include general information about the entity and often more specific information about that particular area of the law. Government sites can be very useful for legal research, because they have a more targeted focus.

Agencies

Government agency sites generally include the relevant rules and regulations, administrative decisions, laws, forms, and staff directories pertinent to the applicable legal area. The official sites for the U.S. government and the Colorado state government contain a list of all the federal and state agencies, respectively. In addition, the U.S. Government Manual contains a listing of all federal agencies, including information regarding the formation of the agency and its enabling legislation, a brief description of the agency and its responsibilities, the organizational structure of the agency, contact information, and other relevant facts. Users can search or browse the Manual, and its content is updated on an annual basis.

Researchers will find that some agency sites are better structured and easier to search than others. When encountering a site that seems particularly difficult to search, users should consider using the Google advanced search option. The Google advanced search page allows users to create a search query and specify the domain for the search by including the desired URL in the specified box.

Conducting legislative history research often is a difficult and time-consuming task. When engaging in federal legislative research, two of the best sites to consult are FDsys, the new online version of the Government Printing Office, and Thomas, provided by the Library of Congress. At the state level, researchers should consult the Colorado General Assembly site for information regarding legislation, as well as the Colorado Legislative Council site.

Court Websites

Other useful government-produced websites are those for particular courts. At the federal level, the U.S. Courts site is an excellent starting point. From the “Federal Courts” tab, researchers can access links to all the federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, Courts of Appeals, District Courts, Bankruptcy Courts, and Courts of Special Jurisdiction. Under the “Rules & Policies” tab, researchers can find information on federal rulemaking, codes of conduct, and subpoena regulations. Within the “Forms & Fees” area, users can access information regarding various filing fees and a variety of free forms. Under the “Court Records” tab, users can find a link to PACER, the system that provides access to federal case files and dockets.

At the state level, the Colorado State Judicial Branch site provides access to the Colorado appellate and trial courts. From the home page, researchers can access a wealth of information, including court opinions, the self-help library (which contains forms), the e-filing system, and court dockets.

Conclusion

There are an overwhelming number of free and low-cost legal resources available on the Internet. This article has provided an overview of some of them. Users often will turn to one resource more than another, depending on the type of information they need and their practice area, and it’s helpful to be familiar with what is available before starting a search. Free resources usually are a good place to begin one’s research, and supplementing this research with fee-based resources likely produces the best results.

Reproduced by permission. ©2011 Colorado Bar Association, 40 The Colorado Lawyer 103 (August 2011). All rights reserved.

Stacey L. Bowers is the Outreach and Instructional Services Coordinator for the Westminster Law Library at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. She can be reached at (303) 871-6079 or sbowers@law.du.edu.

The Colorado Lawyer, the official publication of the Colorado Bar Association, serves as an informational and educational resource to improve the practice of law. When you see the logo, you’re reading an article from The Colorado Lawyer. CBA members can also still read the full issue online at cobar.org/tcl.