The great people over at CALI (Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction), have partnered with the Legal Information Institute (LII) at Cornell Law School to bring free* .epub files of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Criminal Procedure and Evidence. The downloads will currently work on iPads, iPhones, Nooks, and other devices that can read the .epub format (like Mobipocket if you're on Windows). Note: These are E-Book formats, so it won't work in your PDF Reader.This isn't just a bare-bones version of the Rules, either. The ebooks have the following features built into this initial version (with promises of more to come):
- The complete rules as of December 1, 2010.
- All notes of the Advisory Committee immediately following each rule.
- Internal links to rules referenced within the rules.
- External links to the LII website's version of the US Code.…*Although you can download and use the Federal Rules ePubs for free, you can show your support for the hard work of the LII crew by donating an amount (go ahead and make it an even $20.00), and help support their work and encourage them to produce even more great content.
Earlier this week, CALI's latest project, the Free Law ReporterTM, went live. According to the announcement, "[t]he goal of FLR is to develop a freely available, unencumbered law reporter that is capable of serving as a resource for education, research, and practice."
It's still experimental, and very much a work-in-progress. As the CALI announcement says, "[t]he next steps will depend upon community involvement."
Current functionality is limited to basic keyword searching, but the underlying technology allows for more sophisticated search functionality down the line — facet searching and “more like this” functionality reportedly coming soon.
The cases are also being compiled as downloadable eBooks (.epub). Each state and federal jurisdiction is gathered into a volume each week. An example file can be found here, although links to all available .epub files haven't yet been posted.