Revision of factual

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View Nexis Video Tutorials:

View YouTube Video: “Nexis Uni: Searching from the Home Page,” LexisNexis Nexis Solutions, (2017)

View YouTube Video: “Nexis Uni: How to Select Sources and Create Permalinks,” LexisNexis Nexis Solutions, (2017)

View YouTube Video: “Nexis Uni: How to Use the Advanced Search Form,” LexisNexis Nexis Solutions, (2017)

View YouTube Video: “Nexis Uni: How to Use the Citation Tool,” LexisNexis Nexis Solutions, (2018)

This assignment is worth 30 points. Use the attached Rubric as a checklist to ensure successful completion of the assignment.

Deliverables

A revision of the assignment from Unit 3, to add proper Bluebook citations.

Step 1 Read and Review:

“Legal Citation & Research: The Bluebook & Nexis Uni”

“Introduction to The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation”

“Proper Case Citation: United States Supreme Court Cases”

View Bluebook Video Tutorials:

“Bluebook Tutorial: Case Citations,” Georgetown Law Library, Georgetown Law, 2019, http://guides.ll.georgetown.edu/bluebook_tutorial/2

“Bluebook Tutorial: Statutory Citations,” Georgetown Law Library, Georgetown Law, 2019, http://guides.ll.georgetown.edu/bluebook_tutorial/1

“Bluebook Tutorial: Law Review Citations,” Georgetown Law Library, Georgetown Law, 2019, http://guides.ll.georgetown.edu/bluebook_tutorial/3

Step 2 Download and Revise:

Download a copy of your assignment from Unit 3.

Revise the document, specifically your responses to questions 3-7, adding proper Bluebook citations.

Upload the revised document.

Tips to Successfully Complete the Assignment:

Do not try to memorize Bluebook citation or any type of citation style. Work with a Bluebook resource next to you and take one citation at a time, taking the time to look up the proper citation format. It will be slow-going at first, but with time and practice, you will get very efficient.

The lessons in this Unit are helpful resources to explain Bluebook citation. Another resource is: “Bluebook Citation 101—Academic Format,” UC Libraries, University of Cincinnati (2019) https://guides.libraries.uc.edu/c.php?g=222758&p=1473412

Rubric Bluebook Citation.docx

Proper Case Citation: United State Supreme Court Cases
Reference: The Bluebook: A tJniform System of Citotion,20th Edition

Susan Maruca, JD, MA, Director Paralegal Program, Eastern Gateway Community College

Rule 10: CASES

Citation of a United States Supreme Court case:

Example:

Gase Name:

Board of Education of Independent School District #92 of Pottawatomie County v. Earls

Nexis Uni Bluebook Citation tixport:

@d. of Educ. v. Ear$_5.!Q_U.,9. 922-122_s_-cl-255s,1!3 _L.EL?q rqq,a0!L US. LEXIS 4!ga 10_–
U,S.L.W. 4737,2002 Cal DailyOp. Service 5761,2002 DailyJournal DAR7275,15 Fla. L. Weekly
Fed. S 483 (Supreme Court of the United States June 27 , 2002, Decided ), available
at ht tp s : //adv a nce Jexr’s-
com.egcc.ohionet.org/api/docutnent?collection=casesdrd=am:contentltem:4655-7780-0048-Y005-
00000-00&context= 1 51 6831

Commented ISM1l: Rule 10,2.1: “Use the case nan]e that
appears at the beBinning of the opinion in the cited
reporter.” Although Earls is not the only party in this matter
(there are two students u,ho initiated the action): “Omit all
oarties otherthan thefirst listed on each side Do notomit
the first listed relator or any portion ofa partnership name ”

Prooer Bluebook Citation:

lao. ot roud. [,.] learElEs_Al]q.S$Z[bz6] kzooztl

commented [sMz]: First Party

Commented [SM3]: Verrsus = the abbrevi:rtion v (lower
case v followed by a period)

Commented [SM4]: second Party

Commented [SM5]: The reporter is the nanre of the
official book that contains the case. Here 536 is the volume
number of this official collection of books hokling the Board
of Education v, Earls case issued by the U.5, Supreme Court
in 2002. Therefore, as of the time of the publiEtion of this
case, there were 536 volumes of reporters in this collection

Commented [SM5]: This is the name of the reporler
referenced Ebove containing 536 volumes of cases issued by

the U.S. Supreme Court
-lhe full name ofthis reporter is

U.5. Reports but in the Bluebook citation we only use the
abbreviation U.s

Commented [SM7]: First page ofthe case in the reporter.

Commented [SM8]: This is the specific page thatyou are
referring to when you reference information in a case. Using

the first page ofthe case is notsufficient in the practice of
law. You must be precise in terms of where you found the

information

Commented [SM9]: Date of decision Usually, therre
would be a designation of which court heard i;he ca:ie in

Darenthesis but because it is clear from the name ol the

reoorterthat it is the U.5, Supreme Court, th€n that
information is not included with the date of the decision

This document is checked for acr:essibility pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act

Introduction to The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation

Style Guides: A style book or style guide is a resource that directs exactly how to format documents and cite outside sources used for research and writing (for example, MLA, APA). The goal is to create a universal finished product that a practitioner can read through easily. Practitioners read each other’s work so that they can gain a better understanding of their own professional activity. This way, research and writing doesn’t have to start from the very beginning but is just a continuation of the professional conversation about a topic.

Beyond collaboration and the sharing of information, style guides and citation ensure that credit is given when information is obtained from outside sources. Taking information without providing proper citations constitutes plagiarism and a document that lacks evidence or writing that is not researched-based.

The Bluebook: The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation is a style guide that is the most widely used system of legal citation in the legal community of the United States. It is typically referred to as the Bluebook. The Bluebook style of citation includes a uniform system used by law practitioners to site case law, statutory law and other legislative materials, state constitutions, the United States Constitution, administrative law, and legal books or reports, journals, magazines, digital/Internet Sources and international materials. While the Bluebook covers both state and federal law, some courts require their own system of citation that takes precedence over the Bluebook system of citation. While the Bluebook includes how to United States Supreme Court cases, the United States Supreme Court writes its opinions using its own system of citation.

The Bluebook can be divided into four sections.

1. Practitioners’ Notes (Blue Pages; Numbered B1, B2, etc.) – If information seems to conflict with the Rules pages, the Rules pages control.

2. Rules of Citation and Style (R.1 – R.9) – These rules cover formatting do’s and don’ts (e.g., capitalization and typeface) as well as general structure.

3. Specific Citation Rules (R.10 – R.21) – These rules contain citation formats for particular sources such as cases, statutes, and law reviews.

4. Tables and Abbreviations (T.1 – T.16) – These pages feature lists of abbreviations for terms that appear in your citation.

The Bluebook must be purchased through the publisher. You can purchase an online subscription that costs about $40.00 per year or the print version which is also about $40.00 for the 20th Edition. In the EGCC Paralegal Program, you will find Bluebook citation information in your course materials for Legal Research and Writing I & II.

Here are a series of podcasts to teach you about the basics of Bluebook citation:

Video Tutorials: INTRODUCTION TO CITATION AND BLUEBOOK:

1. This is a newly updated citation podcast, using the 20th edition of The Bluebook.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jDTTFMejCY#action=share

2. This video is for basic case citation, case name format, and reporter information. Rules 10, 10.2, 10.3.1(b).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9FcW9ILQ-I#action=share 

3. This video explains how to add court, jurisdiction, and date information to a basic case cite.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T89EMGr3eNk#action=share

This document has been checked for accessibility pursuant to the Americans With Disabilities Act

Legal Citation & Research: The Bluebook & Nexis Uni

Susan Maruca, JD, MA

Paralegal Program Director, Eastern Gateway Community College

Overview

The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation is a style guide that is the most widely used system of legal citation in the legal community of the United States. It is typically referred to as the Bluebook. The Bluebook style of citation includes a uniform system used by law practitioners to site case law, statutory law and other legislative materials, state constitutions, the United States Constitution, administrative law, and legal books or reports, journals, magazines, digital/Internet Sources and international materials. While the Bluebook covers both state and federal law, some courts require their own system of citation that takes precedence over the Bluebook system of citation. While the Bluebook includes how to United States Supreme Court cases, the United States Supreme Court writes its opinions using its own system of citation.

Publication Information

Publication Information: The Bluebook was first published somewhere between 1920 and 1926 and the online version was first offered in 2008. The Bluebook is in its 20th edition. Like all other systems of citation such as MLA, APA, CSE, etc., the Bluebook is revised periodically to keep up with the everchanging ways that the law is delivered to the legal community from primarily print publications to the digitizing of publications for online consumption. The publishers of the Bluebook are: The Harvard Law Review Association, the University of Pennsylvania Law Review and the Yale Law Review Journal Company, Inc.

How to Access Bluebook Citation

Legal Community

Generally, the Bluebook is a publication secured by Copyright and is purchased by practitioners in the legal community. An annual subscription including online and print is available for under $40.00 through the Bluebook website: www.legalbluebook.com. Subscribers to Lexis or Westlaw, the primary online databases used by practitioners in the legal community for research, can access information about how to cite legal materials using the Bluebook style of citation.

Students: Nexis Uni

Colleges, universities and law schools have libraries that subscribe to numerous online databases including Westlaw and Lexis. Lexis now provides a student version of its database, Nexis Uni, to subscribing colleges, universities, and law schools. Eastern Gateway Community College is currently a subscriber to Nexis Uni. EGCC students therefore can access this database free of cost through the student’s online library account. For more information about how to access an EGCC library account, refer to your Loud Cloud course menu or the EGCC website: www.egcc.edu/library/

How to Access Nexis Uni through EGCC Library

1. Go to the EGCC website: www.egcc.edu

2. Select “Click here to go to Gateway”

3. Under “Important Links” select “Library”

4. Select “Search EGCC Library Resources.”

5. You can locate Nexis Uni by selecting “OhioLink” or you can select the quick-link “Nexis Uni” under “Other E-Resources.” You may receive an “Off Campus-Access” prompt that asks for your last name and password.

6. Passwords are entered in the following format: first initial capitalized, last name with first letter capitalized, last four digits of your student ID#: JSmith1234

7. Your last name and passwords are case sensitive. Do not use your social security number.

8. If you have difficulty logging in, email [email protected]

9. On the home screen of Nexi Uni, you can select “Help” in the upper right-hand corner of the home screen.

10. Select the folder “Getting Started with Nexis Uni” to review basic features of the database. The “Help” folder also provides information for how to search the database and offers a support page with video tutorials. The direct link for that support page is: https://www-lexisnexis-com.egcc.ohionet.org/en-us/support/nexis-uni/default.page?lbu=US&locale=en_US&audience=all

11. You can also find video tutorials for practically anything that you’d like to do within this database on YouTube.

12. Working with this professional database requires time and practice. Over time and with practice, research skills will develop to the necessary level for successful legal research in college and in the legal workforce.

How to Find Bluebook Citations in Nexis Uni

Case Law

1. Once you find the case you are looking for and select it, you will see the Nexis Uni Citation at the top of the page. Immediately under the case name you can select, “Export Citation.” You will then see a box “Citation Export” and underneath a prompt asking, “What’s your selected citation format?” You can scroll through your options and select “Bluebook” and the Nexis Uni citation will reconfigure to a Bluebook citation.

2. The option “Copy to Clipboard” below the citation allows you to copy and paste the citation into your own file.
Bluebook

citation note: Bluebook Rule 18.2.1 clarifies that it is not necessary to include the URL/Internet address at the end of a citation for official versions of cases or statutes. Therefore, if locating case or statutory law on Nexis Uni, you should exclude web addresses from your citation.

Statutory Law

1. When searching for a statute or administrative law on the home page of Nexis Uni under “Guided Search,” you will be asked “What are you interested in?” You will select “A Publication.”

2. If you know the name of the Code or other statutory text you are looking for, it is easier to skip the prompt asking you to “Search for something specific?” and just type into the “Find publication” the name of your source. As you type, Nexis Uni will offer options as to the texts in the database for you to select.

3. Select “Search.” Select the statute or other legislation you are looking for.

4. Immediately under the statutory title offered by Nexis Uni, you can select, “Export Citation.” You will then see a box “Citation Export” and underneath a prompt asking, “What’s your selected citation format?” You can scroll through your options and select “Bluebook” and the Nexis Uni citation will reconfigure to a Bluebook citation.

5. The option “Copy to Clipboard” below the citation allows you to copy and paste the citation into your own file.
Bluebook

citation note: Bluebook Rule 18.2.1 clarifies that it is not necessary to include the URL/Internet address at the end of a citation for official versions of cases or statutes. Therefore, if locating case or statutory law on Nexis Uni, you should exclude web addresses from your citation.

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF LAW LIBRARIES

2011

Locating the Law
A Handbook for Non-Law Librarians

• Fifth Edition, Revised

P U B L I C A C C E S S T O L E G A L I N F O R M A T I O N C O M M I T T E E

©2009, 2011 Southern California Association of Law Libraries

Locating the Law
A Handbook for Non-Law Librarians

Fifth edition,

Revised

Edited by June Kim

Southern California Association of
Law Libraries

2011

Public Access to Legal Information (PALI) Committee,

Southern California Association

of Law Libraries

June Kim, Chair

2010-2011 COMMITTEE MEMBERS:

Joan Allen-Hart, Judy K. Davis, Catherine Deane,

Esther Eastman, Michelle Gorospe, Curtis Jones,

Jennifer Lentz, Janine Liebert

David McFadden, Patrick Meyer, and Lisa Shultz

i

Forward

The law …should surely be accessible at all times and to everyone.

–Franz Kafka

The Southern California Association of Law Libraries (SCALL) Committee on Public
Access to Legal Information (PALI) is charged with providing consulting services and
related educational programs to public and other non-law libraries offering open access
to legal information.

Public access to legal information is extremely important in today’s rapidly changing
legal environment. In recognition of the public’s need to know their legal rights and
how statutes, administrative regulations, and judicial cases affect their lives, SCALL is
pleased to present the fifth edition of Locating the Law: A Handbook for Non-Law
Librarians, 2009. This publication, as each of the earlier editions pointed out, is not
intended to replace a detailed legal research guide nor is it to be a substitute for the
advice of a licensed attorney. Locating the Law is intended to provide basic information
about California and federal legal materials: what they are, how they are organized,
and how to use them.

The full text of the fifth edition of Locating the Law will be available free of charge on the
SCALL Web site. For economic and environmental reasons the publication will no
longer be produced in print format. Additionally, the electronic only version will make
updating more effective and efficient. Web site addresses have been supplied for most
of the materials discussed in each chapter. Further, when Locating the Law is viewed
over the Internet, readers will be able to find sources of information almost instantly by
clicking on the hyperlinked text provided throughout this publication. As used in this
handbook, Internet access means electronically available. When commercially available
Internet services are described within, they are identified as fee-based services.

As a member of SCALL for fifteen years (1992-2007) and former PALI chair, I know that
previous editions of this handbook have been used by librarians both within and
outside of California and have assisted paralegals, law students, legal administrative
assistants, attorneys and others. The editor and authors hope the fifth edition will
continue to be an important resource for locating legal information.

Readers with questions, comments and suggestions for revisions may use the Contact Us
link on the Locating the Law page at http://www.aallnet.org/chapter/scall/locating.htm.

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION

ii

With your help, the members of the PALI Committee will strive to keep this new online
edition as up-to-date as possible.

October 2009

Ruth J. Hill
Director of Library Services &

Associate Professor of Law
Oliver B. Spellman Law Library

Southern University Law Center
56 Roosevelt Steptoe Drive

Baton Rouge, LA 70813

iii

Preface

The Southern California Association of Law Libraries (SCALL) Committee on Public
Access to Legal Information (PALI) is pleased to present the revised fifth edition of
Locating of Law: A Handbook for Non-Law Librarians.

The revision of the fifth edition of Locating the Law was completed in November 2011.
Because most of the edits involved updating links or deleting obsolete resources, the
Committee decided that this version of Locating the Law did not include enough
substantive changes to qualify as a new edition. A couple of changes, however, do merit
a mention here. New PALI member Janine Liebert suggested several new titles to add
to Chapter 10: Bibliography of Self-Help Resources. In addition, the list of common
abbreviations in law previously included at the end of Chapter 2: How to Read a Legal
Citation is now Appendix B. We hope that providing this handy list in its new location
as a separate appendix will make it more accessible to researchers.

I would like to thank the PALI members who updated the 2009 versions of their
chapters: David McFadden, Joan Allen-Hart, Patrick Meyer, Lisa Schultz, Jennifer
Lentz, and Esther Eastman. I would also like to acknowledge the assistance provided by
Judy K. Davis and several new members of PALI, Catherine Deane, Michelle Gorospe,
Curtis Jones and Janine Liebert. Also, PALI thanks Ramon Barajas for his technical
assistance.

On behalf of the 2010-2011 Committee on Public Access to Legal Information, I hope
that the revised fifth edition of Locating the Law will be a useful resource to public
librarians in California and elsewhere.

November 2011

June Kim
Chair, Public Access to Legal Information Committee (2010-2011)

Southern California Association of Law Libraries

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

iv

v

Acknowledgments

The 2008-2009 Public Access to Legal Information (PALI) Committee is pleased to
present the fifth edition of Locating the Law: A Handbook for Non-Law Librarians. The new
edition reflects the hard work, diligence and expertise of over a dozen California law
librarians, all of whom volunteered their time to this project. Given that eight years
have passed since the last edition, it should not surprise readers to know that the
changes to this publication are extensive. The Committee had its work cut out for it and,
I believe, rose to the challenge.

As editor, I had the privilege of working with all of the members of the Committee.
Especially during the last four months, 1

when the editing process was most intensive, I
became exceedingly familiar with each person’s contributions to this publication. I hope
to convey my appreciation of the Committee’s accomplishments here, as well as in the
quality of the final product, which I hope meets the expectations of the Committee
members. The chapters and appendices are excellent as separate work, but they are
even better together, in what I hope is a cohesive whole.

The chapter and appendix authors are Joan Allen-Hart, Laura A. Cadra, Karla Castetter,
Esther Eastman, June Kim, Jennifer Lentz, David McFadden, Patrick Meyer, and Lisa
Shultz. A detailed list is in the table below.

SECTION/CHAPTER

AUTHOR

TITLE/AFFILIATION

PREFACE

Ruth Hill

Director of Library Services & Assoc.
Professor of Law, Southern University
Law Center (Baton Rouge, LA)

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

June Kim

Senior Reference Librarian, UCLA
School of Law

1 Mid-May 2009 through September 2009.

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION

vi

CHAPTER 1: Introduction

Karla Castetter

Library Director, Thomas Jefferson
School of Law

CHAPTER 2: How to Read a

Legal Citation

David McFadden

Senior Reference Librarian, South-
western Law School

CHAPTER 3: Basic Legal

Research Techniques

Joan Allen-Hart

Assistant Director, Retired, San Diego
County Public Law Library

CHAPTER 4: Legal Reference

vs. Legal Advice

Joan Allen-Hart

Assistant Director, Retired, San Diego
County Public Law Library

CHAPTER 5: California Law

Laura A. Cadra

Head of Reference/Foreign & Int’l Law
Librarian, Loyola Law School Los
Angeles

CHAPTER 6: Bibliography of

California Resources

Patrick Meyer

Associate Library Director, Thomas
Jefferson School of Law

CHAPTER 7: Federal Law

Karla Castetter

Library Director, Thomas Jefferson
School of Law

CHAPTER 8: Bibliography of

Federal Law Resources

June Kim

Senior Reference Librarian, UCLA
School of Law

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION

vii

CHAPTER 9: Assisting Self-

Represented Litigants
in California

Laura A. Cadra

and
June Kim

Head of Reference/Foreign & Int’l Law
Librarian, Loyola Law School Los
Angeles (Laura) and Senior Reference
Librarian, UCLA School of Law (June)

CHAPTER 10: Bibliography of

Self-Help Resources

Lisa Schultz

Faculty Services/Reference Librarian,
Loyola Law School Los Angeles

CHAPTER 11: Availability,

Accessibility and
Maintenance of Legal

Collections

Joan Allen-Hart

Assistant Director, Retired, San Diego
County Public Law Library

CHAPTER 12: Major Law

Publishers

Jennifer Lentz

Head of Collection Development &
Reference Librarian, UCLA School of
Law

APPENDIX A: Glossary of

Legal Terms

June Kim

Senior Reference Librarian, UCLA
School of Law

APPENDIX B: California
County Law Libraries

Esther Eastman

Reference Librarian, LA Law Library

APPENDIX C: California

Law Schools

Karla Castetter

Library Director, Thomas Jefferson
School of Law

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION

viii

PALI Committee members, not included in the above list of authors, and who assisted
in the editing process are Judy K. Davis, Head of Access Services, USC Law Library,
and Tammy Pettinato, former reference librarian at UCLA Law Library. They acted as
two extra pair of eyes, for which I am grateful. Special thanks also to David McFadden,
a chapter author, who volunteered to assist in the editing process.

I also want to thank Ruth Hill, former PALI chair, who graciously agreed to write the
preface to the fifth edition. Ruth was a long-time member of SCALL before she moved
to Baton Rouge, Louisiana to become library director of Southern University Law
Center. Moreover, two people deserve special mention: Jessica Wimer, 2008-2009
President of SCALL, for her encouragement and support and Ramon Barajas, the
SCALL Webmaster, for his technical skills and expertise.

Last but not least, many, many thanks to Laura Cadra, who provided invaluable
assistance to me during the past four months. I consulted with Laura on all issues for
which I needed a second opinion—from structure and organization of the chapters,
formatting, whether to include or exclude information, and much more. She also helped
in the editing process by reviewing several of the chapters. In addition, she graciously
agreed to co-author the new chapter, Assisting Self-Represented Litigants in California
(Chapter 9).

On behalf of the chapter authors, the PALI Committee members, Ruth Hill, Jessica
Wimer, and Ramon Barajas, I hope that the fifth edition of Locating the Law: A Handbook
for Non-Law Librarians will be a useful resource to public librarians in California and
elsewhere.

June Kim, Chair
SCALL Public Access to Legal Information Committee
2007-2009

vii

Table of Contents

FORWARD (2009) …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. i

PREFACE ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. iii

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS (2009) ………………………………………………………………………………………………. v

CHAPTER 1: Introduction …………………………………………………………………………………………… 1

CHAPTER 2: How to Read a Legal Citation ……………………………………………………………….. 13

CHAPTER 3: Basic Legal Research Techniques …………………………………………………………… 21

CHAPTER 4: Legal Reference vs. Legal Advice ……………………………………………………………. 46

CHAPTER 5: California Law ……………………………………………………………………………………… 54

CHAPTER 6: Bibliography of California Resources ……………………………………………………. 69

CHAPTER 7: Federal Law ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 97

CHAPTER 8: Bibliography of Federal Law Resources ……………………………………………….. 115

CHAPTER 9: Assisting Self-Represented Litigants in California ……………………………….. 145

CHAPTER 10: Bibliography of Self-Help Resources ………………………………………………….. 157

CHAPTER 11: Availability, Accessibility and Maintenance

of Legal Collections …………………………………………………………………………………….. 198

CHAPTER 12: Major Law Publishers ……………………………………………………………………….. 208

APPENDICES:

APPENDIX A: Glossary of Legal Terms ………………………………………………………….. 214

APPENDIX B: Common Abbreviations in the Law ………………………………………….. 222

APPENDIX C: California County Law Libraries …………………………………………….. 225

APPENDIX D: California Law Schools…………………………………………………………… 255

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

viii

1

Chapter 1

INTRODUCTION

This introductory chapter gives an overview of legal research and provides general
descriptions of the sources one should consult. Detailed descriptions of California and
federal law may be found in Chapters 5 and 7, respectively. In addition, see Chapters 6
and 8 for detailed bibliographies of California and federal legal materials.

Contents:

• Categories of Legal Research Sources
• Constitutional Law
• Statutory Law
• Case Law
• Administrative Law
• How It All Fits Together
• Basic Tips for Locating the Law
• Selected Bibliography

Categories of Legal Research Sources

The goal of most legal research is to identify the answer to one’s legal question. Were my
rights violated? How do I probate a will? Can I adopt my stepchild? Finding the answer or
solution requires research into the applicable legal basis or authority. In other words,
which laws apply to my legal issue?

In order to identify applicable laws, one must first have a basic understanding of the
U.S. legal system. In the United States, there is a federal government as well as fifty
state governments. Each of these 51 governments has executive, legislative and judicial
branches, all of which have the power to promulgate laws. These state and federal
governments share authority over some legal matters but have distinct authority over
others. Hence, one of the first questions a legal researcher must address is whether state
law or federal law applies to his or her legal problem.

Second, one must distinguish between three different types of sources—primary,

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

2

secondary, and finding tools (or aids). Primary sources of law are the official
pronouncements of the government’s lawmakers: court decisions, statutes, and
regulations. They are the legal rules that govern our society. Secondary sources of law
describe the law, discuss a legal problem or set out a model piece of legislation.
Secondary sources of law include law review articles, treatises, 1 restatements,2
hornbooks,3 and practice manuals. Finding tools facilitate access to primary and
secondary sources of law and include indexes, digests,4 and citators.5

Each type of source described above has a distinctive place in the hierarchy of legal
authority. Authority may be (1) primary or secondary and (2) mandatory or persuasive.
Indeed, while courts and other decision makers are often open to guidance from a wide
range of sources, only primary authority can be mandatory in application (which means
that the court decision, statute, or regulation must be followed). For example, a decision
from a state’s highest court is mandatory authority in its jurisdiction and must be
followed by the lower state courts. Similarly, a state statute must be followed within the
state. However, some primary authority is only persuasive. Persuasive authority is that
which the court or other decision maker may consider it but is not obligated to follow.
For example, California state courts may find other state court cases persuasive, but are
not bound to follow court opinions from any of the other 49 states. Moreover, there are
varying degrees of persuasiveness. A well-respected treatise, albeit a secondary source
of law, may have more persuasive force than decisions from courts in other states.6

Primary Sources of Law

The primary sources of federal law are the U.S. Constitution, the enactments of the U.S.
Congress, the decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court and of the lower federal courts (i.e.,
Courts of Appeals and District Courts), the regulations and rulings of the federal
administrative agencies, and the executive orders and proclamations of the President of
the United States. The primary sources of law for each state are the state constitution,
the enactments of the state legislature, the decisions of the state courts, the regulations

1 Treatises are books on legal topics. A treatise can be one volume or many volumes.
2 Restatements are prepared by the American Law Institute and literally “restate” (or summarize) general
case law principles in specific areas of law.
3 Hornbooks are one-volume books on a legal topic often used by law students.
4 Subject indexes to case law.
5 Citators serve two functions: updating a source of law and leading the researcher to additional sources
of law.
6 See Amy E. Sloan, “Types and Weight of Authority,” in Basic Legal Research, 4th ed. (Aspen Publishers,
2009) at 4-9; Richard K. Neumann, “The Hierarchy of Authority,” in Legal Reasoning and Legal Writing:
Structure, Strategy, and Style, 5th ed. (Aspen Publishers, 2005) at 148-151.

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION

3

and rulings of the state administrative agencies, and the orders of the states’ governors.
Within each state, municipalities may have their own charter, ordinances and
administrative regulations.

Other sources of primary law include tribal laws passed by Indian sovereign nations
and international laws (usually expressed in the form of treaties between two or more
nations).

Hence, it is important for researchers to determine at the beginning of their research
whether federal or state law is implicated and which type of primary law applies to
their legal problem.

Secondary Sources

Most law librarians will suggest starting legal research with a secondary source. This
advice is especially relevant to those who are new to legal research or new to a specific
subject area of legal research. Secondary sources, such as practice guides or handbooks,

Primary Sources of Law
U.S. Constitution

Legislative

State
Constitutions

Statutes

Codes

Bills

Judiciary

Cases

Rules of Court

Executive

Regulations

Regulatory
Decisions

Executive
Orders

Proclamations

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

4

will summarize a subject area of law, describing (and providing the citations to) the
applicable statutes, court opinions and regulations. Not only does this save the
researcher time in identifying the relevant primary law, but it also provides the
background information needed to frame intelligent questions, determine the best
research paths, and learn the key terms used in the area of law. Moreover, scholarly
commentaries (in law reviews or legal treatises) can have persuasive influence on the
law-making process by drawing attention to the flaws in current legal doctrine and
suggesting alternative methods.

Although many public libraries will not add legal treatises, hornbooks, practice guides,
and law reviews to their physical collections, they will likely have legal self-help books,7

which will provide an excellent starting point for most researchers. It is worth noting
here that legal secondary sources are generally not available for free on the Internet. In
any case, for those unfamiliar with these sources, it is recommended that they use
secondary sources in print, in order to take advantages of the indexes, tables and other
finding aids included therein. Secondary sources are referenced throughout these
chapters, with the idea that librarians will be able to locate the best area library to serve
the needs of their users.

Finding Tools

The third and final type of legal research material is the finding tool. These research
aids would never be cited in a court brief, law review article or legal memorandum, but
are, nonetheless, critical to anyone updating or searching for primary and secondary
sources. West’s California Digest is an example of a finding and indexing tool for
California case law. Shepard’s citation titles such as Shepard’s United States Citations or
Shepard’s California Citations are examples of updating tools. The process of updating
cases and other legal materials is colloquially called Shepardizing, whether or not one is
using a Shepard’s tool. Online updating is widely available in public law libraries—
either through LexisNexis, which owns Shepard’s, or through Westlaw, which has its
own updating service called KeyCite.

Constitutional Law

The highest law of the land is the U.S. Constitution. As a grant of power to the federal
government to rule in the name of the people, the Constitution defines the basic rights

7 See Chapter 9: Assisting the Self-Represented Litigant in California and Chapter 10: Bibliography of California
Self-Help Resources.

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION

5

of U.S. citizens. It cannot be changed except by amendments proposed by two-thirds of
both houses of Congress and ratified by three-fourths of the states, or by a
constitutional convention. The U.S. Supreme Court is the final authority on interpreting
the U.S. Constitution. No law, whether state or federal, is valid unless made in
accordance with the U.S. Constitution and with the interpretations of the U.S. Supreme
Court. All state constitutions, state statutes, and county and municipal charters and
ordinances are subordinate to the U.S. Constitution.

A state’s constitution is analogous to the U.S. Constitution in that it is the supreme law
within the boundaries of that state, and all state statutes must be in accordance with it.
However, a state constitution is inferior to the U.S. Constitution, as well as to all valid
federal statutes.

In California, the state constitution can be amended by the legislature and by the voters.
Amendment by voters is accomplished by the initiative and referendum processes.
Initiatives and referendum appear on the ballot as propositions. If passed, they are
incorporated into the Constitution.

Statutory Law

In basic terms, a statute is an enactment by a legislative body. Statutes are the acts, or
bills, written and passed by the United States Congress or by the state legislatures (and
signed (or not vetoed) by the chief executive).

Statutes are published in chronological order (i.e., in the order in which they are signed
into law). To provide a more logical (and accessible) arrangement of these laws, most
statutes are collected and systematically arranged, usually by subject, into a separately
published set called a code. The federal laws are codified into the United States Code,
which is subdivided into 50 titles. Each title covers a certain subject. For example, Title
15 deals with commerce and trade. California’s codes are identified by name instead of
numbered titles. For example, the laws dealing with taxes are in the Revenue and
Taxation Code. In addition to federal and state statutes, there are municipal and county
ordinances, which are enactments of bodies such as county boards and city councils.

Statutes and codes are published in both official and unofficial versions. Official
versions are published by the government itself or by a commercial publisher under
contract with the government while unofficial versions can be offered by several
commercial publishers. The text of the law is identical in both official and unofficial

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

6

publications. The difference is that the official versions are usually not annotated, while
unofficial publications generally are annotated. The annotations in the unofficial
publications include such helpful information such as references to court opinions
interpreting the code sections, citations to law review articles, summaries of legislative
histories, and a list of related administrative regulations, if there are any. Another
difference between official and unofficial versions is that the commercial publisher may
be able to publish and update the unofficial version more frequently.

TYPES

DEFINITION

NOTES

Bill

A proposed law,
introduced before the
legislature

Current bills may be viewed on the legislature’s
official Web site. For older bills, especially
those that did not become law, users may have
to refer to print or microform sources.

Statute

A bill that is passed by the
legislature (and usually
signed by the executive).
A statute may add, revise,
or repeal an existing law.

Numbered chronologically as they are
approved by the legislature. Refer to subject
indexes and cross-reference tables.

Code

A subject arrangement of
statutes

Commercially published codes tend to be
updated much more frequently than official
publications. In either case, one must always
consult the cumulative supplements (pocket
parts), which show any changes that have been
made to the law since the print volume was
published.

Case Law

The United States is a common law country. This means that, in addition to statutes
passed by legislative bodies, the collected history of cases decided by judges in various
courts is also part of our law. The underlying principle of such a system is that similar
cases should be treated in a similar way. This principle is referred to as precedent, or, in

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION

7

Latin, stare decisis.

The written opinion of a judge or of a panel of judges is also referred to as a case. A case
usually includes a brief description of the factual background of the situation and a
short history of the legal procedures that brought the dispute before the present court
followed by the court’s reasoning in reaching its decision.

Judicial decisions are published, or reported, only if they change or clarify a rule of law.
Generally, trial level state court decisions are not published. Only some appellate
decisions are reported. All cases from the U.S. Supreme Court and from state supreme
courts are published.

Like statutory law, judicial law or cases are published in both official and unofficial
versions. The difference between the official and unofficial version lies in the publisher
and in the editorial enhancements. The text of an opinion is the same in both versions.
Editors for the unofficial publishers often add a summary of the case and identify
individual points of law discussed in the case with special topic headings and numbers
called headnotes. These headings can then be used to find similar cases in the case
finding tools called digests.

COURT

NAME

PUBLISHED?

PRINT PUBLICATION

INTERNET ACCESS

Supreme
Court

U.S. Supreme
Court

Yes, all cases

are published.

United States Reports

Supreme Court Reporter
U.S. Supreme Court

Reports, Lawyers’ Edition
U.S. Law Week

Yes, all cases are
available online from
numerous sites. See
Chapter 8: Bibliography
of Federal Law Resources

California

Supreme Court

Yes, all cases

are published.

California Reports
California Reporter

Pacific Reporter

Yes, all cases from
1850 to present are
available through
California Courts and
SCOCAL.

Appellate

Courts

U.S. Courts of

Appeals

Some cases are

published.

Federal Reporter
Federal Appendix

Yes, published cases
from 1950 forward are
available on Public
Library of Law.

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

8

California
Courts of
Appeal

Some cases are

published.

California Reporter

Pacific Reporter
California Appellate

Reports

Yes, all published
cases from 1850 to
present are available
through California
Courts.

Trial
Courts

U.S. District

Courts

Some cases are

published.

Federal Supplement

Federal Rules Decisions

Yes, some published
cases are available on
Justia.

California

Superior Courts

No.

n/a

No, not for free. Some
superior courts may
allow online access to
some court
documents, but there
is usually a charge.

Administrative Law

Agency Regulations & Decisions

Administrative law is created when a state or federal agency issues regulations, or
when an administrative official decides a dispute in the subject area for which the
agency is responsible. Examples of federal regulatory agencies are the Federal
Communications Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Federal
Trade Commission. California state regulatory bodies include agencies such as the
Public Utilities Commission and the Public Employment Relations Board.

These agencies are authorized by the federal or state legislative bodies to promulgate
rules, or regulations, governing the area of the agencies’ special knowledge. Such
agencies also have their own procedural rules to follow when settling disputes. They
may also have their own administrative law judges, who hear cases and reach decisions
involving the interpretation of the agencies’ regulations.

Administrative decisions, or cases, are usually published in special loose-leaf services8

8 Loose-leaf services are binders where pages with new information are inserted to replace the pages with
outdated information. Loose-leaf services are updated at varying intervals, depending on the volatility of
the area of law they cover.

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION

9

whose coverage is limited to a particular subject, such as antitrust or labor law. Loose-
leaf publications are generally issued by commercial publishers. Most publishers offer
these services as online subscriptions as well. However, many federal and state
agencies are now putting their current decisions, procedures and rules on their Web
sites. Federal and California regulations are available on the Internet (see Chapter 6:
Bibliography of California Law Resources and Chapter 8: Bibliography of Federal Law
Resources).

Executive Orders & Proclamations

The major legal documents issued by the President of the United States are executive
orders and proclamations, which are described in detail in Chapter 7: Federal Law and
Chapter 8: Bibliography of Federal Law Resources. California makes available recent
Executive Orders (as well as older executive orders under “Archives”) on the
Governor’s Web site.

How It All Fits Together

There are fifty-one separate legal systems in operation in the United States—the federal
system and each of the state systems. In any one instance, federal law alone may apply,
state law only may be relevant, or there may be a mixture of state and federal issues. In
general, the federal courts are responsible for applying and interpreting federal statutes
and the U.S. Constitution, and the state courts for applying and interpreting the state’s
constitution and state statutes. Bear in mind that there may also be relevant county and
municipal ordinances as well as state and federal administrative regulations and
rulings, which may apply to a legal issue.

How do all these different systems fit together? Since a full answer to that question
would require far more space than is available here, a brief explanation will have to
suffice. First, the powers of the federal government are defined in the Constitution.
Conflicts between state and federal laws are governed by the Supremacy Clause of the
Constitution (Article VI, paragraph 2), which establishes the Constitution, federal
statutes, and U.S. treaties as “the supreme law of the land.” 9

Thus, federal laws have
legal superiority over state constitutions and laws. Second, no laws may contradict any
of the Constitution’s principles.

9 For full-text (as well as links to annotations) of this Article, see Cornell Law School’s Legal Information
Institute, at http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/articlevi.

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

10

Briefly outlined, the hierarchy of our legal system is as follows:

Basic Tips for Locating the Law

Tip 1: Use finding aids

Most legal publications are well organized. Look for indexes, cross-reference tables,
tables of cases and other special features.

Tip 2: Parallel citations lead you to the same official text

Primary sources of law, especially statutory or case law, may be published by more
than one publisher. The text of the law itself will be the same, no matter which case
reporter or which version of the code you decide to use.

U.S. Constitution

State
Governments

Local
Governments

County &
Municipal
Charters,

Ordinances and
Regulations

Constitutions
Statutes

Regulations
State Cases

Federal
Government

U.S. Statutes
Regulations

Executive Orders
Court Cases

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION

11

Tip 3: Cases can be published and unpublished

Remember that the vast majority of court cases are unpublished, in the sense that they are
not available online or printed in case reporters. This is especially true of trial court
cases. The patron who wants to read the decision of a highly publicized trial needs to
understand that, although the trial may be reported in the news, there is no published
decision, as such. There may be a brief court order or memoranda in the case file. A trial
transcript may or may not be included in the case file. One must contact the court clerk
directly to find out whether they provide copying services to the public. Sometimes one
is required to contact the court reporter directly for trial court transcripts, which can be
costly (depending on the length of the trial).

Tip 4: Update your research

The law is constantly changing. To determine the current status of the law, check the
currency of the information:

• Is there a pocket part?
• A paperback supplement?
• If loose-leaf, when was the last update filed?
• Is there a Web site available which is reliable, current and free or low-cost?

Tip 5: Not all legal Internet sources are created equal

Using Google can be extremely helpful in finding all sorts of useful information.
However, in legal research, one must be extremely careful in evaluating the results
gathered from a general Internet search. A good rule of thumb is to use the Advanced
Search option and limit to the domains .edu and .gov to find more reliable sites. Other
options are to use Internet search engines that refine your results for you, such as
Cornell Law Library’s Legal Research Engine 10 or Findlaw’s Lawcrawler. 11

Below you will find a short list of reputable Web sites as well as three legal research
guides in print. Note that throughout the fifth edition of Locating the Law, you will find
numerous links to Internet sources that law librarians use on a daily basis. Print
resources are, for the most part, reserved for the bibliographies. Nevertheless, since
print sources continue to be used in legal research, selected titles are highlighted in the
explanatory chapters as well.

10 http://library.lawschool.cornell.edu/WhatWeDo/ResearchGuides/Legal-Research-Engine.cfm
11 http://lawcrawler.findlaw.com/

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

12

Selected Bibliography

Basic Legal Research Guides

• In print:
o Fundamentals of Legal Research, 9th ed. Steven M. Barken, Roy M. Mersky, &

Donald J. Dunn. New York: Foundation Press, 2009.

o Legal Research: How to Find and Understand the Law, 15th ed. Stephen Elias.
Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2009.

o Legal Research in a Nutshell, 10th ed. Morris L. Cohen & Kent Olsen. St. Paul, MN:

Thomson West, 2010.

• On the Internet:
o Public Law Library’s Basic Legal Research—A Mini Research Class:

http://www.publiclawlibrary.org/research.html

o Law Library of Congress’ Guide to U.S. Federal Law Online
(See also link to guide to U.S. States & Territories):
http://www.loc.gov/law/help/guide/federal.php

• In person:

o LA Law Library’s Legal Research 101: Knowing the Basics:
http://www.lalawlibrary.org/events/courses/courses_LR101.aspx

Other Internet Sources:

• FindLaw’s Introduction to the U.S. Legal System:
http://public.findlaw.com/library/legal-system/

• Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute (LII): http://www.law.cornell.edu

• U.S. Government Printing Office
GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys): http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/search/home.action

• Judicial Council’s California Courts: http://www.courts.ca.gov/

• Legislative Counsel’s Official California Legislative Information:
http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/ or the new beta site: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/
(accessed Nov. 4, 2011).

13

Chapter 2

HOW TO READ A LEGAL CITATION

A citation (or cite) in legal research is a reference to a specific legal source, such as a
constitution, statute, reported case, treatise1 or law review article. Like non-legal
citations, it is a shorthand method of identifying an authority. One basic format of a
legal citation includes the volume number, the title of the publication, the page or
section number, and date. The titles of primary2

legal authorities are generally
abbreviated. This format may look unfamiliar at first to non-law librarians who are
accustomed to seeing citations where the title is unabbreviated, followed by the volume
and page numbers. This chapter will describe citations to cases, statutes or codes, and
law reviews and treatises. A short discussion of legal citation manuals and a list of
common abbreviations are also included in this chapter.

Contents:

• Cases
• Statutes or Codes
• Law Reviews and Treatises
• Citation Manuals

Cases

Court cases (i.e., judicial opinions) can be published by more than one publisher.
Because of this, there can be more than one citation appearing after the name of the
case. The first citation given in this string of numbers and letters is to the official reports
for a particular court, and is called the official citation. The official reports are published
by the publisher with whom that court has contracted to publish its cases. For example,
in California, the official reports for the state Supreme Court and Courts of Appeal are
currently published by LexisNexis. The California Supreme Court cases are published

1 Treatises are books on legal topics.
2 Primary legal authorities are constitutions, statutes/codes, case decisions (also known as judicial
opinions), and regulations and regulatory decisions.

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

14

in the California Reports (1st – 4th series)3 and the Courts of Appeal cases in California
Appellate Reports (1st – 4th series). 4

The citations given after the first, official cite are known as unofficial or parallel
citations. The text of the opinion is the same in all sources, whether they are designated
as official or unofficial. Here is an example:

Lyle v. Warner Bros. Television Prods., 38 Cal. 4th 264, 132 P.3d 211, 42 Cal. Rptr.
3d 2 (2006)

The citation in our example above begins with the case name, which includes the
plaintiff/appellant’s last name, Lyle, and an abbreviated version of the
defendants/respondents’ name, Warner Brothers Television Productions. The first
citation, to the California Reports, is the official citation. The second and third citations
are considered parallel citations because they refer to unofficial sources—to the Pacific
Reporter and California Reporter, respectively. The goal is to provide the researcher with
several options by which to locate the same judicial opinion. Case reporters are
hundreds of volumes and a library may only have space (and the budget) for one of
these sets.

Below you will find additional examples of the official and parallel citations for a
California Supreme Court case and a California Court of Appeal case.

CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT CITATIONS

Name of Parties Official Citation Parallel Citations

Marvin v. Marvin

Plaintiff v. Defendant

18 Cal. 3d 660

Volume
Number 18 Page

California Reports, Third
Series

557 P.2d 106, 134 Cal. Rptr. 815 (1976)

Pacific Reporter, Year of
Second Series decision

California Reporter

3 Abbreviated Cal. or C. 1st series, 1850-1934 (vol. 1-220); 2d series, 1943-1969 (vol. 1-71); 3d series, 1969-
1991 (vol. 1-54); 4th series, 1991-present (vol. 1 – )
4 Abbreviated Cal. App. or C.A. 1st series, 1905-1934 (vol. 1-140); 2d series, 1934-1969 (vol. 1-276); 3d
series, 1969-1991 (vol. 1-235); 4th series, 1991- present (vol. 1 – )

CHAPTER 2: HOW TO READ A LEGAL CITATION

15

CALIFORNIA COURT OF APPEAL CITATIONS

Name of Parties Official Citation Parallel Citation

Daniels v. Weigum

Plaintiff v. Defendant

194 Cal. App. 2d 620

Volume
Number 194 Page

California Appellate Reports,

Second Series

15 Cal. Rptr. 57 (1961)

Volume
Number 15 Year of

decision

California Reporter

The California Supreme Court case has two parallel citations. The first is to the Pacific
Reporter, and the second is to the California Reporter. The Court of Appeal case has one
parallel citation, to the California Reporter.

In the above examples, note the inclusion of the series number after California Reports
(3d series) and after Pacific Reporter (2d series). This is a crucial part of the citation
because publishers start numbering from volume 1 when they begin a new series.
Therefore, there is more than one volume with the number 18 on it in the California
Reports: there is a volume 18 in the first series, another volume 18 in the second series,
another volume 18 in the third series, and yet another volume 18 in the fourth series.
(The absence of a 2d, 3d or 4th from a citation indicates that the volume is part of the
first series.)

The following is an example of a citation for a United States Supreme Court case:

UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT CITATIONS

Name of Parties Official Citation Parallel Citations

Brown v. Board of Education

Plaintiff v. Defendant

347 U.S. 483

Volume Page
Number 347

United States Reports

74 S.Ct. 686, 98 L.Ed. 873 (1954)

Supreme Court Year of
Reporter decision

U.S. Supreme Court Reports,
Lawyer’s Edition

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

16

As with the California Supreme Court case, there are two parallel citations. Here, the
first one is to the Supreme Court Reporter and the second is to the U.S. Supreme Court
Reports, Lawyers’ Edition.

Cases from the thirteen United States Courts of Appeals and the trial level United States
District Courts are published by West in the Federal Reporter and Federal Supplement,
respectively. The Federal Appendix includes decisions from the Courts of Appeals that
were not selected for publication in the Federal Reporter and are generally of lesser
precedential value. Like other case reporters, the Federal Reporter, Federal Appendix, and
Federal Supplement are arranged in series. Unlike other case citations, however, there are
no parallel citations to these reporters.

Examples of citations from each of these reporters are shown below. Note that these
citations include the court that issued the decision.

UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS & DISTRICT COURT CITATIONS

Name of Parties Citations

Mattel, Inc. v. MCA Records, Inc.

Plaintiff v. Defendant

296 F.3d 894 (9th Cir. 2002)
Volume Year of
Number 296 Page Decision

Federal Reporter, U.S. Court of Appeals
Third Series for the Ninth Circuit

United States v. Ramirez

Plaintiff-Appellee v. Defendant-
Appellant

44 F. App’x 80 (9th Cir. 2002)
Volume Year of
Number 44 Page Decision

Federal Appendix U.S. Court of Appeals
for the Ninth Circuit

Butler v. Target Corp.

Plaintiff v. Defendant

323 F. Supp. 2d 1052 (C.D. Cal. 2004)

Volume Page Year of
Number 323 Decision

Federal Supplement, U.S. District Court, Central
Second Series District of California

CHAPTER 2: HOW TO READ A LEGAL CITATION

17

Statutes or Codes

Another common type of legal citation likely to be encountered is a citation to a statute
or code.5

The major difference between a case citation and a statute or code citation is
that the latter will usually not include a parallel citation. Also, the year of publication of
the print volume is used, not the year of enactment or amendment.

Here are two examples: Cal. Rev. & Tax Code § 2280 (West 1998) and Cal. Lab. Code § 5304
(Deering 2006). The year next to the publisher refers to the publication date of the print volume.

The first citation refers to section 2280 of the California Revenue and Taxation Code
published in West’s Annotated California Codes. The second citation is to section 5304 of
the California Labor Code published in Deering’s California Codes Annotated. Again, note
the absence of parallel citations for code sections.

CALIFORNIA CODE CITATIONS

Title of Code Section Number Publisher & Date

Cal. Rev. & Tax. Code
[California Revenue &

Taxation Code]

§ 2280

(West 1998)

Cal. Lab. Code

[California Labor Code]

§ 5304

(Deering 2006)

The following are examples of citations to the U.S. Code.

UNITED STATES CODE CITATIONS

Title of Code Section Number Publisher & Date

8 U.S.C.
[United States Code]

§ 1152

(2006)

5 The terms statutes and codes are generally used interchangeably.

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

18

15 U.S.C.A.
[United States Code

Annotated]

§ 1601

(West 2009)

42 U.S.C.S.
[United States Code Service]

§ 2000e-3

(LexisNexis 2005)

The major difference between the California Codes and the United States Code is that
titles in the former are identified by subject (Civil, Penal, Family, etc.), whereas titles of
the U.S. Code are arranged by number. In the examples above, title 8 of the U.S. Code is
Aliens and Nationality; title 15 is Commerce and Trade; and title 42 is the Public Health
and Welfare. 6

Also note that the United States Code is the official government
publication, while the other two are commercially published.

Law Reviews and Treatises

Law review and other legal periodical citations follow the standard format of author,
title, volume number, abbreviated title of the law review, beginning page number, and
date. An example would be:

Jonathan Zasloff, Law and the Shaping of American Foreign Policy: From the Gilded
Age to the New Era, 78 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 239 (2003).

Note that the title of the law review is abbreviated. Sources to decipher such
abbreviations are listed below.

Treatises, books on a particular legal topic, are generally cited by author, title and year.
Unlike other citation systems, the publisher is usually not included in the citation.

Citation Manuals

Further discussion on citations and guidance as to the proper citation format can be
found in The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (19th ed. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard

6 GPO Access provides the U.S. Code by year and by title.

CHAPTER 2: HOW TO READ A LEGAL CITATION

19

Law Review Association, 2010), and in Edward W. Jessen, California Style Manual: A
Handbook of Legal Style for California Courts and Lawyers (4th ed. West Group, 2000). There
is also a newer citation manual which is beginning to gain acceptance in law schools:
Association of Legal Writing Directors & Darby Dickerson, ALWD Citation Manual: A
Professional System of Citation (4th ed. Aspen Publishers, 2010). For further assistance
with both the Bluebook and ALWD Citation Manual, consult Peter W. Martin, Introduction
to Basic Legal Citation (Legal Information Institute, fall 2011). This online resource
introduces the reader to the basics of legal citation principles, illustrating throughout
with examples from each citation system.

Citations are necessarily in an abbreviated form. To assist you with deciphering some of
the more common abbreviations used in legal citations, a list of abbreviations follows
this section. The above mentioned style manuals may be of help in understanding
abbreviations. For more complete lists of legal abbreviations, see the following works:

Black’s Law Dictionary, 9th ed. St. Paul, MN: West, 2009 (Appendix A).

Mary Miles Prince, Prince’s Bieber Dictionary of Legal Abbreviations, 6th ed.
Buffalo, NY: William S. Hein & Co., 2009.

Steven M. Barkan, Roy M. Mersky & Donald J. Dunn, Fundamentals of Legal
Research, 9th ed. New York, NY: Foundation Press, 2009 (Appendix A).

University of Washington Marion Gould Gallagher Law Library, Acronyms
and Abbreviations

Please note that most law book publishers devise their own system of abbreviations that
may vary from the examples shown below. Therefore, check the preface to each source
for their in-house abbreviation explanations. Although many legal researchers are now
relying on the online citators, the print version of Shepard’s Citations is a leading
example of a legal research tool that uses unique symbols and abbreviations.

Also, there is a movement in some states (but not yet California) to move toward a
publisher and format neutral/vendor neutral citation style. There is a list of
“Jurisdiction-Specific Citation Rules and Style Guides” in the 19th edition of the
Harvard Bluebook in Table BT2 (on pages 30-51) that includes citations to court rules
dealing with public domain citations. In any case, older sources will continue to use the
more traditional publisher based systems.

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

20

Internet Sources Cited in this Chapter

U.S. Code, Browse by Year and by Title:
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/collectionUScode.action?collectionCode=USCODE

Introduction to Basic Legal Citation: http://www.law.cornell.edu/citation/

Acronyms and Abbreviations, University of Washington Marion Gould Gallagher Law Library:
http://lib.law.washington.edu/pubs/acron.html

21

Chapter 3

BASIC LEGAL RESEARCH TECHNIQUES

This chapter is intended to serve as a guide for public librarians assisting users who
have legal reference questions. In many ways, a library user seeking legal information is
no different from any other library user. You use the same reference skills to assist users
seeking legal information as you would with users seeking information about, for
instance, history or biology.

Still, finding and using legal resources can be tricky. The good news, as discussed in
other chapters in this book, is that many legal resources, especially primary law (cases,
statutes, regulations, local ordinances, and related government information), are now
available online. Nonetheless, because a general knowledge of the print publications
helps one to understand and navigate online resources, this chapter also covers
traditional print resources.

Contents:

• Initial Steps
o Identifying the Legal Issues

 Using the TARP Method
o Identifying Relevant Legal Resources

 Consult a Secondary Source First
 Accessing Print Legal Materials: Using the Indexes
 Print vs. Online Resources

• Finding the Law
o Finding Statutes

 Using a Popular Name Table
 Updating Statutory Law in Print
 Federal Statutes on the Internet
 California Statutes on the Internet

o Finding Agency Rules & Regulations
 Federal Regulations
 California Regulations
 Other Methods of Finding Regulations

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

22

o Finding Case Law
 Traditional Subject Approach to Case Law: Print Digests
 Case Name Approach
 Using the Annotated Codes to Find Case Law
 Legal Citators
 Locating Case Law on the Internet

o Finding Local Government Law
• Online Resources

o Commercial Legal Databases
o Free Internet Sources

• Internet Sources Cited in this Chapter

Initial Steps

Conducting a thorough reference interview will allow you to more effectively identify
the legal resources that may provide answers to the user’s questions. The first steps in
answering a legal research question are (1) to identify the legal issues by conducting a
thorough reference interview and by using the TARP method (discussed below) and (2)
to identify the legal resources the user should consult, which includes secondary
sources and indexes in the print collection as well as relevant online resources.

Identifying the Legal Issues

A person seeking legal information will often begin by presenting a factual scenario,
ending with a very general question. Here are two examples:

My neighbor’s dog barks all night long, and I’m tired of putting up with the
noise. I’ve called the police, but they never want to come out, because they say it
is not an emergency situation. They also tell me I have to take my neighbor to
court and sue him. Is this true? I want to know my legal rights!

My landlord comes into my apartment when I am at work. I think he is going
through my personal items. He says he is there to do repairs, but I haven’t seen
any improvement to all the problems I have complained about. Can he come into
my apartment anytime he wants to? And what can I do to actually get him to
repair my leaky faucets and broken stove?

CHAPTER 3: BASIC LEGAL RESEARCH TECHNIQUES

23

Other legal reference questions may be deceptively straightforward as initially
presented by the user:

I was driving my brand-new red Mercedes, and it was totaled in an accident. I
need to find all the cases on car accidents. Can you help me?

I received a letter from the state announcing a public hearing on a highway
expansion that is going to go right through my neighborhood. Can the
government build the highway if my neighbors and I object to it?

Regardless of how the question is phrased, the user is ultimately asking what law or
laws apply to his or her situation. Your first task, as in any reference interview, is to
analyze the information provided in order to identify the relevant facts and to weed out
the irrelevant. To determine the relevant facts, you will usually need to ask additional
questions. At this point, it is appropriate to briefly address concerns about the
unauthorized practice of law.

Librarians conducting a reference interview should not be afraid to ask questions of
someone seeking legal information. Asking questions in order to make
recommendations about appropriate legal resources to consult does not constitute
giving legal advice.

Do not be afraid to exercise your expertise as an information specialist! A librarian who
conducts an effective reference interview can assist the user in identifying the facts that
may be relevant to the legal issue (whatever it may be). While the user may have
difficulty in initially describing the situation, by asking a few appropriate questions you
can help the user help him or herself by starting to identify the relevant facts.
Ultimately, however, it is the user’s responsibility to determine the legal issue(s)
involved in his or her situation and make a decision as to how he or she will handle the
problem.

• Using the TARP Method

Many legal researchers use a systematic approach called the TARP method to
analyze fact situations (see table on next page).

It is not always necessary to think of words to fit each TARP category. However,
an analysis of the facts with TARP will suggest alternative ways in which the
problem can be researched. Use your imagination.

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

24

T THING or subject matter, place, or property (e.g., divorce,
contested will, dog bite)

A Cause of ACTION or ground for defense (e.g., breach of
contract, mistaken identity)

R RELIEF sought or type of lawsuit (e.g., monetary damages,
injunction)

P PERSONS or PARTIES involved & their relationship to
each other (e.g., husband-wife, employer-employee,
landlord-tenant)

At this point, the most important task for the librarian is to try to ascertain the
most relevant facts in the user’s reference question. Begin the reference interview
by ascertaining:

1. What information is already known? For example, the user may have
part or all of a case name, the popular name of a law, or a code citation.

2. In which jurisdiction will research be conducted? Is the research only
for California law, only federal law, or perhaps both? Remember that
county or city municipal ordinances may also apply.

3. What are the factual issues involved? An issue is the question a court
(or the researcher) must answer to solve a specific legal problem.

The issue may already be clearly formulated, such as:

What is the penalty for shoplifting?
Are handwritten wills valid in California?
Who is at fault in a car accident when one car rear-ends another?

One thing you can do is assist the user in separating the relevant from the
irrelevant facts. Is it relevant that the two vehicles involved in the car accident
example mentioned above were both painted red? Probably not. Is it relevant
that one of the vehicles was a private car and the other was a fire engine with its
siren blaring as it raced to answer an alarm? Perhaps, but do remember that the
answer will ultimately be a legal conclusion, made either by the user acting as
her own attorney, or by an attorney representing the user in the legal matter.

Once the user and the librarian identify the potentially relevant facts, the next

CHAPTER 3: BASIC LEGAL RESEARCH TECHNIQUES

25

step is for the librarian to use his or her professional expertise to identify the
appropriate resources that are likely to answer the user’s questions. As in any
other interaction, the librarian’s responsibility is to assist the user in locating
relevant resources that may answer the research question.

The major difference when providing legal reference is that the librarian must
then step back, as it is the user’s responsibility to do his or her own legal research
and come to a conclusion about the legal issues and the relevant law that applies
to the specific situation. Often, due to the complexity of legal issues, a person will
reach the conclusion that he or she needs to consult a lawyer.

Identifying Relevant Legal Resources

Once the legal issue(s) have been identified, the challenge for the librarian is to identify
the legal resources available in the collection or online which are most likely to provide
answers. Many public libraries have some basic legal titles and self-help law books. It
may be helpful to have one or two legal research books available for public library
users, such as Nolo’s Legal Research: How to Find and Understand the Law. Public libraries
in California may also want to have a number of the California law-specific self-help
books.1

It cannot be stressed enough that legal materials must be kept current, as the law is
constantly changing. Many public libraries purchase the Nolo Press self-help law
books, either in hard copy or in e-format, for the general public. Nolo Press and Nolo
Press Occidental are very reputable publishers who are committed to keeping their
materials up-to-date, so librarians can confidently refer users to the current editions of
these resources. 2

• Consult a Secondary Source First

Once the general legal terms are identified, the user will likely need to become
more familiar with a specific area of law. Most researchers find it helpful to start
with a secondary source such as a legal encyclopedia, a treatise, or a legal
periodical article before researching primary authority. Secondary sources
summarize and interpret the law in a narrative format. They also give useful

1 Please see Chapter 10: Bibliography of Self-Help Resources for an extensive list of self-help publications and
online resources.
2 For more specific information on basic legal reference collections for public libraries, see Chapter 11:
Availability, Accessibility and Maintenance of Legal Collections.

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

26

background information and provide references to relevant primary sources.

One of the most useful secondary sources is a legal encyclopedia, which can be
found in some non-law libraries. Legal encyclopedias provide good overviews of
many legal topics, with numerous references to primary law and other secondary
materials. There are three legal encyclopedias useful to researchers in California:
California Jurisprudence 3rd, (abbreviated as Cal. Jur. 3d), which covers California
law, and the two national encyclopedias: American Jurisprudence 2d (abbreviated
as Am. Jur. 2d) and Corpus Juris Secundum (abbreviated as C.J.S.). The latter two
titles cover all jurisdictions in the United States.

Another useful secondary source for those interested in California civil law is
Witkin’s Summary of California Law. This authoritative, multi-volume treatise
provides an overview of major areas of California law: torts, contracts, landlord-
tenant, employment, and family law, to name a few. A separate Witkin treatise,
California Criminal Law (scroll to bottom of page) discusses crimes and criminal
procedure.

Common features of these secondary legal sources include subject indexes, as
well as tables of cases and statutes cited. They are updated regularly with pocket
parts (which are inserted in the back of the bound volumes) or supplementary
pamphlets to reflect changes in the law or new cases. Please note that neither the
Witkin publications nor the legal encyclopedias described above are available for
free on the Internet.

• Accessing Print Legal Materials: Using the Indexes

Despite many dire predictions to the contrary, printed law books are still widely
used by researchers at all levels of experience. For the librarian with limited
experience in legal materials, it can be comforting to know that using law books
is not very different from using other kinds of reference books. Most law books
have subject indexes, tables of contents, and tables of cases and statutes, as well
as other helpful information. Whether looking for statutes, cases, or commentary
on a particular topic, the index is usually the best place to begin research. In most
indexes, both commonplace words as well as legal terms are used; often a subject
is indexed under several different words or phrases. As an example: statutes of
limitation may also be referred to as limitations of actions.

The first words to look for in the index are those that you have identified
through TARP. If you are not successful using those words, you should not

CHAPTER 3: BASIC LEGAL RESEARCH TECHNIQUES

27

assume there is nothing on point. Also, you should not stop searching the index
simply because you have found a single relevant reference. There may be other
applicable statutes or relevant cases. For example, California statutes that
address driving while intoxicated may be found in both the Penal and the
Vehicle Codes.

As stated in other chapters of this publication and in the section above, novice
legal researchers should start with a secondary source, such as a Nolo Press
book. These publications are written in plain English and will provide citations
to relevant cases and statutes. Secondary sources will also provide the researcher
with keywords and terms that may not otherwise occur to the researcher.

For the purposes of identifying alternative terms, dictionaries and thesauri
(particularly legal dictionaries and thesauri) may be consulted. 3 Moreover, there
are a number of legal Web sites which may be helpful in identifying the
appropriate terminology for a particular issue.4

Later, this chapter will highlight
the most reputable and authoritative legal Web sites.

USE ALTERNATE TERMS

Closely related words

Blind, as well as visually impaired or disabled

Broader categories

Instead of car or station wagon, use automobile,
vehicle or motor vehicle

Narrower categories

Instead of accidents, try hit and run or slip and fall

Synonyms

Child, as well as minor, infant, juvenile or
delinquent

Antonyms

Marriage and nuptial vs. divorce, dissolution,
annulment or separation

3 Examples of legal dictionaries and thesauri include Black’s Law Dictionary, 9th ed. Bryan A. Garner, ed.
in chief (West, 2009), Burton’s Legal Thesaurus, 4th ed. William C. Burton (McGraw-Hill, 2007), Random
House Webster’s Dictionary of the Law, James E. Clapp (Random House, 2005), and A Dictionary of Modern
Legal Usage, 3rd ed. Bryan A. Garner (Oxford University Press, 2011).
4 Please see Law.com Dictionary, Lawyers.com’s Legal Dictionary, Jurist’s Legal Dictionaries, Nolo’s
Plain-English Law Dictionary and FindLaw’s Practice Area Definitions.

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

28

• Print vs. Online Resources

As previously stated, a vast amount of legal information is available for free
online. In addition to government Web sites, there are commercially published
online resources, such as West’s FindLaw and Lexis’s Communities, 5

as well as
online resources created by academic and county law libraries. Online legal
research can be daunting, however, depending on the researcher’s familiarity
with legal terminology and understanding of the organization of legal authority.
As with all online research, the adage “garbage in, garbage out” is true when
someone attempts to retrieve relevant information without a clear understanding
of the legal concepts involved. The initial challenge, then, is in deciding whether
it is more efficient to start with an online search, or whether it makes sense to
start with the books. Consider the following two questions:

I have a traffic ticket. What is VC 23152?

I want to read the California case, Marvin v. Marvin.

If the librarian is able to identify VC as an abbreviation for Vehicle Code, he or
she can assist the user in going online to the Web site for Official California
Legislative Information, which provides online access to the codes (select the
button “California Law”), and locate section 23152 of the Vehicle Code 6

Judicial
Council’s California Courts

, which is
one of the statutes dealing with driving under the influence. As for the Marvin
case, the user can be directed to the California opinions database at the

Web site. Both of these resources will be discussed in
more detail below. The point is that when a user has a specific citation to a case,
statute, or regulation, going to the online resource is preferable in most
situations.

Aside from questions relating to specific code sections, regulations, cases, and
citating (discussed in greater detail below), the choice of using a print resource
over an online resource depends on the complexity of the question and the
expertise of the researcher. Certainly, a librarian’s options may also be limited by
the availability of print resources in his or her own collection, the proximity of a

5 LexisNexis Communities have replaced lexisOne. However, you are still able to access the same forms
and free case law from this page.
6 Checkmark the box next to the Vehicle Code and enter the section number into the search box. Also note
that a beta site for California legislative information was launched in the fall of 2011:
http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/

CHAPTER 3: BASIC LEGAL RESEARCH TECHNIQUES

29

law library with the needed sources, and the user’s willingness or ability to visit
that law library.

Finding the Law

Because access to the Internet is now almost universal in public libraries, and much
primary legal authority is available through government and other Web sites, the
remainder of this chapter will provide an overview of traditional print legal materials,
providing references to online sources where appropriate. Legal information from each
branch of government will be discussed in this order: statutes, regulations, case law,
and a short description of local government ordinances and codes. The chapter
concludes with a discussion of a few of the most reputable and useful legal Web sites.

Finding Statutes

Many public and college libraries in California collect one or more of the printed federal
codes, as well as one or both California annotated codes. Once the user has a general
idea of the major legal issues involved, he or she should be directed to the federal or
state codes for applicable statutes. This is advisable even when the user has already
done some case law research and believes he or she has identified the relevant cases. If
the user is not sure whether state law or federal law governs, he or she should consult
both the state and federal codes, as some legal issues are covered by more than one
jurisdiction.

As discussed in detail in Chapter 1: Introduction and Chapter 7: Federal Law, statutes are
laws passed by the U.S. Congress and the various state legislatures. Federal laws are
assigned public law numbers and California laws are assigned chapter numbers.
Statutes are first published chronologically (by public law number or chapter number)
and then reorganized by subject into codes. The federal code is published by the
government in the United States Code (abbreviated U.S.C.) and in two commercial
publications: West’s United States Code Annotated (abbreviated U.S.C.A.) and Lexis’
United States Code Service (abbreviated U.S.C.S.).

California codes (discussed in detail in Chapter 5: California Law) are published in West’s
Annotated California Codes (published by West) and in Deering’s California Codes
Annotated (published by Lexis). Annotated codes include references to case law and
other sources in addition to the text of the statutes themselves. The text of the statutes is
the same in all sets of codes for a particular jurisdiction; however, indexing words, case

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

30

annotations, and references to other sources are chosen by the publication editors and
may differ from one set to another.

Each codified set includes a comprehensive general index, which is republished
annually. In addition, each also includes a table of contents and a separate index for
each subject code or title. Because some legal issues may be addressed in a number of
laws, in several different subject codes or titles, it is best to start with the general index
when looking for relevant statutory law. As an example, California laws involving
drugs and other controlled substances can be found in the Penal Code, the Health and
Safety Code, and the Vehicle Code.

Starting with the general index usually helps the researcher identify the relevant subject
code title(s) that cover the broad legal topic. He or she can then go to the specific code
and use the code index and/or table of contents to find the precise sections relevant to
his or her research. Use the words identified through TARP to search the index. Both
legal and factual words are indexed. Once the user has identified a relevant section of
the code using the index, he or she can go to that code section and read the text of the
statute. For the California codified sets, the code names and sections are on the spines of
the volumes. For the federal codified sets, the title name, number and sections are on
the spines.

Be sure to tell the user to read the information that follows the text of the code section.
There are often references to legal encyclopedias, treatises (such as the above-
mentioned Witkin’s) or periodical articles that discuss the statute.

Most importantly, there will usually be case summaries (or annotations), often referred
to as Notes of Decisions. The Notes of Decisions for a particular statute summarize the
cases that have interpreted that section and include citations to the cases (See Chapter 2:
How to Read a Legal Citation). For some statutes, especially in the federal codes, there
may be many cases where the courts have interpreted or applied the law. The case
annotations are organized by specific topic and subtopic, with an outline of the topics
and subtopics provided at the beginning of the Notes. After identifying some potentially
relevant cases in the annotations, the researcher should read the complete opinions in
these cases (discussed further below). Legal researchers never rely solely on the case
annotations to understand the legal issues that were decided in the case.

Those researching California law should know that in addition to the general indexes
contained at the end of the West’s and Deering’s codified sets, there is an alternative
general index to the California codes entitled LARMAC, The Consolidated Index to the
Constitution and Laws of California, which is republished annually.

CHAPTER 3: BASIC LEGAL RESEARCH TECHNIQUES

31

• Using a Popular Name Table

Another useful tool contained in many of the code sets is the Popular Name
Table. This table is useful when the user knows the name of a particular act, but
not the code citation. For example, if a user wants to find the federal Americans
with Disabilities Act, she can look up this name in the Popular Name Table of
either U.S.C.A. or U.S.C.S. to identify the correct title and section number in the
federal code. In both the federal and state codes published by West, the Popular
Name Tables are located at the end of the General Indexes (after the Z’s).
Fortunately, there is free online access to the federal Popular Name Table from
the following two Web sites:

U.S. House of Representatives’ Office of Law the Revision Counsel
Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute (LII)

While Deering’s California Codes Annotated does not contain a separate popular
name table, the General Index for this set includes popular names of many state
laws (e.g., the Brown Act) as index entries. An additional publication entitled
Shepard’s Acts and Cases by Popular Name: Federal and State allows the researcher to
locate federal and state legislation by popular name, but is usually found only in
law libraries.

• Updating Statutory Law in Print

The annotated federal and California codes, like many other types of legal
publications, are updated by annual pocket parts and supplementary pamphlets,
each one of which incorporates the changes in the law that have taken place in a
particular bound volume of the code since that volume was last published.
Researchers must remember to check the relevant section(s) in the bound
volume(s) and in the corresponding pocket part(s) or supplementary pamphlet(s)
to determine if the law has been amended or repealed, and whether there are
new case annotations or other references.

Unlike the annotated codes, the official United States Code is not updated
regularly by pocket parts or supplementary pamphlets that correspond to
specific volumes of the code. Instead, the official code is republished every six
years and is updated annually by a series of hardbound supplements. For this
reason, researchers are advised not to rely on the printed U.S. Code for the most
current version of a statute.

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

32

There are additional sources that a researcher can use to find even more recent
statutes and amendments not yet incorporated into the annual supplements. For
example, both U.S.C.A. and U.S.C.S. have supplementary pamphlets that update
the sets after the annual pocket parts are published. These pamphlets follow the
same classification scheme as the bound volumes are organized by subject code
or title. Even more up-to-date than those supplements, are the monthly advance
sheets to United States Code Congressional and Administrative News (abbreviated
U.S.C.C.A.N.), which contain the text of newly enacted legislation, arranged by
public law number. 7 Both U.S.C.S. and U.S.C.A. also have legislative service
pamphlets that contain the text of the most recent public laws arranged by public
law number. 8

For California statutes, both West’s and Deering’s have advance legislative service
pamphlets that can be used to update the annual pocket parts or supplementary
pamphlets contained in their respective codes. The legislative service pamphlets
for California contain statutes recently passed by the California legislature,
which are arranged chronologically by chapter number. 9

The advance sheets to U.S.C.C.A.N., as well as the California legislative service
pamphlets, contain subject indexes and a number of tables. One such table
enables the researcher to use a bill number to identify the chapter number or
public law number of the new statute. The indexes allow you to locate recent
legislation by subject and popular names of acts. In addition, the current
California laws are available online, as described in the section below.

Unfortunately, this multi-step process is cumbersome. The commercial databases
(Westlaw, LexisNexis, and other lower-cost alternatives, such as Loislaw and
Fastcase) are updated frequently and offer the researcher the assurance that he or
she is relying on a law that has not been recently amended. Local academic and
county law libraries often provide public access to these commercial legal
services for free. Users can either contact the library directly or search the
libraries’ Web sites for information on electronic databases available for public
use. Below is more information on several of these online databases.

• Federal Statutes on the Internet

7 Most law libraries have this multi-volume set.
8 For more detailed information on federal materials, see Chapter 7: Federal Law.
9 For more detailed information on California materials, see Chapter 5: California Law.

CHAPTER 3: BASIC LEGAL RESEARCH TECHNIQUES

33

There are several websites that provide free access to the unannotated federal
statutes. While all use the same U.S. Code (prepared by the Law Revision Counsel
of the House), each has a different “front end” (way to access and search).
Deciding which site to use for federal statutory research is dependent on how
much information is available at the start of the search session, as well as the
type of information that is sought. Many legal researchers often go to more than
one web site to be sure that they have located all relevant information:

1. Cornell’s Legal Information Institute (LII)

This site provides access to the United States Code that is easy to
navigate for the researcher who is familiar with federal law and knows
the title in which a statute will be contained. The searcher can enter the
title and section number of the code and be linked to the current text as
produced on the House of Representatives site. Another great feature
of this site is the Popular Names of Acts in the US Code that provides
links to statutes and other resources related to recent federal laws, such
as legislative documents on Thomas. There is also a search engine that
permits keyword searches.

2. House of Representatives, Office of the Law Revision Counsel

The House’s version of the Code actually links directly to the Web site
of the Office of the Law Revision Counsel, the agency responsible for
compiling and publishing the U.S.C. This site is fairly easy to navigate
and one of the best features is that recent amendments to laws are
incorporated, and a note about the amendment is appended at the end
of each statute. It also has very simple search options for researchers
who are looking for the text of a statute and already have the U.S.C.
citation. Furthermore, it offers the option of keyword searches within
specific titles. However, in terms of citation to the official U.S.C., the
following caution on the site should be noted: “While every effort has
been made to ensure that the Code database on the web site is accurate, those
using it for legal research should verify their results against the printed
version of the United States Code available through the Government Printing
Office.” Also note that the new United States Code beta site was
launched in the fall 2011, which introduces new search features.

3. United States Code on GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys)

This is the official online version of the U.S. Code, produced online in
the same way that the print U.S. Code is published by the Government
Printing Office (GPO). FDsys contains the virtual main editions of the

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

34

U.S. Code, which has been provided to GPO by the Office of the Law
Revision Counsel of the U.S. House of Representatives. The most
current edition is the 2006 edition. Annual cumulative supplements are
published in order to present the most current information.

4. Library of Congress’ Thomas
This is Congress’ official Web site, which is maintained through the
Library of Congress. A link on the homepage sends the researcher to
the Code as published by the Office of the Law Revision Counsel as
discussed above. In addition, Thomas has federal bills, committee
reports, and other legislative documents.

• California Statutes on the Internet

California statutes are available on the Official California Legislative Information
Web site. This site is maintained by the Legislative Counsel of California and
contains the text of the current California codes. The codes are searchable by
keyword and citation, or can be browsed section by section within each subject
title. A new beta site for California legislative information was released in the fall
of 2011. As of Nov. 4, 2011, it did not yet include a California Law option.

Finding Agency Rules & Regulations

Administrative law is a huge, complex category of law. Often, when Congress or a state
legislature sees a need to regulate in a certain area, it will write a statute in very general
terms and delegate the power to issue specific rules and regulations to an
administrative agency that specializes in this area. The rules and regulations issued by
the administrative agencies are referred to as administrative law. Agencies deal with
such issues as eligibility requirements for Medi-Cal and safety standards for various
products such as toys.

As our society has become more and more complex, Congress and the state legislatures
have been forced to delegate more and more of their legislative powers to
administrative agencies, which has significantly augmented the role that administrative
law plays in our legal system and in our everyday lives. In California, there are more
than 200 agencies, departments, commissions, and other entities that have some
regulatory power. Chapter 5: California Law and Chapter 7: Federal Law discusses federal
and California administrative materials in more detail. Below is a summary of the major
resources for locating federal and California administrative law.

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35

• Federal Regulations

The Government Printing Office (GPO) publishes federal administrative
regulations, which are first issued in chronological order in the Federal Register.
Regulations are later codified by subject in the Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.).
Like the U.S. Code, the C.F.R. is organized into 50 broad subject titles. There is an
official subject index to the C.F.R. contained at the end of the set. The entire set is
revised annually in paper bound volumes. Each year has a different spine color.
There are also commercially published C.F.R. indexes. Researchers may need to
update a specific C.F.R. section, to determine if it has been recently amended.
The List of CFR Sections Affected (LSA) pamphlet lists all of the C.F.R. sections
affected by new regulations issued since the C.F.R. annual revision. Consult the
Federal Register issues, which contain CFR Parts Affected tables for the months
following the latest LSA that covers your subject. These tables usually appear in
the Federal Register issues at the end of each month. All of the sources discussed
in this paragraph are available online through GPO’s Federal Digital System
(FDsys).10

• California Regulations

In California, regulations are codified by subject and published in Barclays Official
California Code of Regulations (CCR), which is published by West in loose-leaf
format. The state’s administrative code is divided into 27 titles and each title
focuses on a particular topic (e.g., Title 5, Education). All of the rules for a
particular agency are kept together in CCR. Each title contains detailed tables of
contents that can be consulted to find the relevant regulations. There is a detailed
subject index for the California Code of Regulations, called the Master Index. The
state regulations are also available online through the Web site of the Office of
Administrative Law (OAL).

The OAL has contracted with West to provide online public access to the state
regulations. However, one title, Title 24 Building Standards, is not published as
part of the Official California Code of Regulations, nor is it available on the OAL

10 The migration of information from GPO Access into FDsys was completed in 2011. As of November 5,
2011, GPO Access is no longer updated or maintained. Until it is shut down in 2012, it will be available as
a reference archive. For a table that outlines the relationship between the collections on GPO Access and
FDsys collections, see http://www.gpo.gov/help/gpo_access_and_fdsys_content_collection_mapping.htm

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

36

Web site. Title 24 is copyrighted and published by the International Conference
of Building Officials. 11

• Other Methods of Finding Regulations

The Master Index to the California Code of Regulations contains a Statutes to
Regulations table that lists the regulations related to the various California
statutory code sections. For federal regulations, the official C.F.R. index contains
a similar table called a Table of Authorities, which lists the regulations issued
under the authority of the various federal statutory code sections. Researchers
who have a statutory code section may find these tables particularly useful when
trying to locate related regulations. Regulations related to a particular statute
may also be referenced in the annotations to the code section in either West’s
Annotated California Codes or Deering’s California Codes Annotated.

Finding Case Law

Case law is judge-made law issued by the appellate courts in the form of written
opinions. Courts and attorneys are concerned with case law because our legal system is
based in part on the recording of precedents. Under this system, courts apply the same
law to similar cases. Sometimes, courts are bound to follow prior precedents (e.g., when
the precedent comes from the U.S. Supreme Court). Even if the prior authority is not
binding on a court, the prior decisions still have persuasive authority and courts rely on
these prior decisions in subsequent cases. Generally, the more similar a previously
decided case is to the case at hand, the more likely it is that a court will follow the prior
precedent. Thus, it is the job of the researcher to look for cases that are as similar as
possible (both from a factual, as well as a legal standpoint) to the case at hand.

• Traditional Subject Approach to Case Law: Print Digests

Because cases are published chronologically, historically the researcher needed
an index to access case law. Cases are indexed in multi-volume sets called
digests. For California cases, two digests are available: McKinney’s Digest of

11 Please note that you will not find the California Building Standards Code (Title 24 of the California
Code of Regulations) online for free. However, Part 2 and the California Fire Code, Part 9 of Title 24, are
available for viewing online via the International Code Council’s Web site. In addition, Title 24, Part 1, 6,
8, 10, 11, & 12 are available in PDF form on the Building Standards Commission Web site. The California
Building Standards Code is published every 3 years and is updated by supplements in intervening years.
It is available for purchase or available to the public at no cost through depository libraries (click on the
“DOC” link for list of names and addresses of depository libraries throughout California).

CHAPTER 3: BASIC LEGAL RESEARCH TECHNIQUES

37

Official Reports and West’s California Digest. For federal cases, there is the West
Federal Practice Digest series, which indexes all reported federal opinions,
including the U.S. Supreme Court. West publishes the Supreme Court Digest and
Lexis publishes the Digest of U.S. Supreme Court Reports, Lawyers’ Edition. Both
focus exclusively on U.S. Supreme Court cases.

West also publishes the Decennial Digest series, which covers all federal and state
cases from throughout the country, as well as regional digests that correspond to
various regional reporters published by West (e.g., Pacific Digest, South Eastern
Digest, etc.).

The West digests are organized by legal topics, which are subdivided into many
smaller sections known as key numbers, each of which represents a specific
legal/factual issue.

All digests have multi-volume subject indexes. In the digests published by West,
these indexes are called Descriptive Word Indexes. To find cases that are factually
similar to the user’s, one should use the words identified through TARP as
discussed at the beginning of the chapter. The Descriptive Word Index directs the
researcher to a topic and a key number. Once the topic and key number that
covers the legal issue are identified, the digest volume containing that topic and
key number must be located. Under the key number, you will find many short
summaries (i.e., annotations) of cases that deal with the legal issue at hand.

Researchers must read through the annotations to identify the cases that may be
promising. At the end of each annotation is the name of the case and its citation.
Again, users should always be advised to read the actual opinion in a case and
not to rely solely on the annotations in the digests, which are written by editors,
not judges.

Because the key numbers are arranged in the digest in a logical classification
scheme, users who are having difficulty isolating a relevant key number from the
Descriptive Word Index may find it helpful to browse one or more of the topical
outlines that exist for each topic in the digest. A list of the digest topics can be
found at the beginning of all of the digest volumes. Even if a user has already
found a relevant key number, she may still wish to browse the topical outline for
that topic to find related key numbers. Another way of finding other relevant
topics and key numbers is to look up a relevant case in the appropriate case
reporter. West case reporters contain headnotes (which summarize the rules of
law) at the beginning of the case with the relevant topic and key numbers also

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

38

provided. Often, browsing the headnotes of a relevant case will provide a
researcher with ideas of other relevant topics and key numbers to look up in the
digest.

Note: West uses the same topics and key numbers in each of its digests. This
enables the researcher to readily find relevant cases from a multitude of
jurisdictions.

Like other legal materials, the digests are updated with pocket parts and
supplementary pamphlets. When looking up a particular topic and key number,
after checking the appropriate bound volume of the digest, remember to check
the pocket part or supplementary pamphlet for more recent case annotations
under your relevant topic and key number.

• Case Name Approach

What if the user has the name of a case, such as Brown v. Board of Education, but
no citation? A case citation can be found by consulting the Table of Cases volumes
found at the end of the digest. The Table of Cases is merely an alphabetical listing,
by plaintiff, showing the name of all reported cases covered in the digest. There
is also a Defendant-Plaintiff Table. Like all other digest volumes, the Table of Cases
and Defendant-Plaintiff Table are updated with pocket parts or pamphlets.

As mentioned earlier, Shepard’s Acts and Cases By Popular Name: Federal and State
may also be an effective way of finding the citation to a well-known case by its
popular name (e.g., Closed Shop Case). However, it is not comprehensive, so the
digest tables may need to be consulted for less prominent cases.

• Using the Annotated Codes to Find Case Law

As noted above, case law can be very important when doing statutory research.
When looking for cases related to a particular statute one should begin with the
case annotations contained in the annotated codes (as opposed to starting with
the digests). After consulting the annotations (and reading the cases summarized
therein), one should consult the relevant digest for additional cases, since the
digest may summarize cases not included in the annotations to the codes.

• Legal Citators

CHAPTER 3: BASIC LEGAL RESEARCH TECHNIQUES

39

Shepard’s Citations enables a researcher to find all of the subsequent cases that
have cited to a particular case. Shepard’s is used primarily to trace the history of a
case, to determine whether a case is still valid and to find other relevant
authority to support one’s arguments. Researchers should always “Shepardize” a
case before relying on it in court or in a court document. The Shepard’s hardcopy
sets are kept up-to-date with both bound supplements and supplementary
pamphlets. Researchers using Shepard’s must consult all supplementary volumes
and pamphlets in order to do a complete search for the subsequent treatment of a
case. The preface pages of each volume contain detailed illustrations of actual
usage and have a table of abbreviations. Researchers should be cautioned that
since judicial opinions are issued daily, the Shepard’s print copies are out of date
from the date that they are published. Additionally, they are extremely
cumbersome to use, especially when compared with online versions. Hence,
because many law libraries subscribe to Shepard’s online through LexisNexis,
users should contact their local law library. Westlaw has developed a similar
online service, called KeyCite, which links the researcher to other cases. Again,
some law libraries provide public access to Westlaw. A list of county law
libraries is available online at the Public Law Library, under Find Your …

• Locating Case Law on the Internet

Until recently, a user who was attempting to do extensive case law research,
even with a fairly clear set of facts, usually needed to be referred to the closest
law library open to the public. This was because searching for case law on the
Internet was frustrating and time-consuming, since the commercially published
reporter series containing appellate decisions are copyrighted publications,
which are not available for free online.

Increasingly, recent and even historical cases are available for free online. In
November 2009, Google launched a Legal Opinions and Journals database
(available via its Google Scholar search). Go to the Advanced Scholar Search
page to limit your search to only U.S. federal court opinions or to search court
opinions from individual states or combination of states. Keep in mind that
because you are searching the full text opinions your searches will inevitably
result in many cases not directly relevant to your research. Please see the section
on Google’s Advanced Scholar Search Tips for options on how to refine your
search.

In addition, various sites, covering specific legal topics, often contain the full text
of significant cases. All appellate courts, federal and state, are now making their

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

40

recent decisions available on their Web sites. Most of these Web sites can now be
searched by case name, docket number or date of decision, and many sites have
some type of search engine. Retrospective coverage for earlier decisions,
however, varies significantly from one site to another. 12

United States Supreme Court cases can be located on a number of Web sites. One
of the easiest to access is FindLaw’s US Supreme Court Opinions. This site
contains U.S. Supreme Court opinions back to 1893 (volume 150 of the United
States Reports), which can be searched by citation, case name or keyword.

As stated previously in this chapter, California cases are available online for free
on the Judicial Council’s California Courts site. Several years ago, Lexis agreed to
provide free online access to California cases as part of its contract to be the
official publisher of the state court reporters. A link on the official court Web site
takes the researcher to a special Lexis page for searching California cases from
1850 to within six months of publication. Cases can be retrieved by citation to the
official and unofficial reporters. Natural language is the default search. For terms
and connectors searching, click on the Advanced Search link. A new source
worth noting is SCOCAL, a joint project between the Robert Crown Law Library
at Stanford Law School and Justia, Inc. The site provides free access to the full
text California Supreme Court opinions from 1934 to present, along with detailed
annotations of selected cases written and edited by students in Stanford’s
Advanced Legal Research class. Also note that some briefs and other court
documents are available on this site, free of charge.

Finding Local Government Law

City and county ordinances are local statutes passed by city councils and county boards
of supervisors. For most local jurisdictions, there is a codified set that arranges the local
ordinances by topic (like the state and federal codes). Usually there is a subject index for
the local code. Today, most municipalities have official Web sites that publish their
ordinances and codes, in addition to other official information, such as minutes of
meetings, calendars of events, etc.13

12 For a links to federal and state courts, please see WashLaw’s

However, if a local community is slow in
publishing its ordinances or does not have a Web site, the county office or city hall may

United States Courts and State Resources
pages.
13 Please see Chapter 6: Bibliography of California Law Resources for a list of municipal code & ordinance
resources. Also useful is the Local Gov’t tab on UCLA Law Library’s LibGuide on Online Legal Research at
http://libguides.law.ucla.edu/content.php?pid=34909&sid=256604.

CHAPTER 3: BASIC LEGAL RESEARCH TECHNIQUES

41

be your only recourse to finding this information.

Online Resources

The increasing availability of online legal information offers the advantages of speed
and timeliness for the experienced researcher. In recent years, costs for subscribing to
LexisNexis, Westlaw, and other online legal services, have become more affordable, as
legal information vendors have increasingly marketed their products outside of the
traditional legal community. Today, researchers can subscribe to some legal databases
for as little as $100 per month.

The good news is that many county law libraries in California now offer access to one
or more of the subscription legal databases for the public. To locate the closest county
law library to you and obtain information about their publicly available resources,
please see Appendix C of this publication or go to the Public Law Library Web site
(click on Find Your … )

Commercial Legal Databases

For some users, subscription to one of the commercial legal databases may be a viable
alternative to the extra time it would require to visit a law library or to navigate the free
resources on the Internet. These users would be fairly advanced online researchers and
not averse to spending their own money, in exchange for the convenience of doing their
research from their own computer. There are several options from which to choose:
Fastcase, LexisNexis Communities,14 Loislaw , VersusLaw, and Westlaw by Credit Card.
These legal services are described in Georgetown’s Free & Low Cost Legal Research
Guide.

Free Internet Sources

In addition to Georgetown’s Guide, Pace Law Library has a guide entitled Free and
Low Cost Resources for Legal Research, which includes several New York state sources.
UCLA Law Library also has a guide called Online Legal Research: Beyond LexisNexis
and Westlaw that includes many California resources.

14 As of April 5, 2011, LexisNexis discontinued LexisNexis by Credit Card, its Research Value Packages
and transactional access to enhanced case law available at lexisONE. In addition, LexisNexis
Communities have replaced lexisOne, although you are still able to access the same forms and free case
law offered through lexisOne.

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

42

In concluding this chapter, here is a summary of several of the better-known legal Web
sites:

• FindLaw
Probably the largest and best known of all the legal meta-sites, FindLaw was
originally created in 1996 by several attorneys who sold their site to Thomson
West in 2001. FindLaw has a user-friendly search engine (i.e., Law Crawler,
powered by Google) that can search within the site or across the Web. Users
create a free “My FindLaw” account and can create a customized homepage for
their specific legal research requirements. And most important of all, users have
confidence that information retrieved through this site will be legitimate and
reliable. The “new” FindLaw continues to grow and has some great features,
such as offering separate interfaces for the public, for the legal practitioner, and
for students.

While researchers are able to access many of the same thousands of links to law
and related sites (more than 50,000) from any of the three interfaces, FindLaw for
the Public offers information in more than 100 subject areas, which are all
arranged in an easy-to-view format:

1. Overview of the legal topic;
2. Subject FAQ (frequently asked questions);
3. Links to related resources, including forms.

• Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute (LII)

One of the most venerable portals to legal information, LII continues to be one of
the most frequently visited Web sites since its launch in 1993. LII provides links
to more than 90,000 other sites. Its version of the United States Code (discussed
above) is the single most heavily visited source for this item. In addition, all
opinions of the United States Supreme Court from 1990 to the current term are
available (organized by party name), as well as over 600 earlier decisions selected
for their historic importance.
There are a number of easily-accessible drop-down menus for the most
frequently accessed sources from LII’s home page, including: federal and state
constitutions and codes, court opinions, law by jurisdiction, basic legal citation
information, and directories, which includes a link to the University Law Review
Project. This service allows the researcher to sign up to receive abstracts of
current law review articles (from the LII homepage, go to the Directories page and
click on Journals for registration information). This also links the researcher back
to FindLaw’s Academic Law Reviews and Journals page.

CHAPTER 3: BASIC LEGAL RESEARCH TECHNIQUES

43

The real highlight of Cornell LII’s site, however, is under the “Law about” link to
Wex, “a collaboratively-edited legal dictionary and encyclopedia” which offers
the online researcher access to primary and secondary materials arranged in
more than 130 main legal topics, each of which is broken down in the following
manner:

1. Each topic begins with an “Overview,” which offers a concise
explanation/definition of the legal topic, similar to that found in
traditional print legal encyclopedias such as C.J.S. or Am. Jur. 2d.

2. There is also a “Menu of Sources” which provides links to online
federal and state materials, including statutes, regulations, and
selected court decisions about the particular area of law.

3. “Other Resources” links the researcher to other Internet (both free and
fee) sites with information about these topics.

4. Finally, there are links to “Other Topics” in Wex, which are related to
the present topic.

• Washburn University School of Law’s WashLaw
This site, maintained by the staff of the Washburn Law Library, organizes much
of the information available in an alphabetical index by jurisdiction, for state,
federal, and international law. Each page is organized similarly, with links to the
following:

1. The official home page for the jurisdiction
2. Statutes and other legislative documents
3. Administrative codes and regulations
4. Courts and related agencies, other resources (opinions, forms, rules,

etc.)
5. Historical documents (if available), such as constitutions

There is also a separate “Master Index,” which provides an interesting A-Z
listing of law-related topics not found on other sites.

(Hint: For easy, one-stop shopping to all official websites for California’s state, county
and local governments, bookmark WashLaw’s California page).

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

44

Internet Sources Cited in this Chapter

California Law

• Legislative Counsel of California: www.leginfo.ca.gov
For California Bills (1993-1994 legislative session to current), California Codes and the
California Constitution.

• Judicial Council of California’s California Courts:
http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions.htm
California court opinions, forms, and rules (links at the top of screen)

• California Office of Administrative Law: www.oal.ca.gov
California Code of Regulations, Notice Register, Proposed Regulations, and State
Agency Index

• California Building Standards Commission: www.bsc.ca.gov
• Public Law Library: www.publiclawlibrary.org

Federal Law

• GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys): http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/search/home.action
Congressional bills, the U.S. Code, Code of Federal Regulations, and the Federal Register

• Thomas: http://thomas.loc.gov
U.S. Congressional Bills, Resolutions, Schedules, Calendars

Legal Dictionaries

• Law.com: http://dictionary.law.com/
• Lawyers.com: http://research.lawyers.com/glossary/
• Jurist’s Legal Dictionaries: http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/dictionary.htm
• Nolo’s Free Dictionary: http://www.nolo.com/dictionary
• FindLaw’s Practice Area Definitions: http://public.findlaw.com/library/padefinitions.html

Low Cost Legal Databases

• Fastcase: https://www.fastcase.com
• LexisNexis Communities Portal:

http://www.lexisnexis.com/community/portal/content/lexisonelandingpage.aspx
• Loislaw: http://www.loislaw.com/
• VersusLaw: http://www.versuslaw.com/

CHAPTER 3: BASIC LEGAL RESEARCH TECHNIQUES

45

Law Library Research Guides

• Georgetown Law Library’s Free & Low Cost Legal Research:
http://www.ll.georgetown.edu/guides/freelowcost.cfm

• Pace Law Library’s Free and Low Cost Resources for Legal Research:
http://libraryguides.law.pace.edu/free

• UCLA Law Library’s Online Legal Research: Beyond LexisNexis & Westlaw:
http://libguides.law.ucla.edu/onlinelegalresearch

Commercial Legal Publishers:

• Nolo Press: http://www.nolo.com
• Nolo Press Occidental: http://www.nolotech.com
• Witkin Legal Institute: http://www.witkin.com/index.html
• Lexis Shepard’s Citations Service: http://law.lexisnexis.com/shepards
• Lexis Shepard’s in Print: http://www.lexisnexis.com/shepards-citations/print/features.asp
• Westlaw’s KeyCite: http://west.thomson.com/support/user-guide/keycite.aspx

46

Chapter 4

LEGAL REFERENCE VS. LEGAL ADVICE

“No person shall practice law in California unless the person is an active
member of the State Bar.”1

In California, it is illegal for individuals who are not members of the California State Bar
Association to practice law. The practice of law has been defined by California courts as:

“ . . . doing or performing services in a court of justice, in any matter depending
therein, throughout its various stages, and in conformity to the adopted rules of
procedure. But in a larger sense it includes legal advice and counsel, and the
preparation of legal instruments and contracts by which legal rights are secured,
although such matter may or may not be pending in court.”2

Contents:

• The Issue Presented
• What an Non-Attorney Can and Cannot Do
• How to Help Users Find Legal Assistance
• Have a Written Policy
• Suggested Readings
• Internet Sources Cited in this Chapter

The Issue Presented

When or in what situations legal reference may constitute the unauthorized practice of
law has been the topic of professional library literature since the early 20th century.3

1 California Business & Professions Code §§

If
one takes the most common sense view, the issue is whether a user who goes to a public
library to do legal research reasonably believes that the communications between him
or her and the librarian creates an attorney-client relationship. Most people, queried

6125-6133.
2 Smallberg v. The State Bar, 212 California Reports 113, 119 (1931), citing Eley v. Miller, 34 Northeastern
Reporter 836, 837-838 (Ind. Ct. App. 1893).
3 Margaret E. Hall, “Reference Work in a Law Library,” 31 Law Library Journal 238 (1938).

CHAPTER 4: LEGAL REFERENCE VS. LEGAL ADVICE

47

about this scenario, would probably answer with a resounding “no.” However, while
there is no documented case of a librarian being prosecuted for practicing law without a
license, the real concern for our profession is a matter of ethics. No librarian wants to
give bad or inaccurate information to their library’s users.

Nonetheless, it is foreseeable that in an effort to provide good service, a librarian may
go beyond providing reference assistance and begin offering personal opinions or
advice. Under this scenario, the librarian may inadvertently, but unduly, influence the
user in deciding not only what his or her specific legal issue may be, but also the course
of action which should be taken to resolve the legal issue.

It is important to remember that in times of stress, people often neglect to mention facts
that may be crucial to the legal issue. If the librarian is mistaken in his or her
understanding of the facts or legal issues involved (possibly because the user has not
communicated his or her question clearly), the librarian’s interventions could
negatively affect the ultimate outcome of the user’s legal problem.

Imagine the following scenario at the reference desk of your public library:

Library User: I would like information on security deposits. I just got a letter
from my old landlord. He is not going to give me any of my security deposit back.
I left the apartment cleaner than it was when I moved into it! In fact, I even
painted the apartment while I lived there for almost a year. Now I get this letter
from him saying I won’t be getting my deposit back, and not only that, he is
threatening to sue me for more money!”

Public Librarian: “Landlords can’t do that! They have to provide you with a list of
any deductions for repairs they make from your deposit,” as she prepares to hand
a copy of Nolo’s Tenant’s Rights book to the user.

Library User: “Really? In that case, I am going to the court to get the papers to
sue him first right now.” Out of the library he goes, without looking at the book
being offered to him.

In this scenario, there is no issue of unauthorized practice of law. However, by
commenting on the user’s situation, the librarian may have inadvertently influenced the
library user’s course of action in dealing with this potential legal problem. Without
conducting a thorough reference interview, the librarian was not able to assist the user
in identifying the facts which may determine the legal issues involved.

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

48

It is possible that the landlord had to re-paint the entire apartment to cover the
inappropriate colors (think neon pink, yellow & blue) chosen by Library User (who did
leave the apartment clean). Also, Library User may not have paid rent for the last
month he lived in the apartment, assuming it was covered by the move-in deposit. The
cost of repainting the apartment may have been more than the amount the landlord was
holding in the tenant’s account, causing the landlord to demand more money from
Library User. There are a number of unknown facts which could impact the legal issues
of this landlord-tenant dispute.

This scenario is an example of how the comments of a librarian who does not know all
the relevant facts might influence a library user to act in ways that may not be in their
best interests. Presumably, no librarian would ever knowingly provide bad information
to users, but when assisting those seeking legal information, additional sensitivity and
caution is important. Conducting a thorough reference interview 4

allows the librarian to
assist the user in identifying potential legal issues such as:

Can the landlord deduct for the cost of re-painting the apartment when the
tenant lived there for a year?

Is the letter Library User received the legal equivalent to the required “list of
repairs and deductions”?

What a Non-Attorney Can and Cannot Do

Librarians in all types of libraries are committed to giving the very best service possible.
The following is a list of “dos and don’ts” to serve as a guide when public librarians
assist a user with legal reference questions. In general, librarians who recommend
books and other sources, teach legal research techniques, and help in constructing
searches, are providing legal reference.

On the other hand, a librarian who “takes over” the user’s legal question by interpreting
and making conclusions about the legal problem may inadvertently cross the line.
Librarians, paralegals and other non attorneys may know where to find legal
information, but are not trained in the procedures and rules of the court, or in legal
theory, and most importantly, are not licensed to practice law. It is imperative that users
research their own issues and come to their own conclusions about how the law applies

4See Chapter 3: Basic Legal Research Techniques for additional information on how to identify the relevant
legal issues in a reference interview.

CHAPTER 4: LEGAL REFERENCE VS. LEGAL ADVICE

49

to their particular situations.

Ultimately, it is the user’s decision as to what the particular legal issue is and how or
whether he or she will handle his or her own legal problem or obtain representation.
There are plenty of legal procedures self-represented litigants can handle themselves,
such as small claims court matters, but when issues get complicated, there is usually no
substitute for a good attorney. Attorneys are trained in the law, they understand legal
theory, they have experience with forms and court procedures, and they have
malpractice insurance in case matters go awry.

LEGAL REFERENCE

(Probably) LEGAL ADVICE

Non-attorneys do:

Non-attorneys do not:

Recommend law books on particular
subjects, including books that
provide forms and will explain the
law and procedures of the courts,
and demonstrate how to effectively
use them by explaining the indexes
and tables of contents

Recommend a specific legal form,
explain how to fill in the form, or fill
out a legal form for the user. (It is
permissible to refer users to form
books. The user will need to
ultimately decide whether to use
those forms or not.)

Help to find the broad definition of
legal words or phrases, usually by
using sources such as Black’s Law
Dictionary, Cal. Jur. 3rd, Words and
Phrases, etc.

Offer an opinion as to how a user’s
specific legal problem should be
handled.

Perform an online search to provide
the user with information which
may be relevant to his legal question

Identify any single law as the statute
(or regulation, or case) that will
answer the user’s legal question.

Suggest search terms when using
indexes or finding tools

Help a person by interpreting the
law (statutes, regulations, or cases)

Teach legal research techniques such
as the use of digests and Shepard’s

Write a brief, prepare a will, or draft
a contract

Locate biographical information
about attorneys and judges

Interpret any legal document from a
court or an attorney

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

50

How to Help Users Find Legal Assistance

There may be a variety of legal resources, agencies, or other groups in your community
that are not well-publicized. This section briefly describes three steps that librarians
may take to prepare for law-related questions from library users. For further
information, please see Chapter 9: Assisting Self-Represented Litigants for a description of
the California Courts’ programs for pro se litigants, as well as those offered by California
county law libraries, nonprofit legal aid organizations and local law schools.

First call or check out the Web site of the closest public law library

There are often legal resources available in the community to assist people who are
reluctant or unable to consult an attorney when they are initially confronted with a legal
problem. For public librarians in California, a great resource is the Council of California
County Law Librarians’ Public Law Library Web site. There are five “modules”: (1) Ask
Now is a law librarian service which lets you ask questions and get answers in real time.
Hours are limited to week days; (2) Self-Help provides links to Web sites which include
content for use by the self-represented litigant; (3) Find Your… allows users to find the
nearest county law library; (4) Mini Research Class is a mini research guide intended to
help users learn the legal process. Classes include “Learning How to Research,”
“Finding the Forms You Need,” and “The Importance of Updating Your Research;” and
(5) Legal Links are links divided into categories to help the researcher find the
information he or she requires. Categories include “General Legal Research,”
“California Resources,” “Federal Resources,” “Local Law,” “Legal Directories,” and
“Forms and Rules.”

There is a county law library in every county in California. Though they are funded
separately from the public library, they are open to the public, and offer some reference
service. They usually have a good collection of self-help law books, such as the Nolo
Press publications. While many law librarians do have legal training, they do not give
any legal advice–they provide reference service. County law libraries often compile a
listing of local legal resource services (such as the State Bar-approved lawyer referral
service or a legal clinic which offers pro bono services in the area), and they will be
happy to share this information with public libraries. In addition, because many county
law libraries are located in or near courthouses, the librarians may be able to provide
information about domestic violence clinics which assist victims in getting temporary
restraining orders, as well as other important programs, such as adoption clinics,
mediation services for divorce, landlord-tenant, or neighbor disputes. Library users
may be unaware of these resources, which may prove to be good starting points.

CHAPTER 4: LEGAL REFERENCE VS. LEGAL ADVICE

51

Be familiar with local bar associations and other legal service providers

You may also contact your local county bar association to find out what resources they
have available in your area. Many county bar associations in California have pro bono
programs, where attorneys volunteer time to legal causes and to people who cannot
afford an attorney. In addition, some law schools offer legal clinics run by students
who are supervised by attorneys. Contact your local law schools to get more
information regarding this option.

There are legal aid societies and community outreach programs which may host legal
clinics. Often senior citizen centers will have a lawyer visit on a regular basis.

Be familiar with the basic online federal and state resources

Check out the Web sites of federal and state government agencies for answers to
questions about their internal policies and procedures. This will assist library users who
are involved in a dispute with these agencies. The United States Government Manual is
often a good resource to begin a quest for information about federal agencies. For
general information about federal laws and regulations, remember to refer the user to
USA.gov.

For information about California law and legal resources, do not forget to refer the user
to the Official State of California Web site. There are links to all types of state
government information from the main page.

Go to the California State Bar Web site for information about lawyer referral services to
the public.

Have a Written Policy

People who need legal help are often apprehensive and may even be desperate to get
the answer they want. When a library staff member becomes overly eager in assisting
users, it can give the impression that a library is willing to do more than the law allows.
All library staff should be educated regarding giving legal reference assistance. A
posted written statement of the library’s policy is often useful in helping staff
understand their limitations, as well as notifying the public.

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

52

Be sure to prominently display your library’s policy regarding legal reference
assistance. The following language may assist you in developing your library’s policy:

A MESSAGE TO OUR USERS

ABOUT LEGAL REFERENCE QUESTIONS:

It is unlawful for members of the Library staff to help users
interpret legal materials they read or to advise them how the law
might apply to their situation because these actions would
constitute the unauthorized practice of law. It would also require
an amount of personal service that a staff of our size cannot provide
if we are still to carry out other duties. For those reasons, our staff
must limit themselves to advising you which materials might be
helpful to you, where they are located, and how to find information
in them. Please do not think our staff is being uncooperative when
they suggest that you interpret the materials you read for yourself
and make your own decisions as to how the material you have read
applies to your legal problem. Our staff will be happy to help you
find the materials you need, and to show you how to use the various
legal publications.

If you need further help to solve your legal problem, you may wish
to consult one of the following legal service organizations:

[LIST YOUR LOCAL LEGAL SERVICE PROVIDERS HERE]

A file of organizations that offer legal services may be very useful. Keep track of
organizations’ URLs, addresses and phone numbers, as well as their hours of operation,
and what services they provide. It is a good idea to note if they charge for their services,
if they offer help over the phone, if an appointment is necessary, etc.

It is every librarian’s goal to be helpful and to give excellent reference service. By
recommending appropriate legal resources, teaching users how to use the sets (e.g.,
indexes, tables, etc.) in your collection, and helping choose search terms and translating
legal citations, we are keeping ourselves within the bounds set by the law and our
professional ethics. We are also doing more good than harm to a user’s legal situation.

CHAPTER 4: LEGAL REFERENCE VS. LEGAL ADVICE

53

Suggested Readings

Yvette Brown, “From the Reference Desk to the Jail House: Unauthorized Practice of

Law and Librarians,” Legal Reference Services Quarterly, p. 31-45, v. 13, no. 4, 1994.

Paul D. Healey, “Pro Se Users, Reference Liability, and the Unauthorized Practice of

Law: Twenty-Five Selected Readings,” Law Library Journal, p. 133-139, vol. 94, no.
1, 2002. Available online at www.aallnet.org/products/pub_llj_v94n01/2002-
08.pdf

Larry D. Richmond, Jr., “The Pro Se Patron: An Ethical Rather than Legal Dilemma,”

Legal Reference Services Quarterly, p. 75-84, v. 22, no. 2-3, 2003.

State, Court, & County Law Libraries, A Special Interest Section of the American

Association of Law Libraries, Unauthorized Practice of Law Toolkit, available at
http://www.aallnet.org/sis/sccll/toolkit/unauthorized_practice.htm.

Internet Sources Cited in this Chapter

Public Law Library: http://www.publiclawlibrary.org/
United States Government Manual (1995-1996 edition to current edition):
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/collection.action?collectionCode=GOVMAN
USA.gov: http://www.usa.gov/
State of California: http://www.ca.gov/
California State Bar: http://www.calbar.ca.gov/state/calbar/calbar_home.jsp

54

Chapter 5

CALIFORNIA LAW

The state of California has done a great job of making its primary sources of law widely
available via the Internet. In addition, legal publishers publish a multitude of secondary
sources in print and in online databases. This abundance of information has made
researching California law easy for some and overwhelming for others. For those
without a legal background (and most with one), it is always advisable to start with a
secondary source. 1

Contents:

• Secondary Sources
• Primary Sources

o California Constitution
o California Statutory Law
o Legislative Process
o California Case Law

 California State Court System
 California Case Law Publications

o California Regulations & Regulatory Decisions
o City & County Municipal Codes

• Other Resources
o California County Law Libraries
o California Attorneys
o California Judges

• Selected Bibliography
o Print Sources
o Internet Sources

1 Secondary sources describe and explain the law and provide background information and citations to
primary sources of law.

CHAPTER 5: CALIFORNIA LAW

55

Secondary Sources

There are many California secondary sources geared specifically towards non-lawyers.
Nolo Press is one of the most well respected legal self-help publishers. Titles such as The
California Landlord’s Guide: Rights and Responsibilities, California Tenants Rights, How to Do
Your Own Divorce in California, and U.S. Immigration Made Easy are found in many
public libraries and serve as an excellent starting place for non-lawyers doing their own
legal research. The Nolo Press Web site also has a Legal Encyclopedia which offers brief
entries on many legal topics. Chapter 10: Bibliography of Self-Help Resources includes an
extensive list of self-help books and Web sites, including numerous Nolo Press
publications, arranged by subject area.

Another excellent resource is the California Judicial Council’s California Courts Web
site. The California Judicial Council created the California Courts Online Self Help
Center to assist self-represented litigants and others in learning about California law
and court procedures. The Self Help Center offers information on common legal matters
such as divorce, child custody and visitation, landlord/tenant issues, and small claims
court in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese. It includes guides for
completing necessary court forms and links to legal service organizations and lawyer
referral programs. It also provides links to state agencies that assist with legal problems
such as employment discrimination.

The Self Help Center also provides access to AskNow’s Law Librarian Service which
connects users with county law librarians throughout the state. Law librarians may
suggest strategies and resources to help individuals with their particular legal research
needs.

Primary Sources

It is important to keep in mind that primary sources of law – constitutions, statutes,
cases, regulations, and regulatory decisions – all work together to form “the law” on a
particular subject. A good secondary source will explain how these pieces of primary
law fit together and which is most important for a particular legal issue. Please refer to
Chapter 6: Bibliography of California Law Resources for a list of secondary sources,
including legal encyclopedias, treatises, practice guides, and handbooks, which are all
specific to California legal research.

A few words of caution: while researchers often just want to read the text of the Vehicle

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

56

Code section they allegedly violated or the text of a recent California Supreme Court
decision, caution should be exercised in looking at any one of the primary sources of
law in isolation when a broader topic is researched.

California Constitution

The first California Constitution was drafted by a group of 48 delegates in 1849. In 1878,
a second constitutional convention was convened and in 1879, 152 delegates drafted the
second California Constitution. Though amended numerous times, the 1879
Constitution continues to serve as the framework for California government and the
rights of its citizens. 2

The California Constitution may be found in many sources including within the sets of
the California Codes. The California Legislative Counsel provides a searchable copy of
the current California Constitution under the California Law button on its Web site.

California Statutory Law

The statutory laws of California consist of acts passed by the California legislature and
by the California electorate through the initiative process. The legislative process is
explained below. For more information on the initiative process, see A History of the
California Initiatives available from the California Secretary of State.3

Statutes are organized by subject and published in the California codes. Codes provide
the current version of statutes arranged by topic. Please see the next page for a list of
California codes.

California does not publish an official version of its codes. Two unofficial versions of
the codes, West’s Annotated California Codes published by West and Deering’s California
Codes Annotated published by LexisNexis, contain all 29 codes. Both sets are arranged
alphabetically by code title and include the California Constitution and the California
Rules of Court. As indicated by their titles, both sets are annotated, meaning that they
include references to cases, law review articles, and other materials which discuss and
help explain individual code sections. Both sets are updated by yearly pocket parts,

2 See The California State Constitution: A Reference Guide (Joseph R. Grodin, Calvin R. Massey, and Richard
B. Cunningham, 1993) for a discussion of the history of the California Constitution and commentary on
its provisions.
3 See also J. Fred Silva, The California Initiative Process: Background and Perspective (Public Policy Institute of
California, 2000), available at http://www.ppic.org/content/pubs/op/OP_1100FSOP.pdf.

CHAPTER 5: CALIFORNIA LAW

57

newspaper-like pamphlets inserted in the back of each volume, or by supplementary
pamphlets. Some individual code titles such as the Civil Code, Evidence Code, and
Vehicle Code are also published in unannotated paperback versions, often called
compact codes. These volumes are republished yearly to incorporate any changes to the
codes.

Both annotated and unannotated codes contain indexes to assist in locating particular
sections. West’s Annotated California Codes and Deering’s California Codes Annotated both
contain indexes to each individual code title as well as general indexes to the entire set
of codes. LARMAC Consolidated Index to the Constitution and Laws of California is a
separate index to the California Codes published yearly. It is not easy to guess in which
code a particular statute will be found. Therefore, it is best to start in one of the general
indexes or in LARMAC to locate relevant code sections.

CALIFORNIA CODES

Business and Professions Code

Civil Code

Code of Civil Procedure

Commercial Code

Corporations Code

Education Code

Elections Code

Evidence Code

Family Code

Financial Code

Fish and Game Code

Food and Agriculture Code

Government Code

Harbors and Navigation Code

Health and Safety Code

Insurance Code

Labor Code

Military and Veterans Code

Penal Code

Probate Code

Public Contract Code

Public Resources Code

Public Utilities Code

Revenue and Taxation Code

Streets and Highways Code

Unemployment Insurance Code

Vehicle Code

Water Code

Welfare and Institutions Code

The California Legislative Counsel provides a current set of the California Codes on its
Web site. Individual codes or the entire set of 29 codes may be searched by keyword. In

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

58

addition, the table of contents for each code may easily be printed or downloaded. The
Legislative Counsel’s version of the California Codes is the most up-to-date but lacks
annotations and historical notes.4

Legislative Process5

The laws which eventually become part of the California codes begin in the state
legislature as bills. Bills passed by the legislature are enacted into law and become
statutes. Statutes are published in chronological order in the official Statutes and
Amendments to the Codes which serves as the permanent record of all statutes passed by
the California Legislature. A single statute may affect (add to, revise, or repeal) more
than one code section and, over time, one code section may be affected by many
different statutes. West’s Annotated California Codes and Deering’s California Codes
Annotated keep each code volume up-to-date with statutory changes through the use of
pocket parts and supplementary pamphlets. Compact codes are republished each year
so as to reflect any statutory change.

In order to understand why a certain statute was enacted by the legislature, a legislative
intent (or history) search may be made. Legislative history research involves collecting
the documents generated at each step of the legislative process and then reading them
for evidence of intent. Locating legislative history documentation requires that one first
understand the process by which a bill becomes a statute.6

The legislative process begins with the introduction of a bill on the floor of the Senate or
the Assembly. Only a legislator may introduce a bill, but government agencies and
community organizations, as well as individuals often propose the subject matter. The
Legislative Counsel drafts the bill into the proper form and also provides a commentary
in the preface of the bill, called the Legislative Digest.

Bills introduced in the Assembly are assigned a number preceded by A.B. Bills
introduced in the Senate are assigned a number preceded by S.B. The Legislature meets
in two-year sessions (e.g. 2009-2010) and bill numbers are assigned in sequential order

4 Note that in the fall of 2011, the Legislative Counsel released a beta site for California legislative
information: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/. As of November 4, 2011, the California Codes had not yet
been added to the new site.
5 California’s Legislature, published by the Office of the Assembly Chief Clerk, is an in-depth introduction
to the legislative process and to California state government. It is also available for purchase (currently
$5) from the Legislative Bill room ((916) 445-2323).
6 The Legislative Counsel offers a detailed chart of the California legislative process [PDF], available via
the Legislative Publications button (scroll down the page to California’s Legislature).

CHAPTER 5: CALIFORNIA LAW

59

during each session. Bill numbers start anew with each new legislative session. It is
therefore imperative when researching legislative intent to be able to specify:

 A.B. or S.B.
 the bill number
 the year the bill was introduced or passed

As a bill makes its way through the legislative process, it must follow certain rules.
Once it is passed by both the Assembly and the Senate, it is submitted to the Governor
for his signature. If the Governor signs the bill, it becomes a law effective January 1 of
the following year. If the act is not signed within twelve days and the Legislature is still
in session, it becomes a law without the Governor’s signature. If the Governor vetoes
the bill, it can still become a statute on a two-thirds majority vote from each house of the
Legislature. Once a bill becomes a statute, the Secretary of State assigns it a chapter
number and it is placed chronologically in the official Statutes and Amendments to the
Codes. The Legislative Counsel has made the statutes (starting from the 1993-94
legislative session) available on its Web site.

During the legislative process, documents such as committee analyses and reports may
be generated. These documents may offer evidence of the legislative intent behind a
particular statute.7

Bill Information

Committee analyses, voting records, veto messages, and bill versions
from the 1993-94 legislative session to the present may be found for individual bills in
the portion of the California Legislative Counsel’s Web site. Legislative
information, both for bills which were passed into law and those which died may be
searched by bill number, bill author, or keyword. While not providing complete
legislative history documentation, the Bill Information portion of the Legislative
Counsel’s Web site has made legislative documents much more accessible and may
provide insight into legislative intent.8

If a more complete legislative history is desired, the best place to start is in a library that
serves as a state depository. There are also commercial legislative intent service
companies that will research and prepare legislative histories for a fee.9

7 Compiling legislative documents can be a time-consuming and frustrating task and many times the
documents fail to reveal the legislator’s intent.
8 The California Legislative Information beta site offers new functionality to the Bill Search and bill Text
Search Features.
9 Please see the Selected Bibliography at the end of this chapter for examples for commercial legislative
intent research services.

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

60

Most libraries that collect legislative intent materials also have worksheets which are
designed to guide the researcher through the process and are keyed to the materials
available in their own collections. An excellent example is the California Legislative
History Checklist available from the LA Law Library. Listed below are seven basic steps
to get a researcher started on legislative intent research.

1. Check the annotations to the code section in both West’s Annotated California
Codes and Deering’s California Codes Annotated for law review articles and/or
cases that discuss legislative intent.

2. Check the history notes which follow the code section in West’s and Deering’s
for chapter number and year. Note that many different statutes may have
affected a code section over time. One must read the annotations and decide
which statute or statutes one needs to research based on how each statute
affected that code section.

3. Read the original statute and, if available, the Legislative Digest in the
Statutes and Amendments to the Codes.

4. Convert the chapter number into a bill number. Before 1970, check Volume 1
of the Statutes and Amendments to the Codes, Table of Laws Enacted. After 1970,
check the last volume of the Statutes and Amendments to the Codes, Summary
Digest.

5. Check published sources of legislative intent:

a. Pacific Law Journal (1970-1997) renamed McGeorge Law Review (1998 –
Present), Annual Review of Selected California Legislation, which
covers legislation from 1970 to the present.

b. CEB’s Review of Selected Code Legislation, which covers some years prior
to 1970.

c. The Bill Information portion of the Web site of the California
Legislative Counsel gives bill text and committee analyses from the
1993-94 legislative session to the present.10

6. If the library you are using has California legislative materials:

a. Read the various versions of the bill.

b. Read the Assembly File Analysis.

10 Again, the California Legislative Information beta site adds new functionality to the Bill Search feature.
However, as of Nov. 4, 2011, you can only search from the 1999-2000 session year to the current session.

CHAPTER 5: CALIFORNIA LAW

61

c. Read the Final History, which will list all actions and committees
which studied the bill.

d. Check the indexes to the Senate and Assembly Journals for references to
Legislative Counsel Opinions or Statements of Intent.

e. Check for hearings and reports.

7. Contact the California State Archives in Sacramento, (916) 653-7715. The
Archives maintains bill files which may contain correspondence, reports, and
other useful materials. The State Archives will compile a package of
legislative documents but the process generally takes several weeks.

California Case Law

Cases are the written opinions rendered by judges in particular cases. Cases resolve
disputes between parties by interpreting statutes and regulations. Cases can also
establish “the law” in areas where there are no governing statutes or regulations. Not
all cases result in a written opinion, nor are all written opinions formally published or
“reported.”

• California State Court System

11

Like most states, California has a three-tiered court system. The California
Supreme Court is the highest court. Cases do not originate in the Supreme Court
but arrive there on appeal from a lower court. The Supreme Court’s reviewing
power allows it to decide important legal questions and to maintain uniformity
in California law. The Supreme Court is composed of a Chief Justice and six
Associate Justices.

11 Diagram is from the California Judicial Council Web site.

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

62

The California Courts of Appeal are the basic appellate courts for the state. There
are six appellate districts: First District – San Francisco; Second District – Los
Angeles and Ventura; Third District – Sacramento; Fourth District – San Diego,
San Bernardino/Riverside and Santa Ana; Fifth District – Fresno; Sixth District –
San Jose. Each district has a presiding justice and two or more judges.

Superior Courts are the trial level courts within California. All California cases
must begin in a superior court. There is one superior court in each of California’s
58 counties (each court may maintain multiple branches). Municipal courts were
unified with superior courts in 2001.

As stated above, cases are the written opinions rendered by judges in particular
cases. Decisions from the superior courts are not generally published and must
be retrieved directly from the court. Cases from the California Courts of Appeal
and the California Supreme Court are published in both official and unofficial
versions. In either case, only the text of the opinions comes from the court itself;
the editorial matter, such as the case summary and headnotes, differ between the
official and unofficial versions.

• California Case Law Publications

Below is a chart that shows where California cases are published.

COURT

PUBLICATION TITLE

California Supreme
Court

California Reports (Official)
West’s California Reporter (Unofficial)
West’s Pacific Reporter (Unofficial)

California Appellate
Courts

California Appellate Reports (Official)
West’s California Reporter (Unofficial)

Trial Courts
(e.g., Los Angeles
Superior Court)

Decisions are not published.

CHAPTER 5: CALIFORNIA LAW

63

Appellate cases from 1850 to the present are also available in a searchable
database provided by LexisNexis, the official publisher of California cases, on the
California Courts Web site. In addition, SCOCAL, a joint project between Justia
and Stanford Law School Library, provides free access to California Supreme
Court opinions (from 1934 to present), along with annotations, briefs, documents
and news.

California Regulations & Regulatory Decisions

California regulations are rules and procedures promulgated by state agencies which
allow the implementation of statutes. Regulations are a binding source of law similar to
statutes and cases.

California regulations are found in the California Code of Regulations (formerly called the
California Administrative Code) published by the California Office of Administrative Law.
The California Code of Regulations (CCR) is divided into 27 numbered titles (excluding
Title 24, see paragraph below) and then into sections. A typical citation would read 25
CCR 60, where 25 is the title number and 60 is the section number. The print version of
the CCR is published by Barclays, a division of West Publishing Company (a Thomson
Reuters business), and is published in loose-leaf format. Update pages are issued
weekly. Regulations can be found by consulting the subject index or, where a relevant
code section is known, by consulting the Statutes to Regulations Table.

The CCR is also available online through the Office of Administrative Law. Regulations
can be accessed through an agency list, a table of contents, or a subject search through
one or more titles. Note that Title 24, the Building Code, is not published as part of
either the print or online version of the CCR, since it is copyrighted and published by
the ICBO (International Conference of Building Officials). The California Regulatory
Notice Register updates the CCR.

State administrative boards and agencies such as the Workers’ Compensation Appeals
Board and the Franchise Tax Board often have judicial or quasi-judicial authority and
may issue administrative decisions. Finding these decisions may often be a challenging
task. Many subject-specific books will include administrative decisions. Check state
agency Web sites for their regulations, decisions, forms, and other information of
interest. The California State Web page offers a listing of California agencies and their
Web sites.

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

64

City and County Municipal Codes

Article 11 of the California Constitution gives cities and counties the authority to pass
legislative acts, called ordinances, relating to municipal affairs. These ordinances are
collected and arranged by topic in municipal codes and county codes.

Most city and county Web sites include their own ordinances. U.C. Berkeley’s Institute
of Governmental Studies provides a list of California Local Codes and Charters and
includes links to those available on the Internet.

Other Resources

California County Law Libraries

Because many public libraries have limited legal research resources, it may be necessary
to refer users to a local county law library. By statute, each of the 58 counties in
California maintains a county law library whose mission is to provide free access to
legal materials to all persons interested in the law. The county law libraries vary greatly
in size and resources. Several, including the LA Law Library, the Bernard E. Witkin
Alameda County Law Library, and the San Diego County Public Law Library collect
not only California legal materials, but materials for the federal system and for other
states as well. The LA Law Library also has an extensive collection of foreign and
international law materials.

The larger county law libraries maintain Web sites that provide access to their catalogs
and include helpful research guides and lists of local legal providers. Some also provide
in-person classes and training on legal research topics. The county law libraries also
participate in AskNow’s Law Librarian service which allows real-time legal reference
assistance over the Internet.

A list of the California county law libraries may be found at the Council of California
County Law Librarians Web site and in Appendix C of this publication.

California Attorneys

To practice in California, an attorney must be a member of the California State Bar.
Furthermore, only active members of the State Bar are entitled to practice law within
California.

CHAPTER 5: CALIFORNIA LAW

65

The State Bar makes its member records available to the public through its Attorney
Search feature. Information provided for individual attorneys includes current contact
information, undergraduate and law schools, and, most importantly, status12

and
disciplinary history.

California attorneys can become certified legal specialists in one or more of 19 legal
specialties including bankruptcy, elder law, family law, immigration law and tax law.
Individuals can search for certified legal specialists (link provided in search box under
“more search options” or by using the Advanced Attorney Search (scroll down to the
bottom of the page)).

The State Bar also includes information on how to file a complaint against an attorney.

Martindale-Hubbell is a national directory of lawyers. Its publisher, LexisNexis, has
made the database available at no charge. Lawyers may be searched by name or by
specialty and geographic region. The Advanced Search Feature also allows searching by
language or law school attended.

Avvo.com also provides a national database of lawyers. In addition to providing
biographical information, Avvo.com provides ratings for attorneys based on its own
proprietary ratings system.

Lawyers identified through either Martindale-Hubbell or Avvo.com should be checked
in the California State Bar Attorney Search database for active status and disciplinary
history.

California Judges

Biographical information on California judges may be found on individual court Web
sites. The Judicial Council provides a full listing of courts and their Web sites.

Biographical information may also be found in Judicial Profiles published by the Daily
Journal Corporation. This multi-volume set includes information on state court judges
as well as federal judges sitting in California. Check your local law library’s catalog or
call the reference desk to find out if you have access to the print volumes. 13

12 Statuses include active, inactive, not entitled to practice law, disbarred, and resigned. Only active
members can practice law.

The Judicial

13 For a directory of California County Law Libraries, see Your Public Law Library or Appendix C of this
publication. Contact information and links to the libraries’ Web sites are included (when available).

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

66

Profiles are also available on the Daily Journal’s Web site but require both a subscription
and a fee.

The California Commission on Judicial Performance is an independent state agency
responsible for investigating complaints of judicial misconduct and for disciplining
judges. Its jurisdiction includes all judges of California’s superior courts, justices of the
Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, and former judges for conduct prior to
retirement and resignations. See its Web site for additional information, including
instructions on how to file a complaint against a judge.

Selected Bibliography
Print Sources:

• Lisa Guerin & Patricia Gima. Nolo’s Guide to California Law, 11th ed. (July 2011)
• Daniel Martin. Henke’s California Law Guide, 8th ed. (LexisNexis Matthew Bender, 2006)
• Larry D. Dershem. California Legal Research Handbook, 2nd ed. (W.S. Hein & Co., 2008).
• John K. Hanft. Legal Research in California, 6th ed. (Thomson West, 2007)

Internet Sources:

• Secondary Sources
Nolo Press: http://www.nolo.com/
California Courts Self Help Center: http://www.courts.ca.gov/selfhelp.htm
AskNow’s Law Librarian Service: http://www.247ref.org/portal/access_law3.cfm

• California Constitution

http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/const.html

• California Statutory Law
A History of the California Initiatives: http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/init_history.pdf
Legislative Counsel’s Official California Legislative Information:
http://www.leginfo.ca.gov or http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/
California Codes: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/calaw.html
California Legislative Information beta: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/
(accessed on Nov. 2, 2011).

• California Legislative Process
California’s Legislature: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/califleg.html

CHAPTER 5: CALIFORNIA LAW

67

California Bill Information: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/bilinfo.html
Chart of Legislative Process: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pdf/Ch_09_CaLegi06.pdf
California Statutes: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/statute.html
California Legislative History Checklist, LA Law Library:
http://www.lalawlibrary.org/research/pathfinders/califleghistory/default.aspx
California State Archives: http://www.sos.ca.gov/archives/

• California Legislative Intent Research Services
Legislative Intent Services: http://www.legintent.com/ (800) 666-1917
Legislative Research Inc.: http://www.lrihistory.com/ (916) 442-7660
Jan Raymond Legislative History & Intent: http://www.lhclearinghouse.com/
(888) 676-1947

• California Cases

California Courts Web site: http://www.courts.ca.gov
California Supreme Court: http://www.courts.ca.gov/courts/supreme/.htm
California Courts of Appeal: http://www.courts.ca.gov/courts/courtsofappeal/.htm
California Superior Courts: http://www.courts.ca.gov/superiorcourts.htm
California Cases: http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/.htm
SCOCAL: http://scocal.stanford.edu/

• California Regulations and Regulatory Decisions

California Office of Administrative Law: http://www.oal.ca.gov/
California Code of Regulations: http://ccr.oal.ca.gov/linkedslice/default.asp?SP=CCR-
1000&Action=Welcome
California State Web Site: http://www.ca.gov/
State Agency Directory: http://www.ca.gov/CaSearch/Agencies.aspx

• California City and County Municipal Codes

California Constitution: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/const.html
California Local Codes and Charters, U.C. Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies:
http://igs.berkeley.edu/library/cagovdocs/calcodes.html

• California County Law Libraries (see also Appendix C of this publication)

Council of County Law Librarians: http://www.cccll.org/
Listing of County Law Libraries: http://www.publiclawlibrary.org/find.html
Los Angeles Law Library: http://www.lalawlibrary.org/default.aspx
Bernard E. Witkin Alameda County Law Library:
http://www.co.alameda.ca.us/law/index.htm
San Diego County Public Law Library: http://www.sdcpll.org/

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68

• California Attorneys
California State Bar: http://calbar.ca.gov/Home.aspx
Attorney Search: http://members.calbar.ca.gov/fal/MemberSearch/QuickSearch
Lawyer Regulation: Overview of Attorney Discipline System:
http://calbar.ca.gov/Attorneys/LawyerRegulation.aspx
Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory: http://www.martindale.com/ or
http://www.lawyers.com/
Avvo.com: http://www.avvo.com/

• California Judges
California Courts: http://www.courts.ca.gov/courts.htm
California Commission on Judicial Performance: http://cjp.ca.gov/
How to File a Complaint: http://cjp.ca.gov/file_a_complaint.htm
Daily Journal: http://www.dailyjournal.com/

69

Chapter 6

BIBLIOGRAPY OF CALIFORNIA LAW RESOURCES

This chapter lists a wide variety of California legal materials and includes both print
and Internet sources. This bibliography begins with the California Constitution, and
then is arranged by branch of government: legislative branch resources (e.g., codes,
statutes, bills), judicial branch resources (e.g., case law, digests, court rules, jury
instructions); executive branch resources (e.g., administrative rules and regulations);
and municipal and county codes and ordinances. Also included are sources related to
California attorney and judges as well as secondary sources (e.g., form books, legal
encyclopedias, treatises, practice guides, and handbooks). This document includes
hyperlinks throughout. For a list of URLs, please see the end of this chapter.

For self-help sources, readers should refer to Chapter 9: Assisting Self-Represented
Litigants and Chapter 10: Bibliography of Self-Help Resources of this publication. Also be
sure to review Chapter 1: Introduction to determine how each of these types of materials,
such as legislative codes, case law reporters, administrative rules and regulations, and
secondary sources, relate to each other, as well as Chapter 5: California Law, which gives
an overview of California law.

Contents:

• California Constitution
• California Legislative Branch Materials

o Statutes & Codes
 Finding Aid
 Statutes
 Codes

 Annotated Codes
 Unannotated Codes

o Legislative Process Materials
 Finding Aids
 Bills & Resolutions
 Legislative Publications

o Initiatives, Referenda, Ballot Pamphlets & Propositions
• California Judicial Branch Materials

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

70

o Court Decisions
 Official Court Reporters
 Unofficial Court Reporters

o Digests
o Court Rules
o Jury Instructions

 Civil Jury Instructions
 Criminal Jury Instructions

• California Executive Branch Materials
o Administrative Rules & Regulations
o California Agency Decisions, Orders & Reports

 Agency Decisions & Orders
 Agency Reports

o The Governor’s Executive Orders, Proclamations & Press Releases
• California Municipal & County Codes, Ordinances
• California Attorneys & Judges

o Professional Responsibility
o Directories

• Secondary Sources for California Legal Research
o California Legal Research Guides
o Legal Encyclopedias
o Witkin Treatises
o Treatises, Practice Guides & Handbooks

 Corporations
 Civil Procedure
 Employment Law
 Estate Planning
 Family Law
 Landlord-Tenant
 Real Property
 Taxation

o Formbooks
• List of Internet Sources Cited in this Chapter

California Constitution

The California Constitution is the supreme law of California. Copies of the California
Constitution are available at nominal cost from the Legislative Bill Room, State Capitol,

CHAPTER 6: BIBLIOGRAPHY OF CALIFORNIA LAW RESOURCES

71

in Sacramento.1 annotated codes The Constitution is reprinted in the and is also
available on the State Constitution page of the California Legislative Counsel Web site,
the official site for California legislative information.2

California Legislative Branch Materials

This section will cover finding aids, statutes, codes, bills and resolutions, initiatives
referenda, ballot propositions, and legislative process resources.

Statutes & Codes

• Finding Aid

LARMAC Consolidated Index to the Constitution and Laws of California. Matthew
Bender. Annual.

A handy, one-volume index, LARMAC uses “non-legalese” and offers a detailed
subject index to the codes. Also note that the publications listed below under
Statutes and Codes also include their own indexes and tables.

• Statutes

Newly passed legislation is bound and printed in chronological order (by date
passed into law). These chronological compilations are either called statutes or
session laws.

California Statutes and Amendments to the Codes. Annual.
This is an official publication of all laws enacted by the legislature in a given
year, prior to codification in the annotated code sets. This set includes tables and
indexes.

The California Statutes page on the California Legislative Counsel site provides
the full text of California statutes from 1993 to present. Users may search by

1 Phone inquires/orders may be placed by calling the Legislative Bill Room at 916-445-2323. One may
download order forms from the Legislative Bill Room Web page.
2 Please note that in the fall of 2011, the California Legislative Information beta site was launched. As of
Nov. 4, 2011, the neither the California Codes nor the California State Constitution had been added to the
new site.

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

72

chapter number3 or by keyword.4

• Codes
Legislative code sets are collections of current statutes, arranged by subject.
Some people consider code sets to be easier to use than session laws because
similar statutes are placed together in the code sets and because of an enhanced
index. Code sets may be either annotated with editorial enhancements or
unannotated.

o Annotated Codes
These sets provide the text of the statute as well as references to court
decisions and secondary sources that serve to explain the meaning of the
code section. For that reason, annotated code sets are the most often used
source for legislative research. Two complete sets of annotated codes are
available from commercial publishers LexisNexis and West. Both sets
include the full text of the codes, the California Constitution, and Rules of
Court.

Deering’s California Codes, Annotated. LexisNexis. 175+ vols. Pocket parts.
With Deering’s California Codes Advance Legislative Service.

West’s Annotated California Codes. Thomson West. 180+ vols. Pocket parts.
With West’s California Legislative Service.

o Unannotated Codes
Typically these sets are compilations of one or a few of the 29 California
code titles. Calling them “unannotated” is a bit of a misnomer, as they
often include a minimal amount of annotations.

Deering’s California Desktop Code Series. LexisNexis. Various code subjects
and Rules of Court. Annual.

Parker’s California Codes. Michie. Various code subjects and Rules of Court.
Annual.

3 A bill is “chaptered” by the Secretary of State after it has been approved by both houses of the
legislature and has been signed by the governor (or becomes law without the governor’s signature).
4 Supra, note 2.

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73

The Standard California Codes: 6 in 2. LexisNexis. Includes the following
codes: Civil, Civil Procedure, Evidence, Family and Probate, as well as
California Rules of Court. Annual.

West’s California Codes, Desktop Edition. Thomson West. Various code
subjects and Rules of Court. Annual.

The California Law page on the California Legislative Counsel site
provides full text access to all 29 California codes. One must select a code
and click on “Search” to display the table of contents for a code or select
one or more codes and enter keywords in the search box at the bottom of
the page. Also note that to search the entire code, select the box next to
“All” at the bottom of the list of codes.

Legislative Process Materials

• Finding Aids

Legislative Index. California Legislative Counsel.
Provides a subject matter index to all legislative measures for the current
legislative session; indicates the subject of each bill, constitutional amendment,
and current or joint resolution as introduced and as amended. Note that entries
are not removed from the index when the subject matter is deleted from the
measure in the course of passage.

Table of Sections Affected. California Legislative Counsel.
An index to each section of the California Constitution, codes and uncodifed
laws affected by measures introduced; PDF and html documents include links to
the bill measures and chapter number (if applicable).

• Bills & Resolutions

The Legislative Bill Room provides copies of all legislative publications to the
public, including single copies of individual bills.

Legislative Hearings & Reports Index (U.C. Hastings Law Library, 1984 to
present).

Legislative Highlights (California Senate Office of Research, from 1991)

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

74

Search for ‘”legislative highlights’’; this source provides a wonderful and
succinct review of legislation.

California Law Revision Commission Recommendations on Legislation (1957-
current). This commission is the seminal bipartisan bill evaluator and legal issue
researcher for our state.

The Bill Information page on the California Legislative Counsel site provides the
full text of bills, resolutions, and constitutional amendments. Users may view the
status, history, votes, analysis, and veto messages as well. Search by bill number,
by author(s) or keyword. Available from the 1993-1994 legislative session to the
current legislative session. Note the link to an Index, which lists all bills
introduced in the Assembly and Senate.5

• Legislative Publications

Journal. California Legislature. State Printing Off. 1849/50-
Contains an account of the proceedings of each house, not a verbatim record of
the debates, titles of all measures introduced, considered, or acted upon, the full
text of all amendments to any such measures, the text of all house resolutions,
roll calls, messages from the Governor, and the rules of the Senate and Assembly.
Includes an alphabetical subject index and a bill action index.

Senate Daily Journal. California Legislature. State Printing Office. 1850 to
present. Available online through the Legislative Counsel, under
“Legislative Publications,” from October 2002 to present. Click on
hyperlinked title above.

Assembly Daily Journal. California Legislature. 1849 to present. Online
resources include the State Assembly Web page for current issues of the
Daily Journal and the Chief Clerk’s Archive page for issues dated before
1994:

California State Assembly Web page. 1995 to present.
Chief Clerk’s Archive. Office of the Chief Clerk, California State
Assembly. 1849-2005.

5 Again, at the time of this revision, the Legislative Counsel released a beta site for California legislative
information: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/. As of November 2, 2011, it included new functionality to
the Bill Search feature and the bill Text Search feature had been improved with the addition of a Boolean
search option.

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75

Daily File. California Legislature.
The Daily File is the agenda of business for each legislative day. It also contains a
table of all bills and constitutional amendments with their dates of introduction.
The Assembly File includes titles of all committee hearing notices and all measure
eligible for floor actions.

Current Assembly & Senate Daily File(s) are available on the Legislative
Counsel Web site.

Current Assembly Daily File is available on the California Assembly Web
site.

Initiatives, Referenda, Ballot Pamphlets & Propositions

California Elections, Ballot Measure Update. California Secretary of State.

Provides current information on ballot measures; the complete ballot pamphlets
for the current and previous elections, from March 1996 to present. Links to the
University of Hastings College of Law’s California Ballot Initiatives and Propositions
Databases. Links to Initiatives & Resources (which includes links to historical voter
information guides, from March 1996 to present).

California Ballot Measures Databases. University of California Hastings College of the
Law Library.
The California Ballot Propositions Database and the California Ballot Initiatives
Database are comprehensive (from 1911 to 2003) and searchable. The databases
contain the full text of the propositions and initiatives, along with any
accompanying material, including ballot pamphlets.

California Ballot Propositions. Los Angeles County Law Library.
Users may browse ballot propositions from 1980 to current.

California Judicial Branch Materials

Court Decisions

Court decisions are published in bound volumes called reporters. California has both
official and unofficial reporters. The text of the case opinion is the same in both sources,
but the editorial enhancements will differ.

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

76

• Official Court Reporters
Reporters that are sanctioned by the State of California to contain published case
law are called official reporters.

California Reports. LexisNexis.
Includes full text opinions of California Supreme Court cases. The first series
includes volumes 1 to 220 (1850-1934); California Reports, 2nd includes volumes 1
to 71 (1934-1969); California Reports, 3rd includes volumes 1 to 54 (1969-1991);
California Reports, 4th includes volumes 1 to present (1991- ).

California Appellate Reports. LexisNexis.
Includes published opinions of the California Courts of Appeal and Appellate
Departments of the Superior Courts. First series includes volumes 1 to 140 (1905-
1934); California Appellate Reports, 2nd includes volumes 1 to 276 (1934-1969);
California Appellate Reports, 3rd includes volumes 1 to 235 (1969-1991); California
Appellate Reports, 4th includes volumes 1 to present (1991- ).

California Official Reports (Advance Sheets). LexisNexis.
Recent court decisions appear in advance sheets (paperbacks which are
discarded when bound volumes arrive).

Court Opinions on the California Courts Web site. Judicial Council of California.
The entire run of California Official Reports & California Appellate Reports is
available for free at this official Web site.

In addition, slip opinions from the last 120 days for the California Supreme Court
and the California Courts of Appeal that have been either certified for
publication or ordered published are available on the Opinions page of the
California Courts Web site as well. Supreme Court opinions are posted
immediately after filing. Court of Appeal opinions are usually posted within
hours of filing. These slip opinions may become superseded during the time they
are made available on this Web site – so proceed with caution.

• Unofficial Court Reporters
Unofficial court reporters are published commercially and do not have
government sanction. Court decisions are reprinted in their entirety by
commercial publishers West, the Daily Journal Corporation and Incisive Media
(formerly ALM). West’s reporters use the ubiquitous “key number system” to
categorize cases by subject, as do the West’s digests, for subject access to case
reporters.

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77

California Reporter. Thomson West.
First series includes volumes 1 to 286 (1960-1992). California Reporter, 2d includes
volumes 1 to 135 (1992-2004), and California Reporter, 3d includes volumes 1 to
present (2004 -) with advance sheets. This series contains decisions of the
Supreme Court, Courts of Appeal and Appellate Departments of the California
Superior Courts.

Pacific Reporter. Thomson West.
First series includes volumes 1 to 300 (1883-1931) and Pacific Reporter, 2d includes
volumes 1 to present (1991- ) with advance sheets. This series contains appellate
decisions from fifteen western states, including California. It ceased publication
of California Courts of Appeal decisions in 1960, but continues to publish
California Supreme Court opinions.

Daily Appellate Report (D.A.R.). The Daily Journal.
This publication is an insert in the Los Angeles Daily Journal and the San Francisco
Daily Journal, both published by the Daily Journal Corporation. This publication
contains the full text of both Supreme Court and Courts of Appeal decisions
within a few days of the decision. It also includes full text of decisions from the
U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Ninth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate
Panel, the U.S. Supreme Court, and the California Attorney General.

Cal Law. ALM.
A regional news source from Law.com. Cal Law is a subscription based Web site
for California opinions. The subscription fee is heavily discounted if you also
subscribe to The Recorder, which is the daily legal newspaper for Northern
California. This site also contains the California Daily Opinion Service (C.D.O.S.),
which is similar to the Daily Appellate Report that was described directly above.

FindLaw’s California Cases. Thomson Reuters (West).
FindLaw provides the full text of California Supreme Court and appellate court
opinions dating back to 1934. Registration is free. Unannotated.

LexisNexis Communities. LexisNexis. 6
Search the last ten years of State & Federal Courts and U.S. Supreme Court from
1781 to present.

6 LexisNexis Communities have replaced lexisOne. You will still be able to access the same free forms and
free case law through the Communities Portal.

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

78

Digests

Digests provide the only means of conducting comprehensive subject searches of court
decisions in the print format. Find an appropriate legal topic and subtopic by using the
index volumes and you’ll be directed to the main digest volumes, where you will find
short summaries of all decisions in your jurisdiction. The subject headings, or
“headnotes,” are assigned to a case by the publisher, and correspond to the subject
headings in that publisher’s digest.

The following digest sets correspond to the West Reporter sets:

West’s California Digest. West Group. 1850 to 1949.
West’s California Digest, 2nd. Thomson West. 1950 to present.

West’s Pacific Digest. Thomson West. 1962-present.

These digest sets correspond to the former official reports:

McKinney’s New California Digest. Bancroft-Whitney. 1850-1968.

California Digest of Official Reports, 3rd & 4th series. Bancroft-Whitney. 1969-2003.

Court Rules

Court rules ensure the proper control of litigation by establishing uniform procedures.
There are rules that apply to all California state courts, to all appellate courts, and to all
trial courts. There are also “local rules” that are set by each individual court. A litigant
must abide by all applicable court rules.

Deering’s California Codes: Rules Annotated. LexisNexis. 4 vols.

Deering’s California Desktop Code Series. Rules of Court & 9th Circuit Rules. LexisNexis.

Annual.

California Rules of Court, State. Thomson West. Annual.

Also in West’s Annotated California Codes (Court Rules)

California Civil Practice Statutes & Rules, Annotated. Thomson West. Annual.

Official California Rules of Court. Judicial Council of California.

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Local Court Rules:

Court Rules: Northern California. Daily Journal Co. Loose-leaf. 9 vols.

Court Rules: Southern California. Daily Journal Co. Loose-leaf. 8 vols.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise Rules of Court. Metropolitan News Co. Loose-leaf.
Publishes court rules for individual counties as well as state court rules.

Official Local Court Rules. Judicial Council of California.
Provides links to the local rules of the superior courts of California. Alphabetical
by county.

Jury Instructions

During a trial a judge gives specific instructions to a jury before deliberation begins. The
use of the CACI (for civil cases) and CALCRIM (for criminal cases) jury instructions are
strongly encouraged by the California Rules of Court. The older sets of jury
instructions, BAJI and CALJIC, were drafted by the Committee on Standard Jury
Instructions, and include notes explaining their use, history, and relevant cases. Most of
the publications below are updated with a new edition each year or twice each year. In
most cases, your local library will retain the latest edition only.

• Civil Jury Instructions

Judicial Council of California, Civil Jury Instructions (CACI). Matthew Bender. 2
vols.

Judicial Council of California, Civil Jury Instructions (CACI). Thomson West. 2 vols.

Civil Jury Instructions (CACI). Judicial Council of California.

California Jury Instructions, Civil (BAJI). Thomson West. 2 vols.

• Criminal Jury Instructions

Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (CALCRIM). Matthew
Bender.

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80

Judicial Council of California, Criminal Jury Instructions (CALCRIM). Thomson
West. 2 vols.

Criminal Jury Instructions (CALCRIM). Judicial Council of California.

California Jury Instructions Criminal (CALJIC). Thomson West.

California Jury Instructions Criminal Forms (CALJIC). Thomson West. 2 vols.

CJER Mandatory Criminal Jury Instructions Handbook. California Center for Judicial
Education and Research.

California Executive Branch Materials

California’s executive branch is large and complex. 7

There are hundreds of executive,
administrative, and advisory agencies. Most California administrative law research will
focus on regulatory rules and regulations, which begins this section. Also covered are
agency reports, decisions and orders as well as executive orders and proclamations.

Administrative Rules & Regulations

Administrative rules and regulations are issued by state agencies and are designed to
implement or explain legislation. Administrative rules and regulations carry the same
force of law as legislation and published case law.

Barclay’s Official California Code of Regulations. Barclays Law Publishers. 25+ vols. 1980-

present. Loose-leaf. Formerly California Administrative Code.

The full text of the California Code of Regulations (CCR) is available for free
online in full text (except for Title 24), maintained by West under contract with
the State of California Office of Administrative Law.

California Regulatory Notice Register (Z-Register) contains the most recent notices of
proposed actions by state agencies which relate to the repeal, adoption, or
amendment of regulations contained in the California Code of Regulations.

7 Please see the organizational chart, available at http://www.cold.ca.gov/Ca_State_Gov_Orgchart.pdf.

CHAPTER 6: BIBLIOGRAPHY OF CALIFORNIA LAW RESOURCES

81

The California Regulatory Notice Register is online (in PDF) on the California
Office of Administrative Law Web site. From 2002 to present.

California Regulatory Code Supplement (Digest of New Regulations).

This source offers the official changes (final actions) to the California Code of
Regulations, on a weekly basis. From the point in time that the changes are
published in this source, the changes await codification into the California Code of
Regulations. Note that this source only includes those changes that have actually
been made, whereas the Z-Register includes all proposed changes (which may
not actually become law).

Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations, called the California Building Standards Code,
is published independently of the rest of the California Code of Regulations.

It is published every three years and updated by supplements in intervening
years. It is available to the public at no cost through depository libraries (click on
the “DOC” link for a list of names and addresses for depository libraries
throughout California).

There are several parts to the California Building Standards Code:

California Building Standards Administrative Code (Part 1)
California Building Code (Part 2).
California Residential Building Code (Part 2.5)
California Electrical Code (Part 3)
California Mechanical Code (Part 4)
California Plumbing Code (Part 5)
California Energy Code (Part 6)
California Historical Building Code (Part 8)
California Fire Code (Part 9)
California Existing Building Code (Part 10)
California Green Building Standards Code (CAL Green Code) (Part 11)
California Reference Standards Code (Part 12)

2010 Triennial Edition of CCR, Title 24. California Buildings Standards
Commission. Applies to all occupancies that applied for a building permit on or
after January 1, 2011, and remains in effect until the effective date of the 2013
triennial edition.

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82

For more information on Title 24 of CCR and the selected parts that are available
online, please visit the California Buildings Standards Commission Web site.

California Agency Decisions, Orders & Reports

Some agencies have decisions and orders posted online. The quickest way to find out is
to search that agency’s Web site. The State of California posts an Agency Directory (link
below), which provides links to the agencies’ sites. Reports are rarely posted online. To
find out if an agency has published a report, go to the Legislative Counsel’s Agency
Reports database.

California State Agencies Directory. State of California.

Alphabetical listing of state agency Web sites. Links to State agencies,
departments, boards and commissions. Also includes links to frequently
requested projects, programs, and other nonprofit organizations related to
government.

• Agency Decisions & Orders
Note that the print version of an agency decision may be deemed the controlling
or official version. Contact the individual agency directly for availability of the
print decision. In addition, because of the transitory nature of the Internet, some
of the links below are sure to have been changed since the publication of this
chapter. If a link is broken, please use the Agency Directory to find the agency
Web page and look for either a tab or link to the publications listed below.
Indeed, listed below are a just a few examples of agency decisions and orders
posted online.

Office of the Attorney General’s Legal Opinions.
The legal opinions of the Attorney General issued since 1986 are posted to this
Web site. Search opinions by year, by keyword or phrases, and by specific
citations. Yearly indexes (since 1997) are also posted to this site.

1972-2010 Reported CEQA Cases. California Natural Resources Agency.
Provides online access to court decisions relating to the California Environmental
Quality Act (CEQA). Includes court reporter citations.

Fair Employment and Housing Commission Decisions.
Precedential decisions from 2000 to 2010.

Department of Managed Health Care Complaint & Arbitration Decisions.

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83

Once a year, the Department of Managed Health Care prepares a report on
complaints and Independent Medical Reviews. These reports (from 2000) are
posted on this page. Also on this page, scroll down to view the link, is the
Arbitration Decisions database, which the public can search and view.

Department of Social Services Precedential Decisions.
This page summarizes cases and provides links to the decisions (in PDF).

Fair Political Practices Commission.
Access to Opinions (from 1975-2006), Enforcement Summaries, Advice Letters
(1990-present), and Complaint Closure Letters (from 2009-present).

Medical Board of California Precedential Decisions.
Decisions that contain a significant legal or policy determination of general
application that is likely to recur may be designated as precedential. Once a
decision is designated as precedential, the Board may rely on it and parties may
cite to such a decision in arguments to the Board and courts. May search
decisions by keyword or by index.

Office of Administrative Hearings’ Special Education Decisions & Orders.
Search for decisions from July 1, 2005 to present. May search by keyword, name
of judge, case number, and school district. May also browse a listing of all
decisions. Links to decisions issued prior to July 1, 2005 are located at the bottom
of this page.

• Agency Reports

Agency Reports. California Legislative Counsel.
This database provides information about reports by various state and local
agencies. The information is processed and updated continuously by the
Legislative Counsel. For a copy of the report, one must contact the agency
directly.

The Governor’s Executive Orders, Proclamations & Press Releases

Executive Orders, Proclamations, Public Notices and Press Releases. The Governor of

the California.
View current press releases, speeches, executive orders, proclamations, and
public notices. After you have selected one of the aforementioned types of
documents (e.g., Executive Orders), notice the links under Archives on the left side

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84

of the screen. If the links above fail, go to the Governor of California page and
place your mouse over Newsroom.

California Municipal & County Codes, Ordinances

Many city and county municipal codes and ordinances are posted online. If a city or
county self-publishes its codes and ordinances, you will find a link on the city or
county’s Web site. Normally, a self-published municipal code will have limited search
features and may not be updated frequently.

There are several commercial publishers of municipal codes. UCLA Law Library has a
comprehensive list of those publishers on one of its LibGuides pages, Municipal codes
online, which is on the “Local Gov’t Law” tab of the guide called Online Legal
Research: Beyond LexisNexis & Westlaw. Please note that none of these databases is
comprehensive. You will find a state’s cities in more than one database. For this reason,
researchers who need to search for codes in multiple cities and would like to do one
general search (rather than search the codes of each city and county separately) will face
some difficulties.

If you are looking for one city or one county’s municipal code or ordinances, the easiest
thing to do is to simply use a search engine such as Google or Yahoo or Bing to find the
city’s Web site or search for the city name and “municipal code.”

An excellent source for California municipal and county codes and ordinances is the
Institute of Government Studies Library, UC Berkeley, California Local Codes and
Charters page.

California Attorneys & Judges

Professional Responsibility

Rules of Professional Conduct must be adhered to by California attorneys and judges.
Ethics Opinions serve to guide the ethical conduct of attorneys through the use of
hypothetical situations that are commented on. State Bar Court slip opinions are ethical
rulings regarding California attorneys, but are not final opinions and thus are not
citable in a court document.

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85

• Digest

California State Bar Court Reporter. Office of the State Bar Court. 1990- . 6 vols.
Loose-leaf. Includes topical digests and a table of cases (including case numbers
and subsequent history notations).

• California Rules of Professional Conduct & Code of Judicial Ethics

California Code of Judicial Ethics (PDF). Amended by the Supreme Court of
California effective April 29, 2009.

California Rules of Professional Conduct, State Bar Act. State Bar of California.
Annual.

California Rules of Professional Conduct. State Bar of California.
The linked title above should take you to the Rules of Professional Conduct page
on the California Bar site. On this page, there are links to the current rules,
previous rules, and the proposed rules of professional conduct.

• Ethics Opinions & Rulings

California Compendium on Professional Responsibility. Committee on Professional
Responsibility and Conduct, State Bar of California. Paul W. Vapnek, editor in
chief. 1983-. Loose-leaf. Includes formal opinions, California Rules of
Professional Conduct, the State Bar Act, and proposed rules.

Ethics Opinions. The State Bar of California Committee on Professional
Responsibility and Conduct. 1965 to present.

California State Bar Court Reporter. Office of the State Bar Court. 1992- . Loose-leaf.

Published Slip Opinions. The State Bar Court, Review Department.
The full text of slip opinions are posted here, where they remain until they
are published in their final form in the California State Bar Court Reporter.
These are not finalized opinions and thus are not citable in a court
document.

Directories

Attorney/Member Search. State Bar of California.

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

86

The member records directory of the California State Bar provides contact
information and education history for members of the state bar. In certain
circumstances, incidents of public discipline are also provided. The Advanced
Search page allows users to search for names that “sound like” your entered
term. This feature helps if you are not certain of the spelling of an attorney’s
name.

California Courts and Judges. Deborah Bogen. James Pub. Co. 2001-. Annual.
Provides information on California’s federal and state court judges and describes
court structure and function of judges.

California Directory of Attorneys. Daily Journal Corp. 2009.

California Lawyers. Daily Journal Corp. 1990-. Semiannual.
Contains an alphabetical list of names and addresses of California attorneys in
Northern and Southern California. Also contains a listing of federal and state
courts as well as federal and state officials.

Court Directory Los Angeles. Daily Journal Corp. 1989-. Biweekly.
Published as a biweekly insert in the Los Angeles Daily Journal. It contains
detailed contact information.

Judicial Profiles (Southern California). Daily Journal Corp. 1995-. Loose-leaf.
Profiles current California federal and state court judges.

Judicial Profiles (Northern California). Daily Journal Corp. 1995-. 7 vols. Loose-leaf.
Profiles current California federal and state court judges.

Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory. Martindale-Hubbell. 17 vols.
Volume 2 and contains a listing of California firms and attorneys. Attorney
profiles include biographical information as well as areas of practice.

Martindale-Hubbell Lawyer Locator. Contains credentials and contact information for

over one million attorneys.

2009 Parker Directory of California Attorneys. (90th ed.). LexisNexis. 1980-. Annual.
This directory lists practicing attorneys and law firms in California by county but
only provides addresses and telephone numbers.

San Diego County Attorney Directory 2009. (52nd ed.). The Daily Transcript Corp.

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San Diego Lawyer Directory 2008. San Diego County Bar Association.

West’s Legal Directory on FindLaw.

This directory offers credentials and contact information on attorneys from the
U.S. and Canada.

Secondary Sources for California Legal Research

Secondary sources offer two major benefits – they summarize an unfamiliar area of law,
and they provide citations to the law. There are many forms of secondary sources. With
few exceptions, traditional secondary sources are not available on the free Internet. So
unless a hyperlink is included below, assume that the listed resource is a print resource.
However, there is an online book, published by the Office of the Assembly Chief Clerk,
which may be helpful to those researchers who need an introduction to the legislative
process and state government.

California’s Legislature. Office of the Assembly Chief Clerk. (2006)

This book is “an in-depth introduction to the legislative process and state
government. This heavily illustrated book is an excellent resource for students,
lobbyists, state employees, and the general public. Topics include state history,
constitutional and election law, term limits, state emblems, legislative procedure,
the executive and judicial branches, and a legislative glossary.”

Access it online for free (in PDF) or order from the Legislative Bill Room for $5.00
per copy by calling (916) 445-2645 or placing an order by mail by filling out the
order form (PDF).

This section begins with a short list of resources on California legal research. Legal
encyclopedias, treatises, practice guides and handbooks, and formbooks follow.

California Legal Research Guides

California Legal Research Handbook, 2nd ed. Larry D. Dershem. William S. Hein. 2008.

Henke’s California Law Guide, 8th ed. Daniel W. Martin. LexisNexis. 2006.

Legal Research in California, 6th ed. John K. Hanft. Thomson West. 2007.

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Legal Encyclopedias

Legal encyclopedias include many short narrations of the law, arranged by topic.
References to California case law and statutory law are included. Since the topics are
numerous and the narrations are short, it is the perfect way to start the research process
when you are researching an unfamiliar area of law: You’ll likely find something
related to your issue, and it will not be overly detailed. Because of the brevity of the
narrations, it is nearly always necessary to consult a more detailed secondary source
(see the next section on Treatises, Practice Guides, and Handbooks) before proceeding
to primary law research.

There is one legal encyclopedia directly relating to California law: California
Jurisprudence 3d. Thomson West. 1972-. 74+ vols.

Witkin Treatises

Bernard Witkin was a legal scholar who dedicated most of his professional life to
writing a series of treatises covering all aspects of California law. After his death in
1995, the Witkin Legal Institute continued his legacy by updating and then producing
new editions of his works. Despite its grand title, Summary of California Law covers civil
law only. His co-author in the criminal law set is Norman L. Epstein.

California Criminal Law, 3rd ed. Witkin Legal Institute. 2000-. 6 vols.

California Evidence, 4th ed. Witkin Legal Institute. 2000-. 3 vols.

California Procedure, 5th ed. Witkin Legal Institute. 2008-. 10 vols.

Summary of California Law, 10th ed. Witkin Legal Institute. 2005-. 16 vols.

Treatises, Practice Guides & Handbooks

The California Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB) publishes several excellent
handbooks, some of which are listed below. In addition, the CEB publishes Action
Guides, which are pamphlet sized, inexpensive publications containing basic how-to
instructions for a variety of legal situations. The Rutter Group and Matthew Bender also
produce many useful practice guides for California law. For a full list of legal
publishers, please see Chapter 8.

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What follows are major California secondary source works by legal subject. Those
subjects include Corporations, Civil Procedure, Employment Law, Estate Planning,
Family Law, Landlord-Tenant, Real Property, and Taxation. Sources are listed
alphabetically by title.

• Corporations

Advising California Nonprofit Corporations, 3rd ed. Continuing Education for the
Bar of California. 2009-. 2 vols. Loose-leaf.

Ballantine & Sterling California Corporation Laws, 4th ed. Henry W. Ballantine.
Matthew Bender. 1962-. 7 vols.

California Corporation Practice & Forms Manual. Data Trace Publishing Company.
1999-. 3 vols.
California Practice Guide: Corporations. Hugh C. Friedman. The Rutter Group.
1984-. 2 vols. Loose-leaf.

Counseling California Corporations, 3rd ed. Continuing Education for the Bar of
California. 2008-. 2 vols. Loose-leaf.

Financing and Protecting California Businesses. Lawrence S. Branton. Continuing
Education of the Bar, 2006-.

Marsh’s California Corporation Law, 4th ed. Harold Marsh, Jr. et al. Aspen
Publishers. 4 vols. 2000-.

Organizing Corporations in California, 3rd ed. Keith W. McBride, et al. Continuing
Education of the Bar. 2001-. 2 vols. Loose-leaf.

• Civil Procedure

California Civil Discovery Practice, 4th ed. Continuing Education of the Bar. 2006. 2
vols. Loose-leaf.

California Civil Litigation Forms Manual. Continuing Education of the Bar. 2 vols.
Loose-leaf.

California Civil Practice: Procedure. Thomson West. 1992-.

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California Civil Procedure Before Trial, 4th ed. Continuing Education of the Bar.
2004-. 3 vols. Loose-leaf.

California Depositions and Discovery Practice. Matthew Bender. 1987-. 3 vols. Loose-
leaf.

California Practice Guide: Civil Procedure Before Trial. Weil, Robert I., and Ira A.
Brown, Jr. The Rutter Group. 1983-. 3 vols. Loose-leaf.

California Procedure, 5th ed. Witkin Legal Institute. 2008-. 10 vols.

California Trial Practice: Civil Procedure During Trial, 3rd ed. Continuing Education
of the Bar. 1995-. 3 vols. Loose-leaf.

Matthew Bender Practice Guide: California Civil Discovery. Matthew Bender. 2003-. 1
vol. Loose-leaf.

Matthew Bender Practice Guide: California Pretrial Civil Procedure. Matthew Bender.
2003-. 3 vol. Loose-leaf.

Matthew Bender Practice Guide: California Trial and Post-Trial Civil Procedure.
Matthew Bender. 2006-. 2 vols. Loose-leaf.

Younger on California Motions. Thomson West. 2008.

• Employment Law

Advising California Employers and Employees, 2nd ed. Continuing Education of the
Bar. 2005-. 3 vols. Loose-leaf.

California Employment Law. Matthew Bender. 1989-. 4 vols. Loose-leaf.

California Practice Guide: Employment Litigation. The Rutter Group. 2001-. 3 vols.

Labor and Employment in California, 2nd ed. Matthew Bender. 1997-. 1 vol. Loose-
leaf.

Wage and Hour Manual for California Employers, 13th ed. Richard J. Simmons.
Castle Publications. 2008.

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Wrongful Employment Termination Practice, 2nd ed. Continuing Education of the
Bar. 1997-. 2 vols. Loose-leaf.

• Estate Planning

California Decedent’s Estate Practice, 2nd ed. Continuing Education of the Bar.
2009-. 3 vols.

California Estate Planning. Continuing Education of the Bar. 2002-. 2 vols.

California Practice Guide: Probate. The Rutter Group. 1986-. 2 vols. Loose-leaf.

California Probate Practice. Matthew Bender. 1991-. 4 vols.

California Probate Procedure, 6th ed. Matthew Bender. 1998-. 2 vols. Loose-leaf.

California Trust Administration, 2nd ed. Continuing Education of the Bar. 2001-. 2
vols. Loose-leaf.

California Trust and Probate Litigation. Continuing Education of the Bar. 1999-. 2
vols.

California Trust Practice. Matthew Bender. 1996-. Loose-leaf.

California Wills and Trusts. 1991-. 3 vols. Loose-leaf.

California Will Drafting, 3rd ed. Continuing Education of the Bar. 1992-. 3 vols.
Loose-leaf.

Drafting California Irrevocable Trusts, 3rd ed. Continuing Education of the Bar.
1997-. 2 vols. Loose-leaf.

Drafting California Revocable Trusts, 4th ed. Continuing Education of the Bar. 2003-
. 2 vols. Loose-leaf.

• Family Law

Bassett on California Community Property Law. Thomson West. 1988-. Annual
pamphlet.

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California Child Custody Litigation and Practice. Continuing Education of the Bar.
2006-. Loose-leaf.

California Community Property With Tax Analysis. Matthew Bender. 1985-. Loose-
leaf.

California Domestic Partnerships. Continuing Education of the Bar. 2005-. Loose-
leaf.

California Family Law Litigation Guide. Matthew Bender. 1992-. 5 vols. Loose-leaf.

California Family Law, Practice and Procedure, 2nd ed. Matthew Bender. 1994-. 6
vols. Loose-leaf.

California Guardianship Practice. Continuing Education of the Bar. 2005-. Annual
pamphlet.

California Marital Settlement & Other Family Law Agreements, 3rd ed. Carol Amyx,
et al. Continuing Education of the Bar. 2005-. 2 vols. Loose-leaf.

California Practice Guide: Family Law. William P. Hogoboom. The Rutter Group.
1981-. 3 vols. Loose-leaf.

Dividing Pensions and Other Employee Benefits in California Divorces. Continuing
Education of the Bar. 2006-. Loose-leaf.

Family Law. Financial Discovery. Continuing Education of the Bar. 2008-. Loose-
leaf.

Practice under the California Family Code: Dissolution, Legal Separation, Nullity.
Continuing Education of the Bar. 1992-. Annual pamphlet.

West’s California Code Forms: Family, 2nd ed. Thomson West. 2006.

• Landlord-Tenant

California Eviction Defense Manual, 2nd ed. Myron Moskovitz et al. Continuing
Education of the Bar. 1993-. 2 vols. Loose-leaf.

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California Landlord-Tenant Practice, 2nd ed. Myron Moskovitz et al. Continuing
Education of the Bar. 1997-. 2 vols. Loose-leaf.

California Practice Guide: Landlord-Tenant. The Rutter Group. 1989-. 2 vols. Loose-
leaf.

Matthew Bender Practice Guide: California Landlord-Tenant Litigation. Matthew
Bender. 2003-. Loose-leaf.

• Real Property

California Civil Practice. Real Property Litigation. Thomson West. 4 vols. Loose-leaf.

California Mortgage, Deeds of Trust and Foreclosure Litigation, 4th ed. Continuing
Education of the Bar. 2009-. Loose-leaf.
California Practice Guide: Real Property Transactions. The Rutter Group. 2001-. 2
vols. Loose-leaf.

California Real Estate Finance Practice: Strategies & Forms. Continuing Education of
the Bar. 2000-. 2 vols. Loose-leaf.

California Real Estate Law and Practice. Matthew Bender. 1973-. 17 vols. Loose-leaf.

California Real Property Practice Forms Manual. Continuing Education of the Bar.
1988-. Loose-leaf.

California Real Property Remedies and Damages. Continuing Education of the Bar.
2002-. 2 vols. Loose-leaf.

California Real Property Sales Transactions, 4th ed. Continuing Education of the
Bar. 2 vols. 2007-. Loose-leaf.

Miller & Starr California Real Estate, 3d ed. Thomson West. 2000-.

Miller & Starr California Real Estate Forms, 2nd ed. Thomson West. 2005-. Loose-
leaf.

Real Property Exchanges. Continuing Education of the Bar, 3rd ed. 2002-. Loose-
leaf.

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• Taxation

California Estate and Gift Tax Planning: Forms and Practice Manual. Data Trace
Publishing. 1999-. 2 vols. Loose-leaf.

California Small Business Guide. Formation, Operation and Taxation. Matthew
Bender. 1998-. 4 vols. Loose-leaf.

Guidebook to California Taxes. Commerce Clearing House. 1950-. Annual
pamphlet.

Taxing California Property. Thomson West. 2008-. 3 vols. Loose-leaf.

Formbooks

California Civil Litigation Forms Manual. Continuing Education of the Bar. 1980-. 2 vols.

Loose-leaf.

California Civil Practice. Thomson West. 1992-. 40+ vols. Loose-leaf.

California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Annotated. Matthew Bender. 55+ vols. Loose-

leaf.

California Judicial Council Forms Manual. Continuing Education of the Bar. 1981-. 4 vols.

Loose-leaf.

California Legal Forms: Transaction Guide. Matthew Bender. 36 vols. Loose-leaf.

California Points and Authorities. Matthew Bender. 24 vols. Loose-leaf.

California Transaction Forms, Thomson West.

West’s California Code Forms with Practice Commentaries. Thomson West.

Keyed to specific California legislative code sections.

West’s Judicial Council Forms, Thomson West. 1986-. 4 vols. Annual pamphlet.
California Judicial Council forms are also available on the California Courts site.

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List of Internet Sources Cited in this Chapter

• California Legislative Counsel’s Official California Legislative Information:
Home page: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/index.html
State Constitution: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/const.html
Statutes: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/statute.html
Codes: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/calaw.html
Bill Information: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/bilinfo.html
Bill Index: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/bilindex.html
Legislative publications, including Daily File, Legislative Index, Table of Sections Affected,
Senate Daily Journal, Assembly Daily Journal, Assembly Handbook, and Agency Reports:
http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/legpubs.html
California’s Legislature, Order Form:
http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pdf/Order_Form_CaLegi06.pdf
Agency Reports: http://www.agencyreports.ca.gov/
California’s Legislature: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/califleg.html
Order Form: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pdf/Order_Form_CaLegi06.pdf

• Other legislative materials:
California State Legislature: http://www.legislature.ca.gov/
California State Senate: http://www.senate.ca.gov/
California State Assembly: http://www.assembly.ca.gov/defaulttext.asp
Office of the Chief Clerk: http://www.assembly.ca.gov/clerk/
Publications Archive: http://192.234.213.35/clerkarchive/
Legislative Bill Room: http://www.dgs.ca.gov/osp/Programs/BillRoom.aspx
Legislative Hearings & Reports Index (U.C. Hastings Law Library):
http://library.uchastings.edu/Welcome.html
Senate Office of Research’s Legislative Highlights: http://sor.govoffice3.com
California Law Revision Commission recommendations on Legislation (1957-current):
http://www.clrc.ca.gov/Mreports-publications.html

• Judicial Council of California’s California Courts:

Opinions: http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions.htm
Forms: http://www.courts.ca.gov/forms.htm
Rules: http://www.courts.ca.gov/rules.htm
Courts: http://www.courts.ca.gov/courts.htm
California Jury Instructions: http://www.courts.ca.gov/966.htm
California Code of Judicial Ethics (linked on the Rules page, see above):
http://www.courts.ca.gov/xbcr/cc/ca_code_judicial_ethics.pdf

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• Executive Branch Materials:
California Office of Administrative Law: www.oal.ca.gov
California Code of Regulations: http://www.oal.ca.gov/CCR.htm
California Regulatory Notice Register: http://www.oal.ca.gov/Notice_Register.htm
California Code of Regulations, Title 24, see California Building Standards Commission:
http://www.bsc.ca.gov/default.htm
California State Agencies Directory: http://www.ca.gov/CaSearch/Agencies.aspx
Office of the Attorney General Legal Opinions: http://oag.ca.gov/opinions
Reported CEQA cases: http://ceres.ca.gov/ceqa/cases/
Fair Employment and Housing Commission Decisions:
http://www.fehc.ca.gov/act/decision.asp

• Initiatives, Referenda, Propositions, Ballot Propositions:
California Secretary of State (Initiatives, Referenda, Propositions):
http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/elections_j.htm
California Ballot Measures Database, from UC Hastings (Propositions, Initiatives,
Referenda, Ballot Pamphlets):
http://library.uchastings.edu/library/california-research/ca-ballot-measures.html
LA Law Library’s Ballot Propositions Page:
http://www.lalawlibrary.org/research/ballots/default.aspx

• Attorneys & Judges:
State Bar of California: http://www.calbar.ca.gov/
Attorney/Member Search:
http://members.calbar.ca.gov/fal/MemberSearch/QuickSearch
Rules of Professional Conduct page:
http://rules.calbar.ca.gov/Rules/RulesofProfessionalConduct.aspx
Ethics Opinions: http://ethics.calbar.ca.gov/Ethics/Opinions.aspx
Published slip opinions, State Bar Court of California:
http://www.statebarcourt.ca.gov/Opinions/PublishedOpinions.aspx
Martindale-Hubbell: http://www.martindale.com/Find-Lawyers-and-Law-Firms.aspx
FindLaw’s Lawyer Directory: http://lawyers.findlaw.com/

• Secondary Source Publishers:
Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB): http://ceb.com
The Rutter Group: http://www.ruttergroup.com
Matthew Bender: http://www.bender.com

• Other Sources of California Court Opinions:
Cal Law: http://www.callaw.com
lexisONE.com:
http://www.lexisone.com/lx1/caselaw/freecaselaw?action=FCLDisplayCaseSearchForm
FindLaw’s California Cases: http://www.findlaw.com/cacases/

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Chapter 7

FEDERAL LAW

The U.S. federal system consists of executive, legislative, and judicial branches, each of
which creates legal information that can be the subject of legal research. This chapter
provides brief descriptions of the legislative process and the federal judiciary and
focuses on the primary sources of federal law (i.e., cases, statutes, and regulations).
Included are references to both print and Internet sources. For a more detailed list of
federal law sources please see Chapter 8: Bibliography of Federal Law Resources.

Contents:

• U.S. Constitution
• Federal Legislation

o The Legislative Process
o Federal Statutes
o Researching Federal Legislative History

 Tracking Current Legislation
 Determining Legislative Intent
 Selected Legislative History Sources

• Federal Case Law
o The Federal Judiciary
o Federal Case Law Publications

• Federal Regulations & Regulatory Decisions
• Presidential Materials
• Selected Bibliography
• List of Internet Sources Cited in this Chapter

U.S. Constitution

The United States Constitution is the most important document for all Americans. It
creates the framework for politics, limits the government’s powers, and guarantees that
citizens have fundamental freedoms. The U.S. Supreme Court is the ultimate court that
interprets the meaning and scope of the Constitution.

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While the actual text of the Constitution can be printed in twenty pages or less, the legal
research sources, such as cases and treatises which offer analysis and interpretation of
this basic document, number in the millions of pages.1

America’s Historical Documents

The text of the Constitution may
be found in many standard reference sources available in every library (e.g.,
dictionaries and encyclopedias). It is printed at the beginning of the United States Code,
the official publication of federal statutes. The Internet is also a great source. For a
historical perspective, one may view a signed copy of the Constitution on the National
Archives’ Web page. For those seeking commentary and
analysis, the Government Printing Office (GPO) makes available editions and
supplements (from 1992 forward) of the Constitution of the United States, Constitutional
Analysis and Interpretation.2

U.S. Constitution
Another great Internet resource is Cornell University Law

School Legal Information Institute (LII)’s page, which has the
Constitutional text, along with the annotations prepared by the Congressional Research
Service (CRS).

Federal Legislation

The Legislative Process3

Because a majority of Congressional bills originate in the House of Representatives, the
following discussion traces the progress of a bill that originates in the House. Please
note that Senate procedures are very similar.

Ideas for bills come from varied sources including constituents, members of the
President’s Cabinet and members of the Congress. Proposed legislation may take one of
four forms: bills, simple resolutions, joint resolutions or concurrent resolutions. The
designated bill number (e.g., H.R. 1 or S. 1) that a proposed piece of legislation receives
does not change as the bill progresses from one house to the next. In the federal system,

1 An excellent six-volume set, Encyclopedia of the American Constitution, 2nd ed. Leonard W. Levy, Kenneth
L. Karst and Adam Winkler, eds. Macmillan Reference USA, 2000, includes articles on constitutional
doctrines, landmark court opinions, individuals, and historical periods.
2 This is an extensive and authoritative source published by the Congressional Research Service. Scroll
down the page of “Additional Government Publications” to the most recent 2002 edition and
supplements. The 1992 edition and supplements are also available on this page.
3 For background articles about the federal legislative process, please consult the following: Charles W.
Johnson, Parliamentarian, United States House of Representatives. How Our Laws Are Made (July 24, 2007)
and Robert B. Dove, Parliamentarian, United States Senate, Enactment of a Law (February 1997).

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“H.R.” designates a bill which originated in the House of Representatives and “S.”
signifies that a bill originated in the Senate. In contrast, in the California legislative
system “S. B.” designates a Senate bill and “A.B.” identifies an Assembly bill.

The first and second readings of a House bill are accomplished by publication of its title
in the Congressional Record; while in the Senate, the bill title is read aloud. Once
introduced, bills are assigned to appropriate committees for consideration. Each
committee has jurisdiction over particular types of proposed legislation. These
committees may opt to route a bill to a specialized subcommittee.

Committees schedule public hearings for important bills so that witnesses for and
against the proposed measure may present testimony. The subcommittee that has been
assigned the bill will then decide whether to table the bill, or to report the bill out
favorably to the full committee. The bill may be reported out favorably either with or
without amendments. An appointed committee member will prepare a detailed report
if the committee decides to report the bill favorably to the House. All reports issued,
beginning with the 91st Congress, are numbered with a prefix designating the issuing
Congress, followed by the report number (e.g., H. Rpt. 110-513).

Bills of a noncontroversial nature may be placed on a consent calendar, where they will
quickly be passed without debate. Other bills not on the consent calendar may be
debated on the floor and amendments to the text may be offered.

Voting takes place after the third reading of the bill. If a bill passes the House, it will
then be sent to the Senate where the procedure is more formal. If the bill is
noncontroversial, it may be considered at the time of introduction and passed without
delay. Other bills are read a second time and are subject to the debate/amendment
procedure. After the third reading, a vote is taken. A majority is required for the bill to
pass. The version of the Senate bill that has passed is returned to the House with a
request for concurrence in the amendments.

Conference committees will be appointed by each house to resolve differences in
proposed, disputed amendments. If an appointed conference committee is unable to
agree on the amendments, it will be discharged and a new conference committee
appointed. Both the House and the Senate must vote to accept the conference committee
report and the identical text of amendments, or a bill will not become law.

Bills that successfully pass both houses are enrolled and sent to the President for his
action. The bill will become law either by Presidential approval and signature, or by the

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lapse of ten days in which no action has been taken. If the President disapproves of a
bill, he returns his veto with his objections to the originating house. A two-thirds
majority in each house is required to override the Presidential veto.

Federal Statutes

Bills approved through the federal legislative process become statutes and are known as
Public Laws. Public Laws are numbered sequentially with the Congress number and
item number designation (e.g., Pub. L. 107-236). The Public Laws are published in
chronological order by Congressional year in volumes called the United States Statutes at
Large. This large set is published in print by the government and is available online
through GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys). Researchers who wish to read the
legislation in its entirety as Congress passed it will need to refer to the Statutes at Large.
The laws are arranged by their Public Law numbers (e.g., Pub. L. 108-262) and are cited
by volume and page number (e.g., 118 Stat. 696).4

In addition, one may find selected
statutes in a set published by Thomson West called United States Code, Congressional and
Administrative News (USCCAN).

However, the most helpful compilation of federal laws is the subject arrangement found
in the official United States Code, which is prepared and published by the Office of the
Law Revision Counsel of the U.S. House of Representatives. 5 The U.S. Code is arranged
by 50 numbered “Titles” (e.g., Title 15 deals with commerce and trade).6

Cornell’s LII U.S. Code Collection

New editions
of the U.S. Code are published every six years, with cumulative supplements published
annually to update the bound volumes. Because laws are passed throughout a
Congressional session, the issue of currency should be a concern for researchers using
the official U.S. Code. Fortunately, integrates the date
listings on the House servers with the Library of Congress’ Thomas service to notify
searchers of any updates to sections which have changed.

The two commercial publishers, Thomson West’s United States Code Annotated
(U.S.C.A.) and LexisNexis’ United States Code Service (U.S.C.S.), update much more

4 In this case, the law was passed by the 108th Congress and was assigned the number 262. You will find
this law in the U.S. Statutes at Large (abbreviated as Stat.) in volume 118 and starting on page 696.
5 Note that during the summer of 2011, the House Law Revision Counsel launched a new site in beta to
test out new search features. The United States Code is also available online through GPO’s Federal Digital
System (FDsys).
6 One may browse titles on GPO’s FDsys by selecting a year and clicking Go. Here’s the list of titles from
2009.

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frequently than the official United States Code. If these sources are available to
researchers, they should be consulted, not only because of the issue of currency, but
also because of their added content. While they both offer the same subject arrangement
as the U.S. Code and reproduce the same statutory language, these sets also include
notes of court decisions, regulations and other sources that interpret or discuss the text
of the federal laws. Hence, citations to the Consumer Product Safety Act may appear as
15 U.S.C. § 2051 et seq., 15 U.S.C.A. § 2051 et seq., or 15 U.S.C.S. § 2051 et seq. Each
refers to the same statutory language, which appears in Title 15 (Commerce and Trade)
and begins at section 2051. In addition, in the annotated codes, following the statutory
language and notes, researchers will find references to relevant sections in the Code of
Federal Regulations (discussed at the end of this chapter), citations to law review
commentaries and other secondary sources, and cases that have discussed or referred to
this section of the Consumer Product Safety Act. For other examples of code citations,
please see page Chapter 2: How to Read a Legal Citation.

Each set of the U.S. Code includes a subject index. A particularly useful finding tool is
the Table of Popular Names of Acts. Oftentimes, researchers will know only the name of
the act as it is referred to in the popular press (e.g., Family and Medical Leave Act). In
order to find the citation to the act in the U.S. Code or the Statutes at Large, one may look
up the popular name of the act in either U.S.C.A. or U.S.C.S. or using one of the
following online sources: the U.S. House of Representative’s Popular Name Tool or
Cornell Law School, Legal Information Institute’s Popular names of Acts in the US
Code.

Researching Federal Legislative History

Legislative history traces the legislative process of a particular bill for the purpose of (1)
locating the current status of a bill and monitoring its progress, or (2) determining the
legislators’ intent behind the enactment of a law to explain or clarify ambiguities in the
language or the perceived meaning of that law. The work of compiling a legislative
history involves searching for the documents generated during the legislative process
such as the various versions of a bill; committee hearings, reports and prints; debates;
and presidential messages. While there are many sources to aid a researcher in locating
these documents, this discussion highlights readily available Internet sources as well as
print sources commonly found in law libraries and in larger public libraries. See Selected
Legislative History Sources at the end of this section for additional sources.

• Tracking Current Legislation

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Thomas, a service of the Library of Congress, was launched in 1995 to make
federal legislative information freely available to the public. Bills in the current
Congressional session can be searched by bill number or key word and can be
browsed by sponsor name.

Thomas provides the text of pending bills as well as a link to the Bill Status and
Summary file which indicates the current status of the bill and the last major
action on the bill. It also offers links to the Congressional Record (floor debates)
and links to committee actions. Once a bill is passed into law, Thomas will
include the Public Law as well.

Researchers can also search for analysis and commentary on a bill as it goes
through Congress in publications such as Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report,
the New York Times, and the Washington Post.

• Determining Legislative Intent

Compiling a legislative history to determine intent can be a daunting task,
especially if you are unfamiliar with this type of legal research. Once you know
the steps involved, however, legislative history research can be straightforward.
Fortunately, many law libraries offer detailed guides to federal legislative history
research.7

The first step in legislative history research is to determine whether someone has
already compiled the legislative documents for you. Some libraries have
complete legislative histories in both paper copy and microform. Search in the
library catalog by title (e.g., legislative history housing act 1961), by subject (e.g.,
United States Laws, etc. Bankruptcy law of the United States), or by committee
name (e.g., U.S. Congress House (or Senate) Committee on Interior and Insular
Affairs Sub-committee on Indian Affairs Menominee Restoration Act).

Sources of Compiled Legislative Histories8

7 UCLA Law Library has a detailed

also offers a good starting point for
locating completed histories. The Law Librarians’ Society of Washington, D.C.

Federal Legislative History Research Guide. In addition, an alphabetical
list of state legislative history guides has been compiled by Jennifer Bryan Morgan, Documents Librarian,
Indiana University School of Law Library—Bloomington.
8 Compiled by Nancy P. Johnson, published by the American Association of Law Libraries, and updated
by loose-leaf. Available to HeinOnline subscribers (check your local college or university for access).

CHAPTER 7: FEDERAL LAW

103

(LLSDC)’s Legislative Source Book, which is compiled by members of the
Legislative Research Special Interest Section, is another excellent resource. Some
of this material has been published in print for many years, and is now also
available on their Web site. Resources include Federal Legislative History Research:
A Practitioner’s Guide to Compiling the Documents and Sifting for Legislative Intent, A
Research Guide to the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations, and Selected
Congressional Research Service Reports on Congress and Its Procedures. Also note
Legislative Histories of Selected U.S. Laws on the Internet, which is arranged by
popular name and public law number.

For laws enacted since 1970, the CIS (Congressional Information Service) Index
provides the most comprehensive single access to legislative histories for all
major bills. The index volumes and companion abstract volumes bring together
all the bills, hearings, reports, etc. as well as related bills from the same or prior
sessions of Congress. All the documents (except full text of debates) are available
in microfiche and online via the LexisNexis Congressional database. LexisNexis
also publishes a retrospective collection.

Unfortunately, compiled legislative histories are not always available.
Researchers wanting to research the legislative intent are best served in a law
library or a depository library. The following steps offer a methodology for
identifying and locating the appropriate legislative documents:

1. Read the Code section in U.S.C.A. or U.S.C.S.

2. Look at the “Historical Note” (which follows the text of the Code section).
In the U.S.C.A. look for a citation to the U.S. Code Congressional and
Administrative News (USCCAN) for legislative history and purpose.

3. Review the annotations for references to cases and law review articles that
discuss legislative intent.

4. Take note of the Public Law citation (e.g., Pub. L. 90-325).

5. Consult one of the following publications to identify relevant documents:

a. CIS/Annual’s Index of Bill, Report and Document Numbers
b. USCCAN’s Table of Legislative History

6. Read the statute’s history

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

104

a. The original bill and any subsequent versions
Thomas includes bills from the 101st Congress forward.

Finding aids: CCH Congressional Index, CIS/Annual, Congressional Record
Index

b. Committee hearings and reports

Finding aids: CCH Congressional Index, CIS/Annual, CIS U.S.
Congressional Committee Hearings Index, Monthly Catalog/Cumulative
Subject Index9

c. House & Senate conference reports

Finding aids: CCH Congressional Index, CIS/Annual, Congressional Record,
Catalog of U.S. Government Publications, USCCAN, U.S. Serial Set
Index

d. Debates in Congress

Finding aid: Congressional Record Index

e. Roll call votes

Finding aid: CCH Congressional Index, Congressional Record Index, House
Journal, Senate Journal, and Senate’s Roll Call Votes & Tables page

7. Look at any Presidential statements

a. Public Papers of the President
b. Compilation of Presidential Documents

8. Locate veto messages
a. Congressional Record
b. House and Senate Journals
c. Compilation of Presidential Documents

9. Find the Congressional votes on vetoes

9 The Monthly Catalog of the United States Government Publications, which had been printed since the
passage of the Printing Act of 1895, was discontinued with the December 2004 edition. For publications
issued prior to 1976, the printed Monthly Catalog should be consulted. The print editions were distributed
to federal depository libraries. For publications issued after 1976, please use the online Catalog of U.S.
Government Publications (CGP), which provides descriptive records for historical and current
publications and provides direct links to those that are available online.

CHAPTER 7: FEDERAL LAW

105

a. CCH Congressional Index
b. Congressional Record

• Selected Legislative History Sources

Below is a chart with the Internet addresses and selected contents of the most
efficient and reliable sources for federal legislative materials.

NAME GPO ACCESS THOMAS CORNELL’S LII FINDLAW

Link Government
Publications by
Collection on
GPO’s FDsys

Library of
Congress’
Thomas

Legal
Information
Institute (LII)

FindLaw’s
Federal
Government
Resources

Selected
Contents

U.S. Constitution,
U.S. Code, Statutes
at Large, Congress.
Bills, Congressional
Record, Congress.
Hearings, Congress.
Reports, and much
more.

Bills & Resolutions,
Bill Summary &
Status, House &
Senate Roll Call
Votes,
Congressional
Record Daily
Digest, Committee
Reports, and more.

U.S.
Constitution,
CRS Annotated
Constitution,
U.S. Code, &
Popular Names
of Acts in the
U.S. Code.

U.S.
Constitution,
U.S. Code,
Table of
Popular Names,
links to
Thomas, GPO
Access, etc.

Another notable site is Vanderbilt University’s Frequently Used Sites Related to
U.S. Government Information.

Print Sources:

1. Commerce Clearing House (CCH). Congressional Index (1938-current)

Lists each bill by number and all the pages in that year’s Congressional
Record on which the bill is mentioned.

2. CIS/Index (LexisNexis) (1970-current)

Lists each public law in the annual abstracts volume chronologically and
references hearings, reports, documents and prints.

3. Digest of Public General Bills and Resolutions (GPO) (1971-1990)

Contains summaries of each Public Law. Gives dates of reports, debate,

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

106

roll call, and passage. Ceased with final issue for 101st Congress, 2nd
session.

4. Nancy P. Johnson. Sources of Compiled Legislative Histories: A Bibliography of
Government Documents, Periodical Articles, and Books: 1st Congress to 102d
Congress (AALL Publication No. 14, 1996)

Arranged by Public Law number. Includes an author and title index as
well as an act index.

5. Bernard D. Reams, Jr. Federal Legislative Histories: An Annotated Bibliography
and Index to Officially Published Sources (Greenwood Press, 1994)

6. United States Code, Congressional and Administrative News (USCCAN)
(Thomson West) (1952-current)

Reprints major House, Senate, and Conference Reports for most Public
Laws.

Federal Case Law

Case law, which consists of the written opinion of judges rendered in particular cases, is
one of the most important sources of U.S. legal authority. While cases involve a specific
dispute between parties, judges, in their written decisions, will shape legal doctrine by
interpreting statutes and regulations. Statutes, however clearly worded, must be read in
conjunction with court decisions that construe and apply their provisions. Cases can
also “create” law in areas where there are no governing statutes or regulations.

Federal Judiciary10

The judicial power of the United States is vested in the Supreme Court of the United
States and the various inferior or lower federal courts. Federal courts hear cases based
on the U.S. Constitution, cases dealing with treaties or federal law, and certain other
conflicts. Examples of issues based on federal law are immigration, bankruptcy, and
federal taxation. Although the U.S. Supreme Court does have original jurisdiction (i.e.,
it may be the first court to hear a particular case) for some matters such as disputes

10 See also the U.S. Courts’ Understanding the Federal Courts, which provides an introduction to the federal
judicial system, its organization and administration, and its relationship to the legislative and executive
branches of the government. Sections are linked on the left, highlighted by arrows.

CHAPTER 7: FEDERAL LAW

107

between states, it is predominantly an appellate court. The U.S. Supreme Court is
compelled to hear certain cases, but in most situations it is within the Court’s discretion
whether or not to hear an appeal. Cases come to the U.S. Supreme Court from both
lower federal courts and state courts, but there must be a federal question involved.
Ordinarily, cases are appealed from the highest state appellate court (e.g., the California
Supreme Court) or from one of the U.S. Courts of Appeals.

The U.S. Courts of Appeals are the primary federal appellate courts. The United States
is divided geographically into twelve circuits.11

California is in the Ninth Circuit, which
is based in San Francisco. In the Ninth Circuit, bankruptcy appeals can be made either
to the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel or to the Circuit Court. There is also a special Court
of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Cases from all fifty states based on patent appeals
and appeals from the Court of International Trade, United States Claims Court, the
Merit System Protection Board, and other specified cases are appealed to the Court of
Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

District Courts are the trial courts for the federal system. California is divided into four
districts. The Northern District is based in San Francisco; the Central District sits in Los
Angeles and Santa Ana; the Southern District has offices in San Diego; and the Eastern
District sits in Sacramento and Fresno. District courts are courts of first instance for
most federal questions. There is also a bankruptcy court in each district.

In addition to the regular court system, there are several administrative agencies with
judicial or quasi-judicial powers. The U.S. Tax Court and the National Labor Relations
Board (NRLB) are two examples. Appeals from these agencies go to the Courts of
Appeals.

Federal Case Law Publications

Cases are published chronologically in multi-volumes sets called “reporters” or
“reports.” When the volumes reach a certain number (e.g., 100 or 300) the publisher will
start over with volume one and designate it the publication’s second series. For
example, the Federal Reporter began in 1880 and is currently in its third series. Hence,
there is more than one volume with the number 1 in the Federal Reporter series: volume 1
of the first series (cited as F.), volume 1 of the second series (cited as F.2d.), and volume
1 of the third series (cited as F.3d).

11 For a Circuit map, please see http://www.uscourts.gov/court_locator.aspx.

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

108

Please note that while all decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court are published, only some
of the U.S. Courts of Appeals and U.S. District Courts’ decisions are published. Also
note that there are separate reporters for specialized subject fields of federal law. For
example, the decisions of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (formerly U.S.
Court of Military Appeals) are published in West’s Military Justice Reporter (1978 to
current). The Bankruptcy Reporter (1980-current) contains the decisions of the U.S.
Bankruptcy Courts and the bankruptcy decisions from the U.S. District Courts. For a
complete list of federal court reporters, please see Table 1.1: United States Jurisdictions,
Federal of The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, 19th ed. (Harvard Law Review
Association, 2010).

Below is a chart that shows where federal cases are published.

COURT PUBLICATION TITLE

U.S. Supreme Court

United States Reports (Official)
West’s Supreme Court Reporter (Unofficial)
LexisNexis’ Supreme Court Reports, Lawyers’

Edition (Unofficial) 12

U.S. Courts of Appeals

West’s Federal Reporter (Unofficial)
West’s Federal Appendix (Unofficial) 13

U.S. District Courts

West’s Federal Supplement (Unofficial)
West’s Federal Rules Decisions (Unofficial)14

The chart on the next page lists the Internet sources where one may find federal cases.

12 Although only the printed bound volumes of the United States Reports contain the final, official opinions
of the Supreme Court, the time lag between issuance of an opinion and its final publication in a bound
volume is about four years. For this reason, print researchers must consult one of the unofficial,
commercial publications, which are far more current.
13 Cases not selected for publication (by West’s editors) in the Federal Reporter series are published in the
Federal Appendix.
14 This set began publication in 1940 and contains a selected number of U.S. District Court decisions
dealing with procedural issues under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the Federal Rules of Criminal
Procedure.

CHAPTER 7: FEDERAL LAW

109

FEDERAL CASES ON THE INTERNET

U.S. Supreme Court U.S. Courts of Appeals U.S. District Court*

Official Web site of the U.S.
Supreme Court (for latest
opinions and U.S. Reports
from volumes 502 et seq.)

The Public Library of Law
(volume 1 of U.S. Reports to
current decisions)

LexisNexis’ Communities
Free Case Law (1781 to
present)

FindLaw (1893 to present)

Cornell’s Legal Information
Institute (decisions from 1990
and over 600 historic
decisions)

The Public Library of Law
(1950 to present, except 11th
Circuit (1981 to present) and
Federal Circuit (1982 to
present)

OpenJurist (U.S. Court of
Appeals opinions from 1880)

LexisNexis Communities Free
Case Law (last 10 years)

FindLaw (varies by circuit,
earliest opinions are dated
between 1994 and 1997)

Cornell’s Legal Information
Institute (varies by circuit,
earliest opinions are dated in
1992)

Justia’s Federal District Court
Cases (from 2002)

FindLaw (provides links to
official district courts’ Web
sites, arranged alphabetically
by state)

Cornell’s Legal Information
Institute (varies by district)
*Note that district court opinions
are not readily available for free
on the Internet. Consider
contacting your local academic
library or public law library for
availability of LexisNexis
Academic Universe or public
access Westlaw or LexisNexis.

Federal Regulations & Regulatory Decisions

Federal regulations are rules and procedures promulgated by the executive and
administrative agencies, which are delegated power by Congress. Agencies have both
quasi-legislative power and quasi-judicial power. Hence, agencies may promulgate
binding regulations and issue decisions involving particular parties on a case-by-case
basis. Agencies may also issue advisory opinions or decisions, which may also be called
orders or releases. This area of research is often called administrative law. Researchers
new to this area of law may consult the United States Government Manual, which
provides comprehensive information on the agencies of the legislative, judicial, and
executive branches. Another useful resource is Louisiana State University Libraries’
Federal Agency Directory. It lists current/active/existing U.S. federal government
agencies. Since the directory is not annotated, researchers should use this resource

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

110

when they know the name of the agency but do not know the URL.

Regulations

Regulations supply detailed explanations and interpretations for the broad mandates of
Congressional acts. Regulations are a binding source of law similar to statutes and
cases. Regulations from all federal agencies can be found in two publications issued by
the government. The Federal Register is a daily publication that contains the text of new
and proposed regulations. 15 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) The is the codification of
the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register. Consult Appendix C
of the U.S. Government Manual for a list of agencies and where they appear in the CFR.

Research for federal regulations should begin with the Code of Federal Regulations. 16

The
CFR is divided into 50 titles that represent the broad areas subject to federal regulation.
Each title is divided into chapters, usually bearing the name of the issuing agency,
which are divided further into parts that cover specific regulatory areas. Within the
titles are chapters subdivided into subchapters by subject and then into parts dealing
with specific topics. CFR parts are further subdivided into subparts and finally into
sections. Each title is published annually, with the new edition replacing the old. An
index is also published. The publication schedule divides the CFR into fourths, with
one-fourth of the titles being published in the spring, one-fourth in the summer, etc. A
typical citation would read 23 C.F.R. § 750.308, where 23 is the title number and 750.308
is the section number.

During the year, the daily Federal Register prints amendments to the CFR, and provides
cross-referenced tables to allow the researcher to determine whether a particular CFR
section has been amended since the last annual edition was published. The e-CFR is a
current, daily edition of the CFR. Please note that it is not an official, legal edition of the
CFR.

Regulatory Decisions

Federal agencies such as the National Labor Relations Board and the Federal Maritime
Commission often have judicial or quasi-judicial authority and may issue

15 Also available is a prototype edition of the Federal Register: http://www.federalregister.gov/. In addition, the Office
of the Federal Register’s Public Inspection Desk provides access to documents that will appear in the next days’
Federal Register, as well as selected documents scheduled for later issues.
16 Id. The List of CFR Sections Affected (1997-present) is available on FDsys.

CHAPTER 7: FEDERAL LAW

111

administrative decisions. The decisions of many agencies are not published officially by
the agency. Electronic database and loose-leaf law publishers are the main sources for
this information. However, an increasing number of administrative decisions are
becoming available on the Internet, but there is little consistency in how agencies
provide access to this information. The University of Virginia Library’s Administrative
Decisions & Other Actions – By Agency provides links to administrative actions that are
outside the scope of the CFR or the FR. The only other avenue for these decisions and
rulings is to make a request to the appropriate agency.

Presidential Materials

Materials that emanate from the President’s lawmaking function include executive
orders for officers in departments and agencies and proclamations for announcing
ceremonial or commemorative policies. Executive orders and proclamations may be
found in the Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations and the Web sites listed below.

Presidential Materials available on GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys)
Includes the Budget of the U.S. Government, the Economic Report of the
President, and Compilation of Presidential Documents.

Presidential Actions (via the White House’s official Web site)
Includes recent Executive Orders, Memoranda, and Proclamations

Codification of Presidential Proclamations and Executive Orders (via NARA)
Provides access to the edited and re-arranged text of Presidential Proclamations
and Executive Orders from April 13, 1945 to January 20, 1989. This page also
includes a link to the Executive Orders Disposition Tables, which begins with
E.O. 7532, January 8, 1937 and includes title, signature date, Federal Register
citation, and detailed histories of amendments and revocations.

The American Presidency Project
Established in 1999 as a collaboration between John Woolley and Gerhard Peters
at the University of California, Santa Barbara, this site contains over 86,000
documents related to the study of the Presidency. The Document Archive
includes the Messages and Papers of the Presidents (Washington to Taft, 1789-
1913), the Public Papers of the President (Hoover to Bush, 1929-1993), as well as
documents such as party platforms, candidates’ remarks, formal farewell
addresses, and much more.

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

112

Selected Bibliography

• Basic Legal Research: Tools and Strategies, 4th ed. Amy E. Sloan (Aspen, 2009)
• Finding the Law, 13th ed. Robert C. Berring & Elizabeth A. Edinger (Thomson

West, 2009)
• Fundamentals of Legal Research, 9th ed. Steven M. Barken, Roy M. Mersky, &

Donald J. Dunn (Foundation Press, 2009)
• Legal Research Explained, 2nd ed. Deborah E. Bouchoux (Aspen Publishers, 2010)
• The Process of Legal Research, 7th ed. Christina L. Kunz et al. (Aspen Publishers,

2008)

List of Internet Sources Cited in this Chapter

U.S. Constitution:

America’s Historical Documents: http://www.archives.gov/historical-docs/
Constitution of the United States, Constitutional Analysis and Interpretation:
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/collection.action?collectionCode=GPO (scroll down
list of Additional Government Publications)
Cornell University Law School’s Legal Information Institute (LII), Constitution with CRS
annotations: http://www.law.cornell.edu/anncon/

Federal Legislation:
Statutes at Large:
http://www.gpo.gov/searchwebapp/browse/collection.action?collectionCode=STATUTE
U.S. Code:

http://uscode.house.gov/
http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/
http://www.gpo.gov/searchwebapp/browse/collectionUScode.action?collectionCode

=USCODE
Thomas: http://thomas.loc.gov
Popular Name Tables:
http://uscode.house.gov/popularnames/popularnames.htm
http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/topn/
Articles on the federal legislative process:
http://thomas.loc.gov/home/lawsmade.toc.html
http://thomas.loc.gov/home/enactment/enactlawtoc.html

CHAPTER 7: FEDERAL LAW

113

GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys): http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/search/home.action
Cornell’s Legal Information Institute: http://www.law.cornell.edu/
FindLaw’s Federal Government Resources:

http://www.findlaw.com/10fedgov/legislative/index.html
GODART’s Frequently Used Sites Related to U.S. Federal Government Information:

http://www.library.vanderbilt.edu/romans/fdtf/

Federal Legislative History Sources:
Indiana University, Maurer School of Law, State Legislative History Research Guides:

http://www.law.indiana.edu/lawlibrary/research/guides/statelegislative/index.shtml
UCLA Federal Legislative History Research Guide:

http://libguides.law.ucla.edu/federallegislativehistory
Law Librarians’ Society of Washington, D.C.

Legislative Source Book: http://www.llsdc.org/sourcebook/
Legislative Histories of Selected U.S. Laws on the Internet:
http://www.llsdc.org/Leg-Hist/

Congressional Bills:
http://thomas.loc.gov/home/multicongress/multicongress.html

http://www.gpo.gov/searchwebapp/browse/collection.action?collectionCode=BILLS
Congressional Calendars:
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/collection.action?collectionCode=CCAL
Office of the Clerk, U.S. House: http://clerk.house.gov/
Contact Elected Officials: http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml
List of Federal depository libraries: http://www.gpo.gov/libraries/
Catalog of U.S. Government Publications: http://catalog.gpo.gov/F
NARA’s Finding Aids to Legislative Records:

http://www.archives.gov/legislative/finding-aids/index.html
Congressional Record Index:
http://www.gpo.gov/searchwebapp/browse/collection.action?collectionCode=CRI
Congressional Record:
http://thomas.loc.gov/home/LegislativeData.php?n=Record
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/collection.action?collectionCode=CREC
House Journal:
http://www.gpo.gov/searchwebapp/browse/collection.action?collectionCode=HJOURNAL
Congressional Calendars:
http://www.gpo.gov/searchwebapp/browse/collection.action?collectionCode=CCAL
Public Papers of the President:
http://www.gpo.gov/searchwebapp/browse/collection.action?collectionCode=PPP
Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents:
http://www.gpo.gov/searchwebapp/browse/collection.action?collectionCode=CPD

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

114

Federal Case Law:

Understanding the Federal Courts:
http://www.uscourts.gov/FederalCourts/UnderstandingtheFederalCourts/FederalCourts
InAmericanGovernment.aspx
U.S. Supreme Court: http://www.supremecourt.gov/
The Public Law Library: http://www.plol.org/Pages/Search.aspx
LexisNexis Communities Free Case Law:
http://www.lexisone.com/lx1/caselaw/freecaselaw?action=FCLDisplayCaseSearchForm&
l1loc=L1ED&tcode=PORTAL
OpenJurist: http://openjurist.org/
FindLaw:
http://www.findlaw.com/casecode/supreme.html
http://www.findlaw.com/10fedgov/judicial/appeals_courts.html
http://www.findlaw.com/10fedgov/judicial/district_courts.html
Cornell’s LII:
http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/
http://www.law.cornell.edu/federal/opinions.html
http://www.law.cornell.edu/federal/districts.html#circuit

Federal Regulations & Regulatory Decisions:

United States Government Manual:
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/collection.action?collectionCode=GOVMAN
Federal Agency Directory: http://www.lib.lsu.edu/gov/index.html
Federal Register:
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/collection.action?collectionCode=FR
http://www.federalregister.gov/
Code of Federal Regulations:

http://www.gpo.gov/searchwebapp/browse/collectionCfr.action?collectionCode=CFR
e-CFR: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/ecfr/ or http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/
Administrative Decisions & Other Actions—By Agency (University of Virginia):
http://www2.lib.virginia.edu/govtinfo/fed_decisions_agency.html

Presidential Materials

GPO’s FDsys: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/collectiontab.action
Current Presidential Actions (via Official site of the White House):

http://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions
Codification of Presidential Proclamations & Executive Orders (NARA):
http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/codification/
Executive Orders Disposition Tables (NARA):
http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/executive-orders/disposition.html
American Presidency Project: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/index.php

115

Chapter 8

BIBLIOGRAPHY OF FEDERAL LAW RESOURCES

As discussed in Chapter 7: Federal Law, the three branches of government—the U.S.
Congress, the federal judiciary, and the executive branch—create federal law. This
annotated bibliography consists of primary and secondary sources of federal law and
will assist those conducting federal legal research in identifying sources to consult.
Included are print sources, Internet sites, reference titles, research guides, and finding
aids.

Contents:

• United States Constitution
o U.S. Constitution, with Commentary & Analysis
o U.S. Constitution as Historical Document

• Legislative Branch Resources
o Finding Aids
o Statutes & Codes
o Bills & Resolutions
o Legislative History Sources

 Compiled Legislative History Sources
 Congressional Publications

o Federal Government News Sources
o Directories

• Judicial Branch Resources
o Court Decisions (i.e., Cases or Case Law)

 U.S. Supreme Court Cases
 U.S. Courts of Appeals Cases
 U.S. District Court Cases
 Other Federal Courts Resources

o Digests
o Citators
o Judges
o History and Statistics

• Executive Branch Resources
o Administrative Law

 Federal Regulations

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

116

 Administrative Decisions & Rulings
o Presidential Documents
o Other Executive Branch Resources

• Reference Sources
o General Reference Sources
o Research Guides

• List of Internet Sites Cited in this Chapter

United States Constitution

U.S. Constitution, with Commentary & Analysis

The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation: Annotations of

Cases Decided by the Supreme Court of the United States to June 28, 2002.
Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 2004.
Prepared by the Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, the bound
volume is over 2600 pages and is supplemented by pocket parts.

Online Access:
o Constitution of the United States: Analysis and Interpretation (GPO’s

FDsys): Scroll down the page of “Additional Government Publications”
to browse the 2002 edition and supplements (2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010).
Also may browse the 1992 edition and supplements (1996, 1998, and 2000).

o CRS Annotated Constitution: Hyper-texted interpretation provided by
Cornell University Law School’s Legal Information Institute (LII) which
includes links to U.S. Supreme Court opinions, the U.S. Code, and the Code
of Federal Regulations.

Encyclopedia of the American Constitution, 2nd ed. Leonard W. Levy, Kenneth L. Karst &

Adam Winkler, eds. NY: Macmillan Reference USA, 2000.
This six-volume set, supplemented by bound volumes, covers all aspects of
constitutional law, including important cases with brief outlines of the
constitutional issues involved. It is available online via Gale’s Virtual Reference
Library (subscription required).

Encyclopedia of Constitutional Amendments, Proposed Amendments, and Amending Issues,

1789-2002, 2nd ed. John R. Vile. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2003.

CHAPTER 8: BIBLIOGRAPHY OF FEDERAL LAW RESOURCES

117

This encyclopedia includes more than 500 short explanatory essays, which cover
specific cases, individuals, organizations, legal concepts and topics. Each entry is
followed by suggestions for further reading. It includes a bibliography, list of
cases, and an index. Available online via NetLibrary (subscription required).

U.S. Constitution as Historical Document

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Charters of Freedom, Constitution of
the United States
Download high-resolution images of the Constitution, Declaration of
Independence, and the Bill of Rights. Other resources include articles, exhibits,
and links to questions and answers.

The Library of Congress, American Memory, Documents from the Continental Congress and

Constitutional Convention, 1774-1789
Includes the Continental Congress Broadside Collection, the Constitutional
Convention Broadside Collection, and early printed versions of the U.S.
Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Access full color scanned
images as well as text versions of documents. Full text searchable.

Yale Law Library, The Avalon Project, The American Constitution – A Documentary Record

Provides the full text (in html) of several pre-Constitutional legal documents, as
well as numerous historical documents in the categories of “Revolution and
Independence,” “Credentials of the Members of the Federal Convention,” “the
Constitutional Convention,” and “Ratification and Formation of the
Government.”

Legislative Branch Resources

Finding Aids

CIS/Index. Washington, DC: Congressional Information Service, 1970-.

This multi-volume set indexes nearly every Congressional document and is
published monthly, with quarterly cumulations and annual bound volumes.
Online access through LexisNexis Congressional Universe (subscription
required).

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Congressional Masterfile. Washington, DC: Congressional Information Service, I—1789-
1969, 1993; II—1970-present, 1989-.
The CD-ROM version of the CIS/Index. Part I indexes pre-1970 documents. Part II
is updated quarterly.

Congressional Index. Chicago, IL: Commerce Clearing House, 1937/38-.
This two-volume set (one for each house of Congress) includes the status of
legislation, committees, members of Congress, voting records, etc. for each
Congress from the 75th Congress (1937-39) to the current Congress.

Shepard’s Acts and Cases by Popular Names: Federal and State, 5th ed. Colorado Springs,

CO: Shepards, 1999.
Indexes federal and state statutes and landmark cases by common names. This
two-volume set is updated by a cumulative supplement.

U.S. Code Table of Acts Cited By Popular Name

This table, included in the indexes to the U.S. Code, U.S.C.A. and U.S.C.S., lists
laws alphabetically under either the short titles assigned by Congress or names
by which they are commonly known, and provides citations to the Statutes at
Large and U.S. Code.

Online Access:
o Popular Name Tool, U.S. House of Representatives, Office of Law

Revision Counsel

o Popular Names of Acts in the U.S. Code, Cornell Law School’s Legal
Information Institute

Catalog of U.S. Government Publications

This online catalog is the finding tool for current and historical publications from
the legislative, executive and judicial branches of the U.S. government (from July
1976 to present) in both electronic and print format. Updated daily, it provides
direct links to publications available online. The monthly (with semiannual and
annual indexes) print version ceased with no. 1345 (Dec. 2004). Consult the print
Monthly Catalog for publications issued prior to July 1976.

Statutes & Codes

United States Statutes at Large. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1789-.

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This official, multivolume set includes the acts (both public and private) passed
during each Congress, published chronologically. The bound volumes are kept
up to date by slip laws (i.e., individual pamphlets designated by public law
number, containing the text of newly passed legislation).

Available online via FDsys from volume 117 (108th Congress, 1st Session (2003))
through volume 121 (110th Congress, 1st Session (2007)), as of November 3,
2011). For current slip laws, see the FDsys’ Public and Private Laws page (104th
Congress to current Congressional session).

U.S. Code Congressional and Administrative News. St. Paul, MN: West Group, 1952-.

This set (abbreviated as USCCAN) is an unofficial publication of the acts of
Congress in chronological order. Beginning with the 76th Congress, 1st Session
(1939), this set is far more current than either the official slip laws or the United
States Statutes at Large. Non-cumulative pamphlets keep the bound volumes up
to date. USCCAN is also a valuable source for legislative histories and includes
presidential proclamations and executive orders.

United States Code. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1926-.

This official publication is the codification by subject matter of the general and
permanent laws of the United States. Published by the Office of the Law Revision
Counsel of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Code is divided by broad
subjects into 50 titles. New editions are published approximately every 6 years
and are updated by annual cumulative supplements.

Online Access:
o The U.S. House of Representatives, Office of Law Revision Counsel,

United States Code: Search and download titles and chapters of the U.S.
Code. Links to classification tables, a popular name tool, and Thomas.
Click on the “About” link for information on currency of the Code. Note
that a beta site was released (accessed Nov. 3, 2011).

o GPO’s FDsys, United States Code: Search the most recent official edition
of the U.S. Code. Also available are prior editions (from 1994), plus
supplements.

Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute (LII), U.S. Code Collection
Generated from the most recent official version made available by the U.S. House
of Representatives; includes an update service that integrates the services of the
House server with the Library of Congress’ Thomas service.

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United States Code Annotated. St. Paul, MN: West Group, 1927-.
This unofficial publication follows the same title and section arrangement as the
official U.S. Code, but includes annotations to judicial decisions, law review
articles, and references to other West publications. The bound volumes are
supplemented by pocket parts and monthly statutory supplements.

United States Code Service. Charlotte, VA: LEXIS Law Publishing, 1997-.

This unofficial publication follows the same title and section arrangement as the
official U.S. Code, but includes annotations to judicial decisions, relevant
administrative regulations, law review articles and other secondary sources. It
includes a cross-reference table to the Code of Federal Regulations and is
supplemented by pocket parts and monthly advance sheets.

Bills & Resolutions

Congressional Bills and Resolutions. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1789-.

This set (paper or microfiche) includes the full-text of Senate and House bills and
resolutions.

Thomas (Library of Congress)

93rd Congress to current Congress; in Advanced Search, may search multiple
Congresses, limit by Congressional sponsor, by committee, by date of
introduction, and by type of legislation.

GPO’s FDsys Congressional Bills (Government Printing Office)

103rd Congress to current Congress; the database is updated daily by 6 a.m.
(EST). May browse by type of bill and by Congress; provides links to table of
years and session dates of Congress and to a Congressional Bills Glossary.

American Memory’s Bills and Resolutions, A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation
(Library of Congress)

Provides the text of bills and resolutions from the 6th Congress to 42nd Congress
in the House of Representatives; the 16th Congress to the 42nd Congress in the
Senate; and the 18th Congress to the 42nd Congress for Senate Joint Resolutions.

Legislative History Sources

Included below are compiled legislative history sources as well as numerous individual
Congressional publications. Please use the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications to

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locate specific congressional publications (for those issued before July 1976, consult the
print Monthly Catalog, which are retained by many federal depository libraries).
Researchers should also consult the sources listed under Legislative Finding Aids for
indexes and other resources that will aid in identifying documents produced in
Congress during the enactment of a law (debates, hearings, reports, etc.).

• Compiled Legislative History Sources

Hein’s Federal Legislative Histories Collection. Buffalo, NY: W. S. Hein, 1997?-.
This collection contains full-text legislative histories on a select number of
historically significant legislation, such as the Family and Medical Leave Act of
1993 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. It is available in microfiche and online
through HeinOnline (subscription required). Accompanied by Federal Legislative
Histories: An Annotated Bibliography and Index to Officially Published Sources,
compiled by Bernard D. Reams, Jr. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1994.

Legislative Source Book. Law Librarians Society of Washington, D.C. (LLSDC).
This online resource includes research guides, directories, and links to other
sources for federal legislative histories, including Electronic Sources for Federal
Legislative History Documents with Years/Congresses Available, by Richard J.
McKinney.

Sources of Compiled Legislative Histories: A Bibliography of Government Documents,
Periodical Articles, and Books, 1st Congress–-94th Congress. Nancy P. Johnson.
Littleton, CO: Published for the American Association of Law Libraries by F. B.
Rothman, 1979-. This one-volume loose-leaf publication contains citations to
published legislative histories. It is arranged by public law number and includes
an author-title index and public law index. Available online through HeinOnline
(subscription required).

U.S. Code Congressional and Administrative News. St. Paul, MN: West Group, 1952-.
This set includes select legislative histories materials. Includes citations to other
reports and Congressional Record dates.

• Congressional Publications

Calendars of the United States House of Representatives and History of Legislation.
Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1900s?-.
This publication is issued daily, with weekly cumulations. The Monday issue

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includes a subject index to all House and Senate legislation. Available on FDsys
(104th Congress to current Congress).

Congressional Record. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1873-.
The official record of the proceedings and debates of the U.S. Congress.
Published daily when Congress is in session, the Congressional Record (CR)
consists of 4 sections—Daily Digest, House, Senate, and Extension of Remarks.
Following each session of Congress, the daily CR is revised, printed, repaginated,
and permanently bound.

Note: The debates for sessions prior to 1873 are recorded in The Debates and
Proceedings in the Congress of the United States (1789-1824), The Register of
Debates in Congress (1824-1837), and The Congressional Globe (1833-1873),
which are available online at the Library of Congress’ American Memory,
A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional
Documents and Debates (1774-1875)

Thomas’ Congressional Record
Search multiple Congresses from the 101st Congress (1989-1990) to the present.
May also view the latest Daily Digest or browse the Daily Issues. There is also a
keyword index. Limit searches by member of Congress, section of the
Congressional Record and by date.

GPO’s FDsys Government Publications page includes the following:

o Daily Congressional Record (Volume 140 (1994) to present)
o Bound Congressional Record (Volumes 145 – 147 (1999 to 2001))
o Congressional Record Index, an index to the daily issues of the Congressional

Record from 1983 to the present in two parts: a listing of individuals,
organizations, and topics and the History of Bills, which lists legislative
actions reported in the Congressional Record.

Congressional Committee Prints
Committee prints are publications issued by Congressional committees on topics
related to their legislative or research activities and are good sources for
statistical and historical information as well as legislative analysis.
Unfortunately, the procedures for printing and publication of these prints differ
with each committee and, hence, are inconsistent. The Senate has a numbering
system for its committee prints (based on the Congress and order in which the
print was released; e.g., S. Prt. 108-3), but the House does not. They are not

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normally included in the U.S. Congressional Serial Set. However, sometimes
committee prints are ordered printed as Congressional Documents, if the
information they contain is in demand. Documents have a larger distribution
than committee prints.

FDsys provide online access to prints, from the 102th Congress (1991-92)
forward. FDsys also provides access to Congressional Documents from
99th Congress (1985-86) to current Congress.

U.S. Congressional Serial Set. Washington, DC: U.S. GPO, 1817 -.
Commonly referred to as the Serial Set. Contains House and Senate Reports and
House and Senate Documents, which are arranged by session of Congress and
numbered report/document. Documents before 1817 may be found in the
American State Papers, which is available online at the Library of Congress’
American Memory.

FDsys provide online access to Congressional Documents and
Congressional Reports. GPO’s page also includes numerical lists of
documents and reports and the schedule of Serial Set volumes.

Thomas’ Committee Reports, 104th Congress (1995-1996) forward.
Browse committee reports by type: House, Senate, Conference or Joint, or search
the full-text. Limit by committee or by date.

U.S. Congress Conference Reports
For current and previous Congress only.

Congressional Hearings.
A hearing is a meeting or session of a Senate, House, joint, or special committee
of Congress, usually open to the public, to obtain information and opinions on
proposed legislation, conduct an investigation, or evaluate/oversee the activities
of a government department or the implementation of a federal law. In addition,
hearings may also be purely exploratory in nature, providing testimony and data
about topics of current interest.

GPO’s FDsys contains selected House and Senate hearings for the 99th
Congress (1985-86) forward. Whether or not a hearing is disseminated on
FDsys depends on the committee.

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Rutgers – Camden School of Law, U.S. Congressional Documents Archive
Full-text archive of selected Congressional hearings and committee prints, dated
from the 1970s to 1998. As of November 3, 2011, there were 13,213 documents
available, with plans to add new materials over the next several years. May
browse listings or search full-text.

Federal Government News Sources

CQ Weekly. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly Inc., 1998-.

The Hill. Washington, DC: Capitol Hill Publishing Company, 1994-.

National Journal’s Congress Daily. Washington, DC: National Journal, 1991-.

Roll Call. Washington, DC: Roll Call Group, 1955-.

Free online resources include:

• Government News (via USA.gov)
• GovTrack (follow the status of federal legislation, subscribe to RSS feeds & email

updates)
• CapitolHearings.org (a service from C-SPAN)
• C-SPAN Alert (an email alert service; receive the latest on C-SPAN scheduling,

Capitol Spotlight, trivia, special guests and programming announcements, and
unique C-SPAN programming).

• United States Senate Media Galleries
• United States House of Representatives’ Media Resources
• Publications.USA.gov: Formerly known as the Federal Citizen Information

Center (FCIC), a one-stop source for answers to questions about consumer
problems and government services. May download or order a number of
publications on a variety of topics (e.g. Medicare, consumer information, cars
etc.).

Directories

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774-present

Biographies of all members of Congress from 1774 to the present. Searchable by
name, position (e.g., Representative, Senator, Delegate), state, party (e.g.,
Democrat, Federalist, Republican), and year or congress. Biographies include
years of service, place and date of birth, education, and political career and link

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to bibliography, research collections, and House and Senate history pages.

Congressional Staff Directory. Washington, DC: C.Q. Press, 1959-.
Annual directory of members of Congress which includes addresses, telephone
and fax numbers, email and Web addresses; biographies and photographs; state
map with district highlighted; staff members with titles and legislative
responsibilities; all district offices with address, phone, fax, and staff; and
leadership positions, committees, subcommittees and caucuses. In addition,
detailed information on committees and members’ congressional districts.

Congressional Yellow Book. Washington, DC: Washington Monitor, 1976-.

Brief biographies of members of Congress and specific details on legislative staff
assignments in Washington and in their home districts. Directories of committees
and subcommittees, including detailed information on legislative staff.
Quarterly.

Congressional Directory. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1888-.

Index to members of Congress, committees, staff and agencies. Searchable by
keyword and browsable by state or section. Includes Congressional District
maps, biographies, and committee assignments. Available online via GPO Access
(from 105th Congress (1997-98) forward).

Judicial Branch Resources

Reported court decisions are an important source of law in the Anglo-American legal
system. Court decisions are published in books called reporters. Different reporters are
published for different courts. Digests serve as subject indexes to reporters, enabling
researchers to find specific cases by legal issue. Citators such as Shepard’s give up-to-
date information on the status of cases. These three types of sources (case reporters,
digests, and citators) must be used together to conduct thorough case law research.
Public libraries often have neither the space nor the budget to maintain these services.
Therefore, it is recommended that users with case law research be referred to local law
libraries.

Court Decisions (i.e., Cases or Case Law)

• U.S. Supreme Court Cases

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United States Law Week. Washington, DC: Bureau of National Affairs, 1933-.
This publication (cited as U.S.L.W.) is a comprehensive source for current
information on the Court’s activities. Volume 1 includes the full-text of Supreme
Court opinions. Volume 2 includes current cases and statutes from federal and
state court and legislatures.

United States Reports. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1790-.
The official reporter for U.S. Supreme Court decisions (cited as U.S.). Cases are
published first as bench opinions, then as slip opinions, then in advance sheets,
and finally in bound volumes. The official Web site for the U.S. Supreme Court
includes slip opinions and the full text bound volumes from volume 502 (1991) to
the most current bound volume (which is volume 550 (2006) as of March 23,
2011).

United States Supreme Court Reports, Lawyers’ Edition. Charlottesville, VA: LEXIS
Law Publishing, 1997-.
This unofficial reporter (cited as L.Ed., L.Ed.2d) contains editorial summaries,
headnotes, and annotations. It is kept up to date by advance reports, Later Case
Service volumes, pocket parts and Interim Edition volumes.

West’s Supreme Court Reporter. St. Paul, MN: West Group, 1988-.
Like the Lawyers’ Edition, this unofficial reporter (cited as S.Ct.) contains editorial
summaries and headnotes. It is kept up to date by advance sheets.

Supreme Court Cases on the Internet:

o Cornell’s Legal Information Institute (LII), Supreme Court Collection
Includes U.S. Supreme Court decisions from 1990 forward and over 600
historic decisions. Finding aids include case name lists, topical lists, and
authorship lists.

o FindLaw’s Supreme Court Opinions
A searchable database of Supreme Court opinions since 1893. Browsable
by year and U.S. Reports volume number and searchable by citation, case
name and full text.

o Lexis Communities Free Case Law
Access U.S. Supreme Court cases from 1781 to present. LexisNexis
headnotes are not included. May search by keywords or by citation. Must
create an account (which is free) to view the full text of cases.

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o OpenJurist
A free legal research service which includes U.S. Supreme Court opinions
from Volume 1 of the official United State Reports.

o Oyez
From 1792 forward. Oyez provides a summary of facts of the case,
question(s) presented, and the Court’s conclusion. Links to full text
opinion provided by Justia.

o The Public Library of Law
Powered by Fastcase. Free account registration required. U.S. Supreme
Court cases from Volume 1 of the United States Reports. May search by case
name or citation (no fields provided, just enter the citation/case name into
the search box).

Other Supreme Court Internet Resources:

o ABA’s Preview of the United States Supreme Court Cases
Provides links to the briefs filed in cases (both scheduled and
unscheduled) from 2003-2004 forward. Supreme Court Preview includes
articles that highlight cases from the current term. Following oral
argument, the articles include links to commentary and to the Supreme
Court’s Argument Transcript.

o Official U.S. Supreme Court Web Site
Provides a wealth of information about the Court, its history, and its
justices as well as information on pending cases and recent decisions. It
includes a complete list of justices from 1789 to the present.

o SCOTUS blog
The law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP publishes the
Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) blog. Read news,
commentary and analysis as well as keep up to date on new filings, orders
and opinions.

o On the Docket
On the Docket, part of the Oyez Project, is an online clearinghouse for
news about decisions handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court and cases
accepted for review. View summaries of upcoming cases and recently
decided cases. There is also a Term Calendar and Timeline (where you can
move forward or backward to see more content).

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The Oxford Guide to the United States Supreme Court Decisions, 2nd ed. Kermit Hall
& James W. Ely. NY: Oxford University Press, 2009.

Each entry offers a full account of the case, the vote of the Justices, the legal and
social background, the reasoning behind the Court’s decision, and the case’s
impact on American society. Includes a glossary of terms, and the Supreme
Court Justices’ nominations, appointments and succession.

• U.S. Courts of Appeals Cases

West’s Federal Reporter. St. Paul: MN: West Group, 1993-.
Now in its third series (abbreviated F., F.2d, F.3d), this reporter contains selected
decisions of the U.S. Courts of Appeals (from 1880) and is updated with advance
sheets.

West’s Federal Appendix. St. Paul, MN: West Group, 2001-.
This set (cited as F. App’x) includes Court of Appeals decisions not selected for
publication in the Federal Reporter. Includes decisions from every circuit (except
the 5th and 11th). Researchers need to determine for themselves whether these
cases may be cited as precedent.

Courts of Appeals Cases on the Internet:

o FindLaw’s Federal Courts of Appeals Opinions
Coverage varies by jurisdiction but earliest opinions are dated between
1994 and 1997. This page also includes a link to a page listing each court’s
official Web site.

o Lexis Communities Free Case Law
Users must create a free account to view cases from the U.S. Courts of
Appeals. Limited to cases decided within the last 10 years.

o OpenJurist
Includes Courts of Appeals opinions published in the Federal Reporter from
1880 to present.

o Public Library of Law
Includes cases from the U.S. Courts of Appeals from 1950 to present
(except for the 11th Circuit (from 1981) and the Federal Circuit (from
1982)). In advanced search, may search only one jurisdiction at a time.

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• U.S. District Court Cases

West’s Federal Supplement. St. Paul, MN: West Group, 1933-.
Now in its second series (cited as F. Supp., F. Supp. 2d), this reporter contains
selected federal district court cases beginning in 1932. Like the other West
reporters, it includes editorial summaries, headnotes with key numbers, and
references to secondary sources.

West’s Federal Rules Decisions. St. Paul, MN: West Group, 1940-.
Cited as F.R.D., this set contains U.S. District Court opinions dealing with
procedural rules under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the Federal
Rules of Criminal Procedure.

District Court Internet Resources:

o FindLaw’s U.S. District Courts
Provides links to official District Court Web sites which often contain
recent opinions.

o Justia’s Federal District Court Filings & Dockets and Opinions & Orders
May search by party name, by jurisdiction, lawsuit type, and limit by date
case was filed. Browsable by state, nature of suit and case name. Cases
available from 2004 to present.

o PACER’s County/District Locator
Search for District and Circuit of federal courts by county name; search for
all counties in a District; or search for details by county code.

• Other Federal Courts Resources

U.S. Courts’ Court Locator
An interactive federal court map which also allows searching for a court by zip
code, city and state, area code, and type of court.

Cornell’s LII, Federal Law Materials – Judicial Opinions
Scroll to the bottom of this page for links to the official Web sites of the lower
federal courts—to statistical data and decisions by circuit and by state. Also
provides links to U.S. Courts of Special Jurisdiction.

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Digests

United States Supreme Court Digest, 1754 to Date. St. Paul, MN: West Group, 1943-.

This subject index to U.S. Supreme Court cases is a companion to West’s Supreme
Court Reporter. Includes a descriptive word index, a table of cases, and references
to West’s Key Number system. Updated by pocket parts.

United States Supreme Court Digest, Lawyers’ Edition. Charlottesville, VA: LEXIS Law

Publishing, 1948-.
This subject index to U.S. Supreme Court cases is a companion to U.S. Supreme
Court Reports, Lawyers’ Edition. Organized by digest topics and includes Table of
Cases volumes. Updated by pocket parts.

West’s Federal Practice Digest, 4th. St. Paul, MN: West Group, 1989-.

This digest, which began as the Federal Digest, serves as a subject index to all
federal courts. It includes a descriptive word index, references to West’s Key
Number system, a Table of Cases, and Words & Phrases volumes. Updated by
pocket parts and supplementary pamphlets.

Citators

Shepard’s Citations

Includes Shepard’s United States Citations, Shepard’s Federal Citations, Shepard’s
Code of Federal Regulations Citations, Shepard’s Administrative Citations, Shepard’s
Pacific Reporter Citations, Shepard’s California Citations, and many more (for a full
list of titles, search the LexisNexis Bookstore)

Shepard’s Citations in Print, Product Literature and Manuals
Links to PDF documents: Editorial Analysis definitions, features and
organization, and How to Shepardize in Print.

Internet Resources (fee based)

Note: Many public law libraries have public access subscriptions to Westlaw or
LexisNexis which allow users to search these databases at no cost. Contact your
local law library for availability (for contact information, see Appendix C of this
publication or Your Public Law Library’s Find Your Nearest California County
Law Libraries Web page).

o Westlaw by Credit Card

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“The price of retrieving a document or KeyCite result varies, depending
on the type of document. You will always be asked to confirm charges
before your credit card is billed, and this prompt lists the price. Charges
are applied monthly to the credit card you provided at registration.”

o Georgetown Law Library, Free and Low Cost Legal Research on the Web,
Low-Cost Legal Databases
Provides a list of lower-cost subscription legal databases, all of which
include a “citator” service. The guide cautions: “these citators typically
only provide a list of cases in which the citation appears. They do not
include qualitative information, such as an indication that a particular
case has received negative treatment. Westlaw and Lexis both provide this
information through their Shepard’s and Keycite services, and those
services are available through the lower cost lexisONE and Westlaw by
Credit Card.”

Judges

Almanac of the Federal Judiciary. Chicago, IL: LawLetters, 1984-.

Currently published by Aspen Publishers in loose-leaf format. Provides profiles
of every federal judge including academic and professional background,
experience on the bench, noteworthy rulings and commentary by lawyers. Two
volumes per year—volume 1 covers district court judges, magistrates and
bankruptcy judges; volume 2 covers circuit court judges.

American Bench: Judges of the Nation. Sacramento, CA: Forster-Long, 1977-.

Provides information on each court—location, jurisdiction, method of selecting
judges, and maps of judicial divisions. It is arranged alphabetically by state—
federal district court judges are profiled in the state section in which the judge
presides. There are separate sections for the U.S. Supreme Court and federal
Courts of Appeals.

Biographical Directory of Federal Judges (from the Federal Judicial Center)
This comprehensive database provides information about all judges who have
served since 1789 and is updated daily. Search by name or browse using the
alphabetical index. This page also includes a link to The Federal Judges Biographical
Database, which one may use to create customized lists of judges based by
multiple criteria, including nominating president, type of court, dates of service,
and demographic groups.

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BNA’s Directory of State and Federal Courts, Judges, and Clerks. Washington, DC: Bureau of
National Affairs, 1992-.
Lists names, addresses, and telephone numbers for judges, clerks, and
administrators at the top three levels of the state and federal judiciary. Annual.

Daily Journal’s Judicial Profiles. Los Angeles, CA: Daily Journal Corporation, 1995-.

Offers profiles which ran in the Daily Journal legal newspaper and covers all
judges, state and federal, sitting in California. Includes alphabetical and
jurisdictional indexes. Loose-leaf.

Judicial Staff Directory. Washington, DC: CQ Press, 1986-.
Includes names, addresses, and telephone numbers for all federal judges and
court staff. There are biographies for a select number of judges and judicial staff.
Includes maps showing the jurisdiction of the district courts for each state.
Biennial.

Judicial Yellow Book. New York, NY: Leadership Directories, 1995-.

Consists of two sections—one for the federal courts and one for state courts.
Includes contact information for judges and court staff. Semiannual.

History & Statistics

Creating the Federal Judicial System, 2nd ed. Russell R. Wheeler and Cynthia Harrison.

Washington, DC: Federal Judicial Center, 1994.
Available online via GPO Access (34 page PDF).

History of the Federal Courts, 2nd ed. Erwin C. Surrency. Dobbs Ferry, NY: Oceana

Publications, 2002.

U.S. Courts’ Statistics

Reports include the Annual Report of the Director: Judicial Business of the United
States, Federal Court Management Statistics, Federal Judicial Caseload Statistics,
Judicial Facts and Figures, Statistical Tables for the Federal Judiciary, Wiretap Reports
and several reports on bankruptcy.

U.S. Courts’ History of Authorized Judgeships

Includes historical information on authorized judgeships for all courts and
judgeship appointments by presidents since 1933.

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Executive Branch Resources

Administrative Law

• Federal Regulations

Regulations promulgated by federal agencies are first published chronologically
in a daily publication called the Federal Register. They are then arranged by
subject in the Code of Federal Regulations.

Federal Register. Office of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records
Service, 1936-.
Includes proposed and final rules and regulations of federal agencies, agency
notices, presidential documents of general applicability, and Sunshine Act
meetings. Also include extensive preambles that explain the agency rationale for
promulgating the regulatory changes and summarize the public comments on
proposed rules. There is a monthly index, which cumulates references since the
beginning of the year.

Federal Register on GPO’s FDsys provides online access from 1994 (Volume
59) to the present. Database is updated daily by 6 a.m. and is published
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

Also available is the unofficial prototype edition of the Federal Register,
which is somewhat more user-friendly.

Code of Federal Regulations. Office of the Federal Register, National Archives and
Records Service, 1949-.
The 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
the broad areas subject to federal regulation. Each title is divided into chapters,
which usually begin with the name of the issuing agency. Chapters are divided
into parts that cover specific regulatory areas. Each volume of the CFR is
updated once each calendar year and is issued on a quarterly basis.

Code of Federal Regulations on GPO’s FDsys
All titles are available from 1996 to the current year. CFR volumes are
added to GPO’s FDsys concurrent with the release of the paper editions. A

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list of agencies and where they appear in the CFR may be found in the
Appendix of the U.S. Government Manual.

e-CFR
e-CFR is a daily updated version of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). It is an
editorial compilation of CFR materials and Federal Register amendments.

Code of Federal Regulation on Cornell’s LII
Links to the most recent version of the CFR placed on the Internet by the GPO.
May retrieve sections by citation (title & section) or browse by title. There is also
a link (on the right) to the LII index of all section headings, which is
recommended as a first search.

• Administrative Decisions and Rulings

Administrative agencies have quasi-judicial powers—they hold hearings and
issue decisions involving specific parties. The publication pattern of agency
decision varies by agency. In addition, there is no mandated and organized
system for the publication of agency decisions. Some agencies publish all
decisions, while others are more selective. Hence, commercial publishers are a
major source of administrative decisions in their subject fields.

Loose-leaf services are available for heavily regulated areas such as tax (e.g,
CCH’s Tax Court Reporter), securities (e.g., CCH’s Federal Securities Law Reporter),
and labor (e.g., BNA’s Labor Relations Reporter). Not only are loose-leaf
publications usually very current (some are updated weekly), but they often
contain relevant primary sources of law and some secondary materials in one
publication. In addition to statutes, regulations, court cases and administrative
agency decisions, they generally provide current awareness information such as
news of proposed legislation and pending regulations. These services are often
better indexed than the government publications and contain features to help
you locate information.

To review a list of published agency decisions, see the following reference titles:

o The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, 19th ed. Cambridge, MA:
Harvard Law Review Association, 2010.
For a non-exclusive table of administrative agency and executive
materials, see T1.2 at pages 218-228.

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o Legal Looseleafs in Print. New York, NY: InfoSources Pub., 1981-.
Check this publication to find out if there is a loose-leaf publication in a
particular subject field.

University of Virginia Library, Government Information Resources, Administrative
Decisions & Other Actions—By Agency
This page links to administrative actions that are outside the scope of the CFR or
the FR. Alphabetical by agency and by subject.

Presidential Documents

The major legal documents issued by the President are executive orders and
proclamations. Executive orders involve the exercise of presidential authority and do
not have the force of law until they are printed in the Federal Register. Proclamations
usually involve announcements of policy and are often ceremonial. Nonetheless,
proclamations have important legal significance such as when used to grant
presidential pardons. Proclamations are also published in the Federal Register.

Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States. Washington, DC: Federal Register

Division, National Archives and Records Service, 1957-.
This series covers the administrations of Presidents Hoover, Truman,
Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, George H.W. Bush,
Clinton, and George W. Bush. Currently, volumes are published approximately
twice a year, and each volume covers approximately a 6-month period. Each
Public Papers volume contains the papers and speeches of the President of the
United States that were issued by the Office of the Press Secretary during the
specified time period. The material is presented in chronological order, and the
dates shown in the headings are the dates of the documents or events. Each
Public Papers volume features a foreword signed by the President, and a
portfolio of photographs selected from White House Photo Office files, as well as
subject and name indexes, and a document categories list.

Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents. Washington, DC: Federal Register,

National Archives and Records Administration, 1965-.
A companion to the Public Papers series, the Weekly Compilation was begun in
1965 to provide a broader range of Presidential materials on a timely basis to
meet the needs of the contemporary reader. The appendices in each Public
Papers volume provide listings of:

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136

o A digest of the President’s daily schedule and meetings and other items of
general interest issued by the Office of the Press Secretary;

o The President’s nominations submitted to the Senate;
o A checklist of materials released by the Office of the Press Secretary; and
o A table of Proclamations, Executive Orders, and other Presidential

documents released by the Office of the Press Secretary and published in
the Federal Register.

Presidential Materials on the Internet:
o White House Briefing Room’s Presidential Actions

Official proclamations, presidential memoranda, and executive orders that
President Obama has issued since his inauguration.

o FDsys’ Compilation of Presidential Documents
The Compilation of Presidential Documents collection consists of the
Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents and the Daily
Compilation of Presidential Documents, which are the official
publications of materials released by the White House Press Secretary.
From 1993 to present.

o FDsys’ Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States
Includes the papers of George H.W. Bush, William J. Clinton, George W.
Bush and Barack H. Obama.

o The American Presidency Project
Established in 1999, this project is the result of a collaboration between
John Woolley and Gerhard Peters at the University of California, Santa
Barbara. The Document Archive contains over 86,000 documents related
to the study of the presidency and includes the Messages and Papers of
the Presidents (Washington to Taft, 1789-1913), The Public Papers of the
President (Hoover to Bush, 1929-1993), as well as thousands of other
documents such as party platforms, candidates’ remarks, formal farewell
addresses, and much more.

o Codification of Presidential Proclamations and Executive Orders
Via NARA. Provides access to the edited and re-arranged text of
Presidential Proclamations and Executive Orders from April 13, 1945 to
January 20, 1989. This page also includes a link to the Executive Orders
Disposition Tables, which begins with E.O. 7532, January 8, 1937 to
present, and includes title, signature date, Federal Register citation, and

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137

detailed history of amendments and revocations.

Other Executive Branch Resources

Federal Agency Directory (via Louisiana State University Libraries)

Lists current/active/existing U.S. federal government agencies as represented in
the U.S. Government Manual. No annotation provided. The index is searchable by
agency keyword only. Note that this index is for people who already know what
agency they are looking for, but do not know the URL.

Federal Regulatory Directory. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly, 1979/80-.
Now in its 14th edition, this directory includes profiles of more than 100 federal
agencies and departments, including contact information, structure, and current
issues.

Federal Staff Directory. Mount Vernon, VA: Congressional Staff Directory, Ltd., 1982-.

Contains listings from the White House offices, offices of the Vice President,
agencies of the executive office of the President, presidential advisory
organizations, executive departments, independent agencies, quasi-official
international and non-governmental organizations and federal executive
biographies. Published three times a year.

Federal Yellow Book. Washington, DC: Washington Monitor, 1976-.

Contact information for over 45,000 U.S. federal positions located within the
Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Quarterly publication.

United States Government Manual. Washington, DC: Office of the Federal Register,

National Archives and Records Service, 1973/74-.
Provides comprehensive information on the agencies of the federal government.
Also includes information on quasi-official agencies, international organizations
in which the U.S. participates, boards, commissions, and committees. Includes
citations to statutes under which the agencies operate and organizational charts.
The Manual includes the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.
GPO’s FDsys includes editions of the Manual from 1995-96 forward.

USA.gov’s A-Z Index of U.S. Government Departments and Agencies

Alphabetical (and hyperlinked) list of federal agencies.

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Washington Information Directory. Washington, DC: CQ Press, 1975/76-.
Includes information on groups (e.g., lobbyists and nonprofits), contact
information for Congress and federal agencies, nongovernmental organizations,
policy groups, foundations, and institutions, governors and other state officials,
and U.S. and foreign diplomats. Annual.

Reference Sources

General Reference

Publications.USA.gov

Formerly called the Federal Citizen Information Center (FCIC), this site provides
a one-stop source for answers to questions about consumer problems and
government services.

Washington Information Directory. Washington D.C.: CQ Press, 1975/76-.
Annual publication which includes information on groups (e.g., lobbyists and
nonprofits), contact information for Congress and federal agencies,
nongovernmental organizations, policy groups, foundations, and institutions,
governors and other state officials, and U.S. and foreign diplomats.

Research Guides

• Print

Basic Legal Research: Tools and Strategies, 4th ed. Amy E. Sloan (Aspen, 2009)

Finding the Law, 13th ed. Robert C. Berring & Elizabeth A. Edinger (Thomson
West, 2009)

Fundamentals of Legal Research, 9th ed. Steven M. Barken, Roy M. Mersky, &
Donald J. Dunn (Foundation Press, 2009)

Legal Research in a Nutshell, 10th ed. Morris L. Cohen and Kent C. Olsen (West,
2010).

The Process of Legal Research, 7th ed. Christina L. Kunz et al. (Aspen Pub., 2008).

CHAPTER 8: BIBLIOGRAPHY OF FEDERAL LAW RESOURCES

139

Specialized Legal Research. Penny A. Hazelton, ed. (Aspen Law & Business, 1987- ).
This one volume loose-leaf publication includes chapters on securities regulation,
the uniform commercial code, federal income taxation, copyright law, federal
labor and employment law, environmental law and land use planning, admiralty
and maritime law, immigration law, military and veterans law, banking law,
federal patent and trademark law, federal government contracts, and customs
law.

• Legal Research Guides on the Internet

Cornell University Law Library’s Legal Research Engine
Offers a specialized search engine to help researchers find authoritative legal
research guides. In 2008, the InSITE search was added, which allows users to
search over 1,000 law-related Web sites that have been vetted by law librarians.
Users can also limit their search to academic blawgs.

GlobalLex’s A Guide to the U.S. Federal Legal System: Web-Based Publicly
Accessible Sources (updated October 2010)
Written by Gretchen Feltes, Faculty Services/Reference Librarian at New York
University School of Law Library.

Law Library of Congress’ Guide to Law Online, U.S. Federal Research Help
Includes several guides related to federal law, including guides to the United
States Constitution, the United States Executive, the United States Judiciary,
United States Legislative, Criminal Justice System, Elections, and the United
States Legal System.

Marion Gould Gallagher Law Library, University of Washington School of Law,
U.S. (Federal) Law Legal Research Guides
Includes guides to U.S. Administrative Law, Constitutional Clauses & Their
Nicknames, Court Briefs and Oral Arguments, Federal Legislative History,
Judicial Branch Publications, Reporters and Digests, and Statutory Research
Checklist.

UCLA Law Library’s list of Federal Law Research Guides
Includes the following guides: Federal Administrative Law, Federal Case
Materials Checklist, Federal Legislative History, Federal Tax Research, Finding
Federal Statutes, and Online Legal Research: Beyond LexisNexis and Westlaw.

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U.S. Senate’s Reference page, “How to” guides
This page links to several guides that help explain how to find materials related
to the Senate and the legislative process. The short essays are clearly written and
provide links to online sources. Guides include how to research the collections of
former Senators, how to find the U.S. Code, how to find committee hearings,
how to find books, and much more.

• Guides highlighting free & low-cost legal resources on the Internet

Georgetown’s Free & Low-Cost Legal Research Guide
This guide provides links to free online legal materials (federal as well as state).
At the end of the guide, there is a summary of the features and costs of lower
cost databases, including Caselex, Casemakeer, Fastcase, lexisOne, Loislaw,
VersusLaw, and Westlaw).

Pace Law School Library’s Fee & Low-Cost Resources for Legal Information
Located in New York State, Pace Law Library’s guide includes many links to
New York resources as well as the federal law materials.

UCLA Law Library’s Online Legal Research: Beyond LexisNexis & Westlaw
This guide links to a wide variety of free (and low cost) online legal research
sources: federal law, California law, local government law, research guides,
dictionaries and directories, free legal forms, and legal news and blogs.

List of Internet Sites Cited in this Chapter

United States Constitution:

http://www.law.cornell.edu/anncon/
http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution.html
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/continental/
http://avalon.law.yale.edu/subject_menus/constpap.asp

Legislative Branch Materials:

• Finding Aids

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141

Act by Popular Name Tables:
http://uscode.house.gov/popularnames/popularnames.htm
http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/topn/

Catalog of U.S. Government Publications:
http://catalog.gpo.gov/F

Federal Depository Library Directory:

http://catalog.gpo.gov/fdlpdir/FDLPdir.jsp
http://www.gpo.gov/libraries/

• Statutes & Codes
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/collectionUScode.action?collectionCode=USCODE
http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/
http://uscode.house.gov/search/criteria.shtml
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/collection.action?collectionCode=STATUTE
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/collection.action?collectionCode=PLAW

• Bills & Resolutions

http://thomas.loc.gov
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/collection.action?collectionCode=BILLS
http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/amlaw/lwhbsb.html

• Legislative History Resources

Compiled Legislative Histories:

http://www.heinonline.org (subscription required)
http://www.llsdc.org/sourcebook/
http://www.llsdc.org/elec-leg-hist-docs/

GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys): http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/search/home.action

Congressional Calendars:

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/collection.action?collectionCode=CCAL
U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1997-1875, American Memory, Library of
Congress: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/amlaw/lawhome.html

Thomas (http://thomas.loc.gov):

Congressional Record: http://thomas.loc.gov/home/LegislativeData.php?&n=Record
Committee Reports: http://thomas.loc.gov/home/LegislativeData.php?n=Reports

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Committee Prints:
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/collection.action?collectionCode=CPRT
Committee Documents:
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/collection.action?collectionCode=CDOC

Serial Set:
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/search/home.action (links to Documents & Reports)
http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/amlaw/lwsp.html (American State Papers)
http://www.conferencereport.gpoaccess.gov/

Hearings:
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/collection.action?collectionCode=CHRG
http://lawlibrary.rutgers.edu/gdoc/search.shtml

• Federal Government News Sources

http://www.usa.gov/Topics/Reference_Shelf/News.shtml
http://pueblo.gsa.gov/
http://www.senate.gov/galleries/
http://www.house.gov/house/mediagallery.shtml
http://www.govtrack.us/
http://www.capitolhearings.org
http://www.capitolspotlight.org/

• Directories

http://bioguide.congress.gov/biosearch/biosearch.asp
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/collection.action?collectionCode=CDIR

Judicial Branch Materials:

• Court Decisions

U.S. Supreme Court:
http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/opinions.aspx
http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/
http://www.findlaw.com/casecode/supreme.html
http://www.oyez.org/cases
http://supreme.justia.com
http://www.lexisone.com/caselaw/freecaselaw
http://www.plol.org/Pages/Search.aspx
http://www.americanbar.org/publications/preview_home.html
http://www.oyez.org/aggregator/sources/1
http://www.scotusblog.com/wp/

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Courts of Appeals & District Courts:
http://www.uscourts.gov/courtlinks/
http://dockets.justia.com/
http://www.pacer.gov/
http://www.law.cornell.edu/federal/opinions.html
http://www.findlaw.com/10fedgov/judicial/district_courts.html
http://www.lexisone.com/lx1/caselaw/freecaselaw?action=FCLDisplayCaseSearchForm&
l1loc=L1ED&tcode=PORTAL
http://www.plol.org/Pages/Search.aspx

• Citators

http://bookstore.lexis.com/bookstore/catalog
http://www.publiclawlibrary.org/find.html
http://creditcard.westlaw.com/
http://www.ll.georgetown.edu/guides/freelowcost.cfm#lowcost

• Judges

http://www.fjc.gov/public/home.nsf/hisj

• History & Statistics
http://purl.access.gpo.gov/GPO/LPS53770
http://www.uscourts.gov/Statistics.aspx
http://www.uscourts.gov/JudgesAndJudgeships/AuthorizedJudgeships.aspx

Executive Branch Materials:

• Federal Register:
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/collection.action?collectionCode=FR
http://www.federalregister.gov

• Code of Federal Regulations:
http://www.gpo.gov/searchwebapp/browse/collectionCfr.action?collectionCode=CFR
http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov
http://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/

• Presidential Materials:
http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/codification/
http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/executive-orders/disposition.html
http://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing_room/PresidentialActions/
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/collection.action?collectionCode=CPD
http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/index.php
http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/codification/

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• Other Resources:
http://www.lib.lsu.edu/gov/index.html
http://www.usa.gov/Agencies/Federal/All_Agencies/index.shtml
http://www2.lib.virginia.edu/govtinfo/fed_decisions_agency.html

Reference Sources:

• General Reference
http://publications.usa.gov/USAPubs.php

• Research Guides

General Guides:
http://library.lawschool.cornell.edu/WhatWeDo/ResearchGuides/CLL-Legal-Research-
Engine.cfm
http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/United_States1.htm
http://www.loc.gov/law/help/guide/federal.php
http://www.senate.gov/pagelayout/reference/b_three_sections_with_teasers/howto.htm

Guides Highlighting Free & Low-Cost Legal Resources:
http://www.ll.georgetown.edu/guides/freelowcost.cfm
http://libraryguides.law.pace.edu/free
http://libguides.law.ucla.edu/onlinelegalresearch

145

Chapter 9

ASSISTING SELF-REPRESENTED LITIGANTS IN
CALIFORNIA

The number of pro se litigants has risen dramatically in recent years. 1 The primary
reason, fairly obvious and well understood by the legal community, is the scarcity of
affordable legal services. People simply cannot afford to hire an attorney. Hence,
librarians can expect to encounter a rising number of questions from users with law-
related problems. In providing assistance to these users, librarians should understand
the obstacles pro se litigants face in navigating the legal system on their own. First, the
legal system is far from “user-friendly”—complex procedures and rules vary from
jurisdiction to jurisdiction, from court to court, and even from judge to judge.2

Second,
legal information can be found in multiple sources and formats and is not often written
in plain English. Another obstacle is the characteristics of the litigants themselves, who
often have a lack of knowledge of the law and court procedures, unrealistic
expectations, and, at times, harbor disdain for attorneys and the justice system.

In the state of California, over 4.3 million of California’s court users are self-represented.
Pro se litigants submit two-thirds of family law court filings. In addition, judges and
court staff report that the defendant in unlawful detainer cases is self-represented over
90% of the time.3 Fortunately, the Judicial Council of California, the policymaking body
of the California courts, established the Task Force on Self-Represented Litigants in 2001
“to coordinate the statewide response to the needs of litigants who represent
themselves in court.”4

This chapter will describe the state’s programs as well as others offered to Californians
at county law libraries and through legal clinics, providing links to Internet resources
throughout. At the end of this chapter, there is a list of selected Internet sources.

1 Paula Hannaford-Agor, “Executive Summary,” Access to Justice: Meeting the Needs of Self-Represented
Litigants, at 2. Available in PDF at http://www.ncsconline.org/D_Research/publications.html (publications
listed in alphabetical order by title).
2 Id. at 9.
3 Judicial Council of California, Report of the Task Force on Self-Represented Litigants and Statewide Action
Plan for Serving Self-Represented Litigants (February 2004), at 2.
4 Judicial Council of California, Fact Sheet: Programs for Self-Represented Litigants (February 2009).

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Contents:

• California Courts’ Programs for Self-Represented Litigants
• County Law Libraries
• Self-Help Legal Publishers
• Pro Bono Legal Providers
• Other Useful Sources
• List of Internet Sites Cited in this Chapter

California Courts’ Programs for Self-Represented Litigants

In furtherance of its mission to ensure meaningful court access for all Californians, the
California Judicial Council launched the California Courts Self-Help Center in 2001. The
California Courts Self-Help Center is designed to provide the types of legal information
needed by the majority of self-represented litigants. The Web site’s more than 1200
pages of information include instructions on how to navigate the court system, offer
step-by-step guidance in filling out court forms, and provide information on specific
legal topics such as family law, restraining orders, landlord-tenant issues, and small
claims court. A Spanish language version was launched in 2003 and information is now
also available in Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese. The California Courts Self-Help
Center also provides contact information for free and low-cost legal help and a legal
glossary. Links to other governmental bodies and organizations offering legal assistance
are also included.

In 2008, the Judicial Council established a network of court-based self-help centers.
These self-help centers, held in or near superior courts, are staffed by attorneys and
other legal personnel to provide information and education to self-represented litigants.
Some courts also offer Family Law Facilitator programs in which attorneys help self-
represented litigants with forms and court procedures relating to child and spousal
support. Family law facilitators do not meet individually with litigants. Rather, they
offer group sessions or walk-in clinics for anyone who does not have their own lawyer.
There is no income-level requirement.5

The oldest of California’s self-help programs is the Small Claims Legal Advisors, which
provides free assistance to litigants in small claims proceedings. Assistance varies by
county and may be provided by telephone, in person, or through information booklets.
Advisors “may be volunteers, and shall be members of the State Bar, law students,

5 To find the family law facilitator in your county, use this link: http://www.courts.ca.gov/9497.htm.

CHAPTER 9: ASSISTING SELF-REPRESENTED LITIGANTS

147

paralegals, or persons experienced in resolving minor disputes, and shall be familiar
with small claims court rules and procedures. Advisors may not appear in court as an
advocate for any party.”6 A 2002 study commissioned by the Judicial Council exposed
significant problems with this approach, including the use of law students and non-
attorney volunteers who are not permitted to give legal advice, but are limited to
answering questions on the process. 7

Family Law Facilitators, Small Claims Legal Advisors, and Self-Help Centers by county
can be found at the Help From Your Court page on the California Courts Self-Help
Center. For a list of self-help centers in all 50 states, see the National Center for State
Courts’ Self-Representation State Links Web page.

The Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC), the Judicial Council’s staff agency,
offers instructional materials to assist the self-represented litigant, which is arranged by
subject area (e.g., adoption, domestic violence, fraud, probate etc.). There are also video
guides to court proceedings in delinquency court and alternative dispute resolution. A
separate page on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in Civil Cases links to short
definitions and video demonstrations of medication, arbitration, neutral evaluation, and
settlement. Videos are also online through I-CAN! ™ Legal, described at the end of this
chapter. Self-represented litigants should inquire at their local self-help center and
county law library for availability.

In addition to videos, the AOC offers informational publications for self-represented
litigants. The following are a sample list of publications:

• Summary Dissolution Information: A 23-page booklet that provides instructions on
how to obtain a divorce, including an explanation of important terms and time
periods, worksheets, and a sample property settlement agreement.

• Handbook for Conservators (2002 revised edition): This handbook (in PDF) is not a
do-it-yourself guide, but aims to assist the individual in his or her role as a
conservator by providing useful information. Throughout the book there are “L”
symbols to emphasize the situations where the individual may need the advice
of a lawyer.

6 California Code of Civil Procedure § 116.940(e). To read full-text, please go to the Legislative Counsel’s
California Law page at http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/calaw.html, select Code of Civil Procedure, enter 116.940
into the search box and open the link to Code of Civil Procedure section 116.920-116.950 (which was
result #6 when searched on Nov. 2, 2011).
7 Steven Weller et al. Report on the California Three Track Civil Litigation Study (July 31, 2002) at 34-35.

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• Caregivers and the Courts: An eight-page primer on juvenile dependency
proceedings for California foster parents and relative caregivers.

• Guardianship Pamphlet: A six-page pamphlet that gives basic information to
individuals who may become the legal guardian of a child who has been
declared a dependent of the juvenile court. Also available in Spanish, Korean,
Chinese and Vietnamese.

• Juvenile Court Information for Parents: A six-page pamphlet that provides
information to parents of children charged with minor crimes.

The California Courts Web site was given a new look and a new URL in March of 2011.
It is now much easier to find information by topic by going to the Online Self-Help
Center and then browsing by subject area. The publications listed above were found
either in the forms section or within a subtopic, embedded within the text. Lastly,
consult the Self-Help Glossary for definitions of various legal terms and phrases.

California State Bar

The California State Bar publishes a number of consumer pamphlets intended to help
members of the public with their legal questions. Current titles include the following:

• Kids & the Law: An A-Z Guide for Parents
• Seniors & the Law: A Guide for Maturing Californians
• How Can I Find and Hire the Right Lawyer?
• Guide to Legal Literacy
• What Should I Know About Divorce and Custody?
• Statutory Will Form
• Problem with a Lawyer?

Most are available in English and in Spanish in PDF format for free. Pamphlets can also
be ordered directly from the State Bar.

County Law Libraries

The California county law libraries serve as resources for legal information for all
Californians. Their user base includes not only attorneys and other legal professionals
but also lay people handling their own legal concerns.

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The Council of California County Law Libraries (CCCLL), composed of representatives
from the county law libraries across the state, offers Your Public Law Library, a Web
site designed to bring together and highlight self-help resources available to members
of the public. Your Public Law Library includes five sections:

• Self-Help which provides links to Web sites offering content specifically designed
for pro se litigants (including forms)

• Mini-Research Class which offers guidance on the legal research process including
where to start and what resources to check

• Find Your . . . Nearest California County Law Library which offers a listing of all 58
county law libraries including contact information and Web site addresses

• Legal Links which provides links to Web sites offering both federal and
California-specific legal information

• AskNow, a real-time reference service provided by county law librarians

Your Public Law Library provides an excellent starting place for library users
embarking on self-representation.

Individual county law libraries have responded to the demand for self-help legal
services in a variety of ways: in-person reference assistance, email reference, and
participation in AskNow’s Law Librarian Service. They also maintain extensive lists of
local legal aid providers and often make them available on their Web pages.

Additionally, larger county law libraries put on a variety of workshops geared to
address commonly encountered legal situations. A sampling of workshops follows.
Visit your local county law library’s Web site to see what workshops they offer. A
complete list of county law libraries can be found on the Your Public Law Library Web
site and in Appendix C of this publication.

EXAMPLES OF CALIFORNIA COUNTY LAW LIBRARY WORKSHOPS

El Dorado County Law Library:
http://www.eldoradocourt.org/self_help/workshops.aspx or
http://eldoradocountylawlibrary.org/lib_classes.html
Legal Services of Northern California provides free legal assistance to
consumers representing themselves in some civil cases. The Family Law
Information Center Workshops cover divorce, custody, establishing
parentage and much more. See the Web site for specific details.

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150

Kern County Law Library: http://kclawlib.org
Look for Upcoming Events (which included How to Probate a Small
Estate on the second Tuesday of each month of 2011) and the
information provided in the section under the Kern County Superior
Court’s Self Help Center, which listed workshops and clinics at set
scheduled times during the week.

LA Law Library: http://www.lalawlibrary.org
Hands-on, interactive classes held monthly on topics such as
introduction to legal research, Westlaw and LexisNexis searching, free
legal information, and finding forms (see Training and Events link).

Riverside County Law Library: http://www.lawlibrary.co.riverside.ca.us/

Public Education Forums on topics such as family law (e.g., how to file
a petition/response, how to file a default judgment on the petition),
medical malpractice, identity theft, and mobile home evictions. Tax
preparation assistance is also offered.

Sacramento County Public Law Library: http://www.saclaw.org/
Self help videos and audios include Expunging Your Conviction, See You
in Court (Parts 1 and 2), and the Court System – Who are the Players &
What Do They Do? The Sacramento County Public Law Library also
hosts the Civil Self-Help Center operated by the Voluntary Legal
Services Program of Northern California.

San Diego Public Law Library: http://www.sdcll.org/index.html
Regularly scheduled classes include Focus on Forms, Law Made Public:
Legal Research Class for the Public, Legal Research Using Free Websites, and
Practical Legal Research. Special lectures are also offered. The library
Web site also includes an extensive listing of free legal clinics in the
area.

San Mateo County Law Library: http://www.smcll.org/
Hosts a self-represented litigant class and guide to small claims court
workshop, presented by the San Mateo County Superior Court Self-
Help Center (in Spanish and English).

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Self-Help Publishers

Established in 1971 by Ralph Warner, then a legal aid lawyer, Nolo Press is the
premiere self-help legal publisher in California. Nolo offers titles on a wide range of
legal issues, including wills, divorce, child custody, elder care, and taxes (to name a
few). Their books are written by attorneys using easily understandable language and
include forms and software to assist users in completing legal documentation. Updates
to their titles are posted on their Web site. Of particular note to libraries is Nolo’s policy
of replacing stolen library Nolo Press titles for free (naturally some restrictions apply).

Oxford University Press publishes over 88 titles in its Legal Almanac Series8

which
“serves to educate the general public on a variety of legal issues pertinent to everyday
life and to keep readers informed of their rights and remedies under the law.” Included
in the Series are such titles as How to Deal with Your Lawyer, Health Care Directives,
Transportation Law: Passenger Rights and Responsibilities, and Pet Law. Written by
attorneys (many by Margaret Jasper, a New York attorney) each title provides an
overview of the area of law as well as state-by-state coverage of issues within that area.
The Series can be purchased as one loose-leaf set or by individual title.

Sphinx Publishing, a division of Sourcebooks, Inc., also publishes self-help legal titles
authored by attorneys. California-specific titles include File for Divorce in California
Without Children by John J. Talamo and Edward J. Haman and Probate and Settle an Estate
in California by Douglas E. Godbe and John J. Talamo. Sphinx has fewer California-
specific titles than Nolo Press but does offer quality books on national and general
topics such as immigration law, patent law, and sexual harassment.

For a comprehensive listing of self-help titles, please refer to Chapter 10: Bibliography of
California Self-Help Resources.

Pro Bono Legal Providers

Pro bono9

8Also called Oceana’s Law for the Layperson Series. Selected titles are included in Chapter 10:

providers are organizations which provide free or low-cost legal advice and
representation to individuals who are unable to afford the services of a lawyer. Staffed
by licensed attorneys and paralegals as well as attorney volunteers, pro bono providers
vary in the types of cases they handle. Typically, providers will handle common legal
problems such as landlord-tenant, child custody, child support, employment, and

Bibliography
of Self-Help Resources.
9 Pro bono is Latin for “for the public good.”

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152

government benefits. Unfortunately, many providers are underfunded and
understaffed to meet the demands made on them.

The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) was established by Congress in 1974 as a private,
nonprofit corporation to promote equal access to justice to low-income Americans. It is
now the single largest provider of civil legal aid in the United States. LSC functions by
providing grants, training, and oversight to legal service providers.

In 2008, LSC provided over $43 million to California legal service providers. LSC
Programs in California include Legal Services of Northern California, Inc., the Legal
Aid Society of Orange County, Central California Legal Services, and the Legal Aid
Foundation of Los Angeles . A complete list of LSC supported legal service providers
can be found on their Web site along with a list of counties served by the various
providers.

LawHelpCalifornia.org provides an extensive listing of California legal aid providers
alphabetically and by counties served. Listings include both LSC and non-LSC funded
providers and indicate whether an organization provides legal representation in court.
In addition to providers that provide general assistance, LawHelpCalifornia.org lists
those providers devoted to particular populations such as the homeless, persons with
AIDS, seniors, etc. Because of its comprehensive nature, LawHelpCalifornia.org should
be the first resource librarians suggest to users looking for pro bono legal services.

The American Bar Association also provides a list of pro bono providers by state in its
Public Resources section. The California portion of the Consumer’s Guide to Legal Help
Pro Bono lists pro bono providers by county and includes basic contact information,
including a link to each Web site, along with information such as types of cases handled
and income and other restrictions.

In addition to Bar Associations, some law schools provide clinics tailored to specific
legal issues or populations. For instance, the USC Small Business Clinic provides basic
corporate legal assistance to small businesses, entrepreneurs, and non-profit
organizations. The Cancer Legal Resource Center at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles
provides legal information and support to cancer survivors and their families. U.C.
Berkeley Law School’s East Bay Community Law Center provides legal services to low-
income individuals in the surrounding community. Legal services at clinics are
typically provided by second and third year law students under the supervision of
licensed attorneys. Local law school Web sites should be consulted for a list of clinics.

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Other Useful Internet Sources

I-CAN!™ Legal: http://www.icandocs.org/ca/
Funded by the LSC, the California Administrative Office of the Courts,
several California superior courts, non-profit legal services organizations,
and the State Bar of California, this free online service fills out forms for you
by asking simple questions and placing the answers in the correct place.
There are tutorials and written instructions available as well as educational
videos. Users must create an account, which allows the person to make
changes to information, reprint forms, or use another module. In English,
Spanish, and Vietnamese.

Nolo Press: http://www.nolo.com

The self-help publisher’s Web site offers a variety of free resources,
including a Legal Encyclopedia, Lawyer Directory, Law Blogs, and Nolo’s
Plain-English Law Dictionary. iPhone (and iPod Touch) users can
download a free copy of Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary (search iTunes
under Free Apps).

FindLaw’s Learn About the Law: http://public.findlaw.com

Use this online legal resource to find information on popular topics such as
will preparation, divorce and child custody, personal injury, and employee
rights. Also see the FindLaw Law Library for links to Introduction to the U.S.
Legal System, Guide to Hiring a Lawyer, and other links helpful to legal
researchers.

Online Legal Research Guides:

Most law school libraries (e.g., UCLA Law Library’s LibGuides) and county
law libraries (e.g., San Diego County Public Law Library) post research
guides on their Web sites. Use Cornell University Law Library’s Legal
Research Engine to find authoritative legal research guides on every subject,
search the legal Internet, and search academic blawgs (for commentary
from law professors).

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Online legal dictionaries:

Law.com Dictionary, U.S. Court’s Glossary, Lawyers.com Legal Dictionary,
Jurist’s Legal Dictionaries and FindLaw’s Practice Area Definitions.

The Pro Se Law Center: http://www.pro-selaw.org/

Although not a site for use by pro se litigants, this resource center on self-
representation in civil legal matters is mentioned here primarily because of
its searchable Pro-Se Organization Database. Researchers may also find the
White Papers and Research page which includes links to articles, books,
cases and opinions, court rules, ethics opinions, and reports to be useful.
Lastly, there is a page that provides links to court-based pro se programs
and services, organized by state.

List of Internet Sources Cited in this Chapter

Judicial Council of California, Report of the Task Force on Self-Represented Litigants and Statewide
Action Plan for Serving Self-Represented Litigants (February 2004):
http://www.courts.ca.gov/xbcr/cc/selfreplitsrept.pdf

Judicial Council of California, Fact Sheet: Programs for Self-Represented Litigants (February 2009):
http://www.courts.ca.gov/xbcr/cc/proper.pdf

Steven Weller et al. Report on the California Three Track Civil Litigation Study (July 31, 2002):
http://www.clrc.ca.gov/pub/BKST/BKST-3TrackCivJur.pdf

California Courts

Self-Help Center: http://www.courts.ca.gov/selfhelp.htm
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in Civil Cases:
http://www.courts.ca.gov/programs-adr.htm
Help from Your Court: http://www.courts.ca.gov/1083.htm

Your Public Law Library: http://www.publiclawlibrary.org/
Ask Now’s Law Librarian Service: http://www.247ref.org/portal/access_law3.cfm

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155

National Center for State Courts’ Self-Representation Resource Guide:
http://www.ncsc.org/Topics/Access-and-Fairness/Self-Representation/Resource-Guide.aspx

The State Bar of California’s Consumer Information Pamphlets:
http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Public/Pamphlets.aspx

American Bar Association: http://www.americanbar.org/aba.html
Public Resources: http://www.americanbar.org/portals/public_resources.html
Consumers’ Guide to Legal Help Pro Bono:
http://apps.americanbar.org/legalservices/findlegalhelp/home.cfm

Publishers:

Nolo Press: http://www.nolo.com/
Library: http://www.nolo.com/library/

Sphinx Publishing: http://www.sphinxlegal.com/

Legal Services Corporation (LSC): http://www.lsc.gov/index.php
LSC Programs: http://www.lsc.gov/map/state_T32_R6.php
Legal Services of Northern California: http://www.lsnc.info
Legal Aid Society of Orange County: http://www.legal-aid.com/
Central California Legal Services: http://www.centralcallegal.org/
Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles: http://www.lafla.org/index.php

LawHelpCalifornia.org: http://www.lawhelpcalifornia.org/CA/index.cfm
I-CAN!™ Legal California Videos: http://www.icandocs.org/ca/videos.html

Law School Clinics:

USC Small Business Clinic: http://mylaw2.usc.edu/why/academics/clinics/sbc/
Loyola Law School Los Angeles Caner Legal Resource Center:
http://www.lls.edu/academics/candp/clrc.html
UC Berkeley Boalt Hall’s East Bay Community Law Center:
http://www.law.berkeley.edu/4348.htm

Dictionaries:

Law.com: http://dictionary.law.com/
Lawyers.com Legal Dictionary: http://research.lawyers.com/glossary/
Jurist’s Legal Dictionaries: http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/dictionary.htm
FindLaw’s Practice Area Definitions:
http://public.findlaw.com/library/padefinitions.html
U.S. Court’s Glossary: http://www.uscourts.gov/Common/Glossary.aspx

Research Guides:
UCLA Law Library’s LibGuides: http://libguides.law.ucla.edu/

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156

San Diego County Public Law Library’s Research Guides:
http://www.sdcll.org/resources/guides.htm
Cornell University Law Library’s Legal Research Engine:

http://library.lawschool.cornell.edu/WhatWeDo/ResearchGuides/Legal-Research-Engine.cfm

157

Chapter 10

BIBLIOGRAPHY OF SELF-HELP RESOURCES

There has been a virtual explosion of legal information resources geared toward the
non-lawyer since the previous edition of this book was published in 2001. At that time,
Nolo Press was the primary source for books that might help the novice legal researcher
interpret the legalese of primary law materials (i.e., statutes, cases and regulations) or
learn how to proceed in handling a legal matter (e.g., filing a lawsuit, responding to a
summons, establishing copyright protection, changing your name, etc.). Indeed,
although Nolo Press continues to dominate the self-help arena, more publishers have
entered this field and, thanks to the Internet, what is available online not only
supplements, but often replaces, what is available in print.

This chapter consists of an annotated, selective bibliography of legal self-help books and
Web sites aimed at providing guidance to the non-attorney and non-law librarian in
California. For California resources outside the self-help arena, please see Chapter 5:
California Law and Chapter 6: Bibliography of California Resources of this publication.1

The books and Web sites listed below were selected because they have proven their
reliability over the years. The book titles and Web sites are arranged under the
following subject headings:

Art Law

Bankruptcy

Business Law

Includes corporations, limited liability companies and partnerships, small
businesses and nonprofits

Civil Procedure & Litigation

Includes enforcing judgments, superior & appellate court practice, personal
injury, traffic and small claims procedure, troublesome neighbors and their pets

Consumer & Individual Rights

Includes right of patients, privacy, and identity theft

1 See also Patricia Gima and Lisa Guerin, Nolo’s Guide to California Law, 11th ed. (Nolo, July 2011).

CHAPTER 10: BIBLIOGRAPHY OF SELF-HELP RESOURCES

158

Contract Law

Includes independent contractors and forms for personal use

Copyright, Trademarks & Patent Law

Criminal Law

Employment Law

Includes workers’ compensation, family and medical leave, and discrimination

Estate Planning

Includes wills and trusts, probate

Family Law

Includes marriage, divorce, unmarried couples, children, adoption, guardianship,
conservatorship, elder law, gay rights

Financial Planning

Includes credit and debt collection

Free Forms

Immigration Law

Landlord-Tenant Law

Lawyers

Includes attorney-client relationship, directories, bar associations, lawyer
referral

Legal Research

Public Record Data

Includes trial verdicts, dockets, registrar records

Real Property Law

Includes mortgages and foreclosures

Social Security

Includes Medicare

Tax Law

Veterans’ Rights & Benefits

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

159

Proceed with caution: Remember that laws are continually changing. Publishers attempt
to keep their resources current, but it is sometimes beyond their control. The books and
Web sites listed are current as of early November 2011. Because many public libraries
have Nolo Press books in their collections, please consult your local library catalog or
call the reference desk. In any case, the books included in this bibliography should be
available in any large county law library (see Appendix C for locations) or through your
local bookstores.

Art Law

Aharonian, Gregory & Richard Stim. Patenting Art & Entertainment: New Strategies for

Protecting Creative Ideas, 1st ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2004.
Gives instructions for how to document the creation of art, apply for a design or
utility patent, and do a patent search.

California Lawyers for the Arts. 1641 18th St., Santa Monica, CA 90404, (310) 998-5590,

Fax: (310) 998-5594, Web site: http://www.calawyersforthearts.org.
For a small fee, attorneys will provide a 30-minute consultation with clients on
topics of interest to artists (i.e., copyright, contract drafting and negotiation,
independent contractors, and mediation and arbitration). If appropriate, a client
may apply for assistance in CLA’s pro bono program.

Crawford, Tad. Legal Guide for the Visual Artist, 5th ed. New York, NY: Allworth Press,

2010.
Provides a comprehensive overview of the legal issues faced by visual artists.
The book covers: copyright, contracts, censorship, moral rights, sales taxes, estate
planning, museums, collecting, grants, graffiti art, privacy and the visual artists
and online copyright issues.

DuBoff, Leonard D. The Law (in Plain English) for Photographers, 3rd ed. New York, NY:

Allworth Press, 2010.
Intended to answer the professional photographer’s business and legal
questions. Topics include: copyright, contracts and remedies, defamation and
libel, censorship, taxes, estate planning, leases and insurance. There is also
information on right of publicity laws protecting images of deceased celebrities,
post-9/11 restrictions on photographing in “sensitive” environments and online
registration procedures at the Copyright Office.

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Fishman, Stephen. The Public Domain: How to Find Copyright-Free Writings, Music, Art &
More, 5th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2010.
Helps find and identify creative works that are not protected by copyright.
Includes information on the “copyright commons.”

Stim, Richard. Getting Permission: How to License & Clear Copyrighted Materials Online &

Off, 4th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2010.
Discusses how to use copyrighted materials, including information on public
domain, fair use, academic permission, and the use of trademarks. Includes
agreements for acquiring authorization to use copyrighted materials.

Stim, Richard. Music Law: How to Run Your Band’s Business, 6th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo

Press, 2009.
How to book performances, copyright song lyrics, sign contracts, write a band
partnership agreement, and trademark a band name, sell music, find a manager,
and much more.

Bankruptcy

American Bar Association. The American Bar Association Guide to Credit & Bankruptcy,

2nd ed. New York, NY: Random House Reference, 2009.
The first part of the book provides an overview of consumer credit, explains
important federal laws governing consumer credit, credit cards, credit reports,
credit scoring and discusses other important terms and conditions of common
credit extensions. In the second part of the book, the authors discuss the different
types of bankruptcy and what the process of filing for bankruptcy entails.

Elias, Stephen R. Albin Renauer, & Robin Leonard. How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy,

17th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2011.
Information on when and how to file your own bankruptcy. Gives details on
what are exempt assets and non-dischargeable debts, what you get to keep and
what you have to give back, how bankruptcy will affect your credit rating in the
future, and whether or not bankruptcy is the proper course for you to take. All
forms and instructions necessary for filing are included.

Elias, Stephen R. The New Bankruptcy: Will It Work for You? 4th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo

Press, 2011.
Discusses the different types of bankruptcy, eligibility issues, and what types of

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

161

debts can be discharged. Includes forms, charts, worksheets and procedures.

Leonard, Robin. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: Keep Your Property & Repay Debts Over Time, 10th
ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2010.
Learn how to determine if you qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, stop a
foreclosure, and construct a repayment plan.

U.S. Courts, Official Bankruptcy Forms.

Available at http://www.uscourts.gov/FormsAndFees/Forms/BankruptcyForms.aspx
The Official Bankruptcy Forms may be used by the public. The forms are fillable
and may be downloaded in Adobe Acrobat. Many forms include instructions
and committee notes.

Business Law

American Bar Association. The American Bar Association Legal Guide for Small Business,

2nd ed. New York, NY: Random House Reference, 2010.
Guide to starting a small business, including initial set up and financing,
employment laws, safety issues and insurance, extending credit, franchising,
copyrights and trademarks, business taxes, retirement and selling the business.

Better Business Bureau (http://www.bbb.org)

Locate your local better business bureau, get information about a company, file a
complaint about a company, etc.

Bray, Ilona. Effective Fundraising for Nonprofits: Real-World Strategies That Work, 3rd ed.

Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2010.
Explains how to work with individual donors, plan events, solicit grants, start a
side business, and more.

California Secretary of State (http://www.sos.ca.gov/)
California Secretary of State Web site provides step-by-step instructions for
starting a business in California through the “California Business Portal.”

Fishman, Stephen. Nonprofit Fundraising Registration: The 50-State Guide, 1st ed. Berkeley,

CA: Nolo Press, 2010.

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162

Discusses how to solicit funds from out-of-state donors. Includes information on
exceptions, how to register in different states, filing requirements, a tutorial for
the Unified Registration Statement, and contact information for each state.

Mancuso, Anthony. The California Nonprofit Corporation Kit, 7th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo
Press, 2009.
Step-by-step instructions on how to choose a name, draft articles and bylaws,
and attain favorable tax status to get your non-profit corporation started. Comes
complete with all necessary forms and ten membership certificates.

Mancuso, Anthony. The Corporate Records Handbook: Meetings, Minutes & Resolutions, 5th

ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2010.
Contains forms and instructions including calling a meeting, participation list,
notice and cancellation of meeting, shareholder proxy, annual meetings,
approval of corporate meetings, and much more.

Mancuso, Anthony. Form Your Own Limited Liability Company, 7th ed. Berkeley, CA:

Nolo Press, 2011.
How to set up a limited liability company in any state, including how to choose a
valid name, prepare and file articles of organization, and manage an LLC.

Mancuso, Anthony. How to Form a Nonprofit Corporation, 10th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo

Press, 2011.
Includes complete instructions for obtaining federal 501(c) (3) tax exemption and
for qualifying for public charity status.

Mancuso, Anthony. How to Form a Nonprofit Corporation in California, 14th ed. Berkeley,

CA: Nolo Press, 2011.
Includes complete instructions for obtaining federal 501(c) (3) tax exemption and
for qualifying for public charity status. Discusses California’s specific legal and
tax requirements.

Mancuso, Anthony. How to Form Your Own California Corporation, 14th ed. Berkeley, CA:
Nolo Press, 2011.
Contains information on how to form your corporation and how to issue and sell
stock, tax issues, and post-incorporation paperwork.

Mancuso, Anthony. LLC or Corporation? How to Choose the Right Form for Your Business,
4th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2010.
Provides easy-to-understand explanations of the basics of business entities, how

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

163

each entity protects you from liability, differing tax treatments, how to convert a
business from one entity to another, and how to conduct business out of state.

Mancuso, Anthony. Nolo’s Quick LLC: All You Need to Know About Limited Liability

Companies, 6th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2011.
Essential information for business owners in any state: how LLCs are formed by
filing articles of organization with the state, the required ongoing legal and tax
paperwork, choosing between a member run and manager run LLC. Includes
URLs and phone numbers for where to get required LLC forms.

Mancuso, Anthony. Your Limited Liability Company: An Operating Manual, 6th ed.

Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2010.
Advises business owners on how to maintain the legal validity of their LLC
including tips on preparation of management minutes and how to fill out an LLC
records book. State LLC statutes and state filing office locations are included.
Forms are reprinted in the book and on accompanying CD-Rom.

McKeever, Mike. How to Write a Business Plan, 10th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2010.
Learn how to estimate operating expenses, prepare cash flow, create profit and
loss forecasts, determine assets and liabilities, and present your plan to lenders
and investors.

Pakroo, Peri H. The Small Business Start-Up Kit for California, 8th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo

Press, 2010.
Explains how to choose a business structure, write a business plan, file the right
forms, draft contracts, manage finances, and file taxes. Includes CD-ROM.

Pakroo, Peri H. Starting & Building a Nonprofit: A Practical Guide, 4th ed. Berkeley, CA:

Nolo Press. 2011.
Includes step-by-step instructions on how to structure a nonprofit, choose a
federal tax-exempt status, create a mission statement, and develop a strategic
plan and initial budget, and much more.

Sargent, Dennis & Martha Sargent. Retire – & Start Your Own Business: Five Steps to
Success, 1st ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2008.
Discusses how to generate business ideas and understand important legal,
financial and tax matters. Includes exercises designed to help you understand
what you want from your business.

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164

Steingold, Fred S. Legal Forms for Starting & Running a Small Business, 6th ed. Berkeley,
CA: Nolo Press, 2010.
Contains 70 forms covering topics including business contracts, hiring
employees, trade secrets, non-compete agreements, borrowing and lending
money, leasing space, and bylaws.

Steingold, Fred S. Legal Guide for Starting and Running a Small Business, 12th ed. Berkeley,
CA: Nolo Press, 2011.
Includes information on how to get licenses and permits, how to buy or sell a
business, how to insure your business, how to hire independent contractors, how
to understand small business tax law, and many other day-to-day issues.

Warner, Ralph & Denis Clifford. Form a Partnership: The Complete Legal Guide, 8th ed.

Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2008.
Provides an overview of partnership agreements, buy-outs, partnership disputes,
and taxes. CD-ROM includes partnership agreement forms.

Civil Procedure & Litigation

American Arbitration Association (http://www.adr.org)
A non-profit provider of dispute resolution services. The Web site has news,

rules for commercial and civil arbitration and links to additional resources on
mediation.

Bergman, Paul and Albert Moore. Nolo’s Deposition Handbook, 5th ed. Berkeley, CA:

Nolo Press, 2010.
Explains how to prepare for a deposition, respond to questions, and ask the right

questions.

Bergman, Paul & Sara J. Bergman-Barrett. Represent Yourself in Court: How to Prepare &

Try a Winning Case, 7th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2010.
How to handle a civil court case from start to finish. Includes analyzing whether

you have a good case, lining up witnesses, how to present testimony, how to
cross-examine opponents, and many other aspects of litigation.

Brown, David. Fight Your Ticket and Win in California, 14th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press,

2011.

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This book helps readers prepare and present evidence, argue before a judge,
cross-examine a police officer’s testimony. Includes legal information relevant to
California drivers. This author has a similar book, Beat Your Ticket, also published
by Nolo Press.

California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District. Civil Appellate Practices and

Procedures for the Self-Represented. Los Angeles, CA: California Court of Appeal,
2008.

Step-by-step manual to appealing a civil case in the California Court of Appeal,
Second Appellate District. The appendices include a timeline and glossary. The
final section of the book contains sample forms and instructions for filling them
out. The self-help manual (linked above) may be downloaded for free in its
entirety or individual chapters viewed on the California Courts Web site.

California Department of Consumer Affairs. Small Claims Court: A Guide to Its Practical
Uses.

This guide is available at the Small Claims Court Clerk’s Office, by calling the
Consumer Affairs’ Publications Hotline at (800) 952-5210, in PDF at
http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/small_claims/index.shtml, or by sending an
order form to Department of Consumer Affairs, Policy & Publications
Development Office, 1625 N. Market Blvd. Ste. N-112, Sacramento, CA 95834.
The Department of Consumer Affairs has publications on a variety of concerns to
consumers (i.e., contracts, credit, hiring contractors, smog, etc.).

Duncan, Roderic. Win Your Lawsuit: Sue in California Superior Court Without a Lawyer, 4th

ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2010.
Step-by-step guide through the entire process of a limited jurisdiction case in

California Superior Court. Includes information on common civil court issues,
such as contract disputes, personal injuries, property damage, and business
disputes.

Goren, Julie A. California Civil Litigation and Discovery, 4th ed. (Litigation by the

Numbers Substantive Companion). Los Angeles, CA: Lawdable Press, 2011.
According to the publisher description, this book “takes a substantive approach
to litigation (e.g., what the pleadings should say, rather than what they look like)
referring to “Litigation by the Numbers” for up-to-date information on format
and filing and service deadlines. It’s for anyone wanting more in-depth
information about litigation.”

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Goren, Julie A. Litigation by the Numbers, 4th ed. Los Angeles, CA: Lawdable Press, 2003-.
Updated every January and July, this loose-leaf is designed to walk the reader
through the entire lifecycle of a California state court civil lawsuit. It provides
step-by-step instructions on how to take a case from filing all the way to
enforcement of a judgment.

Jasper, Margaret C. Pet Law. New York: Oceana Publications, 2007.

From Oceana’s Law for the Layperson Series. Contents include “no pet” lease
clauses, pet licensing and leash laws, nuisance pets and dangerous dog laws,
traveling with your pet, wrongful death or injury to a pet, estate planning for
your pet, importing a pet to the United States, and animal welfare.

Jordan, Cora and Emily Doskow. Neighbor Law: Fences, Trees, Boundaries & Noise, 7th ed.

Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2011.
This book answers the basic questions that often trouble neighbors: fences, trees,

boundaries and noise.

Judicial Council of California, Self-Help Center (http://www.courts.ca.gov/selfhelp.htm)
The site is “intended to help a person find legal assistance, learn about California

law, work better with an attorney, and represent yourself in some legal matters.”
The site does not provide legal advice.

Luten, Susan Burnett. California Civil Litigation, 5th ed. Clifton Park, NY: Delmar

Cengage Learning, 2009.
This book covers civil litigation in California state courts and California federal
district courts. It follows the litigation process chronologically from initial client
questions and contracts, to ethical issues, through the pleading and discovery
phases, to trial, post-trial and appeal. The book is intended to be used on its own,
or with the companion study guide.

Matthews, Joseph. How to Win Your Personal Injury Claim, 7th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo

Press, 2009.
How to protect your rights after an accident, how to evaluate what the claim is

worth, how to negotiate a fair settlement and more.

Randolph, Mary. Every Dog’s Legal Guide: A Must-Have Book for Your Owner, 6th ed.
Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2007.

Discusses dog owner liability, animal cruelty, estate planning, and licensing
issues.

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U. S. Courts, Post Judgment Interest Rates.
Available at http://www.utd.uscourts.gov/documents/judgpage.html
Access rates from the most recent auction of 52-week Treasury bills.

Warner, Ralph. Everybody’s Guide to Small Claims Court in California, 13th ed. Berkeley,

CA: Nolo Press, 2010.
This book guides you step-by-step through small claims procedure, providing

practical information on how to evaluate your case, file and serve the papers,
prepare and present the case, and then collect when you win. Several types of
cases are discussed, including landlord-tenant and vehicle accident.

Consumer & Individual Rights

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) (http://www.aclu.org). Wye Mills, Maryland;

ACLU Publications, 800-775-ACLU.
The ACLU Web site identifies resources on a multitude of legal based consumer
concerns; i.e., rights of the poor, families, Indians and tribes, public employees,
the right to privacy, and the rights of women, lesbians and gay men.

Annas, George J. The Rights of Patients: The Authoritative ACLU Guide to the Rights of

Patients, 3rd ed. New York: New York University Press, 2004.
Discusses such topics as informed consent, emergency treatment, refusing
treatment, confidentiality and malpractice.

California Department of Justice. Legal Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Sacramento,

CA: California Department of Justice, 2003 (with 2006 updates).
Discusses both California and federal laws that protect the rights of individuals

with disabilities. The above link will open a PDF 842 kb/85 pgs.

California Department of Justice. Unlawful Discrimination: Your Rights and Remedies: Civil

Rights Handbook, 3rd ed. Sacramento, CA: California Department of Justice, 2001.
Provides a practical guide for the public on California and federal civil rights
law.

Consumer Action Handbook. Pueblo, CO: Federal Consumer Information Center, 2011.

A free copy of the Consumer Action Handbook can be ordered at
http://www.usa.gov/consumer-action-handbook/order-form.shtml and viewed
online at http://www.usa.gov/topics/consumer/consumer-action-handbook.pdf.

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The Consumer Protection page (http://www.consumeraction.gov/index.shtml)
includes links to information on a variety of consumer topics, instructions on
how (and where) to file a complaint, and lists of other publications dealing with
corporations, automobiles, utilities, securities, banking and insurance and
includes materials in Spanish. Note that as of July 2011, Consumer Action.gov
merged with USA.gov.

Federal Trade Commission (http://www.ftc.gov)
The FTC “is the only federal agency with both consumer protection and
competition jurisdiction in broad sectors of the economy.” Its work is performed
by the Bureaus of Consumer Protection, Competition and Economics and aided
by the Office of General Counsel and seven regional offices. For consumer
complaints contact the Consumer Response Center at 877-FTC-HELP (382-4357);
9:00am to 5:00pm Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday. The Web site
includes a tabbed page called “Consumer Protection,” also available in Spanish,
which includes consumer and business information, information on how to file a
complaint, and, under “Resources,” regulatory guidance documents by topic,
featured articles, a catalog of all cases brought by the agency since June 1996, and
a list of all Commission actions organized by date.

Jasper, Margaret C. Consumer Rights Law, 2nd ed. New York: Oceana, 2008.

From Oceana’s Law for the Layperson Series. Contents include consumer
product safety, the Consumer Credit Protection Act, consumer banking,
automobiles, and health care rights.

Jasper, Margaret C. Privacy and the Internet: Your Expectations and Rights Under the Law,

2nd ed. New York: Oceana, 2009.
From Oceana’s Law for the Layperson Series. Contents include information on
securing your computer, email and Internet scams, online financial services,
protecting children’s privacy online, socializing on the Internet, and Internet
identity theft.

Jasper, Margaret C. Transportation Law: Passenger Rights and Responsibilities. New York:

Oceana, 2009.
From Oceana’s Law for the Layperson Series. Contents cover common carriers,
airlines, the rights of travelers with disabilities, railroads, buses, and cruise ships.

Mitic, Scott. Stopping Identity Theft: 10 Easy Steps to Security, 1st ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo

Press, 2009.

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Discusses why shopping in stores can be riskier than shopping online, how to
spot scammers in any situation, how to build a social networking profile without
being the victim of fake “friends,” how to secure your bank accounts, keep your
personal and public records safe, limit your risk to medical identity theft, and
keep your children and elders’ identities secure.

National Consumer Law Center (http://www.nclc.org/)

Non-profit corporation offers technical assistance, publications and training to
lawyers. According to the agency’s Web site, attorneys from all over the world
view the center’s books as authority for consumer law.

Contract Law

Fishman, Stephen. Consultant and Independent Contractor Agreements, 7th ed. Berkeley,

CA: Nolo Press, 2011.
For those contracting their services to others or hiring independent contractors.
Instructions on how to put your agreement in writing, define a project’s scope,
components and duration, satisfy IRS requirements, and avoid disputes. Includes
forms and electronic agreements in the book and on CD-ROM.

Fishman, Stephen. Working for Yourself: Law & Taxes for Independent Contractors,

Freelancers & Consultants, 8th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2011.
Includes sample agreements, forms, lists of state sales tax agencies and state
offices that provide small business help. Also covers insuring your business,
record keeping and pricing your services.

Stim, Richard. Contracts, 1st ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2010.
Defines common contract terms, discusses the importance of contractual clauses

and how to change them, and focuses on the legal rules for electronic contracts.
Also includes sample contracts and clauses.

Warner, Ralph & Robin Leonard. 101 Forms for Personal Use, 8th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo

Press, 2011.
Available as tear-outs and on CD-ROM, the forms include bills of sale for buying
and selling personal property, promissory notes for lending and borrowing, a
basic will form and general power of attorney form, contracts for in-home child
care, releases for settlement disputes, notices for dealing with telemarketers, and
contracts for home repair and remodeling.

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Copyright, Trademarks & Patent Law

Elias, Stephen R. Trademark: Legal Care for Your Business and Product Name, 9th ed.

Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2010.
This book is designed for the small business and shows how to trademark the
name of a service or product. The procedures for conducting a trademark search
and registering a trademark are also covered, as well as the necessary forms and
instructions.

Fishman, Stephen. The Copyright Handbook: What Every Writer Needs to Know, 11th ed.

Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2011.
Provides step-by-step instructions and forms for protecting all types of written
works under both U.S. and international copyright law. It also covers fair use
and copyright infringement.

Hitchcock, David. Patent Searching Made Easy: How to Do Patent Searches on the Internet

and in the Library, 5th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2009.
Includes information on how to verify the patent status of an idea, search Patent
and Depository Libraries, and use online patent search services.

Pressman, David. Patent It Yourself, 15th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2011.

Step-by-step procedures for protecting, patenting and selling an invention.
Covers use, licensing and marketing advice. Contains forms and a bibliography
of related materials.

Pressman, David & Richard Stim. Nolo’s Patents for Beginners, 6th ed. Berkeley, CA:

Nolo Press, 2009.
Step-by-step explanations of how to use basic patent principles, document an
invention, acquire patent rights, determine patent ownership, and find patent
information. Provides sample forms and letters and a glossary of terms.

Stim, Richard. Getting Permission: How to License & Clear Copyrighted Materials Online &

Off, 4th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2010.
This book includes agreements as tear-outs and on CD-Rom for the authorized
use of text, photographs, artwork and music.

Stim, Richard. Patents, Copyright & Trademark: An Intellectual Property Desk Reference,

11th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2010.
Discusses issues such as who owns creative works and how to protect ownership

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rights, resolve intellectual property disputes and transfer rights to others.

Tancs, Linda A. Understanding Trademark Law: A Beginner’s Guide. New York: Oceana,

2009.
From Oceana’s Law for the Layperson Series. Contents include types of
applications and registrations, the PTO trademark application process,
international applications, monetizing trademarks, infringement issues, and
Internet issues regarding trademarks.

U.S. Copyright Office (http://www.copyright.gov)

The Copyright Office Web site provides copyright laws, regulations, copyright
forms, copyright legislation, and copyright links to GPO Access, WIPO and
URAA agreements. U.S. Copyright Office records are available for searching at
this web site from 1978 to date. This includes COHM (all materials except serials
and documents), COHD (documents) and COHS (serials). For the period 1891 to
1978, check the Catalog of Copyright Entries available at many larger public
libraries. The Copyright Office Web site cautions users about the
inconclusiveness and exceptions in conducting copyright investigations. Many
public libraries are equipped to assist users in searching copyright records and
the office will provide searches and other records for a fee set by statute.

U. S. Patent & Trademark Office (http://www.uspto.gov)

The USPTO’s official site provides instructions on how to search for trademarks
and patents and apply for patent and trademark rights. Patent grants are
searchable in full text since 1976; patent applications are searchable from March
15, 2001. The trademark electronic application system (TEAS) allows online
application filing through e-TEAS or PRINTEAS if the form cannot be filed
electronically. To discover if a trademark is previously registered electronically,
select TESS (U.S. Trademark Electronic Search System) from the home page of
the Patent and Trademark Office. TESS contains more than 3 million pending,
registered and dead federal trademarks.

Criminal Law

Belanger, L. Powell. The Prisoner’s Guide to Survival: a Comprehensive Legal Assistance

Manual for Post-Conviction Relief and Prisoners’ Civil Rights Actions. Lynden, WA:
PSI Publishing, Inc., 2001.

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This guide is intended for federal pro se litigants and attorneys involved in
federal criminal appeals and prison civil rights actions. It covers post-conviction
remedies and prisoner civil rights complaints.

Bergman, Paul & Sara J. Berman-Barrett. The Criminal Law Handbook: Know Your Rights,

Survive the System, 12th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2011.
Explains how the system works, including arrests, booking, preliminary

hearings, bail, arraignment, plea bargains, and sentencing.

Boston, John and Daniel E. Manville. Prisoners’ Self-Help Litigation Manual, 4th ed. New
York, NY: Oceana, 2010.
The focus of this comprehensive prisoner’s rights manual is on civil litigation. It
does not deal with criminal law-related matters, such as post-conviction
remedies and detainers. Includes information on all aspects of prison life as well
as material on legal research, legal writing, types of legal remedies and how to
effectively use those remedies.

Jasper, Margaret C. The Law of Violence Against Women, 2nd ed. New York: Oceana, 2007.
From Oceana’s Law for the Layperson Series. Contents include domestic

violence, sexual assault, the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act
(SORNA), stalking, teenage dating violence, battered immigrant women and
children, and human trafficking and the sex trade.

Judicial Council of California. California Courts Self-Help Center for Criminal Law.
(http://www.courts.ca.gov/selfhelp-criminallaw.htm).

Contains a section on how to clean up your criminal record, as well as links to
relevant Web sites and forms.

MacKay, Heather and the Prison Law Office. The California State Prisoners Handbook:

Everything You Need to Know about Prison and Parole Law, 4th ed. San Quentin, CA:
The Prison Law Office, 2008.

Discusses in detail the laws governing prisoner rights and the policies and
practices of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Also
includes sample forms and model pleadings. Updated by supplement.

Prison Law Office. State Habeas Corpus Procedure: A Manual for California Prisoners. San

Quentin, CA: the Prison Law Office, 2008.
Step-by-step guide to California state habeas corpus process, including court
forms and sample court pleadings. Links to 29-page PDF.

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Employment Law

Ball, Christopher A. California Workers’ Comp: How to Take Charge When You’re Injured on

the Job, 8th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2010.
Outlines steps in filing a claim, dealing with insurance companies and presenting
a case at a hearing and instructions on how to rate a disability using the new
workers’ comp rating manual.

DelPo, Amy & Lisa Guerin. Dealing with Problem Employees: A Legal Guide, 6th ed.

Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2011.
Find out how to recognize a problem employee, investigate complaints, and
suspend or fire employees.

Guerin, Lisa. The Essential Guide to Workplace Investigations: How to Handle Employee

Complaints & Problems, 2nd ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2010.
Includes a 10-step plan that can be used to resolve workplace complaints, such as
harassment, discrimination, violence, and employee theft. Also includes forms,
checklists and sample policies for all 50 states.

Guerin, Lisa & Amy DelPo. Create Your Own Employee Handbook: A Legal & Practical
Guide, 5th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2011.
Topics covered include at-will employment, hiring, payroll, performance
evaluations, discrimination, complaints, leave, and discipline.

Guerin, Lisa & Deborah C. England. The Essential Guide to Family & Medical Leave, 2nd

ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2009.
Discusses the Family Medical Leave Act, including who qualifies for leave, how
much leave is allowed, and what notice obligations are present. Includes a CD-
Rom with checklists, forms and worksheets.

Guerin, Lisa & Amy DelPo. The Essential Guide to Federal Employment Laws, 3rd ed.

Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2011.
Legal topics covered include the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age
Discrimination in Employment Act, the Equal Pay Act, and the Family and
Medical Leave Act.

Jasper, Margaret C. Employment Discrimination Law Under Title VII, 2nd ed. New York:

Oceana, 2008.

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From Oceana’s Law for the Layperson Series. Contents include filing a
discrimination charge, the EEOC mediation program, discrimination on the basis
of race or color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability and additional bases
of discrimination.

Jasper, Margaret C. Workers’ Compensation Law, 2nd ed. New York: Oceana, 2008.
From Oceana’s Law for the Layperson Series. Contents include an overview of

workers’ compensation, filing the workers’ compensation claim, workers’
compensation benefits, the federal employees’ compensation program, the black
lung benefits program, the energy employee’s occupational compensation
program and additional federal disability programs.

Mader-Clark, Margie. Job Description Handbook, 2nd ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2008.
This book will help you create good job descriptions, evaluate employees’ job
performance, and hire qualified employees.

Repa, Barbara Kate. Your Rights in the Workplace, 9th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2010.

Discusses illegal firings, how to challenge job loss, privacy, safety, testing,
harassment, discrimination, and worker’s compensation.

Rosenfeld, David A., Miles E. Locker, and Nina G. Fendel. California Workers’ Rights: A

Manual of Job Rights, Protections, and Remedies, 4th ed. Berkeley, CA: UC Berkeley
Labor Center, 2010.
Provides a basic overview of the legal protections for workers under California
and federal law. The focus is on selected areas: rights during the hiring process,
investigations and police records, wages and hours, benefits, discrimination,
health and safety, workers’ compensation, union organizing, whistleblower
protections, discharge and disciplinary actions and medical leave.

Steingold, Fred S. The Employer’s Legal Handbook, 10th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press,

2011.
This handbook includes information related to hiring, personnel, wages,
employee benefits, OSHA requirements, discrimination, termination, and
relevant laws.

Steingold, Fred S. Hiring Your First Employee, 1st ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2008.
Discusses how to determine salary and benefits, write a job description, find and
screen applicants, maintain employee files, deposit payroll taxes, and
troubleshoot employee problems.

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Estate Planning

American Bar Association. The American Bar Association Guide to Wills and Estates, 3rd ed.

New York, NY: Random House Reference, 2009.
Comprehensive guide to planning an estate, preparing a will or trust and
minimizing inheritance taxes.

Barnes, Richard. Estate Planning for Blended Families: Providing for Your Spouse & Children

in a Second Marriage, 1st ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2009.
Provides information on estate and gift taxes in a second marriage, choosing
executors, trustees, and guardians, and working with lawyers, financial planners
and other experts. Includes sample estate plans, current tax information for your
state, and the latest information about which federal and state laws apply to you.

Clifford, Denis. Estate Planning Basics, 6th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2011.

Learn how to chose a beneficiary, and create a will or living trust. The book also
discusses probate-avoidance and estate tax reduction methods.

Clifford, Denis. Make Your Own Living Trust, 10th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2011.

How to avoid probate through the use of living trusts. Explains how living trusts
work, how to create the trust and transfer property to it. Includes instructions
and forms needed to create a basic living trust, a marital life estate trust and a
back-up will. Not applicable in Louisiana.

Clifford, Denis. Quick & Legal Will Book, 6th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2011.

Provides forms and step-by-step instructions to make a basic will. Topics include
naming beneficiaries, choosing a guardian, setting up a trust, naming an
executor, finalizing a will, and changing or revoking a will.

Clifford, Denis. Plan Your Estate, 10th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2010.

Detailed information about the many aspects of estate planning. Includes
information on estate and gift taxes, trusts, durable powers of attorney, living
wills, funerals and burials. Not applicable to the state of Louisiana.

Cullen, Melanie & Shae Irving. Get It Together: Organize Your Records So Your Family

Won’t Have To, 4th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2010.
Shows you how to keep track of instructions for survivors, passwords, final
arrangements, estate planning documents, employment records, insurance
policies, tax records, retirement accounts, government benefits, and real estate

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records.

Elias, Stephen R. Special Needs Trusts: Protect Your Child’s Financial Future, 4th ed.

Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2011.
Learn how to leave money for a disabled loved one without jeopardizing
government benefits. Special trusts can pay for things like annual checkups,
transportation, insurance, and rehabilitation.

Irving, Shae. Living Wills and Powers of Attorney for California, 3rd ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo

Press, 2009.
With CD-ROM. Provides step-by-step instructions for the creation of a living
will, a durable power of attorney, and a do-not-resuscitate order.

Nissley, Julia P. How to Probate an Estate in California, 21th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press,

2011.
Written for the layperson that is responsible for guiding an estate through the
probate process. Explains how to read a will, handle probate paperwork, collect
benefits owed to the estate, pay bills and taxes and distribute property.

Randolph, Mary. 8 Ways to Avoid Probate, 8th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2010.

This book discusses payable-on-death accounts, naming beneficiaries, small
estates, joint ownership of property, living trusts, and making gifts.

Randolph, Mary. The Executor’s Guide: Settling a Loved One’s Estate or Trust, 4th ed.

Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2010.
This guide helps you understand legal procedures and terminology, including
claiming benefits, making sense of a will, taxes, probate court, trusts, and how to
look up state laws.

Family Law

American Bar Association. You and Your Aging Parents: The American Bar Association

Guide to Legal, Financial, and Health Care Issues. New York, NY: Random House
Reference, 2009.
Covers the social issues faced by family caregivers in an easy to follow question-
and-answer format. Topics covered include housing options, the basics of elder
abuse, and mental health concerns. There is also a chapter on taking care of the
caregiver.

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Brown, David & Emily Doskow. The Guardianship Book for California: How to Become a
Child’s Legal Guardian, 8th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2011.

Learn how to obtain legal guardianship, enroll a minor in school, make medical
decisions, prepare and file paperwork, obtain temporary guardianship, and end
guardianship.

California Department of Child Support Services. Child Support Handbook. Sacramento,
CA: California Department of Child Support Services, 2011.
This booklet provides general information about California’s child support
services program and child support laws. Click on the link above to download
the 36-page PDF (3.83MB).

Center for Families, Children & the Courts (CFCC). Contains links to many
publications, covering areas such as child support, delinquency, domestic
violence, and self-represented litigants. The primary purpose of the CFCC is to
maximize the effectiveness of court services for children and families. Contact
information: 455 Golden Gate Ave., 6th floor, San Francisco, CA 94102-3660;
phone number 415-865-7739; and e-mail at [email protected].

Clifford, Denis et al. A Legal Guide for Lesbian and Gay Couples, 15th ed. Berkeley, CA:
Nolo Press, 2010.

This practical book covers all the important legal aspects of living and working
together as a gay/lesbian couple. Straightforward information explains the legal
options and alternatives of child custody and visitation rights; relating to former
spouses; foster children and adoption; buying and selling houses; transferring
deeds; dividing property; living-together arrangements; and planning for death.
Included are sample letters, forms and agreements.

Doskow, Emily. Nolo’s Essential Guide to Divorce, 3rd ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2010.
Helps you understand the divorce process, work with mediators or lawyers,

avoid expensive court battles, figure out alimony, establish child custody and
visitation, determine child support, divide money and property, and draft a
marital settlement agreement.

Doshow, Emily and Marcia Stewart. The Legal Answer Book for Families, 1st ed. Berkeley,

CA: Nolo Press, 2011.
A reference book that includes an overview of the laws that affect families,
answers to everyday legal questions, and a collection of family law rules and
resources, with details for all 50 states.

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Duncan, Roderic. A Judge’s Guide to Divorce: Uncommon Advice from the Bench, 1st ed.
Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2007.

Alternatives to divorce court, courtroom etiquette, dividing property,
determining alimony and child support, settling custody and visitation issues,
and enforcing court orders.

ElderWeb (http://www.elderweb.com)
ElderWeb includes over 6,000 reviewed links to topics such as long term care,

finance and technology.

Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law. California Family Law Basics. Los Angeles, CA:

Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law, 2010.
Manual to the current forms in California dissolution and paternity cases.

Hegland, Kenney F. and Robert B. Fleming. New Times, New Challenges: Law and Advice

for Savvy Seniors and their Families. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2010.
Written by a law professor, the first part of the book deals with living wills and
the aging process. The second part of the book is divided into six sections. Topics
include: retirement, family matters, elder abuse, estate planning, disability and
death in the family, and getting help.

Hertz, Frederick and Emily Doskow. Making It Legal: A Guide to Same-Sex Marriage,

Domestic Partnerships & Civil Unions, 2nd ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2011.
A guide to same-sex relationship laws in the United States. Reviews the issues
that influence the decision to marry and breaks down the complex and ever-
changing rules of same-sex relationship laws.

Hunter, Nan D. et al, The Rights of Lesbians, Gay Men, Bisexuals, and Transgender People:

The Authoritative ACLU Guide, 4th ed. New York: New York University Press,
2004.

Discusses such topics as government employees, criminal law, the military,
immigration, relationships, parenting, housing, employment in the private
sector, and people with HIV/AIDS.

Jacobs, Thomas A. What are my Rights?: 95 Questions and Answers about Teens and the Law.

Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit Pub., 2006.
The questions and answers in this book are divided into categories including

parental authority, school, employment, health, violence against youth and
emancipation. The final chapter discusses the consequences of breaking the law
and provides basic legal information on the legal system.

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Jasper, Margaret C. Guardianship, Conservatorship and the Law. New York: Oceana, 2008.
From Oceana’s Law for the Layperson Series. Contents include guardianship of a

minor and incapacitated adult, mental health guardianship and civil
commitment, standby guardianship, conservatorship, and alternatives to
guardianship and conservatorship.

Jasper, Margaret C. The Law of Adoption. New York: Oceana, 2008.
From Oceana’s Law for the Layperson Series. Contents include types of

adoption, the adoption process, the costs of adoption and the available resources,
consent and termination of parental rights, post-adoption considerations, and
international adoption.

Jasper, Margaret C. Marriage and Divorce, 3rd ed. New York: Oceana, 2008.
From Oceana’s Law for the Layperson Series. Contents include the prenuptial

agreement, separation and divorce, property distribution and financial issues,
child support, child custody and cohabitation and same-sex relationships.

Judicial Council of California. Center for Families, Children & the Courts. Going to Court

without a Lawyer: Handbook for Litigants: a Guide for Handling Uncontested Divorce
and Legal Separation. San Francisco, CA: Judicial Council of California, 2007.

Explains the court process and legal forms needed for an uncontested divorce,
legal separation or annulment. [40-page PDF]

Lyster, Mimi E. Building a Parenting Agreement that Works: How to Put Your Kids First

When Your Marriage Doesn’t Last, 7th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2010.
Presents different parenting issues as well as options for solving them. Some of

the issues discussed include medical care, education, religion, living
arrangements, holidays, and money.

Matthews, Joseph L. Long-Term Care: How to Plan & Pay for It, 8th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo

Press, 2010.
Learn how to evaluate long-term care insurance, arrange home care, chose a

nursing facility, explore options beyond nursing homes, use Medicare and
Medicaid, protect your assets, and prevent elder fraud.

O’Reilly, James T. How to Protect Elders from Harm. New York: Oceana, 2009.
From Oceana’s Law for the Layperson Series. Contents cover understanding the
risks to the safety of elders, how the government protects elders against risk,
remedies for injury at home, traffic-related risks of harm, hospital-related harms,
nursing home risks of harm, remedies for home and assisted-living health care

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risks, medication issues for elders, protecting elders from financial harms and
thefts, abuse and assault, and managing interaction with government officials.

Sedano, Lisa & Emily Doshow. How to Change Your Name in California, 13th ed.

Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2011.
This book is aimed at women who wish to retain their maiden names at
marriage, regain maiden names after divorce, or alter children’s names, or those
who wish to adopt a name more fitting to their life-styles. Includes the tear-out
forms and instructions necessary for the court petition and change of name.

Sherman, Charles E. How to Do Your Own Divorce in California: A Complete Kit for the Out-

of-Court Divorce, 34th ed. Santa Cruz, CA: Nolo Press Occidental, 2011.
Contains all the necessary court forms and instructions for an uncontested

dissolution, a divorce that can be settled out of court. Coverage extends to how
to start a divorce proceeding, differences between nullity, dissolution, summary
dissolution, legal separation and the grounds for each. How to divide property
is also discussed.

Sherman, Ed. How to Solve Divorce Problems in California: How to Manage a Contested

Divorce – In or Out of Court, 9th ed. Santa Cruz, CA: Nolo Press Occidental, 2011.
Covers cases that are gently contested to flat out wars (with or without an

attorney), explains how to understand and plan your case, how to get
information from the other side, how to respond to legal action, and how to
select and supervise an attorney if you need or want one. Includes a companion
CD-Rom with forms, pleading, codes and more.

Siegel, Lawrence M. The Complete IEP Guide: How to Advocate for Your Special Ed Child,
7th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2011.

Discusses how to understand your child’s rights, eligibility rules and
assessments; collect school records; develop a blueprint of programs and
services; research alternatives; prepare for IEP meetings; and resolve disputes
with your school district.

Siegel, Lawrence M. Nolo’s IEP Guide: Learning Disabilities, 5th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo

Press, 2011.
Learn how to understand your child’s rights, prepare to make your case, develop

IEP goals, resolve disputes, and do legal research on learning-disability issues.

Stoner, Katherine E. & Shae Irving. Prenuptial Agreements: How to Write a Fair & Lasting

Contract, 3rd ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2008.

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Explains how to create a valid contract, whether a prenup is right for your
relationship, how to decide what a prenup should include, how to assemble a
draft agreement, how to turn your draft into a contract, and tips on negotiating
and communicating. Includes worksheets as tear-outs and on a CD-ROM, as well
as clauses for preparing an agreement.

Stoner, Katherine E. Divorce Without Court: A Guide to Mediation & Collaborative Divorce,

2nd ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2009.
This book explains how mediation works, how collaborative divorce works, how

to maximize opportunities for settlement, and how to get an agreement in
writing.

Warner, Ralph, Toni Ihara & Frederick Hertz. Living Together: A Legal Guide for

Unmarried Couples, 14th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2008.
This book includes topics such as the legality of living together, having and

raising children, ownership agreements, and getting authorization to make
medical decisions for a partner.

Woodhouse, Violet & Dale Fetherling. Divorce & Money: How to Make the Best Financial

Decisions During Divorce, 10th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2010.
Discusses how to decide whether to keep or sell a house, protect yourself against
misuse of joint accounts, avoid tax problems, handle alimony and child support,
divide debts, reduce investment risk, and understand how a court evaluates
assets.

Financial Planning

Block, Sandra, Kathy Chu, & John Waggoner. The Busy Family’s Guide to Money, 1st ed.

Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2008.
Learn how to create a budget, get a favorable mortgage, control debt, and plan
for college and retirement.

Jasper, Margaret C. Credit Cards and the Law, 3rd ed. New York: Oceana, 2007.
From Oceana’s Law for the Layperson Series. Contents include an overview of

the credit card system, credit card legislation, debit cards, ATM cards and gift
cards, credit card terms and conditions, credit card losses, theft and
unauthorized use, equal credit opportunity, establishing, maintaining and
rehabilitating credit, and the management and collection of credit card debt.

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Jasper, Margaret C. Dealing with Debt. New York: Oceana, 2007.
From Oceana’s Law for the Layperson Series. Contents include debt

management, tax debts, the debt collection process, debt collection harassment,
judgment enforcement, consumer bankruptcy, and rehabilitating your credit.

Lamb, John & Robin Leonard. Credit Repair, 10th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2011.

Discusses how to read and understand a credit report, how to correct mistakes
on a credit report, how to protect your Social Security number, and how to
negotiate with creditors.

Leonard, Robin & Margaret Reiter. Solve Your Money Troubles: Debt, Credit & Bankruptcy,

13th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2011.
Discusses different types of debt, negotiating with creditors, dealing with debt
collectors, bankruptcy, and credit discrimination.

Free Forms

California Franchise Tax Board Forms (http://www.ftb.ca.gov/forms/index.shtml)
Includes forms for the current and previous years. Browse by name, number and

topic. Forms are available in Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Russian and Vietnamese.

California Judicial Council Forms (http://www.courts.ca.gov/forms.htm)
Users can access the Judicial Council forms by category, by number, or by name.

All forms are provided in PDF, may be downloaded, and some can be filled out
electronically.

California Secretary of State, Business Programs Division, Forms, Samples & Fees

(http://www.sos.ca.gov/business/bpd_forms.htm)
Samples and forms are in PDF format and have been drafted to meet the

minimum statutory filing requirements. Includes forms related to business
entities, notary public, special filings, trademarks and service marks, and the
Uniform Commercial Code (UCC).

FindLaw’s Forms & Contracts (http://forms.lp.findlaw.com/)
FindLaw’s free collection of sample legal forms and business contracts is

designed for legal professionals. Browse by type of form, by industry, or by
company name. Scroll down the page for Federal Court Forms & State Court
Forms.

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FindLaw’s Sample Business Contracts (http://contracts.corporate.findlaw.com/)
Browse by industry, type of contract, and alphabetically by company name.

Forms Catalog (http://search.usa.gov/forms)
The U.S. government’s official hub for federal forms which provides citizens and

businesses with a common access point to federal agency forms. Search by
keyword, by agency list, or by form name. Not all agencies are included (see
agency list) and not all forms issued by federal agencies are included (contact the
agency directly).

I-CAN!™ Legal California (http://www.icandocs.org/ca/)

A free online application that will fill out court forms for you by asking you
simple questions and putting the answers on the forms in the correct place.
Developed by the Legal Aid Society of Orange County and sponsored by a
number of organizations, such as the Legal Services Corporation, several
Superior Courts of California, and the State Bar of California. The service is free,
although you must register for a password. Available in English, Spanish, and
Vietnamese.

Internal Revenue Service (http://www.irs.gov/)
Click on “Forms & Publications” link. May download forms and publications by

form and instruction number, by publication number, view the topical index,
and search by year (back to 1980).

LexisNexis Communities Portal:

(http://www.lexisone.com/lx1/store/catalog?action=main&tcode=PORTAL)
This site is designed for individual attorneys and includes both free and fee-

based resources. Click on the Forms tab and then on the “Free Forms” link (under
the Advanced Search box). Includes over 6,000 free forms from the Matthew
Bender collection. Note that users must register (which is free) to access the
forms.

Los Angeles Superior Court of California Forms
(http://www.lasuperiorcourt.org/forms/ui/popup.aspx?ddl=AL)
Categories include civil, family law, probate, small claims, unlawful detainer,

mental health, juvenile, and miscellaneous. Forms are available in PDF and are
fillable unless otherwise noted.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (http://www.uscis.gov/forms)
Includes the general categories of employment based forms, family based forms,

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green card based forms, humanitarian based forms, and citizenship and
naturalization based forms. Be sure to read the directions carefully.

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Forms
(http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/forms/)
Alphabetical list of forms including attorney admission forms and instructions,

mediation forms, and student practice forms.

U.S. District Court for the Central District of California Forms
(http://www.cacd.uscourts.gov/CACD/Forms.nsf/Forms)
Includes appeals forms, civil & criminal forms, general forms, and pro se packets.

WashLaw’s Legal Forms (http://www.washlaw.edu/legalforms/)
This resource page provides links to a variety of forms, including business

registration forms, tax forms, real estate forms, trademark forms, UCC forms,
and state and federal court forms.

Immigration Law

Asian Pacific American Legal Center. Citizenship 101 Your Guide to Citizenship. Los

Angeles, CA: Asian Pacific American Legal Center, 2010.
DVD and companion workbook cover the basics of U.S. citizenship. The video is

available in several languages (English, Cantonese, Korean, Mandarin,
Vietnamese, Hindi, and Tagalog). For more information, go to the APALC Web
site, click on Resources, then click on the link next to Citizenship Application
Assistance. The video may be ordered by mail, email or fax. The companion
workbook (64-pages) may be downloaded for free at
http://www.apalc.org/citizenship/CitizenshipWorkshop2009.pdf.

Bray, Ilona. Becoming a U.S. Citizen: A Guide to the Law, Exam & Interview, 5th ed.

Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2010.
Includes information regarding eligibility, deportation, application forms,

citizenship exam, and the interview.

Bray, Ilona. Fiancé & Marriage Visas: A Couple’s Guide to U.S. Immigration, 6th ed.
Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2010.

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Learn how to understand the immigration process, make your way through the
bureaucracy, meet with U.S. officials, prove your marriage is real, and deal with
the two-year testing period.

Bray, Ilona. How to Get a Green Card, 9th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2010.
Discusses how to determine eligibility, get through the bureaucratic maze, work

with U.S. officials, and how to get a green card through parents, siblings,
spouses, lotteries, political asylum, and refugee status.

Bray, Ilona. U.S. Immigration Made Easy, 15th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2011.
Learn how to qualify for work visas, student visas, refugee status, green cards,

and citizenship. Includes step-by-step instructions for completing and filing
immigration forms.

Scaperlanda, Michael A. Immigration Law: A Primer. Federal Judicial Center:

Washington, D.C.: 2009.
Provides an introduction to and overview of immigration law. 186-page PDF.

Jasper, Margaret C. The Law of Immigration, 3rd ed. New York: Oceana, 2008.
From Oceana’s Law for the Layperson Series. Contents cover the U.S. citizenship

and immigration services (USCIS), applying for a nonimmigrant visa, applying
for an immigrant visa, humanitarian benefits, deportation, employment issues,
becoming a U.S. citizen, intercountry adoption, and U.S. customs and border
protection.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis)
Web site includes forms, descriptions of immigration services and benefits, the

complete text of immigration laws and federal regulations.

Wernick, Allan. U.S. Immigration & Citizenship Your Complete Guide, 4th ed. Cincinnati,
OH: Emmis Books, 2004.

The five sections in this popular guide to U.S. immigration law cover getting a
green card, naturalization and citizenship, nonimmigrant visas, asylees and
refugees and employer sanctions.

Landlord-Tenant Law

Brown, David Wayne et al. The California Landlord’s Law Book: Rights and Responsibilities,

14th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2011.

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This concise legal guide for California landlords tells you how to avoid legal
pitfalls by understanding leases and rental agreements. Basic rent rules, rent
control, repairing property, and abandoned property are among the chapter
topics. Includes tear-out forms and agreements including lease and rental
agreements.

Brown, David W. The California Landlord’s Law Book: Evictions, 14th ed. Berkeley, CA:
Nolo Press, 2011.

This manual for California landlords details the landlord’s role in evictions,
including the reasons for eviction. How to file and conduct an uncontested
eviction lawsuit (residential tenants only) and how to collect a money judgment
are both covered. It is advisable to use this in conjunction with The California
Landlord’s Law Book: Rights and Responsibilities.

California Department of Consumer Affairs, California Tenants: A Guide to Residential
Tenants’ and Landlords’ Rights and Responsibilities, 2010.

Also available in Spanish.

Fishman, Stephen. Every Landlord’s Tax Deduction Guide, 6th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo

Press, 2010.
This book explains how to maximize deductions, fill out IRS Schedule E, utilize

real estate tax credits, maximize depreciation deductions, deduct losses, and
keep proper tax records.

Leshnower, Ron. Every Landlord’s Property Protection Guide: 10 Ways to Cut Your Risk

Now, 1st ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2008.
Learn how to get the right insurance for your property, understand fair housing

rules, and remove environmental hazards.

National Housing Law Project, HUD housing programs: Tenants’ Rights, 3rd ed. Oakland,

CA: National Housing Law Project, 2004.
Comprehensive manual on many of the issues arising in the representation of

tenants and applicants under HUD’s major low-income housing programs,
including admissions, rents, utilities, maintenance, leases, and evictions and
terminations.

Portman, Janet & David Brown. California Tenants’ Rights, 18th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo
Press, 2010.

Written for the tenant, this book discusses deposit returns, breaking a lease,
getting repairs made, using Small Claims Court and dealing with an

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187

unscrupulous landlord. Contains sample letters, rental agreements and rent
control charts.

Portman, Janet et al. First-Time Landlord: Renting Out a Single-Family Home, 2nd ed.

Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2011.
Includes information on how to determine whether or not the property will turn

a profit, landlord business basics, finding the right tenants, preparing and
signing the lease, handling repairs, complying with your state’s rental laws,
dealing with problem tenants, and preparing for the sale of the property.

Portman, Janet & Marcia Stewart. Every Tenant’s Legal Guide, 6th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo

Press, 2009.
Learn how to inspect a rental property, negotiate a lease, understand rent

control, get needed repairs, protect your privacy, break a lease, and prepare for
eviction proceedings.

Portman, Janet & Marcia Stewart. Renters’ Rights: The Basics, 6th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo

Press, 2009.
Includes leases and rental agreements, discrimination, rent, security deposits,

privacy, roommates, and repairs and maintenance.

Stewart, Marcia, et al. Every Landlord’s Legal Guide, 10th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press,

2010.
Learn how to choose tenants, prepare a lease, collect and return deposits, hire a

property manager, keep up with maintenance, limit liability, and deal with
problem tenants.

Stewart, Marcia, et al. Leases & Rental Agreements, 9th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press,

2011.
Discusses how to prepare a rental agreement or lease, make required disclosures,

comply with state laws, check tenant references and credits, and conduct a final
inspection.

U.S Department of Housing & Urban Development, Tenant Rights, Laws and Protections:

California (http://www.hud.gov/local/ca/renting/tenantrights.cfm)
Includes information on California landlord-tenant law, a renter’s guide, and
links to relevant agency Web sites.

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Lawyers

The American Bar Association, Consumers’ Guide to Legal Help
(http://apps.americanbar.org/legalservices/findlegalhelp/home.cfm)
This site guides the user to a list of resources by state. Provides links to lawyer

referrals, commercial directories, legal aid for low-income people, self-help and
court information. Also includes a Consumers’ Guide to Legal Help: Legal Terms
Glossary: http://apps.americanbar.org/legalservices/findlegalhelp/faq_legalterms.cfm.

Attorney Locate (http://www.attorneylocate.com/)

Endorsed by the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, this free national
attorney referral service available only through the Internet allows a user to
search for an attorney by location and practice area.

Bar Associations
Most local county bar associations throughout the United States can assist in
locating attorneys. For example, the Los Angeles County Bar Association
(http://www.lacba.org/) has a lawyer referral and information service called
SmartLaw (http://www.smartlaw.org/) where one can find a lawyer by area of
law, location, and by language spoken (or call (213) 243-1525). Go to Hieros
Gamos Bar Associations page (http://www.hg.org/bar.html) for a comprehensive
list of associations worldwide. Scroll down to the bottom of the page for links to
local and state associations in the U.S. Another resource is FindLaw’s State Bar
Associations page (http://public.findlaw.com/library/state-bar-associations.html).

FindLaw’s Lawyer Directory (http://lawyers.findlaw.com/)
Features profiles of lawyers from across the U.S. May search or browse by legal

issue and location. Also note the links to FindLaw’s Guide to Hiring a Lawyer
(http://public.findlaw.com/library/hiring-lawyer/) and Introduction to the U.S.
Legal System (http://public.findlaw.com/library/legal-system).

Fox, Lawrence J. & Susan R. Martyn. How to Deal With Your Lawyer: Answers to
Commonly Asked Questions. New York: Oceana, 2008.

From Oceana’s Law for the Layperson Series. Contents include five sections: (1)
the client-lawyer relationship; (2) what to expect from your lawyer; (3) what not
to expect from your lawyer; (4) other people’s lawyers; and (5) gaining even
when you lose.

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LawHelpCalifornia.org (http://lawhelpcalifornia.org)
Provides low-income Californians with easy online access to basic legal resources
and attorney information. Does not provide direct legal services. Provides
referrals by topic or one may browse the Referral Directory (link at the top right,
next to the Help button), which lists organizations alphabetically and by counties
served. Note that resources are available in 28 other languages, including
Cambodian, Punjabi, Russian and Polish.

Martindale-Hubbell’s Lawyer Locator (http://www.martindale.com)
This database of over 1 million lawyer profiles allows users to search for lawyers

or law firms—by name, practice area, city, and state. The Advanced Search
allows users to limit results by years in practice, languages spoken, law school
attended, and major memberships.

Nolo’s Lawyer Directory (http://www.nolo.com/lawyers/)
Each attorney provides the same information for his or her profile. Nolo has

confirmed that every listed attorney has a valid license and is in good standing
with the applicable bar associations at the time they are listed in the directory.
Lawyers are required to notify Nolo within three business days if they become
subject to any disciplinary action by a bar association.

Public Counsel (http://www.publiccounsel.org/)
Largest pro bono office in the nation. In California, the organization assists low-

income children, youth, adults and families in the areas of child care law,
children’s rights, community development, consumer law, homeless assistance
and immigration. Public Counsel, in association with Centro Maravilla, offers
free legal help on all consumer-related matters. For location, dates and times, see
http://www.publiccounsel.org/services.

The State Bar of California, Attorney Search
(http://members.calbar.ca.gov/search/member.aspx)

The public can check an attorney’s bar membership record by name or by bar
number. Users can search names that “sound like” the search term, which comes
in handy if you are not certain of the spelling of a person’s name. Profiles contain
contact information, law school attended, date of admission to the bar, as well as
whether there is a record of discipline against the attorney.

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Legal Research

Cohen, Morris L. & Kent Olsen. Legal Research in a Nutshell, 10th ed. St. Paul, MN:

Thomson West, 2010.
This succinct guide covers major primary and secondary sources, including Web
resources such as Thomas and PACER (Public Access to Electronic Court
Records) as well as online databases and library materials. It covers legislative
history, administrative law, practice and specialized resources, and research in
comparative and international law.

Elias, Stephen, & Susan Levinkind Elias. Legal Research: How to Find and Understand the
Law, 15th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2009.

Well-illustrated procedures covering legal research strategy. It includes an
overview of the law, an explanation of statutes, case law and Shepard’s citators,
and examples relating to specific cases and legal questions. There are also
chapters on how to obtain information under the Freedom of Information Act
and how to use computer-assisted legal research.

FindLaw’s Introduction to the U.S. Legal System.
FindLaw’s introduction to the U.S. legal system explains the difference between a

civil and criminal case, the types of cases heard in federal court and state court,
and what to expect if you are involved in a lawsuit.

Jasper, Margaret C. Dictionary of Selected Legal Terms, 3rd ed. New York: Oceana, 2009.
From Oceana’s Law for the Layperson series.

Law Libraries Web sites
County and University law libraries have developed Web sites with links to

primary (statutes, regulations, cases) and secondary (explanatory and analytical)
information:

The following are a few examples:
• LA Law Library (http://www.lalawlibrary.org/default.aspx)
• Orange County Public Law Library (http://www.oc.ca.gov/lawlib)
• San Diego County Public Law Library (http://www.sdcpll.org)
• Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute (LII)

(http://www.law.cornell.edu)
• Washburn Law School (http://www.washlaw.edu)

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Law Libraries Resource Exchange (http://www.llrx.com)
Law librarians have developed this Web site for law librarians and others. It

contains legal news, court rules, opinions and forms, and links to tested and
proven Web sites.

Martin, Daniel W. Henke’s California Law Guide, 8th ed. Lexis Law Publishing, 2006.
Dan Martin, Law Professor and Library Director at Loyola Law School, continues

to edit this excellent explanation of all facets of California research sources:
constitutional, statutory, administrative, etc.

Nolo Press (http://www.nolo.com)
Legal how-to publisher’s Web site contains a legal encyclopedia, frequently

asked questions, and their product catalog.

Tucker, Virginia and Marc Lampson. Finding the Answers to Legal Questions: A How-to-
Do-It Manual. New York, NY: Neal Schuman Publishers, 2010.

The author’s focus is on public libraries that are of small to medium size. There
are four basic parts: (1) “Foundation: Legal Information Overview,” (2)
“Preparation: Understanding Legal Information Needs,” (3) “Information:
Specific Legal Questions” and (4) “Finding State and Local Law”. There are three
appendices which include a glossary and bibliography of online legal sources.

Your Public Law Library’s Mini Research Class
(http://www.publiclawlibrary.org/research.html)
Provided by the Council of California County Law Librarians, this mini research

guide is intended to help users learn the legal research process, with guidance on
where to start and what resources to check. The sections are linked so that one
may skip to relevant sections.

Public Record Data

Adair, Kristin and Catherine Nielsen. Effective FOIA Requesting for Everyone: a National

Security Archive Guide. Washington D.C.: National Security Archive, 2009.
Provides a comprehensive overview of how to obtain documents from federal

executive branch agencies. Although the focus is on the Freedom of Information
Act process, other means of accessing government records are addressed.

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192

BRB Publications, Inc. (http://www.brbpub.com/)
A publisher of sourcebooks used for locating public records, this site includes a

Free Resource Center.

California Bar Journal (http://www.calbarjournal.com/)
This monthly publication includes a section called “Trials Digest,” that

summarizes the important trials in California provided by Trials Digest, a
Thomson West business. Archived issues (from 1996) are freely available online.
Not a very comprehensive source, but it is free. All other online services are fee-
based, including O’Brien’s Evaluator, Verdictum Juris, Tri-Service, and the Los
Angeles Daily Journal’s Verdicts and Settlements.

California Secretary of State (http://www.sos.ca.gov/admin/public-records.htm)
Produces a 6-page publication on Guidelines for Access to Public Records the
counter services and research facilities accessible to the public at the California
State Archives and regional offices. A formal request pursuant to the California
Public Records Act is not necessary for inspection and copying of public records
that are routinely available at the public counters and the research facility. There
are public counters at the regional offices in Los Angeles, San Diego and San
Francisco (see Guidelines for location).

Justia: Federal District Court Filings & Dockets (http://dockets.justia.com)
This is a free searchable database of recently filed U.S. federal district court civil

cases. It includes over 1 million civil cases filed since Jan. 1, 2004 and is updated
multiple times each day. Selected high profile cases dated earlier than 2004 are
included. Searchable by party name, jurisdiction, lawsuit type and date. Users
may also browse by state, nature of suit, and cases most recently filed.

LA eCourt Online, Superior Court of California County of Los Angeles
(https://www.lasuperiorcourt.org/onlineservices/LAECourtOnlineIndex.htm)
Some Superior Courts will allow the public online access (for a fee) to court
documents. In this case, the documents only include legal documents filed in
general jurisdiction civil cases from the Stanley Mosk Courthouse (111 N. Hill St.
Los Angeles), as well as a criminal defendant index.

PACER (http://www.pacer.gov/)
Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) is an electronic public access

service that allows registered users to obtain case and docket information from
the U.S. Courts of Appeal, District, and Bankruptcy courts, and the U.S.
Party/Case Index via the Internet. One must register, which is free, in order to

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

193

access PACER, which charges $.08 per page. The charge applies to the number of
pages that result from any search, including a search that yields no matches (one
page for no matches). The charge applies whether or not pages are printed,
viewed, or downloaded. There is a cap of $2.40 charged for any single document.

Registrar Records
Your local county is the official source for retaining public records related to

fictitious business names, marriage licenses and death certificates and assessor
records. For a list of California counties and their Web sites, see the California
State Web page (http://www.ca.gov).

VerdictSearch California Reporter. San Diego, CA: VerdictSearch California Reporter,

2003- . (continues California Jury Verdicts Weekly)
This is a print resource that you will find in most large law libraries. It includes
an index for each year.

Real Property Law

Bray, Ilona, et al. Nolo’s Essential Guide to Buying Your First Home, 3rd ed. Berkeley, CA:
Nolo Press, 2010.
Learn how to get financing, find inspectors and insurance, negotiate with sellers,
and close the deal.

Devine, George. For Sale by Owner in California, 10th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2011.

Practical tips on how to sell a home without a broker.

Elias, Stephen R. Foreclosure Survival Guide: Keep Your House or Walk Away with Money in

Your Pocket, 3rd ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2011.
Provides information on mortgages, including adjustable rate mortgages, short
sales, deeds in lieu of foreclosure, judicial and non-judicial foreclosure, credit
counseling, liens and using bankruptcy to deal with foreclosure.

Jasper, Margaret C. Home Mortgage Law Primer, 3rd ed. New York: Oxford University

Press, 2009.
From Oceana’s Law for the Layperson Series. Covers the mortgage loan process,
home equity financing, real estate closing, mortgage loan discrimination, the
Truth-in-Lending Act, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), and
foreclosure.

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194

Jordan, Cora and Emily Doshow. Neighbor Law: Fences, Trees, Boundaries & Noise, 7th ed.
Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2011.
Discusses laws covering fences, trees, boundaries, blocked views, noise, water,
dangers to children, and more.

Randolph, Mary. Deeds for California Real Estate, 8th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2010.

A new deed is needed every time real estate is transferred, for whatever reason.
This book helps you choose the right deed, and includes all tear-out deed forms
with line-by-line instructions.

Warner, Ralph at al. How to Buy a House in California, 13th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press,

2011.
Strategies for buying a house plus all necessary real estate forms and worksheets.

Social Security

Bernan Press, Social Security Handbook Overview of Social Security Programs. Lanham, Md.:

Bernan Press, 2010.
Organized by section number, the Handbook is a comprehensive and easy-to-

read guide to many of the benefit programs that are covered under the Social
Security Act and related laws, including retirement, survivors, medical and
disability insurance, supplemental security income, veterans’ benefits,
unemployment insurance, and public assistance and welfare services.

Matthews, Joseph L. & Dorothy Matthews Berman. Social Security, Medicare &

Government Pensions: Get the Most Out of Your Retirement & Medical Benefits, 16th
ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2011.

Includes information and instructions on how to get retirement and disability
benefits; dependent and survivor benefits; and Supplemental Security Income
(SSI). Covers the nuts and bolts of Medicare and Medicaid and how to claim
government pensions and veterans’ benefits.

Morton, David A. III. Nolo’s Guide to Social Security Disability, 5th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo

Press, 2010.
Explains what Social Security disability is, what benefits are available to disabled

children, how to prove a disability, how age, benefits and work experience affect
benefits, how to appeal a denial of benefits, and how to respond to a Continuing
Disability Review.

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Scully-Hayes, Kathleen. A Practical Guide to Medicare Appeals. Chicago, IL: ABA
Publications, 2007.

Contents include an overview of the Medicare program, beneficiary appeals,
provider appeals, coverage and payment appeals, and miscellaneous appeals.

U.S. Social Security Administration (http://www.socialsecurity.gov/)
Use the official Web site to estimate your retirement benefits, check the status of

your application, and find a local Social Security office. The public also has access
to online forms and publications (e.g., How You Earn Credits, Disability Benefits,
Benefits for Children with Disabilities, Medicare, and The Appeals Process. See
http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/).

Tax Law

Block, Sandra & Stephen Fishman. Easy Ways to Lower Your Taxes: Simple Strategies Every

Taxpayer Should Know, 1st ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2008.
Provides “legitimate tactics and insights that will lower your tax bill without

running afoul of the IRS.”

California Franchise Tax Board (http://www.ftb.ca.gov/)
Responsible for administering two of California’s major tax programs: Personal

Income Tax and the Corporation Tax. The public will find forms, bills & notices,
tax return basics and assistance and answers for individuals, and tax resources
for businesses.

Daily, Frederick W. Stand Up to the I.R.S., 10th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2009.
Learn how to file a late return, work out a payment plan, get a Taxpayer-

Assistance Order, stop collection efforts, avoid property seizures, protect assets,
and appeal the auditor’s decision.

Daily, Frederick W. Tax Savvy for Small Business, 14th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press,

2010.
Includes information on deductible business expenses, bookkeeping, and payroll

taxes, as well as a discussion of the different types of corporations, partnerships,
and limited liability companies. Also includes how to buy or sell a business and
how to deal with the IRS.

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Fishman, Stephen. Deduct It: Lower Your Small Business Taxes, 7th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo
Press, 2010.

Discusses common deductions, including start-up and operating expenses,
health deductions, vehicles, travel, inventory and equipment.

Fishman, Stephen. Home Business Tax Deductions: Keep What You Earn, 7th ed. Berkeley,

CA: Nolo Press, 2010.
Discusses how to write off start-up and operating expenses, travel, health

insurance, inventory and equipment.

Fishman, Stephen. Tax Deductions for Professionals, 6th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press,

2010.
Discusses common tax deductions and how to choose the best legal structure for

your business. Other topics covered include retirement accounts, continuing
education, and professional fees.

Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Department of the Treasury, Publications Online
(http://www.irs.gov/publications/index.html)

Examples of publications available online (in both html and PDF) are
“Employer’s Tax Guide,” “Armed Forces’ Tax Guide,” and “Tax Guide for U.S.
Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad.”

Veterans’ Rights & Benefits

Jasper, Margaret C. Veterans’ Rights and Benefits. New York: Oceana, 2009.
From Oceana’s Law for the Layperson Series. Contents cover the Department of

Veterans Affairs, disability compensation and pension benefits, health care
benefits, veterans’ group life insurance, education and vocational rehabilitation
benefits, home financing benefits, dependent and survivor benefits, Board of
Veterans appeals, and the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.

National Veteran Legal Services Program (http://www.nvlsp.org)
The NVLSP is an independent, non-profit, charitable organization that advocates

for veterans’ rights. Their Web site offers information for veterans requiring
assistance on many matters and provides links to their publications,
correspondence courses and affiliations.

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Roche, John D. The Veteran’s Survival Guide: How To File and Collect on VA Claims, 2nd ed.
Washington, DC: Potomac Books, 2006.
Contents include information on compensation claims, claims based on
treatment by the VA, claims based on secondary disabilities, and filing your
claim.

U.S. Department of Defense. Compensation & Benefits Handbook: For Seriously Ill and

Injured Members of the Armed Forces (2008).
The DoD announced on Oct. 6, 2008 (see News Release) the development of a
comprehensive handbook describing compensation and other benefits service
members and their families would be entitled to upon separation or retirement
as a result of serious injury or illness. The handbook describes the disability
eligibility process, various program qualifications, application procedures, and
numerous resources with associated contact information. The electronic version
of the handbook will be updated frequently and the hard copy will be updated
annually. The electronic version of the handbook can be found on these sites:

• http://www.turbotap.org/register.tpp
• http://www.npc.navy.mil
• http://www.aw2.army.mil/assets/documents/Compensation_and_Benefits_Handbook.pdf

U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, Board of Veterans’ Appeals
(http://www.va.gov/landing_bva.htm)
The purpose and composition of the Board, a part of the Department of Veterans

Affairs, is presented on this Web site. The Web page indicates it is designed
primarily to assist citizens and veterans in understanding the appeals process,
and to provide copies (in PDF) of the application forms. Decisions of the Board
are included from 1994 to the present.

198

Chapter 11

AVAILABILITY, ACCESSIBILITY AND MAINTENANCE OF
LEGAL COLLECTIONS

Librarians remain committed to providing the best collections possible for the
communities they serve. Library users expect to be able to find the information they
need to conduct their personal and business affairs. This expectation includes finding
legal information when they need it. In addition, during the last decade, courts have
seen an increasing number of self-represented litigants—lay people who are choosing to
litigate a variety of legal issues without being represented by an attorney. This group
often turns to their local public libraries as a first step in seeking legal information.

Contents:

• When Legal Information in Print Is Preferred
• Five Factors to Consider When Building & Maintaining a Collection of Legal

Materials
• Legal Information Vendors
• Maintaining a Traditional Print Legal Collection
• Other Considerations for Print Legal Materials
• Additional Information to Assist Public Libraries
• Internet Sources Cited in this Chapter

When Legal Information in Print is Preferred

As mentioned in Chapter 1: Introduction, legal materials may be divided into three types
of sources: primary authority, secondary authority, and indexing/finding tools (e.g.,
citators and digests), all of which are now available in a variety of formats. As discussed
previously, the good news is that much of the primary material (i.e., cases, statutes, and
administrative materials) is now available on government Web sites, which is helpful
for researchers seeking current legal information. There are also a number of reputable
legal Web sites, such as Cornell’s Legal Information Institute, FindLaw, and WashLaw.

With the wealth of legal resources that are available online today, the challenge for the

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librarian is being able to effectively and efficiently access the information library users
need. Even with all the “free” legal information available through the Internet, there is
still a significant percentage of the population that is not computer-literate.
Additionally for those with limited education or for whom reading English is difficult
trying to use and understand legal materials in any format can be very challenging. The
reality is that few researchers are able to answer their legal questions by just accessing
the primary sources. Most need the in-depth explanations of the law contained in
secondary resources, such as legal treatises, periodicals, practice guides and formbooks.

Five Factors to Consider When Building and Maintaining a Legal
Reference Collection in a Public Library

The general principles of building and maintaining a library collection are also
applicable to legal publications. However, there are a number of factors public
librarians may need to take into account when making acquisitions decisions about a
legal reference collection for their community. The following is intended to serve as a
general guideline for public librarians developing and maintaining legal reference
collections.

One: Locate Area Law Libraries

• Know your proximity to a county law library, law school, academic or other
public library that may provide legal materials and reference services to the
public. 1

• Learn the hours and types of services and resources of the law libraries open to
the public in your area and distribute this information to your users. These law
librarians are committed to the goal of providing and improving public access to
legal information. It is important to note that they are serving the same people
being served by public libraries in their communities.

1 The California Council of County Law Libraries’ Public Law Library Web site is a great place to start.
There is a list of county law libraries under Find Your . . . that includes links to those county law libraries
that have Web sites. These sites offer an increasing amount of online legal information to the public,
including links to fillable forms, courts and other local government agencies, as well as to local legal
referral services and clinics. Some county law libraries also offer classes for the public that provide an
introduction to legal research and law library resources.

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Two: Network with a Law Librarian

• There are three major regional law librarian groups in California:
Southern California Associations of Law Libraries (SCALL)
San Diego Area Law Libraries (SANDALL)
Northern California Association of Law Libraries (NOCALL)

• Public librarians should contact their local American Association of Law

Libraries (AALL) chapter, as the members are often willing to provide assistance
by evaluating public library legal reference collections. The chapters also
occasionally offer legal information programs and workshops for both
professionals and the public we all serve. (For public librarians in states other
than California, go to the Chapters page on the AALL Web site.)

Three: Identify the Information Needs of Your Users

• This may seem obvious, but it is important to keep a record of the number of
legal reference questions and use of the legal reference collection.

• Can you identify separate user groups of the collection, such as small business
owners, government employees, students, or self-represented litigants? Is there a
high proportion of a particular user group whose population might have many
do-it-yourself individuals?

• Many public libraries provide some Nolo Press self-help law books for their
users; however, these sources may not provide the depth of legal information
some researchers need. For example, in a community where there are many
small business owners, the public library may need to build its legal reference
collection as part of its mission to serve this section of the community. These
library users may need information on a variety of legal issues, such as federal
and state employment law, consumer issues, insurance and related liability
information, and debt collection law.

Four: Consider Costs of Legal Materials, Including Updating

• Once the decision is made to build and maintain a legal reference collection,
there are several factors that must be considered in budgeting for legal materials.
It is imperative to keep law materials up-to-date, and the upkeep expense can be
considerable, as legal materials in all formats continue to increase in price. Never
assume that an order for a legal title includes its supplementation. Publishers

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will not automatically send supplementation unless a standing order is
established. This can be done when placing the order by including on the order
form a phrase such as “including standing order for supplementation until forbidden”
or similar wording.

• Almost all law publishers offer the option of automatic standing order plans for
individual titles. On a title by title basis, verify with the publisher that a standing
order exists for items you already have in the collection. A few legal publishers
will notify customers of new supplementary materials and request instructions
without automatically sending the materials. If a library’s budget process does
not permit standing orders, an “update expected” note should be placed in the
check-in record for each legal title as a reminder to the acquisitions staff to check
for and order updates.

Five: Consider Level of Staff Commitment Necessary to Keep Legal Materials Current

• Updating print law materials is labor intensive and will require staff time to be
done correctly.

• It is imperative that the library staff receives adequate training, or updates may
be incorrectly filed or discarded. Part of this training includes understanding the
necessity of keeping all shipping material such as filing instructions together
with the book through its processing until it is finally shelved, so that
superseded volumes are pulled according to the instructions.

Legal Information Vendors

In recent years, smaller legal publishers have been absorbed by the two main legal
publishing conglomerates: Reed Elsevier PLC, owner of LexisNexis, and Thomson
West. One problem that has resulted from this change is that responsibility for
publishing a specific legal title may have been shifted from the original publisher to
another publisher within the larger conglomerate. While many of the formerly
independent legal publishers continue to exist as divisions and publish under their
traditional names, determining the current publisher of a law book can often be
challenging. Please see Chapter 12: Major Legal Publishers for a complete list.

The upside of this consolidation of smaller publishers is that legal information vendors
have become more aware of the potential for enlarging their customer base beyond the

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traditional law school, court, and law firm libraries. They have become increasingly
willing to market their materials not only to public law libraries, but also to university
libraries that do not support a law school, and even to public libraries. Some legal
vendors have even begun to offer consortium pricing for some of their products.
Several examples of this trend, of which county law libraries have been able to take
advantage for their users, are discussed in the section on “Accessing Online Legal
Information” below.

Maintaining a Traditional Print Legal Collection

A unique characteristic of law book publishing is the need for constant revision. New
laws and amendments to existing laws are passed almost daily when Congress or the
state legislature is in session. New court decisions interpreting the law are issued daily.
It is very important that law books in the collection are current. It is better to send a user
to another library, rather than to offer an out-of-date publication, because offering out-
dated law could be detrimental to the user.

To keep their books up-to-date, legal publishers issue supplements in one or more
formats:

• Separate Hard-Bound Volumes
These separate volumes may be added to sets such as case reporters that are
published in chronological order, as an additional volume supplementing the
information in the earlier volume, or a replacement volume that incorporates
current information from the same earlier volume into a new revised volume.
The instructions accompanying the new volume should explain whether or not
the earlier volume is out-of-date and should be discarded.

• Pocket Parts

Pocket parts may be issued annually or on some other regular schedule. They are
used to supplement both single volume texts and multi-volume sets.
Occasionally, a volume in a set will have no revisions, so a pocket part will not
be issued for that volume. This is most likely to occur if the main volume is new,
if the volume is scheduled to be revised fairly soon, or if there is a separate
supplementary pamphlet as described below. In these instances, the publishers
will often provide a card to be slipped into the main volume, which will read:
This volume has no pocket part. Care should be taken that the cards are filed with
the proper volumes in order to inform researchers that they have the most recent

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volume or to direct them to a separate supplement to update the information in
the main volume.

• Paper-Bound Pamphlets

These are usually issued annually or on a similarly regular schedule, and are
designed to stand on the shelf next to the main hardbound volume. The
pamphlet for the prior year is usually, although not always, discarded when the
new pamphlet arrives. Be sure to read the directions carefully. Occasionally,
when the pocket part grows too big to be placed in the back of the main volume,
the next supplement will become a pamphlet. Again, in this instance, the
publishers will often provide a card to be slipped into the main volume, which
will read: This volume contains no pocket part. Refer to the separate softbound
supplement to this volume for the latest updating material.

One traditional example of paperbound pamphlets is the advance sheets to the
case reporters, which are produced as the appellate courts issue their written
opinions. Prior to computer access and the availability of court opinions online,
legal publishers created the advance sheet as a means of publishing new case law
in a timely manner. Rather than waiting until there were enough opinions to fill
a hardbound reporter volume, the publisher compiled these decisions as they
were issued by the courts, and printed them out in the paperbound advance
sheets. After several advance sheets were published, the publisher would then
combine all the cases published in the separate pamphlets and produce the
hardbound case reporter volume. After the library processed the reporter, the
advance sheets containing the same cases would then be pulled from the shelf
and discarded. The legislative pamphlets to West’s and Deering’s Annotated Codes
are another example of this type of advance pamphlet.

• Loose-Leaf Pages

Loose-leaf supplementation for legal materials is usually the most current and
the most labor intensive of the print materials, since packets of supplementary
pages may be issued as frequently as weekly. Packets are usually numbered and
dated. Each packet should be checked in separately to insure that all
supplements are received and filed in order. Proper training of staff who will be
responsible for filing the loose-leaf pages is essential.

Printed instructions accompany the packet and must be followed carefully. If a
packet is missing or was never received, contact the publisher for a replacement.
Never file a packet if an earlier packet has not been filed.

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Usually filing involves replacing obsolete pages with new pages; however, old
pages are not always replaced with new pages. Some publishers send transfer
binders to hold older, but still relevant materials. The instructions should alert
you to shifts of pages from one volume to another.

After filing a packet, date and place the filing instructions in the volume with
previous instructions. If a contents checklist is included with the packet, the
volume may be checked against this. Place the most recent checklist in the front
of the book. These information sheets may help resolve future questions about
the volume’s contents.

Other Considerations for Print Legal Collections

Once supplemental materials are received, updating must be completed in a timely
fashion. Superseded materials must be promptly discarded. Supplements almost
always include filing instructions. If supplements or loose-leaf pages are missing, claim
them from the publisher’s customer representative immediately. For questions
concerning how to file pages, local law libraries can be very helpful. There are also
several private loose-leaf filing companies that provide trained employees to do this
work at an hourly rate.

It is recommended that public libraries do not attempt to keep outdated legal materials
for historical purposes; that is within the province of major law libraries. A public
library should focus its attention on keeping its legal materials current, if it determines
that maintaining a legal reference collection is within its mission.

New editions of titles in the legal reference collection should be acquired promptly. If a
decision is made not to purchase a new edition or not to update a specific legal title,
remove the old edition from the shelves. Out of date legal material is worse than no
material at all in law publications. If your library is slow at receiving superseding
materials, it is important that you alert users about out-dated legal material by affixing
a notice in a prominent place (such as the title page and the spine) to indicate that it is
not current.

Weeding

For the reasons mentioned above, weeding is more vital in legal collections than in most
other subjects. Last year’s law may well be bad law. Legal information is sometimes

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out-of-date as quickly as it is printed. A schedule should be established for reviewing
the legal collection on a regular basis, and for discarding or replacing outdated
materials. If a particular legal title has not been supplemented in some form for several
years, a local law librarian can suggest how soon the particular title should be
discarded.

West’s Annotated California Code & Deering’s California Codes Annotated

Many public libraries subscribe to one or both of these California annotated code sets,
and they present a special maintenance problem, as they are supplemented in a couple
of different ways. These sets are updated with annual pocket parts, as well as with
advance legislative service pamphlets, which allow the researcher to identify changes in
the law. In other words, the advance legislative pamphlets update the annual pocket
parts and supplements to the code print volumes. These advance legislative service
pamphlets should be retained for only the current year’s legislative session, until the
annual pocket parts are received covering that legislative year, usually during the
following January.

The pamphlets for the prior year can be discarded, along with the out-dated pocket
parts, when the new pocket parts arrive. Both West’s and Deering’s list the coverage of
the pocket part on the cover for example: 2008 Cumulative Pocket Part replacing 2007
Pocket Part supplementing the 1982 main volume. Pocket Part will be supplemented by Interim
Annotation Service Pamphlets in 2008. Compare the coverage note on the pocket part with
the coverage of the advance legislative session pamphlets and discard all pamphlets
that have been incorporated into the pocket part.

Accessing Online Legal Information

The two largest commercial legal information vendors, LexisNexis and Thomson West
(Westlaw), now offer “public access” subscription packages to county law libraries in
California. These contracts offer online access to a specific list of databases, most of
which are state and federal primary materials, with additional access to some related
secondary sources and citators. In 2006, California Continuing Education of the Bar
(CEB), one of the foremost publishers of California legal practice materials began
offering OnLaw, its database of practice materials and forms, to county law libraries at
consortium prices. These three legal vendors, along with a number of others, are
increasingly willing to negotiate subscriptions with libraries that permit researchers to
access the databases through their public access computers.

There is a key difference, however, between legal vendors and other vendors who

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206

market their databases to the library community. The legal vendors continue to be
reluctant to allow remote access for users of libraries who serve the public. Use of their
databases tends to be restricted to in-library use only. These subscriptions are still
costly and can consume a significant portion of an acquisitions budget. Public librarians
will need to do a cost-benefit analysis before subscribing to any of these legal databases,
in order to determine whether they have staff with sufficient training in legal
terminology and legal research methodology to provide assistance to users of
commercial electronic legal information. However, many county law libraries now offer
access to these databases for in-house users. Become familiar with the resources
available at your closest county law library.

Additional Information to Assist Public Libraries

The American Association of Law Libraries’ Committee on Relations with Information
Vendors (CRIV) provides a terrific resource that can assist public librarians with
acquisitions information for legal materials. CRIV’s Tools includes a checklist, sample
letters, and vendor contact information. One may also Request Assistance with working
with a vendor by contacting the CRIV chair directly.

IndexMaster is another online resource to which some law libraries subscribe and
which can be used as an acquisitions tool. IndexMaster has contracted with many legal
publishers to provide online access to the table of contents and indexes of many of their
secondary publications and created a searchable database of this information. It has the
added benefit of being relatively inexpensive compared to other acquisitions tools.

Internet Sources Cited in this Chapter

Legal Web sites:
http://www.law.cornell.edu/
http://www.findlaw.com/
http://www.washlaw.edu/

California Council of County Law Libraries: http://www.publiclawlibrary.org

http://www.publiclawlibrary.org/find.html

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American Association of Law Libraries (AALL): http://aallnet.org/
List of Chapter Websites: http://aallnet.org/main-menu/Member-
Communities/chapters/chapter-websites

Regional Law Library Associations:

http://www.aallnet.org/chapter/scall/
http://www.aallnet.org/chapter/sandall/
http://www.nocall.org
http://www.aallnet.org/chapter/

Additional Information:

FAQs: OnLaw: http://www.ceb.com/support/FAQOnLAW.asp
AALL’s Committee on Relations with Information Vendors (CRIV):
http://www.aallnet.org/main-menu/Leadership-Governance/committee/activecmtes/criv-dup.html
IndexMaster: http://www.indexmaster.com/index.php

208

Chapter 12

MAJOR LEGAL PUBLISHERS

The legal publishing landscape has changed dramatically in the past decade. As
mentioned in Chapter 11, many of the smaller, independent publishers of legal
information have been subsumed by larger publishing conglomerates. To date, the top
major legal publishers are Reed Elsevier (LexisNexis, Matthew Bender, and Martindale
Hubbell), Thomson Reuters (West, RIA, and Sweet & Maxwell) and Wolters Kluwer
(CCH, Aspen, and Loislaw). These three publishers currently dominate the legal
information market.1

This chapter contains the contact information for major publishers of legal information.
Included are publishers of primary legal materials (statutes, cases, and regulations) and
secondary sources (treatises, practice guides, encyclopedias, directories, periodicals and
citators). Most of the publishers listed here offer materials that are national in scope,
although a few are California-specific.

Contents:

• ALI-ABA (American Law Institute-American Bar Association)
• American Bar Association
• Bureau of National Affairs (BNA)
• California Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB)
• Commerce Clearing House (CCH)
• Daily Journal Corporation
• LexisNexis
• Martindale Hubbell
• Matthew Bender
• Nolo Press
• The Rutter Group
• U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO)

1 Please see the Association of American Law Libraries (AALL) Committee on Relations with Information
Vendors (CRIV) Vendor Contact Information Web page for publishers not listed in this chapter:
http://aallnet.org/main-menu/Advocacy/vendorrelations/CRIV-Tools/vendors.html.

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209

• West
• Legal Bookstores in California

ALI-ABA (American Law Institute – American Bar Association)
4025 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(800) 253-6397
http://www.ali-aba.org/

ALI-ABA is a major publisher of legal materials on specific practitioner-
oriented subjects. Included among its major publications are the Restatements
of the Law. The Restatements are a scholarly work, used mostly by judges and
for instruction in law schools. ALI-ABA is also a major publisher of continuing
legal education (CLE) materials for attorneys.

American Bar Association
321 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60654-7598
(312) 988-5000; (800) 285-2221
http://www.americanbar.org/aba.html

The American Bar Association is the largest bar association in the United States.
In addition to publishing the ABA Journal, a news magazine for attorneys, it
also publishes studies and statistics on the legal profession, research articles,
and scholarly publications. The target audience for most ABA publications is
the practicing bar and legal scholars.

Bureau of National Affairs (BNA)
1231 25th St. NW
Washington, DC 20037
(800) 372-1033
http://www.bna.com/

(Description on next page.)

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210

BNA produces many current awareness loose-leafs, such as U.S. Law Week,
(which contains the full text of current U.S. Supreme Court opinions as well as
updated reports on current state and federal case law), and in-depth, subject-
specific treatises such as the Environmental Reporter and the Labor Law Reports.
Many of these treatises also contain weekly current awareness reports. The
target audience is practicing attorneys who specialize in a particular area of law
as these publications are both detailed and comprehensive. Many of BNA’s
publications are also offered in electronic format through their website.

California Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB)
300 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Ste. 410
Oakland, CA 94612-2047
(800) 232-3444; 510-302-2000 (outside CA)

CEB publishes treatises and practice guides on specific areas of California law.
Online access to these publications is offered through a database entitled
OnLAW. CEB publications are relied on by California attorneys for their step-
by-step guidance and detailed analysis.

Commerce Clearing House (CCH)
4025 W. Peterson Avenue
Chicago, IL 60646
(800) 835-5224; (312) 866-6000
http://www.cch.com/

CCH, a division of Wolters Kluwer, publishes loose-leaf sets in topical areas
such as tax, labor, securities, etc. CCH loose-leaf sets have both in-depth
coverage of a topic and a current awareness volume, which usually includes
new case and statutory developments that are updated weekly. Like the BNA
materials, CCH sets will be used mostly by practicing attorneys who specialize
in a particular area of law. Many of CCH’s legal and tax publications are now
offered in electronic format through CCH’s online database Intelliconnect.

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211

Daily Journal Corporation
915 E. First Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 229-5300
http://www.dailyjournal.com

Its major publication is the legal newspaper the Daily Journal, with local
editions for Los Angeles and San Francisco. Each issue includes a biographical
profile of a judge or prominent California attorney, legal news affecting
California, and current opinions from the California Supreme Court, the Courts
of Appeal, the U.S. Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the
Federal District Courts in California. The Daily Journal Corporation also
publishes the California Lawyer magazine.

LexisNexis
1275 Broadway
Albany, NY 12204-2694
(800) 223-1940
http://www.lexisnexis.com/store/us/

LexisNexis’ major publications include the Deering’s California Codes Annotated
and many specialty treatises, practice sets, casebooks and formbooks. Lexis
also publishes Shepard’s Citations, the citation system relied on by attorneys to
verify their research.

Martindale Hubbell
121 Chanlon Road
New Providence, NJ 07974
(800) 526-4902
http://www.martindale.com/Products_and_Services/index.aspx

Publishes the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, a multi-volume directory of
attorneys available in print, on CD-ROM, and on the Web. This publication is a
staple in academic, court, and firm libraries. Martindale-Hubbell is now a
division of Lexis Publishing.

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Matthew Bender
P.O. Box 22030
Albany, NY 12201-2030
(212) 967-7707; (800) 833-9844
http://www.bender.com/bender/open/

Matthew Bender, now part of LexisNexis, publishes major scholarly treatises
and practitioner aids for attorneys. Examples include California Pretrial Civil
Procedure and Discovery, California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Annotated and
California Probate Practice. Most of the Matthew Bender treatises are available on
CD-ROM, on the Web, and on Lexis.com.

Nolo Press
950 Parker Street
Berkeley, CA 94710
(800) 992-6656
http://www.nolo.com/

Nolo is one of the leading publishers of legal “self-help” books, many of which
can be found in general bookstores. These books explain in layman’s terms the
basics of several common legal procedures, such as writing a will, fighting a
traffic ticket, and solving neighbor or landlord-tenant disputes. Some books
come with sample forms suitable for copying. The target audience is the lay
person. Many Nolo books are also available as e-books through EBSCO’s Legal
Information Reference Center database. See Chapter 10: Bibliography of Self-
Help Resources for a detailed list of self-help books.

The Rutter Group
15760 Ventura Blvd., Suite 630
Encino, CA 91436
(800) 747-3161
http://www.ruttergroup.com/

The Rutter Group is a division of West Publishing. The Rutter Group publishes
practice guides in loose-leaf format. These guides are used almost exclusively
by practicing attorneys as they are well-indexed and provide many references
to primary sources. Most Rutter Group publications are available on
Westlaw.com.

CHAPTER 12: MAJOR LEGAL PUBLISHERS

213

U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO)
732 North Capitol Street, NW
Washington, DC 20401-0001
(202) 512-1800
http://www.gpo.gov/

The GPO is the official publisher for the US Government. The GPO publishes
statutes, congressional documents and agency rules and regulations. Items
published by the GPO are usually inexpensive but the publishing schedule
may not be very timely. Federal depository libraries get items from the GPO
free of charge in exchange for making them available to the public.

West
610 Opperman Drive
Eagan, MN 55123
1-800-344-5008
http://store.westlaw.com/default.aspx

West is the largest publisher of statutory and case law in the United States. In
addition to state case reporters, it publishes state codes (for example, West’s
Annotated California Code), federal statutes, treatises, hornbooks, casebooks and
digests. West also publishes California’s only legal encyclopedia, Cal Jur, as
well as numerous California formbooks, loose-leafs and practice guides.

Legal Bookstores in California:

Legal Bookstore
316 W. 2nd, Ste. 112
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 626-2139

American Legal Books
725 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
(800) 359-8010

214

Appendix A

GLOSSARY OF LEGAL TERMS1

Jump to terms beginning with the letter: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O
P Q R S T U V W XYZ

Action: A judicial proceeding for the enforcement or protection of a right. Often used as
another term for a lawsuit.
Advance sheet: A pamphlet containing the full-text of recent court opinions. Advance
sheets are printed before a bound volume appears.
Administrative law: The branch of law dealing with the regulations and administrative
decisions of government agencies.
Amicus curiae: Literally, “friend of the court.” An amicus curiae brief is an appellate
brief prepared and submitted by a non-party with the court’s permission.
Annotation: Editorial commentary, critical notes and references to relevant legal
sources (such as cases) often found following the text of the code sections in sets such as
Deering’s California Codes Annotated and West’s United States Code Annotated.
Answer: The formal written statement by a defendant in a civil case that responds to a
complaint, articulating the grounds for defense.
Appeal: A request made after trial (or adjudication) by a party that has lost on one or
more issues to a higher court for review of the decision of a lower or inferior court or
administrative agency. The one who appeals is called the “appellant,” while the other
party is the “appellee.”

Bench trial: A trial in which there is no jury and the judge decides the case.
Bill: A proposed law submitted to a state or federal legislature. If a bill passes, it
becomes a statute.
Breach: A violation of or failure in the performance of an obligation created by a
promise, duty or law without excuse or justification.
Brief: A party’s written argument which cites legal authorities and is designed to
persuade the court. Examples include appellate briefs and trial briefs.

1 For definitions of terms not included in this Glossary, see Plain-English Law Dictionary (from Nolo
Press), Law.com Dictionary, Lawyers.com Legal Dictionary, and U.S. Court’s Glossary.

APPENDIX A: GLOSSARY OF LEGAL TERMS

215

Case law: The law established by previous decisions of appellate courts. A synonym for
legal precedent.
Cause of action: The fact or facts that give a person a right to relief in court.
Certified copy: A copy of a document issued by a court or government agency
guaranteed to be a true and exact copy of the original.
Charter: The fundamental law of a municipality or other local unit of government;
analogous to a constitution.
Citation or Cite: The written reference to legal authorities such as statutes, reported
cases, regulations, and law review articles. Legal citation manuals include The Bluebook:
A Uniform System of Citation and the California Style Manual.
Citator: Traditionally, a set of books that provides the subsequent history of reported
cases using abbreviations and arranged in a tabular form. The most well known citator
is Shepard’s Citations. Today, most citators are online services, whereby users simply
enter the citation of the case (or regulation, statute, or law review) in order to view the
newer documents that cite the original document.
Civil procedure: The rules and processes by which a civil case is tried and appealed,
including the preparations for trial, the rules of evidence and trial conduct, and the
procedure for pursuing appeals.
Clerk of court: The court officer who oversees administrative functions, especially
managing the flow of cases through the court.
Code: The statutory laws of a state or nation, generally arranged by subject.
Common law: Originating from England, common law relies on the articulation of legal
principles in a historical succession of judicial decisions. Common law principles can be
changed by legislation. Also called “case law.”
Complaint: A written statement that, when filed with a court, begins a civil lawsuit, in
which the plaintiff details the claims against the defendant.
Conservator/Conservatorship: The legal right given to a person to manage the property
and financial affairs of a person deemed incapable of doing so for him or herself. See
also guardianship.
Constitution: The fundamental law of a state or a nation; creates the branches of
government and identifies basic rights and obligations.
Contract: An agreement between two or more people, which creates an obligation to do
or not to do a particular thing. A legally enforceable agreement between two or more
competent parties made either orally or in writing.
Court rules: Regulations governing practice and procedure in the various courts.

Decision: A judgment, decree, or order pronounced by a court in settlement of a
controversy submitted to it.
Defendant: In a civil case, the person or organization against whom the plaintiff brings
suit; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.

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Digest: A compilation of paragraphs summarizing court opinions, organized by subject
matter and jurisdiction.
Discovery: Procedures used to obtain disclosure of evidence before trial. Depositions
are oral statements by a party or witness under oath in response to questions.
Interrogatories are written answers by a party or witness.
Docket: A log containing the complete history of each case in the form of brief
chronological entries summarizing the court proceedings.
Docket number: A unique number assigned to a case when it is filed with the court.
Due process: In criminal law, the constitutional guarantee that a defendant will receive
a fair and impartial trial. In civil law, the procedural rights of someone who confronts
an adverse action threatening liberty or property.

Enabling statute: A statute that confers (as to an administrative agency) the power or
authority to engage in conduct not otherwise allowed.
En banc: French, meaning “on the bench.” Indicates that all judges of an appellate court
sit together to hear a case, as opposed to the routine disposition by panels of three
judges. In the Ninth Circuit, an en banc panel consists of 11 randomly selected judges.
Encyclopedia (legal): A complete compendium of the law indexed by subject and
supplemented annually. American Jurisprudence 2nd and Corpus Juris Secundum include
case law from all the states. California Jurisprudence 3rd includes case and statutory law
from California.
Estate planning: The arranging for the disposition and management of one’s estate at
death through the use of wills, trusts, insurance policies, and other devices.
Et al.: Latin, meaning “and others.”
Et seq.: Latin, meaning “and the following.” Often seen following code citations (e.g.
Vehicle Code ” 22100 et seq.)

Family law: An area of law dealing with family relations, including divorce, adoption,
paternity, custody and support.
Federalism: A political system in which power is divided and shared between the
national/central government and the states/regional units, in order to limit the power of
government.
FOIA: Freedom of Information Act
Fundamental right: A right that is considered by a court (as the U.S. Supreme Court) to
be explicitly or implicitly expressed in a constitution (as the U.S. Constitution).

Gravamen: The essential element of a lawsuit.
Guardian ad litem: A guardian appointed by a court to represent the interests of a
minor, a person not yet born, or a person judged incompetent in a particular legal
action.

APPENDIX A: GLOSSARY OF LEGAL TERMS

217

Guardianship: A legal arrangement under which one person (a guardian) has the legal
right and duty to care for another (the ward) and his or her property. A guardianship is
established because the ward is unable to legally act in his or her own behalf.

Headnote: A paragraph printed preceding the text of an opinion, which summarizes an
important legal issue of a case and which is often assigned a topic and number by
editors.
Hearing: A proceeding of relative formality at which evidence and arguments may be
presented on the matter at issue to be decided by a person or body having decision-
making authority. The purpose of a hearing is to provide the opportunity for each side
of a dispute, and especially a person who may be deprived of his or her rights, to
present its position. A hearing, along with notice, is a fundamental part of procedural
due process. Hearings are also held, as for example by a legislature or an administrative
agency, for the purpose of gathering information and hearing the testimony of
witnesses.
Hornbook: Basic legal textbook, usually written by an authority in a field of law. An
example is Prosser & Keaton on the Law of Torts.

J.D.: Juris Doctor or doctor of jurisprudence, the degree commonly conferred by law
schools.
Judgment: The official decision of a court resolving the dispute between the parties to
the lawsuit.
Jurisdiction: The power of a court over the subject matter or over the property to decide
a matter in controversy. Also, the geographic area over which a particular court has
authority.
Jurisprudence: The study of law and the structure of the legal system.

Law review: A legal journal published and edited by law school students to which legal
scholars and students contribute articles.
Lawsuit: A legal action started by a plaintiff against a defendant based on a complaint
that the defendant failed to perform a legal duty, which resulted in harm to the plaintiff.
Legal aid: Assistance provided by an organization established to serve the legal needs
of low income individuals.
Legislation: The making or giving of laws, especially the exercise of power and function
of making rules that have the force of authority by virtue of their promulgation by a
legislature.
Legislative history: The background documents generated during the passage of a bill
through the legislative process. Examples are committee hearings and reports.
Legislative intent: The ends sought to be achieved by a legislature in an enactment.
Courts often look to legislative intent for guidance in interpreting and applying a

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218

statute. The legislative history, the language of a law, and the wrong to be corrected
may provide indications of legislative intent.
LexisNexis (or Lexis): A subscription online legal research service, owned by Reed
Elsevier.
Lien: A charge or encumbrance upon property for the satisfaction of a debt or other
duty that is created by agreement of the parties or by operation of law.
Litigation: A case, controversy, or lawsuit. Participants (plaintiffs and defendants) in
lawsuits are called litigants.
Loose-leaf: A publishing format in which legal materials are kept up-to-date by
interfiling new pages periodically (inserting new pages and discarding old ones).

Malpractice: Negligence, misconduct, lack of ordinary skill or a breach of duty in the
performance of a professional service (as in law or medicine) resulting in injury or loss.
Mechanic’s lien: A lien against a building and its site to assure priority of payment for
labor or services (such as construction or design) or material.
Memorandum opinion: A brief opinion of a court that announces the result of a case
without extensive discussion. Memorandum opinions are usually unpublished and
cannot be cited as precedent.

Opinion: The judge’s written statement explaining how and why a decision was
reached in a case. Because a case may be heard by three or more judges in the courts of
appeals, the opinion in appellate decisions can take several forms. If all the judges
completely agree on the result, one judge will write the opinion for all. If all the judges
do not agree, the formal decision will be based upon the view of the majority, and one
member of the majority will write the opinion. The judges who did not agree with the
majority may write separately in dissenting or concurring opinions to present their
views. A dissenting opinion disagrees with the majority opinion because of the
reasoning and/or the principles of law the majority used to decide the case. A
concurring opinion agrees with the decision of the majority opinion, but offers further
comment or clarification or even an entirely different reason for reaching the same
result. Only the majority opinion can serve as binding precedent in future cases.
Order: A mandate from a superior authority (e.g. executive orders); a ruling or
command made by a competent administrative authority, especially one resulting from
administrative adjudication and subject to judicial review and enforcement; or an
authoritative command issued by the court (e.g. court order).
Ordinance: Law passed by the local legislative branch of government (city council,
county commission); analogous to a state or federal statute.

APPENDIX A: GLOSSARY OF LEGAL TERMS

219

Parallel citation: A citation indicating other sources for the same judicial opinion or
statute. (See Chapter 2: How to Read a Legal Citation for further explanation and
examples)
Per curiam: Latin, meaning “for the court.” In appellate courts, often refers to an
unsigned opinion.
Plaintiff: A person or business that files a formal complaint with the court.
Pleadings: Written documents filed with the court, which describe a party’s legal or
factual assertions about the case.
Pocket part: A paper supplement inserted into a bound volume to update the
information found in the main volume. Pocket parts are a common way to update sets
of codes.
Power of attorney: An instrument containing an authorization for one to act as the
agent of the principal and which terminates upon revocation by the principal or death
of the principal or agent.
Precedent: A court decision in an earlier case with facts and legal issues similar to a
dispute currently before a court. Judges will generally “follow precedent” – meaning
that they use the principles established in earlier cases to decide new cases that have
similar facts and raise similar legal issues. A judge will disregard precedent if a party
can show that the earlier case was wrongly decided, or that it differed in some
significant way from the current case.
Primary authority: Rules of law promulgated by the three branches of government as
well as the texts of constitutions:

• Constitution-Organic laws of our nation and of our states
• Legislative-Statutes
• Executive/Administrative-Regulations, Executive Orders
• Judicial-Case opinions

Private law: A branch of law concerned with private persons, property, and
relationships (compare with “public law”).
Procedure: The rules for conducting a lawsuit. There are rules of civil procedure,
criminal procedure, evidence, bankruptcy, and appellate procedure.
Pro per: A slang expression sometimes used to refer to a pro se litigant. It is a shortened
version of the Latin phrase “in propria persona.”
Pro se: Representing oneself; serving as one’s own lawyer.
Public law: An enactment of a legislature that affects the public at large throughout the
entire territory (as in a state or nation) which is subject to the jurisdiction of the
legislature or within a particular subdivision of its jurisdiction; the area of law that
deals with the relations of individuals with the state and regulates the organization and
conduct of the government (compare with “private law”).

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Re or In re: “With regard to” or “in the matter of.” Often used in the title or name of a
case where the proceedings involve a probate or bankruptcy estate, or a guardianship.
Real property: Land, buildings, crops and other resources attached to or within the land
or improvements or fixtures permanently attached to the land or a structure on it.
Record: A written account of the proceedings in a case, including all pleadings,
evidence, and exhibits submitted in the course of the case.
Regulation: A rule issued by an administrative agency under authority granted to the
agency by the legislature.
Reply: A plaintiff’s or complainant’s response to a plea, allegation, or counterclaim in
the defendant’s answer.
Reporter/Reports: Compilations of judicial opinions arranged chronologically.
Restatement: Multivolume publications by the American Law Institute and authored
by legal scholars and experts that set forth statements of major areas of law (such as
contracts, torts, trusts, and property) and are widely referred to in jurisprudence but are
not binding on courts.
Ruling: An official or authoritative determination, decree, or interpretation (as by a
judge on a question of law).

Secondary authority: Sources which explain or describe the law; examples include
treatises, legal encyclopedias, hornbooks, and law review articles.
Shepardize: To use a Shepard’s citator to trace the history of a case or statute in order to
verify its validity or find later legal authorities.
Slip law: The earliest separate publication of a new statute, made prior to its inclusion
in the general laws.
Slip opinion: The earliest printed copy of a single judicial opinion. Slip opinions are
compiled into advance sheets. Advance sheets are then compiled into bound volumes.
Source of law: The authority such as a constitution, treaty, or statute that provides the
legal basis for judicial decisions and for legislation.
Statute: A law or act passed by a legislature.
Stare decisis: The doctrine of precedent, under which it is necessary for courts to follow
earlier judicial decisions when the same points arise again in litigation.
Substantive law: Law that creates or defines rights, duties, obligations and causes of
action that can be enforced by law.
Supersede: To subject to postponement or suspension; to take the place of in authority;
to take the place of and render null or ineffective.
Supplement: An update usually issued annually, either paper or hardbound. May be
inserted into a bound volume as a pocket part or may be shelved next to the main
volume.

Testate: Having made a valid will; disposed of or governed by a will.

APPENDIX A: GLOSSARY OF LEGAL TERMS

221

Tort: A wrongful act or violation of a duty (other than a breach of contract) that injures
another and for which the law imposes civil liability.
Treatise: A type of secondary legal material which analyzes a particular aspect of law,
often providing information intended to assist attorneys in their practice.
Treaty: An international agreement between two or more countries.
Triable: Subject to judicial or quasi-judicial examination or trial.

Westlaw: Subscription online legal research service, owned by Thomson Reuters.
WestlawNext: Launched in early 2010 by West, WestlawNext is a legal research service
that allows users to conduct a federated search across multiple content types, without
having to select a database first. Documents are sorted by relevance and may be filtered
by selecting options provided on the left part of the screen.
Writ: A written court order directing a person to take, or refrain from taking, a certain
action.
Writ of certiorari: An order issued by the U.S. Supreme Court directing the lower court
to transmit records for a case which it will hear on appeal.

Internet Sources:

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary: http://www.nolo.com/glossary.cfm
Law.com Dictionary: http://dictionary.law.com/
Lawyers.com Legal Dictionary: http://research.lawyers.com/glossary/
U.S. Court’s Glossary: http://www.uscourts.gov/library/glossary.html

222

Appendix B

LIST OF COMMON ABBREVIATIONS IN THE LAW

A. – Atlantic Reporter
A.2d – Atlantic Reporter, Second Series
A.B.A. – American Bar Association
A.G. – Attorney General’s Opinions
A.L.R. – American Law Reports
A.L.R. 2d – American Law Reports, Second
Series
A.L.R. 3d – American Law Reports, Third
Series
A.L.R. 4th – American Law Reports, Fourth
Series
A.L.R. 5th – American Law Reports, Fifth
Series
A.L.R. 6th – American Law Reports, Sixth
Series
A.L.R. Fed. – American Law Reports, Federal
A.L.R. Fed. 2d – American Law Reports,
Federal, Second Series
Am.Jur. – American Jurisprudence
Am.Jur. 2d – American Jurisprudence
Second Series
BNA – Bureau of National Affairs
C. – California Reports
C.2d – California Reports, Second Series
C.3d – California Reports, Third Series
C.4th – California Reports, Fourth Series
C.C.A. – Circuit Court of Appeal, U.S.
C.C.H. – Commerce Clearing House
C.C.R. – California Code of Regulations
CEB – Continuing Education of the Bar
(California)
C.F.R. – Code of Federal Regulation

C.J. – Corpus Juris
C.J.S. – Corpus Juris Secundum
C.L.I. – Current Law Index (Information
Access)
Cal. – California Reports
Cal. 2d – California Reports, Second Series
Cal. 3d – California Reports, Third Series
Cal. 4th – California Reports, Fourth Series
Cal. Admin. Code – California
Administrative Code
Cal. App. – California Appellate Reports
Cal. App. 2d – California Appellate Reports,
Second Series
Cal. App. 3d – California Appellate Reports,
Third Series
Cal. App. 4th – California Appellate Reports.,
Fourth Series
Cal. Code. Regs. – California Code of
Regulations
Cal. Jur. – California Jurisprudence
Cal. Jur. 2d – California Jurisprudence,
Second Series
Cal. Jur. 3d – California Jurisprudence, Third
Series
Cal. Rptr. – California Reporter (West)
Cal. Rptr. 2d – California Reporter, Second
Series (West)
Cal. Rptr. 3d – California Reporter, Third
Series (West)
Cal. S.B.J. – California State Bar Journal
cert. – certiorari
Cong. Rec. – Congressional Record

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Cir.Ct. – Circuit Court
Cl.Ct. – Claims Court or United States
Claims Court Reporter
Ct.Cl. – Court of Claims or Court of Claims
Reports
Cum. Bull. – Cumulative Bulletin (IRS)
D.A.R. – Daily Appellate Report (published
with the Los Angeles Daily Journal)
D.C. – District Court; District of Columbia
Dec. Dig. – Decennial Digest
eff. – effective
et al. – and others
et seq. – and the following ones
F. – Federal Reporter
F.2d – Federal Reporter, Second Series
F.3d – Federal Reporter, Third Series
F. App’x – Federal Appendix
F. R. – Federal Register
F.R.D. – Federal Rules Decisions
F. Supp. – Federal Supplement
F. Supp. 2d – Federal Supplement, Second
Series
Fed. Cl. – Court of Federal Claims or
Federal Claims Reporter
Fed. Reg. – Federal Register
Gen. Dig. – General Digest (West)
I.L.P. – Index to Legal Periodicals
(H.W. Wilson)
I.R.C. – Internal Revenue Code, United
States
Juv. Ct. – Juvenile Court
L.A.D.J. – Los Angeles Daily Journal
L.Ed. – Lawyers’ Edition, U.S. Supreme
Court Reports
L.Ed. 2d – Lawyers’ Edition, U.S. Supreme
Court Reports, Second Series

L.R.I. – Legal Resource Index (Information
Access)
L.S.A. – List of Sections Affected
Mun. Ct. – Municipal Court
N.E. – North Eastern Reporter
N.E. 2d – North Eastern Reporter, Second
Series
N.W. – North Western Reporter
N.W. 2d – North Western Reporter, Second
Series
P. – Pacific Reporter
P. 2d – Pacific Reporter, Second Series
P. 3d – Pacific Reporter, Third Series
P-H – Prentice-Hall
P.L. – Public Law
R.I.A. – Research Institute of America
Rev. Proc. – Revenue Procedure (IRS)
Rev. Rul. – Revenue Ruling (IRS)
S. – Southern Reporter
S.2d. – Southern Reporter, Second Series
So. – Southern Reporter
So. 2d – Southern Reporter, Second Series
S. E. – South Eastern Reporter
S. E. 2d – South Eastern Reporter, Second
Series
S. Ct. – Supreme Court Reporter (West)
Stat. – Statute, or U.S. Statutes at Large
Sup. Ct. – Supreme Court
Super. Ct. – Superior Court
S.W. – South Western Reporter
S.W.2d – South Western Reporter, Second
Series
S.W.3d – South Western Reporter, Third
Series
T.C. – Reports of the United States Tax Court
T.C. Memo – Tax Court Memorandum
Decisions

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

224

U.S. – United States Reports
U.S.C. – United States Code
U.S.C.A. – United States Code Annotated (West)
U.S.C.C.A.N. – U.S. Code Congressional & Administrative News (West)
U.S.C.S. – United States Code Service (LexisNexis)
U.S.L.W. – United States Law Week (BNA)
USTC – United States Tax Cases (CCH)

225

Appendix C

CALIFORNIA’S COUNTY LAW LIBRARIES

California’s county law libraries were organized in 1891 to serve all county residents,
the judiciary, state and county officials, and members of the state bar (1891 Cal. Stat.
430). The operation and governance of county law libraries was later codified in
California Business and Professions Code §§ 6300 et seq.1

Each library is governed by a
board of trustees, which is comprised of one to five superior court judges (depending
upon the size of the county) and two attorneys appointed annually by a county’s board
of supervisors.

Collections:

A typical county law library collection will include current and historic California
primary (statutes, cases and regulations) and secondary (treatises, practice guides and
form books) resources in print, microfiche and/or digital formats. The collections of
larger county law libraries (those located in or adjacent to larger municipalities) will
also include primary and secondary resources from other states and foreign countries as
well as special collections of California appellate briefs, self help legal materials,
legislative history documents, historic voter pamphlets and archival county/municipal
codes. Several county law libraries have also been designated as official depositories of
state and federal government publications which guarantees the availability of selective
government publications at the library (in print or a digital equivalent) for a minimum
of five years.

Services:

Reference and research assistance (but not advice) is available in person, by phone and
through live chat/remote access. At the library, a user will find free access to the
Internet, free access to the legal databases (Westlaw, LexisNexis, Loislaw, Fastcase)
subscribed to by the Library, and software that will allow them to create legal pleadings
or calculate family support (Word, Dissomaster, XSpouse). Many libraries offer MCLE

1 See the Legislative Counsel of California’s Web site (www.leginfo.ca.gov). Click on the “California Law”
button, check the box next to “Business and Professions Code,” and enter 6300 in the search box. The first
result should be Business and Professions Code Section 6300-6307.

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226

classes for attorneys as well as classes on how to find legal information in print or
online for paralegals and pro se litigants. Almost all the libraries have wi-fi, offer fee
based document delivery and interlibrary loans service with other libraries. This
appendix contains a list of California’s county law libraries and a summary of the
services offered by each library. The information is based upon a mixture of contact
with the libraries (when possible), the annual survey of county law libraries done by the
Council of California law librarians, the law library’s Web site, and a library’s listing in
Your Public Law Library.

The list is divided into two parts: Southern California and Northern California. The
counties of Southern California traditionally include the ten counties located south of
the 35° 47’ 28” north latitude, which form the southern boundaries of Monterey, Kings,
Tulare, and Inyo counties. 2Northern California includes the remaining forty-eight
counties of the state. This section of the appendix is further divided into three parts that
coincide with the following regions: (1) the Central Coast, Northern Coast, and the San
Francisco Bay Area; (2) the Shasta Cascade; and (3) the combined areas of the Central
Valley, Gold Country and High Sierra. 3

alphabetized list of
California’s 481 cities

To locate the county your city resides within,
the Web site of the League of California Cities provides an

, which also includes the county and population data of each city.4

If you have not all ready done so, please consider visiting your county’s law library to
see what it can do for you. The mission of county law libraries remains the same: to
provide free access to legal materials.

Contents:

• Southern California
• Northern California

o Central Coast, Northern Coast & San Francisco Bay Area
o Shasta Cascade
o Central Valley, Gold Country & High Sierra

2 See CaliforniaState Association of Counties’ County Map.
3 See the Explore California Map provided by the California Travel & Tourism Commission.
4 The link is on the Helpful Facts About Cities page.

APPENDIX C: CALIFORNIA’S COUNTY LAW LIBRARIES

227

Southern California

This section contains an alphabetical list of the county law libraries located in the
following ten counties: Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino,
San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura.

Imperial County Law Library
Imperial County Courthouse Tel: (760) 482-4739
939 Main Street Fax: (760) 352-3184
El Centro, CA92243

Email: [email protected] or [email protected].

COLLECTION: 4,000 volumes + electronic titles
SERVICES: The Law Library’s collection is listed on the library’s Web
site. The library maintains subscriptions to several legal databases
that are available on the library’s public computer. THE SUPERIOR
Court’s Access Center’s self-help legal services are also described
on the library’s Web site.

Kern County Law Library
1415 Truxtun Avenue, Room 301 Tel: (661) 868-5320
Bakersfield, CA93301 Fax: (661) 868-5368

COLLECTION: 23,000 volume, + electronic titles
SERVICES: Reference assistance is available in person & by phone,
the library maintains subscriptions to legal databases which are
accessible within the library. The library’s holdings can be searched
on the library’s Web site under the tab “Collection,” the Court’s
self-help center operates as a collaborative project within the law
library, sharing its resources and holding workshops for the public
on matters such as guardianship, custody visitation and divorce
defaults. A virtual Kern County law library is now available at the
Cerro Cosso and Taft college libraries in Ridgecrest and Taft,
California.

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LA Law Library

Main Branch
Mildred L. Lillie Building Tel: (213) 785-2529
301 West First Street Fax: (213) 613-1329
Los Angeles, CA90012

COLLECTION: 850,000 volumes + electronic titles + federal and state
Court briefs
SERVICES: Reference assistance is available in person, by phone,
email, and through the library’s participation in the
AskNow/Questionpoint live chat service. The library’s legal
database subscriptions are available for searching at the Main
Library and the library’s partnership libraries. At the Main Library,
the collection includes the laws and secondary resources of all states
and most foreign countries, self-help legal titles, legislative history
resources, current and archival state and local codes for Southern
California cities and counties and appellate briefs. The library offers
educational classes for the pro se, attorneys and paralegals, library
tours, interlibrary loans, and document delivery. The library’s Web
site links to legal research sites, the complete text of scanned state
court briefs from the library’s collection, legal research guides and
the library’s online public access catalog. The library is both a
selective federal and state depository of official California
documents. In 2012, it will be a participant in the Pacer: Access and
Education Program.

LA Law Library Branches:

Long Beach Branch
County Building
415 West Ocean Boulevard, Room 505
Long Beach, CA 90802
(562) 983-7088

(Continued on next page.)

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Norwalk Branch
Southeast Superior Court Building
12720 Norwalk Boulevard, Room 714
Norwalk, CA 90650
(562) 807-7310

Pomona Branch
East District Superior Court Building
400 Civic Center Plaza, Room 102
Pomona, CA 91766
(909) 620-3091

Santa Monica Branch
County Building
1725 Main Street, Room 219
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 260-3644

Torrance Branch
South Bay County Building
825 Maple Avenue, Room 110
Torrance, CA 90503
(310) 222-8816

The following locations are LA Law Library Partnerships with the
Los Angeles City or Los Angeles County public library systems:

Compton Library
240 West Compton Boulevard
Compton, CA 90220
(310) 637-0202

Pasadena Public Library
285 East Walnut Street
Pasadena, CA 91101
(626) 744-4066

Los Angeles Public Library, Van Nuys Branch
6250 Sylmar Avenue
Van Nuys, CA 91401
(818) 756-8453

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Lancaster Regional Library*
601 West Lancaster Blvd.
Lancaster, CA 93534
(661) 948-5029

*The LA Law Library shares its Lexis database subscription with the Lancaster
Regional Library.

Orange County Public Law Library
Santa Ana Civic Center Plaza Building Tel: (714) 834-3397
515 North Flower Street Fax: (714) 834-4375
Santa Ana, CA 92703

COLLECTION: 346,965 volumes + electronic titles
SERVICES: Reference assistance is available in person, by phone,
email, and on the Web through the library’s participation in the live
chat AskNow/Questionpoint service; public access computers
provide access to the Internet, and the library’s legal database
subscriptions. Other library services include library tours, legal
research guides, document delivery, and interlibrary loans from
other law libraries. Complete descriptions of these services and the
library’s online public access catalog are available on the library’s
Web site. The library is also a selective federal and state depository
of government publications which ensures the availability of these
documents.

Riverside County Law Library
Victor Miceli Law Library Tel: (951) 955-6390
3989 Lemon Street Fax: (951) 955-6394
Riverside, CA 92501

Desert Branch
Larson Justice Center Tel: (760) 863-8316
46-200 Oasis St. Fax: (760)342-2581
Indio, CA 92201

(Collection and service information are listed on next page.)

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COLLECTION: 66,000 volumes at the Main Library and 24,000 at the
Desert Branch + electronic titles
SERVICES: Reference assistance is available in person, by phone,
email, and through the internet using AskNow’s law librarian live
chat interface. Other services offered by the Library include
document delivery, “how to” classes, public education forums, and
daily tours of the Law Library. Computers are available for the
public to access the library’s legal database subscriptions. Pleading
paper formatted to Riverside Superior Court’s rules, research
guides written by the professional staff, the library’s catalog, and
general operational information about the library will be found on
the library’s Web site. A virtual tour of the library is also available
on the library’s Web site. The library is also a partial depository of
state government publications and in a partnership with the
Riverside City library to provide some federal depository titles.

Law Library for San Bernardino County
402 North “D” Street Tel: (909)885-3020
San Bernardino, CA 92401 Fax: (909) 381-0957

West End Branch
8401 North Haven Avenue
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730
(909) 944-5106

Victorville High-Desert Branch
15455 Seneca Road
Victorville, CA 92392
(760) 243-2044

COLLECTION: 141,970 volumes + electronic titles
SERVICES: Reference assistance is available in person, by phone,
email, and on the Web through the library’s participation in the
AskNow/Questionpoint live chat service. At the library a user will
be able to access the library’s legal database subscriptions for free
on a number of public computers. The library’s Web site provides
legal research guides, samples of legal forms, blank pleading paper,
a virtual tour of the library, useful legal links and the library’s
online public access catalog. (cont’d on next page)

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SERVICES (CONT’D): The law library is a selective depository of
federal and state publications. In 2008, the Library was named the
Depository Library of the Year by the U.S. Government Printing
Office, in July 2011, it was named one of two libraries selected to
offer free trials of the U. S. Administrative Office of the Court’s
Pacer program, and in 2012, it will be a provider in the Pacer
Access and Education Program.

San Diego County Public Law Library
1105 Front Street Tel: (619) 531- 3900
San Diego, CA 92101 Fax: (619) 238-7716

Temporary downtown location
1168 Union Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Limited hours and services (see link above).

North County Branch
325 S. Melrose, Suite 300 Tel: (760) 940-4386
Vista, CA 92081 Fax: (760) 724-7694

East County Branch
Courthouse Tel: (619) 441-4451
250 East Main Street Fax: (619) 441-0235
El Cajon, CA 92020-3941

South Bay Branch
Courthouse Tel: (619) 691-4929
500 Third Avenue Fax: (619) 427-7521
Chula Vista, CA 91910-5617

COLLECTION: 221,154 volumes + electronic titles
SERVICES: Reference assistance is available in person, by phone,
email, meebo chat, and on the Web through the library’s
participation in the real time AskNow/Questionpoint service. Other
services include classes for the pro se, paralegals and attorneys,
document delivery, interlibrary loans, tours of the library, free
access to its legal database subscriptions and the internet on its
public computers. (cont’d on next page)

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SERVICES (CONT’D): The Library’s Web site provides access to the
library’s online catalog, research guides in English and Spanish,
research links, a library newsletter and operational information
about the Library.

San Luis Obispo County Law Library
County Government Annex Tel: (805) 781-5855
1050 Monterey Street, Room 125 Fax: (805) 781-4172
San Luis Obispo, CA 93408 Email: [email protected]

COLLECTION: 14,000 volumes + electronic titles
SERVICES: Reference assistance is available in person, by phone, and
email. The Library’s Web site contains the library’s online catalog, a
link to the San Luis Obispo County Legal Resource Center, details
about its document delivery, interlibrary loan services and
operational information. At the library a user will also have free
access to the library’s legal database subscriptions and word
processing software on the library’s computers.

Santa Barbara County Law Library
County Courthouse Tel: (805) 568-2296
The McMahon Law Library Fax: (805) 568-2299
1100 Anacapa St., 2nd floor Email: [email protected]
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Santa Maria Law Library Branch
312 East Cook Street Tel: (805) 346-7548
Santa Maria, CA 93454 Fax: (805) 346-7692

COLLECTION: 37,000 volumes at the main library and 14,000
volumes at the Santa Maria Branch + electronic titles.
SERVICES: Reference assistance is available in person, by phone and
email. The library’s Web site contains the library’s online catalog,
links to legal research Web sites and the ability to fill in California
Judicial Council forms online through the library’s connection to
AccessLaw.com. Other services at the library include interlibrary
loans for Santa Barbara attorneys, free access to legal research
databases on CD-ROM public stations and MCLE materials.

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Ventura County Law Library
Hall of Justice Tel: (805) 642-8982
Ventura County Government Center Fax: (805) 642-7177
800 S. Victoria Avenue Email: [email protected]
Ventura, CA 93009-2020

COLLECTION: 72,507 volumes + electronic titles
SERVICES: Reference assistance is available in person, by phone or
email. On the library’s computers, there is free access to the
library’s legal database subscriptions as well as word processing
software for completing legal documents. The Ventura County
Courts provide a computer for using Dissomaster. The library’s
Web site provides legal and general research links, a link to the
Ventura County Legal Resource Center, a reservation form to use
the library’s meeting room and the library catalog.

Northern California

Central Coast, North Coast & San Francisco Bay Area

This section covers the following fifteen counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Del Norte,
Humboldt, Marin, Mendocino, Monterey, Napa, San Benito, San Francisco, San Mateo,
Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, and Sonoma.

Bernard E. Witkin
Alameda County Law Library
125 Twelfth Street Tel: (510) 208-4800
Oakland, CA 94607 Fax: (510) 208-3907
Email (links to online form)

South County Branch
224 W. Winton Avenue, Room 162 Tel: (510) 670-5230
Hayward, CA 94544-1215 Fax: (510) 670-5292

(Collection and service information are listed on next page.)

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COLLECTION: 100,267 volumes + electronic titles + state court briefs
SERVICES: Reference assistance is available in person, by phone,
email, on the internet through the library’s participation in the real
time AskNow/Questionpoint service, and the library’s Language
Line reference service subscription. The library offers classes for the
pro se and attorney, hosts the Bernard E. Witkin Memorial
Symposium, a monthly lawyer in the library event, document
delivery and interlibrary loan services. Public computers are
available for accessing the library’s legal database subscriptions
which includes one to create legal pleadings. A conference room is
available for rent by attorneys and the self represented litigant. The
library’s Web site provides access to a virtual tour of the library, the
library’s newsletter, staff prepared research guides, the library’s
online public access catalog, and more.

Contra Costa County Public Law Library
A. F. Bray Courts Building Tel: (925) 646-2783
1020 Ward Street, 1st Floor Fax: (925) 646-2438
Martinez, CA 94553-1276

Richmond Branch
Superior Court Building Tel: (510) 374-3019
100 37th Street, Room 237 Fax: (510) 374-3607
Richmond, CA 94805

Pittsburgh Branch
Superior Court Building Tel: (925) 252-2800
1000 Center Drive, Rm. 1045 Fax: (925) 252-2801
Pittsburg, CA 94565

COLLECTION: 44,777 volumes + electronic titles
SERVICES: Reference assistance is available in person, by phone and
email. Other services include research guides, a lawyer in the
library event, tours of the library, interlibrary loans with other
libraries, and document delivery. Public computers are available
for accessing the legal databases subscribed to by the Library, the
internet, the library’s online catalog, and word processing software.

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Del Norte County Law
Library & Self-Help Center Tel: (707) 464-8115
Del Norte Courthouse x126 (Clerk’s Office)
450 H Street
Crescent City, CA 95531

NOTE: The library is only open to the public when the Courthouse is
open.
COLLECTION: 7,809 volumes
SERVICES: THE Online Resource Directory of Del Norte County
Superior Court provides links to the Del Norte County Superior
Court rules and case information, legal research links, legal aid
information, forms, and more.

Humboldt County Law Library
812 4th Street, Room G04 Tel: (707) 476-2356
Eureka, CA 95501 Fax: (707) 268-0690
Email: [email protected]

COLLECTION: 20,344 volumes
SERVICES: The library’s Web site provides links to state and federal
legal self-help resources, legal aid groups, free legal forms, a pro se
handbook for the U. S. Northern District, primary resources and
much more.

Marin County Law Library
20 North San Pedro Road, Suite 2015 Tel: (415) 499-6355
San Rafael, CA 94903 Fax: (415) 499-6837

COLLECTION: 28,000 volumes
SERVICES: Reference assistance is available in person and by phone.
The library’s Web site has links to Marin County legal service
resources and forms as well as a search mechanism for finding
information about County services. The Web site indicates that the
library is not affiliated with the Superior Court.

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Mendocino County Law Library
County Courthouse Tel: (707) 463-4201
100 North State Street, Room 307 Fax: (707) 468-3459
Ukiah, CA 95482 Email: [email protected]

COLLECTION: 6,000 volumes
SERVICES: Reference service is available in person and by phone.
The library’s Web site links to cases, statutes, codes, forms, legal
self-help, “homework help,” county information and more.

Monterey County Law Library
Federal Office Building Tel: (831) 755-5046
100 West Alisal Street, Suite 144 Fax: (831) 422-9593
Salinas, CA 93901 Email: [email protected]

Monterey Branch Tel: (831) 647-7746
Monterey Courthouse Fax: (831) 372-6036
1200 Aguajito Road, Room 202
Monterey, CA 93940

COLLECTION: 29,546 volumes + electronic titles
SERVICES: Reference assistance is available in person, by phone and
email. Patrons may access legal databases subscribed to by the
library on the library’s computers. Other services include limited
faxing of known citations, and interlibrary loans. The library’s
collection is described under “holdings summary” on the library’s
Web site. The library’s Web site also contains links to other
important legal Web sites.

Napa County Law Library
Historic Courthouse Tel: (707) 299-1201
825 Brown Street Email: [email protected]
Napa, CA 94559

COLLECTION: 318 print titles, 274 online/digital titles
SERVICES: Reference assistance is available limited hours M-F. The
library’s print and digital collections are listed on the library’s Web
site in excel spreadsheets.

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SERVICES CONT’D: Three computers are available for searching the
library’s digital products or accessing approved legal Web sites.
Consumer legal education pamphlets from the California State Bar
are also available. The library is not a lending library.

San Benito County Law Library
San Benito County Courthouse Tel: (831) 636-4057
440 Fifth Street, Room 205
Hollister, CA 95023-3833
Email: [email protected]

COLLECTION: A small collection of legal books is available for public
use during the court’s hours, 8:30AM – 4:00PM.
SERVICES: The small claims, civil, family and probate offices are at
440 Fifth Street; family law services and facilitator are at 390 Fifth
street. The County Web site provides descriptions of these services
and useful legal links to primary and secondary resources.

San Francisco Law Library
Civic Center Main Law Library Tel: (415) 554-6821
Veterans War Memorial Building* Fax: (415) 554-6820
401 Van Ness Avenue, Room 400
San Francisco, CA 94102-4552

Branch Library in the Financial District
Monadnock Building
685 Market Street, Ste 420 Tel: (415) 882-9310
San Francisco, CA 94105 Fax: (415) 882-9594

Courthouse Reference Room
Civic Center Courthouse Tel: (415) 551-3647
400 McAllister Street, Room 512 Fax: (415) 551-3787
San Francisco, CA 94102

*The Main Law Library is facing eviction in December 2012 and awaiting the
City’s decision on where to relocate it.

(Collection and service information are listed on next page.)

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COLLECTION: 325,000 volumes + electronic titles
SERVICES: Reference assistance is available in person, by phone and
email. Computers are available for searching the library’s legal
database subscriptions. Special collections within the main library
include MCLE self study programs for attorneys from Versatape, an
archive of historic San Francisco Municipal Codes, and a law
practice management collection at the Financial District branch.
Other services include document delivery, interlibrary loans, tours
of the library, and training classes. On the library’s Web site, legal
research and service Web site are listed under the headings of
library services, attorney resources, and self-help. Tips from the
Library Cat can be found in the left frame of the Web site. The
library’s Web site indicates that the “San Francisco Law Library is
California’s First County Law Library.”

San Mateo County Law Library
Cohn-Sorenson Building Tel: (650) 363-4913
710 Hamilton Street Fax: (650) 367-8040
Redwood City, CA 94063

COLLECTION: 29,764 volumes + electronic titles
SERVICES: Reference assistance is available in person and by phone.
The public has access to legal databases subscribed to by the
Library as well as the internet on library computers. The library’s
Web site contains legal research guides on many subjects; i.e,
criminal law, disability law, legal research tutorials, self help legal
resources, research links and the library’s online catalog. There is a
conference room available to rent for a fee, and the Library has a
complete collection of print CEB titles and MCLE audio materials.
Frequently, there is a noontime lecture series by legal experts.

Santa Clara County Law Library
360 North First Street Tel: (408) 299-3568
San Jose, CA 95113 Fax: (408) 286-9283

COLLECTION: 70,000 volumes plus + electronic titles

(Description of services is on the next page.)

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SERVICES: Reference assistance is available in person and by phone
on a limited basis. The library’s 2 public computers may be used to
access the library’s legal database subscriptions and the internet for
free for 30 minutes, and longer, for a fee, if space is available. The
library’s catalog of titles is currently only available within the
library, not on its Web site though the Web site links to legal
research sources and self-help legal materials.

Santa Cruz County Law Library
County Government Center Tel: (831) 420-2205
701 Ocean Street, Room 070 Fax: (831) 457-2255
Santa Cruz, CA 95060-4027 Email: [email protected]

COLLECTION: 16,000 volumes + electronic titles
SERVICES: Reference assistance is available in person, by phone and
email. There are 7 computers on which the public may search, at no
cost, the library’s subscriptions to fee based legal databases, word
processing software and the internet. Document delivery services
and interlibrary loans of materials from other libraries are also
available. The library’s Web site links to self-help resources. The
library’s catalog is cataloged as part of the Santa Cruz City County
Public Library catalog.

Solano County Law Library
Hall of Justice Tel: (707) 421-6520
600 Union Avenue Tel: (866) 572-7587
Fairfield, CA 94533 Fax: (707) 421-6516

COLLECTION: 18,783 volumes + electronic titles
SERVICES: Reference assistance is available as is access to computers
for searching the library’s legal database subscriptions and the
internet on 3 public computers. Meeting rooms are available to rent.
The library’s online catalog is searchable through the Solano
County Public Library catalog.

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Sonoma County Public Law Library
2604 Ventura Avenue Tel: (707) 565-2668
Santa Rosa, CA 95403 Fax: (707)565-1126

COLLECTION: 29,000 volumes + electronic titles
SERVICES: Reference assistance is available in person, by phone and
through email (there is a link to a librarian on the library Web site
under “Contact a Sonoma County law librarian.) Computers are
available for searching the library’s legal database subscriptions,
legislative history sources can be retrieved from the Secretary of
State’s office (such as committee analyses) and bill files can be
obtained from the Governor’s Office, for a fee. Other services
include a conference room, interlibrary loans and document
delivery. The library’s Web site includes useful links to legal
research and self help Web sites.

Shasta Cascade

The Shasta Cascade is located in the northeastern part of the state and shares borders
with both Oregon and Nevada. This section of the appendix covers the following eight
counties: Butte, Lassen, Modoc, Plumas, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama, and Trinity.

Butte County Public Law Library
1675 Montgomery Avenue Tel: (530) 538-7122
Oroville, CA 95965 Fax: (530) 534-1499
Email: [email protected]

COLLECTION: 5,700 volumes + electronic titles
SERVICES: Reference assistance is available in person, by email, by
phone and through the library’s participation in the
AskNow/Questionpoint service. Public computers allow the public
to access the library’s legal research subscription databases. For a
modest fee, legislative history information can be obtained from the
Secretary of State’s office and the chaptered bills’ files can be
obtained from the Governor’s Office. Other services include
interlibrary loans with other libraries, and document delivery. The
library’s Web site includes links to self help resources.

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Lassen County Law Library
Lassen Superior Court Tel: (530) 251-8353
Access to Justice Center
145 S. Lassen Street
Susanville, CA 96130

COLLECTION: Electronic only
SERVICES: A small legal reference collection is available in the
Access to Justice Self Help Center on Lassen Street in addition to
legal databases, legal forms, legal clinics, the small claims advisor
and the family law facilitator. A new courthouse is under
construction at 2610 Riverside Drive in Susanville.

Modoc County Law Library
Modoc County Courthouse Tel: (530) 233-6515
205 South East Street
Alturas, CA 96101

There is no longer a traditional law library, but electronic access to
legal information and Web sites is available on the Modoc County
Superior Court Web site. There is also an online Self Help Center.

Plumas County Law Library
Plumas County Courthouse Tel: (530) 283-6325
520 Main Street, Room 414
Quincy, CA 95971
Email: [email protected]

COLLECTION: 6,190 volumes + electronic titles
SERVICES: Reference assistance is available in person, by phone and
email. Computers are available for accessing legal databases
subscribed to by the Library. The library’s Web site provides a
“collection of legal links,” Plumas County information and a
description of the library’s collection.

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Shasta County Public Law Library
Shasta County Courts Tel: (530) 245-6243
1500 Court Street, B-7 Fax: (530) 245-6966
Redding, CA 96001

COLLECTION: 9,200 volumes + electronic titles.
SERVICES: Reference assistance is available during regular library
hours. There are six computers for accessing the library’s digital
legal database subscriptions and the internet; the library’s catalog is
available on the Shasta College Web site. Self help and other legal
assistance is available at the library’s Family Law Facilitator/Self
Help Center.

Siskiyou County Law Library
311 Fourth Street, Room 206 Tel: (530) 842-8390
Yreka, CA 96097 Fax: (530) 842-8339
Email: [email protected]

COLLECTION: 5,000 volumes + electronic titles
SERVICES: Reference Service is available. The library is operated by
the Superior Court of Siskiyou County. Legal research and self help
legal information is available on the Superior Court’s Self-Help
Links.

Tehama County Law Library
Courthouse, Room 38 Tel: (530) 527-9252
633 Washington Street Tel: (530) 529-5033
Red Bluff, CA 96080

COLLECTION: 10,070 volumes + electronic titles
SERVICES: The Superior Court’s Web site provides links to self help
resources. The Library is open Monday – Friday mornings.

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Trinity County Law Library
Courthouse Tel: (530) 623-5641
101 Court Street
Weaverville, CA 96093

NOTE: The county no longer has a traditional law library, but
patrons may use the legal resources available at the Court’s Access
to Justice Center. The Superior Court’s Web site includes links to
the Ask Now online law librarian service, California and County
legal resource links, legal aid information, forms and more.

Central Valley, Gold Country & High Sierra

This section covers the following 25 counties, plus the Bernard E. Witkin State Law
Library in Sacramento: Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, Colusa, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn,
Inyo, Kings, Lake, Mariposa, Madera, Merced, Mono, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, San
Joaquin, Sierra, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tulare, Tuolumne, Yolo, and Yuba.

Alpine County Law Library
Superior Court Tel: (530) 694-2113
14777 State Route 89, P.O. Box 518
Markleeville, CA 96120

There is no longer a traditional law library; LexisNexis is available
through the Superior Court Executive Office. The Alpine County
Superior Court Web site has links to self-help legal resources, legal
aid clinics and legal forms. Email: [email protected].

Amador County Law Library
Amador County Library Tel: (209) 223-6400
530 Sutter Street
Jackson, CA 95642

The county law library is part of Amador County Library.
COLLECTION: 1,950 volumes + electronic titles

(Description of services is on the next page.)

APPENDIX C: CALIFORNIA’S COUNTY LAW LIBRARIES

245

SERVICES: Reference service is available as are print and online
legal resources. Self help legal assistance is available from the
Amador County Superior Court.

Bernard E. Witkin State Law Library
Mosk Library and Courts Building Tel: (916) 654-0185
900 N Street, Room 100 Fax: (916) 654-2039
Sacramento, CA 95814
P. O. Box 942837
Sacramento, CA 94237

COLLECTION: 35,000 volumes + electronic titles + California
Appellate briefs since 1863. The law library is part of the California
state library which is the only full regional depository of U.S.
government publications in California and a complete depository of
California government publications.
SERVICES: Reference assistance is available in person, by phone,
email, and on the Web using the AskNow/Questionpoint live chat
service. There are public access computers to use the library’s
digital subscriptions. The library’s Web site provides access to the
library catalog, interlibrary loans with other libraries, document
delivery information and the services and features of other libraries
within the California State Library (i.e., Sutro and Braille).

Calaveras County Law Library
Government Center, Legal Building Tel: (209) 754-6314
891 Mountain Ranch Road (County Counsel)
San Andreas, CA 95249

COLLECTION: 8,250 volumes
SERVICES: This is a self-service library; the Superior Courts of
Calaveras County and Amador County provide a self-help legal
center which provides legal assistance in certain types of cases,
computers with access to online form Web sites and classes on
issues such as wills, divorce and bankruptcy.

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Colusa County Law Library/ Tel (530) 458-5149
Superior Court
547 Market Street, Courthouse Annex
Colusa, CA 95932

There is no longer a separate law library. The Colusa County
Superior Court provides services through a self help center and
family law facilitator office. The office can be reached by email at
[email protected].

El Dorado County Law Library
550 Main Street, Suite A Tel: (530) 621-6423
Placerville, CA 95667-5699 Email: [email protected]

South Lake Tahoe Branch
South Lake Tahoe County Library
1000 Rufus Allen Boulevard
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
(530) 621-6423 (same as main)

COLLECTION: 9,000 volumes (combined branches) + electronic titles
SERVICES: Reference assistance is available in person, by phone and
email. Patrons may search the library’s electronic resources on
computers at both libraries. Classes and legal clinics are offered by
County Court officials on various legal procedures.

Fresno County Public Law Library
1100 Van Ness Avenue, Rm. 600 Tel: (559) 237-2227
Fresno, CA 93721 Fax: (559) 442-4960
Email: [email protected]

COLLECTION: 44,000 volumes/3300 titles + electronic titles
SERVICES: Reference assistance is available in person, by phone,
email, and on the Web using AskNow’s law librarian live chat
service. The library’s Web site provides a link to blank pleading
paper formatted for use in Fresno Superior Court, the Nolo Press
legal database of self help titles, legal research Web sites, the
library’s online public access catalog and Fresno Superior Court’s
“representing yourself” information.

APPENDIX C: CALIFORNIA’S COUNTY LAW LIBRARIES

247

Glenn County Law Library
525 W. Sycamore Street Tel: (530) 934-6455
Willows, CA 95988 Tel: (530) 934-6461
Fax: (530) 934-6406

COLLECTION: The library has no print collection. LexisNexis is
available at the following two Glenn County Public Libraries:

Orland Free Library
333 Mill Street
Orland, CA 95963
(530) 865-1640

Willows Public Library
201 N. Lassen
Willows, CA 95988
(530) 934-5156

SERVICES: Glenn County Superior Court provides links on its Web
site to self-help legal and general Web site resources.

Inyo County Law Library
Inyo County Library
Independence County Courthouse Tel: (760) 878-0260
168 N. Edwards Street, Basement
(P. O. Box Drawer K)
Independence, CA 93526

COLLECTION: 3,775 volumes
SERVICES: The Law Library is operated by the Independence Public
Library; the print collection is in a closed room, accessible only
through librarians at the public library. The library maintains
subscriptions to legal databases. Self help legal assistance is
available through Inyo Superior County Superior Court’s Self Help
Legal Center.

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

248

Kings County Law Library
Kings County Government Center Tel: (559) 582-3211
1400 West Lacey Boulevard, Building 4
Hanford, CA 93230

COLLECTION: 12,700 volumes + electronic titles
SERVICES: Reference assistance is available. The library’s legal
database subscriptions, word processing and the internet for
limited legal research may be accessed on the library’s public
computer. Interlibrary loans are available. The Library’s Web site
includes a complete description of the library’s print and digital
collection, the library’s policies, research links, and information
about other County services.

Lake County Law Library
255 N. Forbes Street (mail) Tel: (707) 263-2205
175 3rd Street (physical) Fax:(707) 263-2207
Lakeport, CA 95453 Email: [email protected]

COLLECTION: 7,000 volumes + electronic titles. The EBSCO Legal
reference center collection of the full text of Nolo self help legal
publications is available from the library’s Web site.
SERVICES: The library’s Web site provides a description of Lake
County’s print collection, a list of the electronic resources available
on its two public access computers, and legal research links. The
Library will do interlibrary loans with other libraries. There is an
extensive collection of self help/Nolo Press legal publications.

Mariposa County Law Library
Mariposa County Self Help Center Tel:(209)742-5322
5092 Jones Street Fax: (209) 966-2079
Mariposa, CA 95338

COLLECTION: 2,742 volumes
SERVICES: The Mariposa Self Help Center Web site lists self help
resources and services available at the Mariposa Superior Court &
Self Help Center. There are a number of self help legal books at the
Center.

APPENDIX C: CALIFORNIA’S COUNTY LAW LIBRARIES

249

Madera County Law Library
209 West Yosemite Avenue Tel: (559) 673-0378
Madera, CA 93637 Email: [email protected]

COLLECTION: 13,500 volumes
SERVICES: The library’s online catalog is linked to ValleyCat, the
San Joaquin Valley library system catalog. Legal self help is
available at the Madera County Superior Court. The Library is open
Monday-Friday mornings.

Merced County Law Library
670 West 22nd Street Tel: (209) 385-7332
Merced, CA 95340 Fax: (209) 385-7448

COLLECTION: 17,295 volumes + CD-ROM titles
SERVICES: Reference assistance is available in person and by phone
on a limited basis. The library will do interlibrary loans with the
California state law library. The Library’s collection is described on
the library’s Web site. Self help legal assistance is available at the
Merced County Superior Court.

Mono County Law Library
Mono County Public Libraries Tel: (760) 934-8670
P.O. Box 1120 Fax: (760) 934-6268
Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546

Bridgeport Branch
94 N. School Street Tel: (760) 932-7482
Bridgeport, CA 93517 Fax: (760) 932-7539

Mammoth Lakes Branch
400 Sierra Park Road Tel: (760) 934-4777
Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546 Fax: (760) 934-6268

COLLECTION: The Mono County Law Library is now part of the
Bridgeport and Mammoth Lakes Public Libraries.

(Description of services is on next page.)

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

250

SERVICES: Reference assistance, interlibrary loans with other
libraries, and other public library services are listed on the libraries’
Web site. Self-help legal assistance is available at the Mono County
Superior Court .

Nevada County Law Library
Nevada County Courthouse Tel: (530) 265-2918
201 Church Street, Suite 9 Tel: (530) 470-2594
Nevada City, CA 95959
Email: [email protected]

COLLECTION: 6,000 volumes + electronic titles
SERVICES: Reference assistance is available as are computers for
using the library’s legal database subscriptions, word processing
and creating legal pleadings. The library Web site provides access
to its online public access catalog. The County’s Public Law (self
help) Center and County Small Claims Advisor are located within
the law library.

Placer County Law Library
Sparks Law Library of Placer County Tel: (530) 823-2573
1523 Lincoln Way
Auburn, CA 95603

COLLECTION: 8,751 volumes + electronic titles + digital access to the
full text of EBSCO’s legal reference center of Nolo Press titles.
SERVICES: Reference assistance is available. Public computers
provide access to the legal database subscriptions maintained by
the Law Library and word processing software. The law library’s
catalog is included within the online catalog of the Placer County
Library.

APPENDIX C: CALIFORNIA’S COUNTY LAW LIBRARIES

251

Sacramento County Public Law Library
813 Sixth Street, First Floor Tel: (916) 874-6011
Sacramento, CA 95814 Fax: (916) 874-7050

COLLECTION: 67,000 volumes + electronic titles
SERVICES: Reference assistance is available in person, by phone,
email, and on the Web using AskNow’s law librarian live chat
service. To access the library’s digital subscriptions and the internet,
public computers are available. Other services at the library include
classes and workshops, a regular Lawyer in the library event, tours
of the library, the Sacramento County civil self help center, MCLE
resources for attorneys and federal and state depository
publications (the library is both a selective federal and state
depository). Using the library’s Web site, users can arrange for
interlibrary loans with other libraries, document delivery, search
the library’s online public access catalog, read or view tutorial
guides under the tab for “library services,” watch a video on
Conservatorships, or take a virtual tour of the library.

Stockton-San Joaquin County Law Library
Kress Legal Center Tel: (209) 468-3920
20 N. Sutter Street Fax: (209) 468-9968
Stockton, CA 95202

COLLECTION: 27,759 volumes + electronic titles
SERVICES: Legal resources are listed and linked to on the Stockton-
San Joaquin County Public library Web site. The public library’s
Web site includes online access to the library’s catalog of resources.
The library is a selective depository of U.S. government
publications which are housed in the Cesar Chavez Central Library.

Sierra County Law Library
Sierra County Courthouse
100 Courthouse Square Tel: (530) 289-3269
Downieville, CA 95936

(Collection and service information are listed on next page.)

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

252

COLLECTION: 1,000 volumes
SERVICES: The Sierra County law library has a small collection of
California legal resources which are available to the public, and
maintained by the Sierra County District Attorney’s Office. The
Sierra County Superior Court houses the office of the Family Law
Facilitator; the Court’s Web site, under the tab for self-help provides
legal resource links to services available on the internet, legal forms,
court rules and much more.

Stanislaus County Law Library
1101 13th Street Tel: (209) 558-7759
Modesto, CA 95354-0907 Fax: (209) 558-8284
Email: [email protected]

COLLECTION: 22,172 volumes + electronic titles
SERVICES: Reference assistance is available in person and by phone.
Legal databases and word processing are available on the library’s
computers. The main page of the library’s Web site provides what
they consider the most useful tools for finding information for
attorneys and the self represented litigant under two separate
“Quick links.” Other services include the availability of a
conference room to rent and interlibrary loans with other libraries.

Sutter County Law Library
Sutter County Superior Court
430 Center Street
Yuba City, CA 95991

COLLECTION: There is no longer a traditional law library.
SERVICES: Resources are available at the Sutter County Superior
Court and on the Court’s Web site. The Self Help Legal Center at
the Court has its services listed under the Web site menu listing for
“family” services. FAQ’s are arranged under the menu tabs of civil,
criminal, traffic and small claims.

APPENDIX C: CALIFORNIA’S COUNTY LAW LIBRARIES

253

Tulare County Public Law Library
221 South Mooney Boulevard, Room 1 Tel: (559) 636-4600
County Courthouse Fax: (559) 730-2613
Visalia, CA 93291-9543 Email: [email protected]

COLLECTION: 18,000 volumes + electronic titles
SERVICES: Reference service is available in person, by phone on a
limited basis and email. 5 public computers provide access to
electronic products subscribed to by the library and Wi-Fi. Library
tours are available. The Library’s catalog is available on the library
Web site, as is the full text of Nolo Press legal titles under the tab for
“links.”

Tuolumne County Law Library
Legal Resource and Self-Help Center Tel: (209) 533-6565
41 West Yaney Avenue Fax: (209) 536-0718
Sonora, CA 95370

COLLECTION: 8,575 volumes
SERVICES: The law library is within the County’s self help center.
The Center provides reference assistance; legal databases and word
processing are on the center’s computers. The Tuolumne County
Superior Court’s Web site offers extensive information on legal
matters by subject.

Yolo County Law Library
204 Fourth Street, Suite A Tel: (530) 666-8918
Woodland, CA 95695 Fax: (530) 666-8618
Email: [email protected]

COLLECTION: 17,500 volumes + electronic titles
SERVICES: Reference assistance is available in person, by phone and
email. Four public computers are available to access legal databases
subscribed to by the library and the internet. Legal resource links to
state, county and general resources are available on the library’s
Web site.

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

254

Yuba County Law Library
303 Second Street Tel: (530) 749-7380
Marysville, CA 95901 Email: [email protected]

COLLECTION: There is no longer a traditional law library.
SERVICES: Reference assistance is available from the Yuba County
Public Library. The Yuba County Library provides electronic access
to law library materials. There is an online catalog of print and
electronic resources.

255

Appendix D

CALIFORNIA LAW SCHOOLS

This appendix includes the California law schools accredited by the American Bar
Association (ABA), and, hence, deemed accredited by the California Committee of Bar
Examiners, as well as those accredited by the California Committee of Bar Examiners
(and not the ABA).1 selected
list of Internet resources

Please note that following the lists of law schools there is a
that may be helpful to prospective law students and other

interested researchers.

Part I: California Law Schools Accredited by the ABA

California Western School of Law
225 Cedar Street
San Diego, CA 92101-3046
(619) 239-0391
www.cwsl.edu

Chapman University School of Law
Donald P. Kennedy Hall
One University Dr.
Orange, CA 92866
(714) 628-2500
http://www.chapman.edu/law/

Golden Gate University
School of Law
536 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94105-2968
(415) 442-6600
www.ggu.edu/schools/law

Loyola Law School
919 S. Albany Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015-1211
(213) 736-1000
www.lls.edu

1 These schools are also listed on the State Bar of California Web site at
http://admissions.calbar.ca.gov/Education/LegalEducation/LawSchools.aspx. In addition, this Web page
includes a list of unaccredited law schools in California. Students who attend an unaccredited law school
are required to take the First-Year Law Students Examination and must pass it within three
administrations after becoming eligible to take the examination, which is upon completion of the first
year of law study, in order to receive credit for law study undertaken up to the point of passage.

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

256

Pepperdine University
School of Law
24255 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90263-4655
(310) 506-4611
http://law.pepperdine.edu/

Santa Clara University
School of Law
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053-0001
(408) 554-4767
www.scu.edu/law

Southwestern Law School
3050 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90010-1106
(213) 738-6700
www.swlaw.edu

Stanford Law School
Crown Quadrangle
559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA 94305-8610
(650) 723-2465
www.law.stanford.edu

Thomas Jefferson School of Law
2121 San Diego Avenue
San Diego, CA 92110
(619) 297-9700
www.tjsl.edu

University of California at Berkeley
School of Law
215 Boalt Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
(510) 642-1741
www.law.berkeley.edu

University of California at Davis
School of Law (King Hall)
400 Mrak Hall Drive
Davis, CA 95616-5201
(530) 752-0243
www.law.ucdavis.edu

University of California at
Los Angeles School of Law
P.O. Box 951476
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1476
(310) 825-4841
www.law.ucla.edu

University of California
Hastings College of the Law
200 McAllister Street
San Francisco, CA 94102-4707
(415) 565-4600
www.uchastings.edu

University of San Diego
School of Law
5998 Alcalá Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492
(619) 260-4600
www.sandiego.edu/usdlaw

APPENDIX C: CALIFORNIA LAW SCHOOLS

257

University of San Francisco
School of Law
2199 Fulton Street
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 422-6586
www.usfca.edu/law

University of Southern California
Gould School of Law
699 Exposition Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0071
(213) 740-2523
http://law.usc.edu/

University of the Pacific
McGeorge School of Law
3200 Fifth Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95817-2705
(916) 739-7191
www.mcgeorge.edu

Western State University
College of Law
1111 North State College Blvd.
Fullerton, CA 92831-3014
(714) 738-1000
www.wsulaw.edu

Whittier Law School
3333 Harbor Blvd.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626-1501
(714) 444-4141
www.law.whittier.edu

Part II: California Law Schools Accredited

by the Committee of Bar Examiners

Cal Northern School of Law
1395 Ridgewood Drive, Suite 100
Chico, CA 95973-7802
(530) 891-6900
www.calnorthern.edu

Empire College School of Law
3035 Cleveland Avenue
Santa Rosa, CA 95403-2122
(707) 546-4000
www.empcol.edu

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

258

Glendale University
College of Law
220 North Glendale Avenue
Glendale, CA 91206-4454
(818) 247-0770
www.glendalelaw.edu

Humphreys College Laurence Drivon
School of Law
6650 Inglewood Avenue
Stockton, CA 95207-3861
(209) 478-0800
http://web.humphreys.edu/divisions/lw/

John F. Kennedy University
School of Law
100 Ellinwood Way
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523-4817
(925) 969-3550
http://www.jfku.edu/schools/law

Lincoln Law School of Sacramento
3140 “J” Street
Sacramento, CA 95816-4403
(916) 446-1275

www.lincolnlaw.edu

Lincoln Law School of San Jose
One North First Street
San Jose, CA 95113-1227
(408) 977-7227
www.lincolnlawsj.edu

Monterey College of Law
100 Col. Durham Street
Seaside, CA 93955-7300
(831) 582-4000

www.montereylaw.edu

San Francisco Law School
20 Haight Street
San Francisco, CA 94102-5802
(415) 626-5550
www.sfls.edu

San Joaquin College of Law
901 5th Street
Clovis, CA 93612-1312
(559) 323-2100 or
(800) 522-0994
www.sjcl.edu

Santa Barbara and Ventura Colleges
of Law
20 E. Victoria Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101-2606
(805) 966-0010
www.santabarbaralaw.edu

Southern California Institute of Law
Santa Barbara campus:
1525 State Street, Suite 200
Santa Barbara, CA 93101-2500
(805) 963-4654

www.lawdegree.com

APPENDIX C: CALIFORNIA LAW SCHOOLS

259

Southern California Institute of Law
Ventura campus:
877 South Victoria Ave., Suite 111
Ventura, CA 93003-5377
(805) 644-2367
www.lawdegree.com

Trinity Law School
2200 North Grand Avenue
Santa Ana, CA 92705-7016
(714) 836-7500 or (800) 922-4748
www.tls.edu

University of La Verne
College of Law2
320 East “D” Street

Ontario, CA 91764-4128
(909) 460-2000

University of West Los Angeles
School of Law
San Fernando Valley Campus
9201 Oakdale Avenue, #201
Chatsworth, CA 91311
(818) 775-4500
www.uwla.edu

University of West Los Angeles
School of Law
West Los Angeles Campus
9920 S. La Cienega Blvd., Suite 404
Inglewood, CA 90301-4423
(310) 342-5250
www.uwla.edu

Selected Internet Resources

The ABA’s Section of Legal Education & Admissions to the Bar
• Web site: http://www.americanbar.org/groups/legal_education.html
• There are links to ABA-Approved Law Schools, Accreditation, and Bar

Admissions.

2 The University of La Verne College of Law’s provisional ABA approval expired in July 2011. The school
applied for and regained California Bar accreditation in August 2011.

LOCATING THE LAW, FIFTH EDITION, 2011

260

• One may search for law schools alphabetically, by private school, by public
school, and by geographic region on the ABA-Approved Law Schools page,
http://www.americanbar.org/groups/legal_education/resources/aba_approved_la
w_schools.html

The Association of American Law Schools (AALS)

• Web site: http://www.aals.org/index.php
• AALS is a nonprofit association of 171 law schools. Its purpose is “the

improvement of the legal profession through legal education.”
• Publishes the Directory of Law Teachers, which lists, by school, the full-time faculty

and professional staff of all member and fee-paid law schools. This annual
publication contains biographical sketches of over 10,000 full-time teachers and
lists full-time teachers by subjects taught.

The Law School Admission Council (LSAC)

• Web site: http://www.lsac.org/
• The LSAC is a nonprofit corporation “whose goal is to provide the highest

quality admission-related services for legal education institutions and their
applicants throughout the world.” Those services include the Law School
Admissions Test (LSAT), research and statistical reports, videos, and LSAT
preparation tools.

• The most recent edition of the Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools is
posted online at https://officialguide.lsac.org/release/OfficialGuide_Default.aspx.
One may search in a variety of ways: keyword, geography, or by alphabet.

• The Research page (under LSAC Resources) includes a wealth of information, such
as statistical reports, data on matriculants by ethnicity, and information on
grants.

The State Bar of California
• http://www.calbar.ca.gov/
• There are several useful pages for prospective law students on the California

Bar’s website. Click on the “Bar Exam” link on the right-side of the screen. The
main screen includes information on the California Bar Exam. On the left, there
are links to “Pre Legal and Legal Education,” “Law Schools,” “Other Attorney
Admission/Law Student Programs,” and “Law Student Resources.”

  • !!!!Cover & Title pages Color
  • !!!!Forward 2009 RH
  • !!!Preface 2011 JK
  • !!Acknowledgments 2009
  • !Table of Contents
  • 1 Introduction
    • Chapter 1
  • 2 How to Read a Legal Citation
    • Chapter 2
  • 3 Basic Legal Research Techniques
    • Chapter 3
  • 4 Legal Ref v. Legal Advice
    • Chapter 4
  • 5 California Law
    • Chapter 5
  • 6 Bib of Calif Law Sources
    • Chapter 6
  • 7 Federal Law
    • Chapter 7
  • 8 Bib of Fed Law Sources
    • Chapter 8
  • 9 Assisting Self-Rep Litigants
    • Chapter 9
  • 10 Bib of Self-Help Resources
    • Chapter 10
  • 11 Legal Collections
    • Chapter 11
  • 12 Major Legal Publishers
    • Chapter 12
  • 13 Appendix A Glossary of Legal Terms
    • Appendix A
  • 14 Appendix B Common Abbreviations
    • Appendix B
  • 15 Appendix C California County Law Libraries
    • Appendix C
  • 16 Appendix D California Law Schools
    • Appendix D

1

Unit 3 Assignment

Maryah Reed

Legal Research Writing

April 16, 2022

2

Unit 3 Assignment

New York Courts

Unlike in most states in the United States, the Supreme Court is a trial court and not

the highest court in New York. Most states consider the Supreme Court as the highest court,

except New York State.

Legal Authorities

Basso and Navedo are both secondary sources. Both cases explain, discuss, and

analyze the law. They analyze the concepts of Common Law to establish consistent outcomes.

Common law is a law that is based on previous judicial decisions.

Facts

In Basso v. Miller, the plaintiff sued the defendant after being injured in a motorcycle

accident on the defendant’s property. In Navedo v. 250 Willis Avenue Supermarket, the

plaintiff sued the defendant for damages as a result of a slip and fall accident.

Procedural History

In Basso v. Miller, the order of the court was modified and the case was remitted to

Supreme Court, Kings County for a new trial. In Navedo v. 250 Willis Avenue Supermarket,

the appeals court reinstated the complaint and denied the defendant’s motion for summary

judgment.

Issues

Basso v. Miller

Did the defendant have a duty to keep its premises in a reasonably safe condition?

Navedo v. 250 Willis Avenue Supermarket

Should the defendant be liable for the slip and fall accident?

3

Rules of Law

In Basso v. Miller, the court is using the standard of the reasonable person to

determine whether the defendant’s actions constitute negligence. In Navedo v. 250 Willis

Avenue Supermarket, the court is using the law of negligence to determine if the defendant is

legally responsible for the harm suffered.

Analysis

In Basso v. Miller, the plaintiff did not have sufficient evidence to prove the purpose

of his existence on the defendant’s property. In Navedo v. 250 Willis Avenue Supermarket,

there was no admissible evidence that the defendant had constructive or actual knowledge of

the puddle.

Conclusion

In Basso v. Miller, the court of appeals reversed and remanded the case for a new trial,

claiming that “in place of the common law rules of classification of plaintiffs in regard to

landowner liability, the court should apply a single standard of reasonable care under the

circumstances whereby foreseeability would be the measure of liability.” In Navedo v. 250

Willis Avenue Supermarket, the appeals court reversed the court order and denied the

defendant’s motion for summary judgment.

4

References

Basso v. Miller, 40 N.Y.2d 233, 386 N.Y.S.2d 564, 352 N.E.2d 868 (N.Y. 1976)

Navedo v. 250 Willis Ave. S, 290 A.D.2d 246, 735 N.Y.S.2d 132 (N.Y. App. Div. 2002)

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