Communicating with the LII

The LII gets a great deal of feedback from many people about a wide variety of things, ranging from trouble reports to editorial feedback about our content to requests for legal assistance. We appreciate your comments and try to respond as promptly and effectively as we can.

Here's how to get the fastest possible response:

One Final Point -- We (the LII of Cornell Law School) assemble these legal resources and operate this site as a public service. Even though you may be paying some commercial service for accessing our material, none of that revenue flows through to us. That means that we are eager to receive comments of one more kind -- namely, comments that report in some detail on how you use our service and find it valuable. Having such testimony helps us persuade publishers and granting agencies that support of this activity is worthwhile. And, needless to say, we will not object if you should be prompted to move beyond comment to financial support, yourself. In that event, don't use e-mail but send your tax-deductible contribution (payable to Cornell University) to:

Legal Information Institute
Cornell Law School
Myron Taylor Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853

Server errors and broken links.

Before doing anything else, you should make sure the error you are reporting relates to something which is under our control. The URL of the page you were looking at when you clicked on the link (the string of characters beginning "http://...." which gives the location of the document) should contain "". If it does not, the link you were trying to follow is not in a document we maintain, and we cannot fix it. Instead, we suggest that you contact the webmaster at that site.

That said, here's how to report errors related to things we do maintain:

Error 404 (Not Found)
Mail a report to . Please include the URL you were trying to get, and the URL of the page you were on when you tried to get it.
Error 502 (Timeout)
Most often these happen because you're connected to the Net via a slow link, and the server times out before it can send you the data you've requested. If you get this message after launching a search against one of our databases, you might try a 'narrower' or more restrictive search, with the idea that cutting down the size of the result set will give the server less to transmit. Otherwise, we suggest that you wait until there's less traffic at your end of the network.

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Locating particular legal documents

We get many requests for help in locating particular legal documents. As you probably know, coverage of the 'legal document universe' on the Net is spotty, and information can be hard to find. Unfortunately, we can't provide legal research services to the entire Net, but we can provide you with a few good starting points.

First, we suggest that you look at our own topical listing and listing by document source. The topical listing is organized in plain, non-legal language and will help you find documents within our collection and elsewhere.

Second, we suggest a look at the Yahoo or EINet.

You can also access large numbers of legal resources on the Net via the House of Representatives' Law Library. Particularly useful is its directory of state law.

Finally, if the information you want has something to do with the US Government or one of its agencies, we suggest using Villanova's Federal Web Locator and Federal Courts Locator.

For a helpful overview of the standrad resources and tools used in legal research in the United States, try Research FAQ  from Usenet.

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Finding Legal Advice / Finding a Lawyer

The borderline between providing legal information and providing legal advice is a narrow one, but it is one which we are neither permitted nor able to cross. Your best course of action would be to seek the services of an attorney; most places in the US have a lawyer referral service operated by the local bar association as well as some means of providing legal assistance to people who cannot afford an attorney on their own. A look through the Yellow Pages will generally find either or both of these services.

"Yellow Pages" for lawyers (including lawyers without Net access) exist on the Internet also. We recommend:

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LII Disk-Based Products

The LII publishes a wide variety of hypertext-based information products on disk, with search and modification capabilities far beyond those available through the Net. We offer both a full product list and a test-drive capability via the Internet for those who are interested.

If you're interested in ordering a product, contact us at

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Cello browser licensing

As most of you know development of Cello ceased just short of a public release of version 2.0. Source code licenses are available for version 2.0, and the source has served as a basis for several commercial products developed elsewhere. For information on source code licensing, contact

We get many inquiries from individuals and organizations who want to distribute Cello 1.01 as part of a CD-ROM product or as a CD-ROM reader. You are free to do this, but we ask that you first contact to obtain terms and conditions.

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Checking the provenance of legal documents

People frequently ask whether our electronic document is the most recent version available, whose version it is, or whether or not it is in force for a particular locale. We routinely provide this information in "context", "credits and conditions", and "structure" documents located alongside the collection in which the document is obtained.

To find the "context", "credits and conditions", and "structure" documents for the document you're viewing, follow these steps:

  1. Find the 'overview' document (usually a table of contents) which applies to the document you're currently viewing. Usually this will be accessible via a hypertext "button" at the bottom of the current document. If the document you're looking at is itself an overview, see the next step.
  2. You'll see a hypertext buttons at the top of the overview document which are marked "context", "credits and conditions", and "structure". Click on these to obtain the information you're looking for.

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Other questions, comments, and feedback

The large stores of information at the LII are kept up by various teams of maintainers, editors, and technical people. It helps us a great deal if you can direct your feedback to the proper team:

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Contacting Webmasters at other sites

You're most likely reading this because you wanted to report an error and found out that the error is related to a document mounted somewhere other than the LII. Usually, the best way to report such an error is to send mail to 'webmaster' at the site where the document is mounted. You can get the cite from the document's URL as it appeared in the error message, eg.:

is a problem with a document located on the machine, and you can report it by sending mail to:

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