A judge asks you to present her with a copy of the Virginia Code section you are referencing in court, or she asks you to provide a copy of the Supreme Court of Virginia opinion you cited. You used Virginia state government websites to find both the code section and the court opinion. This is easy, right? You give her the copy of what you found online. But could there be a problem? Is the court opinion that you retrieved from the court website considered an official version of the court opinion? Has the Virginia Code section that you provided been authenticated to establish its legitimacy? Do these issues matter, and do they have any practical effect on your work as an attorney?
Timothy L. Coggins, Virginia Law: It's Online, But Should You Use It?, Virginia Lawyer, June/July 2008.