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Summer Success: California Legal Research Todd Ito

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1 Summer Success: California Legal Research Todd Ito

2 Introduction Overview of primary sources –Statutes –Cases –Administrative Law Brief look at a couple of unique aspects of the California legal system –Ballot Measures –Depublication of opinions

3 Statutes California does not publish an official code. Two main annotated codes: –West’s Annotated California Codes Westlaw (CA-ST-ANN) –Deering’s California Codes Annotated – published by Matthew Bender LexisNexis (STATES;CACODE) –http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/calaw.html (unannotated)http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/calaw.html

4 Statutes Divided into 29 codes Ciation form – use the name of the code subject and the section number –Example: Cal. Penal Code. § 632 (2009) Table of Sections Affected can be found in the Legislative Index published yearly –http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/legpubs-tosa.htmlhttp://www.leginfo.ca.gov/legpubs-tosa.html

5 Ballot Measures Initiatives vs. Referenda –Initiative: “power of the electors to propose statutes and amendments to the Constitution and to adopt or reject them” (Cal. Const., Art. II, Sec. 8) –Referendum: “power of the electors to approve or reject statutes or parts of statutes” (Cal. Const. Art. II, Sec. 9) Example: Proposition 209 was an initiative that amended Cal. Const. (Art. 1, Sec. 31) California Ballot Propositions Database, (1911-present)

6 Courts Supreme Court of California Courts of Appeal –1st: San Francisco –2nd: LA –3rd: Sacramento –4th: San Diego –5th: Fresno –6th: San Jose Superior Courts – trial courts

7 Supreme Court Opinions California Reports – official reporter West’s California Reporter – unofficial; also incl. App. Cts California Unreported Cases – publishes not officially published opinions Pacific Reporter – regional reporter; incl. only Cal. Supreme Court after 1960

8 Courts of Appeal California Appellate Reports—official; not all opinions published; App. courts publish only those opinions that meet standards for publication set out in Cal. Rules of Court R (b) & (c) –Less than 20% of Courts of Appeal decisions are authorized for publication West’s California Reporter—unofficial Pacific Reporter—only from

9 Finding Case Law Online Westlaw (CA-CS) LexisNexis (CAL;CACTS) California Courts website (http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions)http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions Findlaw (http://www.findlaw.com/cacases) (from 1934)http://www.findlaw.com/cacases Public Library of Law (http://www.plol.org/) (from 1997)http://www.plol.org/ LexisOne (http://www.lexisone.com) (from 2003)http://www.lexisone.com

10 Publication of Case Law Only opinions ordered officially published can be cited as authority before California courts (CA Rules of Court, Rules et seq.). –All Supreme Court opinions are published –App. Ct. opinions are published only if they meet standard in Rule (b) and (c) –No Superior Court opinions are published, but selected opinions by the Appellate Departments of the Superior Court have been published since –Unpublished opinions sometimes published in California Unreported Cases and in Westlaw and LexisNexis

11 Depublication Once review has been granted, the Courts of Appeal opinion is generally superseded and cannot be cited for precedent unless the Supreme Court specifies otherwise The Supreme Court may also depublish or partially publish a certified decision from the Courts of Appeal. –Print: consult the History Tables in the advance sheets of either the official California Reports or West’s California Reporter. –Online: use citators in Westlaw or LexisNexis. See UCLA Law Library guide –http://libguides.law.ucla.edu/depublicationhttp://libguides.law.ucla.edu/depublication

12 Federal Rules on Citation Fed. Rules App. Proc. R – A court may not prohibit or restrict the citation of “unpublished” federal judicial opinions, if issued on or after January 1, th Circuit, Rule 36-3 – Prior to change in FRAP, not permitted to cite to unpublished opinions –Hart v. Massanari, 266 F.3d 1155 (2001) – found old 9th Circuit, Rule 36-3 Constitutional

13 Digests West’s California Digest West’s Pacific Digest McKinney’s Digest ( ) or Digest of Official Reports ( )

14 Administrative Law California Code of Regulations (CCR)— official CCR formerly known as the California Administrative Code ( ) Divided into 28 different titles Citation form: Cal. Code Regs. tit. 3, § 441 (2009)

15 Finding Administrative Law California Code of Regulations –LexisNexis: CAL;CAADMN –Westlaw: CA-ADC –Online: California Administrative Decisions –LexisNexis: CAL;CAAGEN –Westlaw: U.S. State Materials > California > Administrative & Executive Materials –Online:

16 Secondary Sources Cal Jur (California Jurisprudence) –Westlaw (CAJUR) Witkin’s Summary of California Law –Westlaw (WITSUM) Henke’s California Law Guide –Law Reference, XXKFC74.H Various practice guides in LexisNexis and Westlaw


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