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Legal Research Basics

General Secondary Sources

Substantive Legal Issues

When researching a substantive legal question, consult a subject-specific treatise when possible. You can find a list of our recommended treatises arranged by subject here.

Procedural Legal Issues

When researching a procedural question, consult one of the following:

  • Federal Civil Procedure Before Trial, California & Ninth Circuit Edition [Law Second Floor KF 8900 .S38 and Westlaw].
  • Federal Civil Trials & Evidence [Law Second Floor KF 9835 .F37 and Westlaw].
  • Ninth Circuit Civil Appellate Practice [Law Second Floor KF 8840 .W68 and Westlaw].
  • Moore's Federal Practice [Law Second Floor KF 8820.A313 M632 and Lexis].
  • Wright & Miller's Federal Practice & Procedure [Law Second Floor KF 8840 .W68 and Westlaw].

California Secondary Sources

Substantive Legal Issues

1. When researching a substantive legal question, start with one of the following general California sources:

  • Witkin Summary of California Law [Law First Floor KFC 80 .W5 and Lexis & Westlaw]
  • California Forms of Pleading & Practice [Law First Floor KFC 1010 .A65 C3 and Lexis]
  • California Jurisprudence (Cal. Jur.) [Law First Floor KFC 80 .C29 and Lexis & Westlaw]

2. Next, consult a California subject-specific treatise. You can find a list of our recommended treatises here.

Procedural Legal Issues

The Rutter Group and CEB (Continuing Education of the Bar) publish excellent California-specific procedural guides.

1. Rutter Guides

  • Civil Procedure Before Trial [Law First Floor KFC 995 .C342 and Westlaw]
  • Civil Trials & Evidence [Law First Floor KFC 1025 .A6 W44 and Westlaw]
  • Civil Appeals & Writs [Law First Floor KFC 1075 .A6 E47 and Westlaw]
  • Enforcing Judgments & Debts [Law First Floord KFC 1065 .A373 and Westlaw]

2. CEB Practice Guides

  • California Civil Procedure Before Trial [Law First Floor KFC 995 .C342 and CEB OnLaw]
  • California Civil Discovery Practice [Law First Floor KFC 1020 .C3 and CEB OnLaw]
  • California Trial Practice: Civil Procedure During Trial [Law First Floor KFC 1025 .C332 and CEB OnLaw]
  • California Civil Appellate Practice [Law First Floor KFC 1075 .C343 and CEB OnLaw]