Thursday, March 31, 2011

Upcoming Lexis Classes

Special Session for 3L's: Tips For Filling Out Your Bar Application This is a joint presentation between LexisNexis and Kaplan PMBR with information for all 3Ls - no matter what bar review you are considering taking. We'll give you tips for filling out the bar application and you'll get 400 points and lunch! Sessions offered Monday, April 4th at Noon and 4:45pm – sign up on the MySchool tab at

Prepare to Practice This session will include trainings on File and Serve, CourtLink, and other parts of Lexis that you might see in practice - either as an intern or after graduation. 400 points and lunch for attending! Just one sessions offered – at Noon on Thursday, April 7th in Room 259. Please sign up on the MySchool tab so we can provide enough lunch.

LexisNexis Certification This is a program designed to help students get ready for their summer internship or first year associate position. Based around feedback from employers, Certification covers five areas of research: Legislative History, Statute, Administrative Agency materials, Secondary Sources, and Cost Effective tips. Certification classes have already been held at the University of Denver, but if you are interested in become Certified, please contact Katy to set up a make-up session.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Colorado Statutes Research Guide

The Westminster Law Library is pleased to announce the release of a new research guide on Colorado statutory research. We currently have 31 online research guides on a variety of topics. Take a look and let us know if there are other areas where you think a guide would be useful.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Diversifying the Solo Defense Practice

Setting up a solo defense practice can be a scary thing, but there are ways to diversify your client base. Did you know you can apply to list yourself as an appointed defense attorney in federal and state trial and appellate cases?

The Criminal Justice Act (CJA) provides for adequate representation of Defendants in Federal Court under 18 U.S.C. § 3006A(a). The United States District Court in Colorado has a panel of private attorneys called a CJA panel. Attorneys who are members of the Federal Bar Association can apply for a position with the CJA panel. To be eligible for service on the panel, lawyers must certify that they have a working knowledge of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, the Federal Rules of Evidence, and the United States Sentencing Commission Guidelines Manual, and are competent to try a federal criminal case. Such certification of competency shall be made under Disciplinary Rule 6-101 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Once attorneys are approved by CJA and the U.S. District Court, they can be appointed to represent indigent Defendants in criminal cases and bill for their time to the federal court at CJA set rates. The United States District Court for Colorado also has a Habeas Corpus Panel and a Death Penalty panel that appoints CJA approved attorneys for representation in these two types of cases. Applications for membership on the panels are available in the office of the Clerk of the Court.

The Alternate Defense Counsel (ADC) in Colorado is part of the state of Colorado judicial system that appoints attorneys for indigent Defendants in trial and appellate matters. Defendants are appointed representation through ADC when the Public Defender’s office has determined there is a conflict of interest in their representation of a defendant. ADC approved attorneys are paid an hourly rate established by the state of Colorado. To apply to become an ADC attorney, one must first be a member of the Colorado State Bar Association. Then, attorneys must download the New Attorney Application Form from ADC’s website and then their final appointing authority will evaluate the application to determine if there are any openings in the geographic locale or areas of criminal law in which you specialize.

Written By Kimberley Dickey, Law Librarian Fellow

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Blawgs for Legal Professionals

This past summer, Brittany Cronin wrote a very good blog post for Hearsay about legal blogs (“blawgs”) for law students. As technology continues to advance, blawgs can serve an important function not only for law students, but for practicing legal professionals as well.

Recently, the Denver Bar Association broached the topic of “Keeping up in a ‘blogal’ world” in an article from The Docket (Vol. 32, Issue 11, December 2010). Penned by Nicole M. Mundt, and available online the article provided a good introduction to the topic for lawyers interested in breaking into the blogosphere. Though the evidence of successful marketing and client development via blogs is still largely anecdotal at this point, it is clear that some attorneys are already using blogs effectively in a professional context.

Rather quickly, blogs are becoming an accepted and more widespread means of marketing for lawyers. Many books dealing with legal marketing and client development now include sections dealing specifically with blogs and other emerging technologies. For example, in The Rainmaking Machine: Marketing, Planning, Strategies, and Management for Law Firms , the author includes a checklist for how to increase blog traffic, as well as a section on making the most of web 2.0 and online social networking.

So what does this mean for practicing attorneys seeking to generate business through the use of blogs? What steps should one take in order to make his or her blog stand out amidst the rapidly growing collection of legal blogs on the web?

Well, as noted by Nicole Mundt in The Docket article reference above, “there are very few actual “rules” to legal blogging, [but] there are quite a few considerations.” One way to try and figure out what works is to read through some of the many articles and book sections now dealing specifically with this topic. Another, more interactive way, is to see what other lawyers are doing, and incorporate the best stylistic aspects of other blogs into your own.

A simple Google search for Lawyer Blog turned up 23,800,000 results, while a search for Attorney Blog yielded 43,800,000 results. Obviously then, there is no shortage of examples from which to draw inspiration. Rather than just pick a Google result at random, you could use the
Justia Blawg Search to find a Blawg related to a particular topic of interest. You can also keep an eye on The Docket, which promises a new segment called Blog All About It, designed to highlight a great local and national blog each month. Finally, the American Bar Association Journal is maintaining a Blawg Directory which promises to be a “comprehensive directory of continually updated law blogs.”

If you are new to the blogosphere, it can all be a bit overwhelming. To get started, it may be worthwhile to check out some of the examples of successful legal blogs linked below.

Real Lawyers Have Blogs
Run by Kevin O'Keefe Real Lawyers Have Blogs has a number of contributors and is a leading source of information on the use of blogs and social media for law firm marketing. It is extensively tagged and organized into topics. For the attorney just getting involved in the blogosphere, the Blog Basics topic is a great place to start.

My Shingle – Great Things Come in Small Practices
Authored by
Carolyn Elefant with some guest posts, was launched in 2002, as the very first blog for and about solo and small law firms, and part of the first generation of 100 lawyer blogs to come online. To date, remains the most comprehensive online resource for solo and small firm lawyers with thousands of blog posts and an impressive stock of free e-books, checklists and forms on starting and running a law firm.

Colorado Legal Blog
Hosted by
Clawson & Clawson, LLP the Colorado Legal Blog is a compilation of subject specific blogs, including the Criminal Defense Legal Blog , the Family Law Blog, Personal Injury Legal Blog and the Social Security Disability Blog. Altogether, the Colorado Legal Blog provides basic information about a wide variety of topics and how they might be relevant to Colorado residents.

New Jersey Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog
Written by
Deirdre R. Wheatley-Liss a shareholder of the New Jersey law firm of Fein, Such, Kahn & Shepard, P.C., the New Jersey Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog is an excellent example of how a blog can be successful using a conversational tone. She has also recently branched out into multimedia with the inclusion of informational videos on the blog.

New York Law Notes: A New York Practice Blog
In this blog, John Diekman, posts brief blog entries highlighting some of the finer points of New York practice. He also provides case citations and (when available) links to recently published decisions. The content of the blog posts is also made available as podcasts .

No Funny Lawyers: A Human View of Law for Human-Owned Businesses
In this blog, James A. Thomas, Jr. (Jim) authors clever and refreshing posts on a wide range of topics, often with a Colorado focus. The title comes from a quote from The Official Lawyer’s Handbook (1983) - "There are no funny lawyers, only funny people who made career mistakes." Jim writes “[i]t’s now 27 years since I learned of my career mistake and I am still not smart enough to change professions. Instead I work at keeping it human, which includes funny and a number of other emotions. This blog is my attempt to put some legal humanity on the web and I dedicate it to my clients who daily remind me that they are human too.”

The Appellate Record
Written by
Kendall M. Gray, The Appellate Record bills itself as “the on-line news source, law review, law library and virtual watering hole for appellate lawyers and anyone else comfortable with their inner law nerd.” It strikes the delicate balance between serious (legal news, court decisions, and developments particular to the civil appellate practice & analysis and editorial opinion relevant to the state and federal appellate practitioner) and whimsical (links to the best and most interesting posts in the legal blogosphere--at least according to [Kendall Gray]).

Written By Marty Witt, Law Librarian Fellow

Friday, March 18, 2011

Consumer Protection Guide

The Colorado Law Project has published a resource guide for Coloradoans on Consumer Protection. The guide provides Colorado & federal resources for making complaints, investigating companies and resolving consumer law issues including scams, faulty products & services, identity theft, etc.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Library of Congess RSS Feeds

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds allow subscribers to stay up-to-date on news and web postings without the need to repeatedly visit a particular website.

The Library of Congress, and the Law Library of Congress, provide a number of feeds. The
Feed Page explains what RSS feeds are and how to subscribe to the various LOC feeds. Two categories are of particular interest to the legal community: Copyright and Legal. The THOMAS feeds are easy ways to track legislation at various points in the lawmaking process, including House and Senate floor updates, Daily Digest of chamber actions and committee meetings, and Bills presented to the President.

LOC Legal RSS Feeds:

Global Legal Monitor - News of legal developments from around the world, drawn from the Global Legal Information Network, official national legal publications, and reliable press sources.

These feeds include
numerous options available through the Global Legal Monitor may be selected by subject or jurisdiction. Jurisdictions include many countries, as well as the European Court of Human Rights, World trade Organization, and the World Bank.

In Custodia Legis Blog - In Custodia Legis is Latin for in the custody of the law. One role of the Law Library of Congress is to be a custodian of law and legislation. A blog covering current legal trends, a British perspective, a perspective from New Zealand, legislative developments in THOMAS, and cultural intelligence and the law.

News & Events - The latest news and upcoming events from the Law Library of Congress.
Legal Research Reports - Guides published by the Law Library of Congress providing legal commentary and recommended resources on issues and events with legal significance.

THOMAS: Bills Presented to the President - Lists bills that have passed both the House and Senate and have been sent to the White House for the President's signature.

THOMAS: Daily Digest - Provides notification of the Daily Digest, which details the chamber action, committee meetings, and joint meetings of Congress.

THOMAS: House Floor Today - Identifies the latest bills and resolutions considered on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

THOMAS: Senate Floor Today - Identifies the latest bills, resolutions, nominations, and treaties considered on the floor of the U.S. Senate.

THOMAS: Tip of the Week - Provides a weekly tip about using THOMAS.

THOMAS: Top Ten Bills - Provides a list of the top ten bills searched on THOMAS, compiled from weekly usage statistics.

Webcasts - Notices of new webcasts from the Law Library of Congress.

LOC Copyright RSS Feeds:
Legislative Developments - Notices of current copyright-related legislation.

Federal Register Notices - Announcements, rules, proposed rules and other notices published in the Federal Register.

eService Updates - Notifications of enhancements and updates to the U.S. Copyright Office online system for registration of copyright claims.

What's New at the Copyright Office - Alerts on new Copyright Office website postings and other announcements.

Feed descriptions are from the Library of Congress.

Written by Andrew J. Tig Wartluft, Law Librarian Fellow

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Wills & Trusts Guide

The Westminster Law Library is pleased to announce the publication of an online resource guide on Wills, Trusts & Estate Planning. The guide is part of a series published for the Colorado Law Project (CLP).

The mission of the Colorado Law Project (CLP) is to provide Coloradans with access to reliable legal information. To accomplish this charge the CLP has adopted the following goals:

1) To provide a gateway to reliable and freely available online legal information of particular interest or importance to Colorado’s general public;
2) To provide comprehensive explanation of included materials and resources in a format and language that is easily understood by both lawyers and non-lawyers alike;
3) To provide an effective reference tool for public librarians to use when answering legal reference questions; and,
4) To provide educational opportunities for Colorado’s general public and library community.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Spring Break Hours

The University of Denver will be celebrating Spring Break next week. Enjoy your break from classes! The Westminster Law Library will be on reduced hours during that time.

The Library will be open 8am-5pm Saturday, March 12th through Saturday, March 19th. Regular Library hours resume on Sunday, March 20th from 8am-midnight.

The Reference Desk will also have reduced staffing, although you can still leave a message at or 303-871-6206 and we will get back to when someone is available.
Closed Saturday, March 12 - Sunday, March 13th
9am - 5pm on Monday, March 14th - Friday, March 18th
Closed Saturday, March 19th - Sunday, March 20th

Foreign Law Guide Database

The Foreign Law Guide contains current sources of codes and basic legislation in jurisdictions of the world presented in a simple layout. It contains information on more than 170 jurisdictions from major nations to crown colonies, semi-independent states and supra-national regional organizations.

The work is comprehensive in content and global in scope and contains exhaustive links within the work and many URLs on the world level. One significant feature is an ongoing reference to over 300 works that are indexed frequently and designated “Materials Indexed.”

While searching, be sure to use the subject headings index provided for easy maneuvering within the site. An additional search tip; do not use “and” in quotations and filtering results is needed. Search results are presented under the subject headings of countries given on the front page tabs. These are single or multi-volume publications that provide either full-text legislation, respectable summaries of laws or translations, as well as works that can be relied on for useful detailed monographic treatments of laws on specific subjects. This is a great resource for a brief overview of any particular country. Not every country is listed, but please check back as the site is updated regularly. Lastly, Foreign Law Guide cites to hundreds of URLs containing reprints or translations of legislation (accessible through the Westminster Law Library catalog).

Written by Jennifer Hayden, Law Librarian Fellow

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Disaster Assistance Resources

Disasters can happen at any time so it is important to be prepared and understand basic proper responses to an emergency. There are several federal agencies that can assist and provide guidance during and after an emergency. Disaster is a site dedicated to providing answers in the face of an emergency from 17 contributing U.S. Government agencies on fifty different disasters. Executive Order 13411 required that the government provide access to help and assistance in the wake of a disaster in an easy to find and understand format. allows a person to apply for disaster assistance online and for various types of assistance by filling out a single form.

FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) is a consolidation of numerous federal agencies that deal with various forms of disaster assistance. This consolidation occurred in 1979 by President Jimmy Carter’s Executive Order 12127. In 2003 it became part of the Department of Homeland Security. The FEMA website provides information on planning for a variety of disasters and how to protect your family and your property. FEMA also offers online applications for assistance and information for farms or businesses damaged during a disaster.

The American Red Cross provides local assistance in the event of a disaster. The Red Cross provides food, shelter, and clothing for those who have lost everything. The Red Cross also provides information and access to therapy and counseling services for people requiring this type of assistance. The Red Cross provides tips for people preparing for disasters including steps to stay safe when a disaster occurs while at work or school. Local chapters may be found on the Red Cross website. is a government run site providing access to various topics of interest in the federal government. This includes information about disaster assistance and how to prepare. This site also provides resources about determining whether or not it is safe to stay home or if evacuation is the safest solution.

Special lists of resources are available for people with disabilities and for Spanish speakers.

Written by Brooke Jennings, Law Librarian Fellow