Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Free Federal Rules eBooks from CALI’s eLangdell

Last week, the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (“CALI”), in partnership with the Legal Information Institute (“LII”) at Cornell University School of Law, unveiled three free eBooks: the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, and the Federal Rules of Evidence.
Free Federal Rules eBooks from CALIThese three eBooks are available for download through CALI’s eLangdell site. eLangdell (named after Christopher Columbus Langdell, the "father" of the case method of legal education) is CALI’s “open source” law book project, through which they hope to encourage more and more law faculty to create, share, and use casebooks and other legal resources that are covered by a Creative Commons license. These three books of Federal Court Rules are some of the first major releases from eLangdell. They are available in both an .epub for iPads, iPhones, and other devised using that format, and in the .mobi format for Kindle users.

So, OK, they’re free, but how do they compare with the commercial, print copies of these rules? Well, the eLangdell rules are up to date with all amendments as of December 1, 2010. The official West Publishing pamphlets containing these rules are only up to date as of May 1, 2010, so the eLangdell version is a full seven months more current than the West version. And, being an eBook, the eLangdell rules have hyperlinks for cross-references within each set of rules, and to cited U.S. Code sections via LII’s web site.

So if you have a eBook reader and want quick, easy access to Federal Court Rules, try these free eBooks from CALI, eLangdell, and LII and get a taste of what may be the future of open-source legal publishing in the 21st Century!

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