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Monday, April 09, 2007

How Trustworthy are State-Level Primary Legal Resources on the Web?

The American Association of Law Libraries'
State-by-State Report on Authentication of Online
Legal Resources (PDF) "examines the results of an
online state survey that investigated which govern-
ment hosted legal resources on the Web are official
and capable of being considered authentic."

The survey, conducted in 2006, targeted six sources
of law: state administrative codes and registers, state
statutes and session laws, and state high and inter-
mediate appellate court opinions.

Legal researchers may be surprised to learn that the
report found that "a significant number of the state
online legal resources are official but none are
authenticated or afford ready authentication by standard
methods. State online primary legal resources are there-
fore not sufficiently trustworthy."