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Court Website March Madness Tournament: Western Conference

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By Casey C. Sullivan, Esq. on April 01, 2015 12:53 PM

March has slipped away, but our madness for court websites remains. It's time for another round of FindLaw's head-to-head tournament. Last week, Indiana came out as number one in the Heartland, winning best court website in the Midwest.

Today, we go West, young men (and women), to find the greatest court website that side of the Rockies.

Round One Highlights

Thankfully, there were few truly terrible court websites in the West. The Tenth Circuit has a solid, standard federal circuit court website. It's leather couch feel rates high, but not high enough to beat out Wyoming, who got extra points for its live courtroom broadcasts.

In fact, the mountain states did pretty well throughout the West, beating out their coastal counterparts. Nevada beat out Oregon, whose website was big on background info but not that easy to use when it came to finding up to date information. Utah just sneaked past Colorado; the ease of finding opinions in the Beehive state helped it come out on top.

Round Two

The coast reasserted itself in round two, with the Ninth Circuit and it's helpful RSS feeds beating Oklahoma. Idaho took down neighboring Nevada, whose drop down menus tended to obscure the information on each page.

In the Pacific theater, California's information rich and well designed website beat Hawaii, though the Aloha state deserves points for offering information in a handful of languages.

Round Three

With the wheat separated from the chaff, the major players faced off in the third round. Perhaps surprisingly, Wyoming beat out the Ninth Circuit. While the circuit court's blue and parchment was the better design of the two, Wyoming's simple lay out and access to a ton of information made it the better site.

The golden bears of California handily clobbered the potato farmers up north though, beating Idaho. The Gem state impressed us by labeling high court opinions by topic. However, it couldn't overcome the vast amounts of information California was able to throw on its website while still not being overwhelming.

The Best in the West

It was a close call -- we really liked Wyoming's live streams, if we forgot to mention it -- but California came out on top. Their court site was the best in the bunch, balancing an open, light design with a wealth of information.

Will best website on the Left Coast be good enough to win it all? Find out next week, when the final four go head-to-head.

Who was your pick for the Western Conference?
10th Circuit
Wyoming
Utah
Colorado
Oklahoma
New Mexico
9th Circuit
Washington
Montana
Idaho
Oregon
Nevada
California
Arizona
Alaska
Hawaii
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