Monday, May 31, 2010

CO Methods of Practice

What it contains:

Each of the volumes in this series sets out the Colorado treatment of a different area of law. The first few volumes cover the laws of Colorado corporations, LLCs and LLPs, and are written by well known and long time Colorado attorneys Cathy and James Krendl. Other titles cover Colorado civil rules, litigation and trial practice; personal injury, torts and insurance; as well as appellate, bankruptcy, criminal, employment, and family law, among others. Each individual subject is authored by a resident Colorado expert who has practiced in the field for many years.

Why you should use it:

Subject treatises contain a detailed analysis of all the law relating to a particular topic. They will provide annotations that cover case law, statutes and regulations that best illustrate a particular point of law, but there won’t always be Colorado-specific examples. In the Colorado Methods of Practice Series, all of the annotations refer you to Colorado law on point.

Where you can find it:

The print set is located on the 3rd floor of the Westminster Law Library under the call number KFC1880 .C652, as well as at the Reference Desk.

Westlaw database is COPRAC, or it can be found on the Colorado tab under the heading Colorado treatises and practice materials.

Written by Beth Mescall, Law Librarian Fellow

For additional information on various Colorado practice materials, please see our Research Guide on this topic.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Domestic Abuse Law Extends to Pets

An poll conducted early last summer indicated that fully one-half of pet owners felt that their pets were “just as much a part of the family as any other person in the household.” Another 36% answered that their pets were “part of the family, but not as much as the people in the household.” All told, over 8 out of 10 people polled agreed that their pets were members of the family. A newly-signed Colorado law takes steps towards treating them as such.

Governor Bill Ritter signed Senate Bill 80 on April 12, 2010. The new legislation provides for court-entered civil protection orders to include directives and protections concerning animals. Though the law does allow for additional protections for pets, its purpose it directly tied to instances of domestic violence against people. As detailed in the press release, “Senate Bill 80 will give law enforcement the ability to protect families, children and those who are at-risk,” said Gov. Ritter. “This legislation fills a gap between civil and criminal law to protect families.”

Sponsored by Senator Linda Newell (D-Littleton) and Representative Jerry Frangas (D-Denver), the newly-signed bill is designed to help thwart the “pattern of crime over time” – 1) damage property, 2) injure or kill a pet, then 3) attack their victim – that abusers and stalkers often follow. In support of the bill, Dr. Frank R. Ascione visiting professor at the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work and Executive Director for the Institute of Human-Animal Connection had testified and provided “examples of the co-occurence of domestic abuse and animal abuse and described how animal abuse may influence the actions of a person who is the victim of domestic violence". Dr. Ascione discussed statistics regarding women who delay going to shelters out of concern for the well-being of their pets.

Colorado is not the first state to take this important step to protect both pets and human family members from the devastating effects of domestic violence. According to a Summer 2007 “Expert Insights” piece written by Phil Arkow and published by the American Bar Association’s Commission on Domestic Violence, “Maine enacted the nation’s first laws in March, 2006 that empower courts to include companion animals in domestic violence protective orders; within two months, Vermont and New York followed suit.” Other states such as California, Connecticut, Illinois, Nevada, and Tennessee were not far behind. According to the Animal Legal & Historical Center, there were 10 states as of 2009 that had enacted provisions for pets in domestic violence protective orders – it must be noted that Colorado was already included on this list based on its statutory definition of “domestic violence” as including violence against property such as animals under certain circumstances (C.R.S. § 18-6-800.3). Since then, the movement towards including animals within protective orders has continued to grow, with a recent blog posting and news release indicating that West Virginia has passed similar legislation. According to the news release, West Virginia was the 14th such state.

Some Additional Resources
For more information about the connections between domestic violence against people and against animals, be sure to check out the Institute for Human-Animal Connection at DU, which has recently been the focus of an article in the Denver Post.

The American Humane Association also has a section of its website devoted to the Human-Animal Bond.

For further reading on pet news and care issues with a Denver perspective, be sure to check out the Fetch blog by John Davidson, which includes a post on the new Colorado legislation discussed above.

The Animal Law Blog is a regularly-updated blog that features, among other things, “one practitioner’s observations and analysis of animal law news…”

Pet-Abuse.Com has an interesting project where interactive animal cruelty maps have been developed. In the Colorado map 171 out of 258 cases in Colorado have been mapped, 12 of which also involved domestic disputes in some way.

An excellent clearinghouse of articles, information, and research can be found here. On that website, one can also find an early (1997) national survey and article exploring the relationship between the abuse of animals and domestic violence.

Written by Marty Witt, Law Librarian Fellow

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Strange Colorado Laws

Find that law and win a prize!

Did you know in Colorado it IS legal to tear off those pesky mattress tags (despite the big, bold lettering on the tag telling you not to)? Rumor has it former Colorado Governor Roy Romer celebrated passage of this law by tearing a tag from one of his office pillows and declaring his independence from those sneaky mattress tag police.

Driving down the street in your ‘64? Not on Sunday if it’s painted black. It is, according to many sources, illegal to drive a black car on Sunday in Denver.

Did you know in Cripple Creek, CO it is illegal to bring your horse or pack mule above the ground floor of any building? And in Fairplay it is illegal for any man, woman, or child to be seen flying while barefoot? And when you’re having second thoughts about Bob returning it in the same condition, just tell the truth: it is illegal in Denver to loan your vacuum cleaner to your next-door neighbor.

Finding web sites that give a list of dumb or questionable Colorado laws is not a difficult task, but finding citations for the most commonly mentioned “dumb” laws turns out to be nearly impossible. After many hours of searching, I was only able to find actual citations for the following law:

Proprietors of taverns located in Arvada, CO must ensure their establishments provide enough lighting necessary to read. Arvada Municipal Code: Sec. 3-4. Lighting.

A $5 Starbucks card goes to the person that can identify the most citations for the laws discussed above. Good luck! Please send your citations to

Written by Kimberley Dickey, Law Librarian Fellow

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sustainable Development & Appellate Advocacy Research Guides

The Westminster Law Library is pleased to report the release of two new Research Guides on Sustainable Development and Appellate Advocacy. Check out all of our Research Guides today! If you would like to suggest a topic for a future Guide, please let us know.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Myra Bradwell

Myra Colby Bradwell, born on February 12, 1831, went on to lead a life of political activism focused on women’s rights and became the first woman who applied to the Illinois state bar. Originally a school teacher, Myra Bradwell’s curiosity for legal studies started in the hopes of helping her husband James B. Bradwell a lawyer in the Illinois Bar, but grew into something much more. Bradwell began studying law as an apprentice under her husband, and sat for the Illinois bar exam in 1868 which she passed and was eligible for certification by the Illinois Supreme Court for admission to the bar. The Illinois Supreme Court rejected her application at first because she was a married woman and then later simply because she was a woman. Bradwell filed a writ of error to the United States Supreme Court.

While her case was pending, Bradwell became the founder and editor of the newspaper Chicago Legal News which was the first weekly legal newspaper in the Midwest. Her position as editor placed her in the public eye and Bradwell turned to a life of activism. She drafted a law requiring women to keep their own earnings, as well as advocating for women’s suffrage and other women’s civil rights issues. In May 1873, the Supreme Court upheld Illinois’ denial of admission to the bar, holding that admission to a state bar was not a right protected by the 14th Amendment. The Court went on to argue that women were limited to their role as homemaker because of their weakness and inability to be rational. (Bradwell v Illinois 83 US 130-142 (1873).

Myra Bradwell refused to give up even after this holding and continued to work for women’s rights and legal issues. It wasn’t until 1890, that the Illinois Supreme Court granted Bradwell a license to practice law. Bradwell did not reapply for admission but was granted the license by the Court to correct its previous error. In 1892, she was admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court. Myra Bradwell was truly a pioneer in the field of women in the law. She led a life devoted to political and legal activism fighting for women’s civil rights and the rights of others. She died in 1894 from cancer but is still remembered today as a leader in the women lawyers’ movement. Further, she is remembered in the world of journalism as a leader and innovator for her work with Chicago Legal News.

Helpful Sources:
Stanford’s Women’s Legal History Biography Project

Entry for Myra Bradwell:
This is a fascinating entry with list and links with full text to many of the following: biographies, chapters and articles that feature Myra Bradwell. This entry also includes archival materials and legal cases that Myra Bradwell participated in as an attorney.

Written by Brittany Cronin, Law Librarian Fellow

Saturday, May 22, 2010

BNA Database


An important and unique online database that the law library provides access to is Bureau of National Affairs (BNA) BNA is a crucial information source for legal professionals, whether you are a law student or practicing lawyer. BNA publishes, electronically and in print, more than 350 news reports on legal, legislative, and regulatory developments. BNA covers corporate and business law; securities and corporate responsibility; human resources and employee benefits; employment and labor law; intellectual property; tax matters; international law, and more. And the best part is that as a law student you can access many of their daily, weekly, and monthly reports for free.

When you click in to the BNA database, consider sorting by subjects unless you know exactly which report you want to read. The front page of each report highlights the current news. However, you can search that particular report by using the basic or advanced search feature or you can simply browse the report. For those areas of law that interest you the most, consider setting up an e-mail alert and receiving the report via email. What better way to stay current on what is happening in a particular sector of the law.

Just recently, BNA added a new feature to their database. By clicking on “Search my BNA” in the upper right on all the reports, you can now search multiple publications at the same time. You are no longer limited to searching within a single publication and then moving on to the next. This feature means you can search all the business and corporate securities publications at once for your topic of interest. This new feature truly expands the capabilities of BNA and makes it an even more useful database tool.

Written by Stacey Bowers, Outreach & Instructional Services Coordinator

Friday, May 21, 2010

Administrative Law Research Guide

The Westminster Law Library is pleased to report the release of our new Administrative Law Research Guide. This guide provides resources for both Colorado & federal administrative law. Check out all of our Research Guides today!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Summer Access to Lexis & Westlaw

Taking summer classes? Doing an internship or working on law review? Act now to preserve your ability to use Westlaw & Lexis over the summer...


Summer access registration is now open. Students should go to their law school home page and look for the picture/icon in the middle of the page that says “Register for Summer Access.” That link will take them to a page that explains the parameters of summer access and has a link to the actual registration page. In addition to school credit, research for a professor, and journal research, Lexis added a “Improve Research Skills” as a qualifying reason for summer access.


Procedures for summer access remain the same as last year. Students need to extend their access over the summer via the Westlaw home page.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Labor & Employment Research Guide

Need some help getting started with labor & employment law research? Check out our new online Research Guide. The guide provides information and links on Colorado & federal resources, fee-based and free databases, study aids, forms & secondary sources related to labor & employment law practice.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Legal Forms Research Guide

Drafting a contract, agreement or a pleading? Looking for Colorado-specific forms? If so, the Westminster Law Library has a new Research Guide just for you!

The Legal Forms Research Guide highlights useful links to forms on the Internet, and introduces resources for obtaining form language and sample documents for transactional and litigation purposes. The Research Guide also includes
CALI lessons for contract drafting basics and provides directions on accessing LexisNexis and Westlaw form databases.

Click here to check out the new online Legal Forms Research Guide. Or cut and paste the following URL into your web browser:

Below are a few links to some useful Colorado-specific forms, and best of all these are available online and for FREE!

• Colorado Secretary of State – Business Division Forms

Colorado Judicial Branch Forms (in English and Spanish)

Colorado Licenses and Permits

Happy drafting!

Written by Jennifer Chang, Law Librarian Fellow

New Titles for April

The Westminster Law Library added some new titles to our collection in April. You can see a list of all items or search by subject. Fill out our online form to be emailed a list of new titles on a regular basis.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Casemaker 2.2

Looking for a cost-effective online legal research tool? Worried about racking up large LexisNexis or Westlaw bills at your summer internship?

If so, take a few minutes and check out Casemaker 2.2. This online resource is free for DU law students and faculty, and for
Colorado Bar Association members. Casemaker 2.2 has been revamped to include a more user-friendly interface and additional features. This resource contains state and federal case law, statutes and legal materials. Through Casemaker, users not only have access to Colorado-specific items, but also have access to legal resources from all 50 states.

The Colorado Library includes: case law, the Colorado Constitution, statutes, session laws, Attorney General opinions, state court rules and full-text Colorado Lawyer articles. Casemaker 2.2 enables you to search these materials separately or to conduct a combined search among two or more “books” within the Colorado Library.

Casemaker 2.2’s coverage of Colorado case law dates back to 1864, and prior versions of Colorado Statutes are available through 2003.

When you pull up a case in Casemaker, Casemaker’s Case Check feature automatically provides links to subsequent cases that cite the case you are viewing. This permits users to read and determine the subsequent treatment of a particular case.

For more information about Casemaker click
here for the article “Casemaker: Colorado Legal Resources at Your Fingertips” by Wanda J. McDavid with contributions from Andrea Hamilton and Margi Heinen.

Casemaker 2.2 is offering a variety of web-based training sessions – just select the “Help” tab after you login.

To connect to Casemaker 2.2 through the Westminster Law Library click

If you have any questions about how to use Casemaker 2.2, or any of the other electronic databases available through the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, please feel free to come by the Reference Desk on the Third Floor of the Westminster Law Library.

Written by Jennifer Chang, Law Librarian Fellow

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Google Scholar: A New Choice for Free Legal Content

Recently, Google has added Federal and State case law and legal journals to its Google Scholar Search. To access the content, go to Below the search bar, click on “Legal opinions and journals.” Click on Advanced Scholar Search alongside the search bar to further specify the results. Within the Advanced Search screen, scroll down to the Legal opinions and journals section to search all legal opinions and journals, only federal court opinions, or only state court opinions (you can even specify a state to search).

Once you have chosen a document, a tab at the top that allows you to see how the case has been cited (think quotations), which cases have cited the case, as well as documents related to yours. While these features do not provide editorial content, they are a step towards updating your research. Best of all, this database is FREE.

Google Scholar has this to say about their case law collection. “Currently, Google Scholar allows you to search and read opinions for US state appellate and supreme court cases since 1950, US federal district, appellate, tax and bankruptcy courts since 1923 and US Supreme Court cases since 1791 (please check back periodically for updates to coverage information). In addition, it includes citations for cases cited by indexed opinions or journal articles, which allows you to find influential cases (usually older or international), which are not yet online or publicly available.” Check out the Google Scholar Help section for more information

Written By Kathryn Croco Michaels, Law Librarian Fellow

Monday, May 10, 2010

Helen Thorp Street, JD 1939

According to the ABA Consultant on Legal Education there were 3,062 full-time female law professors during the 2007-08 academic year, compared to 5,076 similarly positioned full-time male faculty. Though there is obviously not yet equal representation of men and women among law school faculty, both the number and the percentage of full-time female faculty members has increased every year since 2003-04, when the ABA consultant began tracking the racial, ethnic, and gender makeup of law school resources. See Table 1 (all data retrieved from

Though change may seem relatively slow today, the progress of women in the field of law professorship is something that might have been inconceivable more than a generation or two ago, when it was nearly unheard of for a law school to have even a single woman as full-time faculty. Women in the profession today can give thanks to those trailblazers who came before them and began the inexorable march towards equality that continues to this day. In fact, it is one of DU’s own who is worthy of such thanks.

Possessing an exceptionally keen legal mind, Helen Thorp Street (Class of 1939) received the top score in the state on the 1940 Colorado bar examination. Nevertheless, not a single law firm in Colorado would hire her because of her gender. As current U.S. Senator and former U.S. Representative Mark
Udall once noted, “Law was a man’s profession and no one would give her a job.” (Congressional Record, June 7, 2002, E990).

Effectively frozen out of the practice of law, Helen Thorp Street (then Helen Thorp) began teaching law at DU in 1940. In 1941, she became a full-time professor of law at DU. By some accounts, she was “the first woman to teach at an accredited law school in the U.S.” (Abbott, K. (2002, May 31). Obituary: Helen Thorp Street at 89. Rocky Mountain News, p. 17B.) On June 6, 2002, Hon. Mark Udall paid tribute (
Part 1 & Part 2 ) to Helen Thorp Street before the House of Representatives, recounting her pioneering role in law professorship, as well as her extensive activism within the Denver and Colorado communities and concluding that “Colorado is a better place because of Helen Thorp Street. I applaud this remarkable woman and the legacy she has left our state, the practice of law, and the example she set for community activists throughout our country. She will be missed by us all.” Though other historical accounts (e.g., Herma Hill Kay, The Future of Women Law Professors, 77 IOWA L. REV. 5 (1991)) indicate Helen Thorp Street may have had a handful of female contemporaries as law school faculty, the role she played cannot be understated.

If you are interested in learning more, check out DU’s Law School Alumni Recollections – Audio Interview
Archive to hear about Helen Thorp Street’s life and experiences from the woman herself.

Also, A Centennial History of the University of Denver College of Law: 1892-1992 by Philip E. Gauthier is an excellent resource for further reading. It is available in
PDF format broken down by chapters. Material on Helen Thorp Street can be found in Chapter 2. If you would prefer a free hard-copy of this book, please contact Patty Wellinger, or call 303-871-6479.

Written by Marty Witt, Law Librarian Fellow

Sunday, May 9, 2010

New Legislative History Resources

Two new federal legislative history resources are now available for researchers. Both of these items are included on our Web Research Links > Federal Resources > Federal Legislative History page.

The C-SPAN Video Library, C-SPAN Archives has recorded, indexed, and archived all C-SPAN programming for historical, educational, research, and archival uses since 1987. The C-SPAN Congressional Chronicle is an index to video recordings of House & Senate proceedings. All C-SPAN programs since 1993 are digital and can be viewed online for free. is a new resource offered by the U.S. House of Representatives. It has streaming video feeds of the House Floor Proceedings dating back to the beginning of the 111th Congress.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

World Constitutions Illustrated

Attention! Attention! This is something you won't find anywhere else!

A new addition to the Law Library's
HeinOnline subscription has been recently added. Check out the World Constitutions Illustrated link on the Hein Libraries page. This collection will contain the current constitution of every country in the world in its original language. Also included will be at least one English translation. For every constitutional document, researchers will find the original text, amending laws, consolidated text, and important related texts. A link to scholarly articles and commentary, providing a bibliography of select constitutional books available elsewhere is also included. Found in the initial release are more than 800 classic books on constitutions, constitutional history and jurisprudence, and political and economic history.

Additionally, HeinOnline is attempting to create the greatest constitutional collection in the world by bringing constitutional documents, periodical, works, and books together in one place. And, you have the opportunity to participate! If you have a book, constitutional document, suggestion for an article, or any other work that you would like to contribute to the project, HeinOnline wants to know. Submit your suggestions on the “
Contribute to the Project” tab.

Written By Jennifer Hayden, Law Librarian Fellow

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Gale LegalForms Database

The Law Library has subscribed to a new database called Gale LegalForms. The database includes a variety of Colorado & general legal forms. Topics covered include real estate contracts, wills, pre-marital agreements, bankruptcy, divorce, landlord tenant and many others. There is also an attorney directory by state and a dictionary of legal definitions. Gale LegalForms is available from the Databases/Indexes page on the Library's homepage. Students, faculty & staff can also access the database remotely using their name & DU id number. Our contract does not allow remote alumni access, but alumni can use the computers in the library if they want to search for a form.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Law Day, May 1, 2010

Celebrate Law Day! May 1 has been designated as Law Day since 1958 by 36 U.S.C. 113. The statute says in part that:

"Law Day is a special day of celebration by the people of the United States—
(1) in appreciation of their liberties and the reaffirmation of their loyalty to the United States and of their re dedication to the ideals of equality and justice under law in their relations with each other and with other countries; and
(2) for the cultivation of the respect for law that is so vital to the democratic way of life."

Each year, the President issues a presidential proclamation in honor of Law Day. The theme of this year's Law Day is Law in the 21st Century: Enduring Traditions, Emerging Challenges. As part of this year's celebration, the ABA has asked prominent attorneys to reflect on the theme and answer these questions: "What do you personally think is the most significant or interesting challenge that confronts law in the 21st century? In meeting this challenge, what legal tradition should we strive to maintain?" Click here to read their thoughts or add your own comments.