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TCL > March 2003 Issue > A New Publishing Contract for the Colorado Revised Statutes

March 2003       Vol. 32, No. 3       Page  35

A New Publishing Contract for the Colorado Revised Statutes
by Thomas Morris

Thomas Morris is a senior staff attorney with the Colorado General Assembly’s Office of Legislative Legal Services. The author wishes to acknowledge the assistance of Charles W. Pike, the Revisor of Statutes, in the preparation of this article.

To carry out its constitutional duties to publish the laws enacted by the Colorado General Assembly,1 pursuant to a contract awarded to the lowest responsible bidder,2 the Colorado General Assembly has enacted enabling legislation to specify bidding procedures and contract terms for the official publication of the Colorado Revised Statutes ("Statutes")3 and the Session Laws.4 Articles providing overviews of the publication process have been published previously in The Colorado Lawyer.5 Of particular current interest are the requirements that the publication contract can have a term of no more than five years and can be renewed only once prior to being rebid.6

The contract pursuant to which the 2002 Statutes and Session Laws were published has already been renewed once, and the renewal expired on December 31, 2002. Consequently, the General Assembly’s Committee on Legal Services ("Committee"), the entity responsible for overseeing the publication process,7 issued a request for proposals for a new publication contract in August 2001. The Committee reviewed responses by four well-qualified publishers, including Bradford Publishing Company (the Denver company that has published the official version of the Statutes and Session Laws for many years). In January 2002, the Committee awarded the contract to the LexisNexis™ Group. The parties entered into a contract in March 2002. This article briefly outlines some of the changes that the legal community can expect to arise out of this new contract.

Changes and New Features

As its first item of performance pursuant to the new contract, the LexisNexis™ Group has made Colorado’s 2002 statutes and court rules and the federal and state Constitutions available free to the public on the Internet.8 Each of these items is annotated just as in the official softcover version of the statutes (that is, everything except the federal constitution is annotated).

One of the significant benefits anticipated from the new contract is that the search engine that powers the website, which currently is LivePublish™, will be identical to that used for the official CD-ROM. Like the previously available CD-ROM, the new official CD-ROM will contain, in addition to the Statutes, the U.S. and Colorado Constitutions and Colorado court rules. Additionally, the LexisNexis™ Group will be updating the new official CD-ROM on a quarterly basis.

Of perhaps greatest interest to lawyers, however, is that this CD-ROM also will contain new features previously unavailable in the current official CD-ROM. These include the Opinions of the Attorney General since 1975, 2003 Colorado Advance Legislative Service (periodic updates issued throughout the legislative session containing the full text of acts as they are passed into law), and Colorado Judicial Decisions (the full text of all Colorado appellate decisions since 1864).

Transition Issues and Costs

Bradford Publishing Company will continue to publish and market the official 2002 Statutes, Session Laws, CD-ROM, and ancillary publications. Bradford Publishing Company also will continue to publish, in an unofficial format, both the CD-ROM and its existing specialty publications. The LexisNexis™ Group will begin to publish and market the official version of these items that result from the General Assembly’s 2003 regular session and thereafter during the term of the contract (until December 31, 2008).

The LexisNexis™ Group anticipates that the costs of the various publications will be as follows:

• Session Laws: approximately $30, plus delivery charges

• Statutes: approximately $185, plus delivery charges

• CD-ROM: approximately $720, plus delivery charges

The increase over the previous price for the CD-ROM reflects the additional materials available on the LexisNexis™ Group’s version of the CD-ROM (the Statutes and Session Laws prices have actually decreased from previous levels). Bradford Publishing Company will be providing its subscriber lists to the Committee, which in turn will provide them to the LexisNexis™ Group, so that existing subscribers can anticipate a seamless transition between publishers.


For more information, practitioners may contact the present and former publishers as follows:

• Bradford Publishing Company: (303) 292-2590 or (800) 446-2831;

• LexisNexis™ Group: (800) 543-6862; http://www.lexisnexis. com/productsandservices/solutionguide.asp.

On behalf of the Committee, the Office of Legislative Legal Services would like to thank the Bradford Publishing Company for many years of a job well done. It also wishes to express its confidence in the LexisNexis™ Group in carrying forward with its new publication responsibilities.


1. Colo. Const. Art. XVIII, § 8.

2. Colo. Const. Art. V, § 29.

3. CRS Article 5, Title 2.

4. CRS §§ 24-70-223 through -226.

5. See Pike, "Colorado Statutes and Related Publications: An Update," 11 The Colorado Lawyer 2325 (Sept. 1982); Brown and Pike, "A Glimpse at the State’s Obligation—Past, Present, and Future," 26 The Colorado Lawyer 97 (June 1997).

6. CRS § 2-5-105(3)(b)(I).

7. CRS §§ 2-5-105(2) and 24-70-223.

8. See See also A link to this site also is provided on the General Assembly’s home page:

© 2003 The Colorado Lawyer and Colorado Bar Association. All Rights Reserved. Material from The Colorado Lawyer provided via this World Wide Web server is protected by the copyright laws of the United States and may not be reproduced in any way or medium without permission. This material also is subject to the disclaimers at