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“One of the most serious problems with the trend toward exclusively researching legal material online – and in making certain legal resources available only electronically – is that in most states, there is no system or set of standards for how legal information should be organized and disseminated electronically, with the result that people cannot (and are sometimes cautioned not to) rely on what their state governments publish online. This further perpetuates a divide that already exists between those who have the resources and ability to locate (and perhaps pay for ) and evaluate Web-based legal information and those who cannot. This is particularly troublesome when it comes to the issue of the law and citizens who are proceeding pro se. . . Trustworthy and accurate government information is a necessity for citizens of each state if they are to participate meaningfully in the democratic process; disclaimers do not fix the fundamental lack of trustworthiness of many state legal resources that are regularly used and relied on by pro se litigants. . .

It is reasonable to assume that the information made available online by a state government is trustworthy and therefore, citable to a court. The lack of state systems for authenticating electronic state primary legal material affects all users of online state legal information, but especially pro se litigants who are conducting their own legal research and acting as their own lawyers.”

Anna L. Endter, “Authentication of Online State Primary Legal Resources as a Social Justice Issue: The Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act and How It Can Benefit Pro Se Litigants,” 31 No. 3-4 Legal Reference Services Quarterly 293-311 (2012).

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