Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Announcement: Welcome to Hearsay

Thank you for visiting our new blog!

We’ve shifted format: Westminster Law Library's twice yearly newsletter Hearsay is now a blog. Check for regular updates on new materials and resources, research tips, and changes in hours and resource locations.

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Scavenger hunt - win Wexis points!

Four winners will be drawn from the correct answers to receive LexisNexis or Westlaw points. Submit answers to Hearsay.
Deadline: February 8, 2008


  1. Who supplies our news headlines?
  2. What is one of our post categories?
  3. Where are the archives of the Hearsay newsletter located?
  4. What is the name of the new printing credit on your Pioneer card?
  5. Which version of the Colorado Revised Statutes does the Bluebook require you to cite?
  6. What was the decision in the case we used as a reporter citation example? I.e. reversed, affirmed etc.
Happy hunting!

Announcement: New Printers

The library has a new printing system this quarter. Please see our notice for information. If you haven't picked up the instructions for the new printers from the reference desk, you can find them get them from the UTS site. Each law student now has $35 on their Pioneer card for printing. Once this new "Uniprint" allotment is spent, you will need to add to your Flex Account. Uniprint money only works for print jobs - it does not work on the copy machines. Flex money works for both, as well as other campus locations and some restaurants.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Research Tip: Colorado Statutes

Official v. Unofficial

There are two versions of the Colorado statutes:
  • CRS - the “official” Colorado Revised Statutes (the red, soft-cover set, KFC1829.C66 – also on Lexis)
  • CRSA - West’s Colorado Revised Statues Annotated (the blue, hard-back set, KFC1830.1989.A2 – also on Westlaw).
If there is a choice or any discrepancy, Colo. Rev. Stat. is the version that should be cited. (See Bluebook Rule 12.2.1.a.)
How are they different?
The two versions are published differently, so one set might be more current in print than the other. The volumes of the Colorado Revised Statutes (Colo. Rev. Stat.) are published annually in softbound volumes. West’s Colorado Revised Statutes Annotated (Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann) is updated by pocket parts (updating pamphlets found in the back of the volume) and, sometimes, soft-bound cumulative supplements.
Why check both versions?
The statutory text found in both versions is the same, but there may be different cases or references to other resources in the annotations. A quick look at both versions can save you time locating key cases that interpret the statute.

By Patty Wellinger, originally e-mailed to 1Ls 9/13/07

Research Tip: Types of Legal Authority

As you begin to do legal research it is important to know the difference between primary or secondary authority and mandatory or persuasive authority.

Primary authority or sources include the actual rules of law created by a governmental body– constitutions, statutes and codes (from the legislature), case opinions (from the courts) and regulations (from administrative agencies). These materials may be generated from the local, state or federal level.

Secondary authority or sources include materials that explain or comment on areas of law such as articles, treatises, hornbooks or legal encyclopedias. Secondary authority is useful in helping you understand a particular legal topic or as a means of finding the primary resources since there are often citations in the text or footnotes. Secondary authority is usually not cited in a brief because it is only persuasive, meaning that the court is not required to follow the analysis.

Primary authority such as cases or statutes may be mandatory or binding if they are from your jurisdiction or they may be merely persuasive if from another jurisdiction. For example – in a Colorado state court case, Colorado Supreme Court opinions are binding; but if there is no applicable Colorado case law you might cite a California case to try to persuade the judge to rule in a similar way.

By Patty Wellinger, originally e-mailed to 1Ls 9/18/07

Research Tip: Reporters

What is a reporter?

Reporters are the books where case opinions are published or reported. Cases are printed in chronological order, so you need to already have a citation to locate a case in a reporter.
What about jurisdiction?
Reporters are available for individual states (California Reporter) or regions of the country (Pacific Reporter – 15 states including Colorado). There are also reporters for the different levels of federal courts:
  • District
    • Federal Supplement
  • Courts of Appeals
    • Federal Reporter
  • U.S. Supreme Court
    • United States Reports (U.S.),
    • United State’s Supreme Court Reporter (S.Ct.)
    • United States Supreme Court Reports, Lawyer’s Edition, (L.Ed.)

What are the parts of a citation?

Brooke v. Restaurant Servs., 906 P.2d 66 (Colo. 1995).

Volume => 906

Reporter => P

Series =>2d

Page => 66

State => Colo.

Date => 1995

What is a series?
A new series is created when a reporter reaches a certain number of volumes. For example, when the Pacific Reporter, Second Series (2d) reached 999 volumes, the Pacific Reporter, Third Series (3d) was created and started with volume 1.

By Patty Wellinger, originally e-mailed to 1Ls 10/5/07