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Summer Success: California Legal Research

Summer Success: California Legal Research

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Summer Success: California Legal Research

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  1. Summer Success: California Legal Research Todd Ito tito@uchicago.edu

  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)

  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.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, http://www.ss.ca.gov/elections/elections_i.htm (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. 8.1105(b) & (c) • Less than 20% of Courts of Appeal decisions are authorized for publication • West’s California Reporter—unofficial • Pacific Reporter—only from 1904-1960

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

  10. Publication of Case Law • Only opinions ordered officially published can be cited as authority before California courts (CA Rules of Court, Rules 8.1105 et seq.). • All Supreme Court opinions are published • App. Ct. opinions are published only if they meet standard in Rule 8.1105(b) and (c) • No Superior Court opinions are published, but selected opinions by the Appellate Departments of the Superior Court have been published since 1929. • 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/depublication

  12. Federal Rules on Citation • Fed. Rules App. Proc. R. 32.1 – A court may not prohibit or restrict the citation of “unpublished” federal judicial opinions, if issued on or after January 1, 2007 • 9th 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 (1850-1974) or Digest of Official Reports (1974-2003)

  14. Administrative Law • California Code of Regulations (CCR)—official • CCR formerly known as the California Administrative Code (1945-1979) • 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: http://www.oal.ca.gov/ccr.htm • California Administrative Decisions • LexisNexis: CAL;CAAGEN • Westlaw: U.S. State Materials > California > Administrative & Executive Materials • Online: http://www.ca.gov/About/Government/agencyindex.html

  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.H462 2006 • Various practice guides in LexisNexis and Westlaw