How to Find and Do Research on Colorado Statutes and Laws On the Internet
As a sovereign state, Colorado has a legislature that passes its own statutes and laws. Those who wish to do online legal research on Colorado laws can find the entire text of the Colorado Revised Statutes (CRS). Colorado uses the services of Lexis-Nexis to post the CRS online. You can access the text and run searches for specific keywords. Use the Colorado statutes as a basic tool for legal research. It may save you money if you are just curious about the law or have a simple question. As always, though, contact a Colorado attorney if you have specific legal problems.
Access the CRS and get familiar with it. You will see that, like most state codes, the CRS is divided into Titles. Each Title is a rather broad area of the law. The reason you may need a lawyer is because these broad areas of law overlap in many places. If you don't know where to look, you may miss important information that can affect your legal problem.
Click on a Title to see the Sections within that Title. Click on a Section to see the contents of each Section. One advantage to using the Lexis-Nexis copy of the statute is that this copy has annotations. Annotations clarify the law in some way. These annotations come from court decisions. Many states do not offer annotations online for their statutes. Read the annotations to get additional information. However, lawyers will look up the cases and study the case law and court opinions to get the specifics of an annotation. Remember that annotations are always just a summary of the law.
When looking up Colorado statutes, you can try to narrow your search with the search feature. Enter a phrase into the search box at the top and click the image with the arrows to perform the search. The laws that contain that keyword will be listed on the right. Click on each link to read the law. This can be a rather time-consuming process and return lots of things which are not relevant to your search.
If you have time, just look for the broad area of law in the Titles, read the Section links, and keep clicking and reading until you find what you are looking for. For example, you might be looking for the law of limited liability companies. You will probably find this in Title 7. Corporations and Associations.
Your search for Colorado laws does not end with statutes. Each state also has a constitution and administrative rules and regulations. Some states also have Attorney General opinions that may or may not affect the law. Use the Colorado home page at Michie to get to the Colorado Constitution. Find other links to Colorado law on the Colorado State resources page at FindLaw.com.
Always consult an attorney if you have special legal issues that can affect your rights. Generally speaking, only lawyers have the experience to analyze a problem, find all sources of law that address that problem, and map out a plan to solve or deal with that legal problem.
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