Jeralyn Merritt's CrimeLynx, www.crimelynx.com
About every year, The Docket tries to find for its readers some useful Web sites that might be helpful. Well, we’ve given up because we’ve found the end-all-be-all site for FREE legal research (we dare you, no, DOUBLE dare you, to find a more comprehensive site.)
Denver criminal defense attorney Jeralyn Merritt spoke at one of the Denver Bar Association’s weekly Tuesdays at the Bar programs last November. She astounded her audience by going through her Web site, CrimeLynx, www.crimelynx.com. She hosts this Web site on her own time and does not get any income from it.
Here are just a few (maybe 1/56th) of her Web sites dealing with general FREE legal research. While originally a criminal law site, it now has many resources for all lawyers.
Federal Criminal Statutes
You can download the U.S. Code; it even breaks it down by topic.
Federal Circuit Court Opinions
A link to the opinions of each circuit.
The Tenth Circuit Court Opinions (from October 1997) are updated almost daily. Search by plaintiff, key word and more.
The Code of Federal Regulations and the Federal Register are resources that the firm or attorney usually must buy for the library or access through a paid subscription service. These sites have the information for free.
Supreme Court Research
Hear arguments and get transcripts on this site. Merritt says, "It’s nice to know you’re not the only one who gets interrupted when arguing a case."
Click to access the docket, oral argument schedules, court rules, opinions and slip opinions from 2000 to today.
Almost all online law journals are on this site.
The Legal Education Network is based out of the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Law. It has articles by professors, research links, statutes and a good page on terrorism.
The 2002 Federal Sentencing Guidelines (effective November 1, 2002) is available in both HTML and Adobe .PDF format for viewing, printing, and downloading by chapter (or section of a chapter). Take it with you on your PDA or on ZIP Disk.
For those who aren’t sure how the federal sentencing guidelines work, try this.
Log on to the U.S. Courts Pacer system and view the docket sheet for just about every federal district, bankruptcy and appellate court in the country. There is a $.07 charge for each page.
This is a project of the Office of the Federal Public Defender for the Districts of Northern New York and Vermont. The cases listed are those in which a criminal defendant received relief from any U.S. Court of Appeals or the U.S. Supreme Court between 1995 and 2000. The purpose of this project is to give CJA Panel Attorneys a shortcut to case law that favors their clients.
Colorado Specific Sites
(It might be better to just link to it on Merritt’s CrimeLynx). The Colorado Revised Statutes are all for free.
Editors note: We are also awfully fond of www.cobar.org and www.denbar.org. These sites have great links and legal research tools, and you can also find out the latest about your membership.