Preserving the Past, Informing the Future
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Because library staff members are not attorneys they cannot offer individual guidance in matters involving litigation or legal forms, and they cannot offer legal advice or any interpretation of the law or legal terms.
· Interpretation is defined as the explanation of what is not immediately plain, explicit, or unmistakable.
· Although staff members will be as helpful as possible in locating and providing necessary legal materials, it is the responsibility of the patron to research his or her own legal issues and come to his or her own conclusions about how the law applies to particular situations.
· LLR staff cannot identify any single law as the statute (or regulation, or case) that will answer the patron's legal question.
· LLR staff may suggest sources and explain the organization and format of those sources to in-house patrons who are attempting to devise a search strategy.
· Staff may assist patrons in the use of catalogs, indexes, and research guides to identify and locate pertinent library and archival resources; assist in the use the collections and electronic reference resources; and assist with the operation of photocopiers and microform equipment.
· Staff may direct patrons in the use of all Connecticut statute compilations and supplements to determine public act numbers for legislative histories.
The Law and Legislative Reference Unit staff responds to telephone,
letter, email and fax inquiries that pertain to legal and legislative issues
and can be answered from sources within the collection.
· LLR staff may help to find the broad definition of legal words or phrases, usually by using sources such as legal dictionaries and encyclopedias.
· LLR staff may read short quotes from legal materials when the patron has a specific citation (time and policy permitting).
· LLR staff may locate biographical information about attorneys and judges.
· LLR staff may help locate legislative or other background reports or law journal articles, which provide the patron with information that may be relevant to his or her legal question.
· LLR staff may take requests for copies of Connecticut legislative histories when the patron has a specific Public Act number or numbers.
· LLR staff may advise patrons to consult an attorney but they cannot
recommend a specific attorney or law firm.
Compiled by Law/Legislative Reference Unit, 5/2005