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Two companies publish the Colorado Statutes: LexisNexis and West Publishing. The State of Colorado has designated the LexisNexis set as the official compilation.

LexisNexis’ Colorado Revised Statutes (CRS)

West’s Colorado Revised Statutes Annotated (CRSA)

Although the text of the statutes is the same in each set, the differences arise in the annotations and updating: LexisNexis publishes a new set of statutes each year. West updates their set with annual pocket parts (small inserts placed in the back of each volume) or paperback supplementary pamphlets.

Here are examples of Colorado statute citations from both publishers. (See Rule 12 The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, 19th edition, a style manual for citing legal materials.)

LexisNexis’ Colorado Revised Statutes (CRS): Colo. Rev. Stat. § 25-7-101 (2011).

West’s Colorado Revised Statutes Annotated (CRSA): Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 25-7-101 (West 2008 & Supp. 2011).

Current LexisNexis’ CRS are also on the Internet at michie.com/colorado

Starting Points

How you find statutes depends on your starting point. When you begin your research, you may have:

  • A specific code citation: CRS 25-7-101.
  • A word or phrase you wish to define: air pollutant.
  • The popular name of the law: Air Pollution Prevention and Control Act.
  • A subject: air pollution.

Both LexisNexis’ CRS and West’s CRSA have tools that can help you find the information you need.

Find a statute by:

Finding a Statute by Citation

If you already have a citation for a statute, finding it is quite easy. Let’s use CRS 25-7-101 as an example.

CRS stands for Colorado Revised Statutes. 25 is the title number, 7 is the article number, and 101 is the section number

First, locate the correct volume by finding the title number, Title 25, on the spine (LexisNexis | West).

Next, locate the statute (LexisNexis | West) by checking the title, article and section citation.

If you are using LexisNexis’ CRS, you’re finished. If you are using West’s CRSA, check the back of the book for recent updates in a pocket part insert or in a separate paperback supplementary pamphlet.

Finding a Statute by Definition (Word or Phrase)

Look up the phrase “air pollutant” in LexisNexis CRS INDEX N to Z TABLES volume. Go to table of contents and at the front of volume, note the page number for “Words and Phrases.” Turn to “Words and Phrases” and look under “air pollutant” for the corresponding CRS statute citation. Since Words and Phrases entries are interfiled in West’s CRSA GENERAL INDEX M to Z, turn to WORDS AND PHRASES and look under “air pollutant, air pollution” for the corresponding CRSA statute citation.

Use the title, article, and section to find the definition (see “Finding a Colorado Statutes by Citation”).

If you are using West’s CRSA, check the pocket part or paperback supplementary pamphlet for updates.

Finding a Statute by Name

Sometimes you have the popular name of a statute or act, but no citation (example: Air Pollution Prevention and Control Act). Both LexisNexis’ CRS and West’s CRSA have a special table where you can look up an act by name.

In LexisNexis’ CRS, go to INDEX N to Z TABLES volume. See Table of Contents at front of volume and note the page number for “Short Titles and Popular Names.” In West CRSA, find the “Popular Name Table” in back of the M to Z GENERAL INDEX volume. Both tables are arranged alphabetically.

LexisNexis’ CRS

West’s CRSA

Once you’ve located the table (LexisNexis | West), simply find the act listed in alphabetical order and write down a citation (title, article, and section).

Use the title, article and section to find the act (see “Finding a Colorado Statute by Citation”).

If you are using West’s CRSA, check the pocket part or paperback supplementary pamphlet for updates.

Finding a Statute by Subject

Check subject listings in the index volumes when you don’t have a name or citation to a statute. In the LexisNexis CRS set, look in INDEX A to M and INDEX N to Z and TABLES volumes and in West’s CRSA, use GENERAL INDEX volumes A to L and M to Z.

Be advised that legal indexers may not use common terms when creating indexes. To find laws related to air pollution, look up key terms in each index volume. Use a legal thesaurus to help you locate alternative key terms.

When we look up “air pollution” in LexisNexis’ CRS and West’s CRSA indexes, we are referred to other sections of the index. (LexisNexis’ CRS sends us to “air quality control” while West’s CRSA lists “Air Quality Control Commission” as a subcategory.) Note that both indexes finally refer us to Title 25 and the various articles and sections that apply.

Once you have found the proper citations, use the citation method to locate your statutes. See the library’s research guide Colorado Statutes for additional information.

Other tutorial sections:
Types of Legal Materials
Finding Articles