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Research Tools

Legal Professional Associations

Many attorney organizations provide websites with great lists of services and support tools.

  • The Florida Bar– The Florida Bar, with more than 80,000 members, is the statewide professional and regulatory organization for lawyers. In addition to information for members, this website also provides information for the public on general areas of law and links to sources of other types of legal services.
  • Florida Justice Association (formerly known as Academy of      Florida Trial Lawyers) –   The Florida Justice Association is dedicated to strengthening and upholding Florida’s civil justice system and protecting the rights of Florida’s citizens and consumers. The FJA’s website provides links to news, legislative updates and various sources of legal services.
  • American Association for Justice –  The America Association for Justice was formerly known as the Association of Trial Lawyers of America. The mission of the American Association for Justice is to promote a fair and effective justice system and to support the work of attorneys in their efforts to ensure that any person who is injured by the negligence of others can obtain justice in America’s courtrooms. This site includes links for consumers and families, links to various government pages, as well as links to a variety of legal organizations.
  • American Bar Association– The American Bar Association is the largest voluntary professional association in the world with over 400,000 members. The ABA provides law school accreditation, continuing legal education, information about the law, programs to assist lawyers and judges in their work, and initiatives to improve the legal system for the public. This website includes a large volume of links for legal education, public resources and legal help.
  • Southern Trial Lawyers Association – The mission of the Southern Trial Lawyers Association is to promote fellowship, learning and networking among trial lawyers throughout its 13 member states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. This website provides the names and contact information for all members of STLA, searchable by state.
  • Tampa Bay Trial Lawyers Association–  TBTLA is a non-profit organization of lawyers dedicated to upholding and defending the Constitution of the United States and the State of Florida. Members of the TBTLA seek to advance the science of jurisprudence, excellence in advocacy and the administration of justice for the public good. The Association’s website includes links to legal associations, government sites and various Florida law-related sites.
  • Hillsborough County Bar Association– The HCBA is a volunteer lawyer organization that devotes countless hours to the betterment of the Tampa community. Amongst the services the association provides are the Ask-a-Lawyer program, an      annual Community Law Fair, and providing over 1,200 books to the Head Start program each year. The HCBA website includes information about how to take advantage of a discounted initial consultation through the Lawyer Referral Service, links to Hillsborough County legal resources, including several links in the area of Family Law.
  • American Board of Trial Advocates – ABOTA is an organization that was founded in the 1950′s with the goal of preservation of the civil jury trial. The function of the organization today is to seek attorneys who display skill, civility      and integrity in order to assist younger attorneys achieve a higher level of trial advocacy, and also to educate the public about the vital importance of the Seventh Amendment. This site provides access to printed and reference material, links to various legal sites, and links to a number of available publications on law-related topics.
  • Hillsborough Association of Women Lawyers–  HAWL promotes and recognizes the contributions of women in the legal profession and judiciary. The organization also advocates and lobbies for equal treatment of lawyers, litigants and      witnesses.
  • Palm Beach County Bar Association– The website for the Palm Beach County Bar Association includes a large assortment of links in the areas of local government, Florida government and Federal Government. It also contains links to a number of legal research sites.
  • Delta Theta Phi Legal Fraternity– The purpose of Delta Theta Phi is to foster professional affiliations through legal education and international networking. Delta Theta Phi is the only law fraternity with an authoritatively recognized law review.
  • Manatee County Bar Association–  The Manatee County Bar Association is located in Bradenton, Florida. The purpose of the organization is to maintain high standards in the profession of law for the County of Manatee. The website      provides links to various courts, local references, law-related organizations and nearby law schools.
  • St. Petersburg Bar Association – The St. Petersburg Bar Association seeks to develop and promote efforts which enhance the legal profession and encourage      better public understanding of and access to the judicial system. Their website contains links related to business law, consumer law, employment law, family law, Florida law, Federal law, and to other legal organizations.
  • Phi Delta Phi International Legal Fraternity–  Founded in 1869, Phi Delta Phi is the oldest law fraternity in North America. Phi Delta Phi has initiated in excess of 200,000 members making it also the world’s largest legal fraternity whose      membership is restricted to students and practitioners of the law. Its goal is to promote a higher standard of ethics and professionalism in law schools and the legal profession.

Legal Research Links

These free sites are good resources for basic legal information.

  • Legal Research Information at Lawyers.com–  This site includes legal articles, law message boards and other legal resources related to nearly 50 different areas of law. This site provides basic information in many areas of law and      provides forums for you to interact with others in a virtual community.
  • Find Law for the Public–  This site includes information on various areas of law ranging from accidents and injuries to Social Security and retirement. This site also contains message boards so that you can post questions and receive answers   to on various law-related topic.
  • Law Guru–  This site provides approximately 65 areas of law to guide you in your research. Additionally, the site allows you to ask questions via a message board, search a database of previous questions & answers, and seek popular legal forms.
  • Cornell University Legal Information Institute–  This site offers WEX – a collaboratively built, freely available legal dictionary and encyclopedia for “law novices”. The information on this site is able to be submitted by any credible source, the staff at Cornell then filters the information ensuring that the site maintains its integrity by providing only high quality material.
  • Harvard Journal of Law & Technology– This site provides a search engine for you to search by topic for any articles which have appeared in previous versions of      Harvard Journal of Law & Technology.
  • Stetson University College of Law–  Stetson University College of Law is located in nearby Gulfport, Florida and is considered one of the nation’s top 100 law schools. Through their website you may access a vast array of information      from the Law Library including access to journals and other online resources.
  • Google Scholar–  Google Scholar is a search engine that provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. You can search across many disciplines for peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts and articles.
  • JURIST–   Legal News and Research- JURIST is a web-based legal news and real-time legal research service powered by a mostly-volunteer team of over 30 part-time law student reporters, editors and web developers at the University of Pittsburgh.
  • Nolo–  The goal of this website is to make America’s legal system accessible to everyone through the use of top-quality, plain-English products. The site includes articles addressing 5 major areas of law.
  • FLO–  Florida Law Online- This website provides a complete index of Florida laws broken down by congressional session. It also provides links to Florida Courts, government agencies and legal journals and periodicals. It is not an official Florida government website.
  • AllLaw-Legal Information and Law Portal–  This site provides access to research in various areas of law as well as links to legal journals and periodicals, lawyers, legal forms and documents, and state & federal government resources.
  • Free Legal Advice– Freeadvice.com offers free legal advice on over 100 legal topics. On this site you can also research cases, lawyers and legal forms.

Remember that these sites are not necessarily authoritative. It is always a good idea to check the official state website or traditional legal research sources.

Federal Materials

  • The Federal Judiciary–  This site includes the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Courts of Appeals, the U.S. District Courts and U.S. Bankruptcy Courts. In addition to links to the various types of court, this website also provides additional      information such as publications, statistical reports and web resources.
  • Code of Federal Regulations–  CFR is the codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government. It is divided into 50 titles that represent broad areas subject to Federal regulation.
  • The Library of Congress– The Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and serves as the research arm of Congress. It is the largest library in the world, with millions of books, recordings, photographs, maps and manuscripts in its collections. Within the site is a link to the Law Library of Congress which contains research services and other legal resources.
  • U.S. National Archives–  Founded in 1934, the U.S. National Archives is home to our governments’ most important documents. Of all the paperwork and documents generated by our government each day, only 1-3% are archived here. You can search the site for information on a number of topics including public law, basic laws and authorities, and federal laws and regulations.

(State) Florida Specific Research Sites

  • Official Portal for the State of Florida– MyFlorida.com has a link to every administrative or executive agency in the state and every county website.
  • Florida State Courts– FLCourts.org has links to all the rules of the Florida Courts, each court in Florida, Supreme Court briefs, online docketing, and even links to where you can watch Supreme Court oral arguments online.
  • Florida Statutes & Constitution–  Research statutes and the Florida Constitution at Florida Statutes Online.
  • Florida Supreme Court–  Search this site for information regarding the Florida Supreme Court Justices, read opinions of the court, and access public information such as oral arguments, court orders, death warrant cases and high profile      cases.

During the Legislative Session, bills can be tracked on the Legislature’s site:

Each Judicial Circuit Court in Florida has its own website.

  • Sixth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida–  The Sixth Judicial Circuit serves citizens of Pasco and Pinellas County. Use this site as a link to divisions of the court and for more information regarding the court system in Pasco and Pinellas      counties.
  • Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida–  The Thirteenth Judicial Circuit serves the citizens of Hillsborough County. Their website provides general information for the public as well as links to other government organizations.

US District Courts for the various districts within the state of Florida

The District Courts of Appeal also each have their own website, that follow a similar pattern.

  • Florida First District Court of Appeal–  This site provides current information regarding the opinions, court docket, court calendars, administrative orders, video of oral arguments and other useful facts regarding Florida’s First District Court of Appeal.
  • Florida Second District Court of Appeal–  This site provides current information regarding the opinions, court docket, court calendars, administrative orders, video of oral arguments and other useful facts regarding Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal.

Many of the state court websites have a “Clerk’s Office” section, or something similar, with online docket look-up abilities.

Other helpful state links include:

  • Florida Administrative Code– This site gives Floridians access to the rules and regulations affecting them, as well as notices of proposed rules, public meetings, bid proposals and other items.
  • Department of Business and Professional Regulation–  On this site you can search for a license, permit or registration, file a complaint, search unlicensed construction complaints, or apply for a license.
  • Florida Division of Corporations– From this site you can search and access filed information for corporations, limited liability companies, limited partnerships, trademarks, fictitious name registrations and liens. Images of most filed documents can be downloaded at no charge.
  • U.S. Government Printing Office–  The U.S. Government Printing Office disseminates official information from all three branches of the Federal Government. From the site, you can search resources by branch of government or by topic through the use of a basic search engine.

Medical Links

General – You can often access information about an injury or condition online. Several medical journals have online abstracts or article listings.

  • Life Expectancy for Cerebral Palsy, Vegetative State, Traumatic Brain Injury and Spinal Cord Injury– This website is for a research group which specializes in life expectancy calculations based on standard actuarial and bio statistical procedures. They have applied these scientific methods to data on children born with cerebral palsy, persons in a vegetative state, and to those who have suffered spinal cord or traumatic brain injuries.
  • The Injury Cooperative–  The Injury Co-Op is a comprehensive resource for  catastrophic injury survivors and their families who are seeking guidance on the journey to recovery. Created by fellow survivors, the Injury Co-Op is dedicated to providing education, support and hope for a better tomorrow.
  • The New England Journal of Medicine– This website allows you to search previous journals on a number of medical topics providing users with some of the most current research available.
  • National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)–  NINDS aims to reduce the burden of neurological disease by conducting and fostering research on the causes, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders and stroke.
  • Medical Information, Forums and Communities–  MedHelp was founded in 1994 to help you get the best available online medical information. The site allows you to ask medical questions to top doctors from the world’s best health care institutions. You can also get medical advice and support from others with similar experiences.
  • NGC – National Guideline Clearinghouse–  NGC is a public resource for evidence-based clinical practice guidelines. The mission of NGC is to provide physicians, nurses and other health care professionals an accessible mechanism for obtaining objective, detailed information on clinical practice guidelines.
  • The Joint Commission– Accreditation of Health Care Organizations requires providers to report “sentinel events” that occur in their facilities.  Reports and accreditation surveys and sentinel events are available online.
  • American Academy of Physical Medicine and  Rehabilitation (AAPM&R)– This organization is for physicians who are trained to restore function in patients suffering from acute and chronic pain, musculoskeletal problems like back and neck pain, tendinitis, pinched nerves and fibromyalgia. They also treat individuals who have experienced catastrophic events resulting in paraplegia, quadriplegia, or traumatic  brain injury.
  • American Chronic Pain Association– The mission of this organization is to facilitate peer support and education for individuals with chronic pain and their families so that these individuals live more fully in spite of their pain. This site is beneficial for those afflicted with chronic pain as well as their caregivers, family members and professionals.

Brain Injury

  • The Brain Trauma Foundation– The mission of BTF is to improve the outcome of Traumatic Brain Injury patients nationwide. BTF focuses on finding scientific, evidence-based treatment guidelines that can control secondary damage in TBI cases. This website provides information and resources regarding the most current and effective guidelines for treatment.
  • The Injury Cooperative– The Injury Co-Op is a comprehensive resource for catastrophic injury survivors and their families who are seeking guidance on the journey to recovery. Created by fellow survivors, the Injury Co-Op is dedicated to providing education, support and hope for a better tomorrow.
  • Brain Injury Association of America–  BIAA serves and represents individuals, families and professionals who are touched by a life-altering traumatic brain injury. The BIAA provides information, education and support to assist the victims of TBI.
  • International Brain Injury Association– IBIA is dedicated to the development and support of multidisciplinary medical and clinical professionals, advocates, policy makers, consumers and others who work to improve outcomes and opportunities for persons with brain injury. This site includes a section that deals with facts regarding brain injury.
  • American Association of Neurological Surgeons– The AANS is an organization that is dedicated to advancing the specialty of neurological surgery in order to promote the highest quality of patient care. From this site you can access research      regarding neurosurgery as well as locate a skilled neurosurgeon.
  • TBI and SCI Non-Profit Organizations

Spinal Cord

  • The Injury Cooperative– The Injury Co-Op is a comprehensive resource for catastrophic injury survivors and their families who are seeking guidance      on the journey to recovery. Created by fellow survivors, the Injury Co-Op  is dedicated to providing education, support and hope for a better  tomorrow.
  • The National Spinal Cord Injury Association – NSCIA is the nation’s oldest and largest civilian organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of Americans living with the results of spinal cord injury and      disease. NSCIA provides a resource center to answer questions and a peer support network referral program linking people with SCI/D to each other.

Amputations

  • Society for Vascular Surgery– This site explains the reasons an amputation might be necessary and also gives details on the procedure as well as the recovery from the procedure.
  • National Limb Loss Information Center– The Amputee Coalition of America operates the NLLIC in an effort to provide comprehensive resources for people with limb loss, as well as their families, friends, and the health care professionals      involved in their lives.

Orthopetic Injuries

  • American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons – This site provides information regarding a variety of orthopedic injuries and their various courses of treatments.
  • Orthopaedic Trauma Association– This organization is a source for optimum treatment and prevention of musculoskeletal injury. The site includes educational resources, patient education and related links and resources.

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy / Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

  • Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome Association– RSDSA was founded in 1984 to promote public and professional awareness of RSD. This website is designed to give patients, family members and health care providers the most up-to-date information on treatment, legislation, support groups, research, fund raising and patient stories.
  • National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)– NINDS provides a fact sheet which defines RSD / CRPS as well as discusses the symptoms, diagnosis, prognosis, methods of treatment and current research.
  • American RSD Hope– This website is an excellent informational website for those dealing with RSD / CRPS. The site includes a description, signs, symptoms,  etiology, facts, articles, videos, brochures and raises RSD research funds.
  • International Research Foundation for RSD /CRPS– The International Research Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that aims to establish an international forum to conduct research and educate people regarding RSD and CRPS. The website includes clinical practice guidelines and educational videos.

Trauma