California and Federal Legal Research Guide


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Legal Links

These legal links are divided
into categories to help the researcher find the information
he or she requires. General Legal
Research links connect you to several websites that are
good at organizing law-related information by subject. These
websites are often a good starting point for the beginning
researcher. Links are then divided into California
legal research and Federal legal research.
See the Mini Research Class page
for more information on where to start your research. For
local law questions involving a city or county, refer to the
Local links. If you are looking for
an attorney, consult with the Legal
Directories links. And, finally, if you are looking for
court forms, or court rules, check the links provided under
Forms and Rules links.

General Legal Research:

Cornell Law School's Legal Information Institute
site is useful for researching your legal issues. The site contains
many "Law About" topic entries with general background information on
different legal subjects and a few "Topical Libraries" on issues such
as social security and legal ethics. The site is especially useful for
searching for United States Supreme Court opinions, Federal Circuit
court opinions, and the United States Code.

This site contains
many subject guides to specific areas of law, links for finding
lawyers, and law related news and information. For California users,
the site contains California judicial opinions from 1934 forward. The
site is a product of Thomson/West, a legal publishing company.

California Resources:

California Legislature
Find your California senator or assemblyperson by zipcode. Links to all member's webpages.

California Constitution
searchable version of the text of the California Constitution. Users
may also view the Constitution in a table of contents format.

California Codes (statutes) online

Unannotated version of the current text of California's state
statutes. Users may display the text in a table of contents
or search by keyword.

California Code of Regulations-the laws from California's state agencies
text of the regulations of California's state agencies. Users may view
a listing of state agencies, view contents, or search the entire 28
titles (with the exception of Title 24, the building codes).

Updates to the California Code of Regulations/Regulatory Notice Register

Site contains notices of proposed action by state regulatory
agencies to adopt, amend, or repeal regulations contained
in the California Code of Regulations.

California state homepage-many links to law and government information sources
links to all California State administrative agencies, courts, and the
legislature. Use the state phone directory to contact any state

California Legislative Information (bills, analysis, committee reports)
official site of the legislative branch of California enables users to
find bill information from the state assembly and state senate from
1993 to the current legislative session. Bill information includes the
status, history, votes, analyses, and any veto messages. Users may
search the site by bill number, author, keyword, or simply view an
index of authors and bill numbers. Various legislative publications are
also on this site, including state agency reports mandated by the

California Courts and case law finders-California
judicial opinions from 1850-to the present. Click on the opinions link
from the Judicial Council's site. On FindLaw, navigate to US Law: cases
and codes and select California.

California Secretary of State
many forms used in business filings and a wealth of information on
California businesses by accessing the site's Business Portal. Find the
forms and fees for forming a California corporation, limited liability
partnership, and more. Search for the status of a business entity to
find out who owns the business and who to serve as the agent for
service of process. Obtain access to UCC filings.

California Courts Self-Help Center
contains forms, rules, links to courts, and the self-help center for
all California courts. Fill out forms on line for various types of
cases. Get detailed information on how to proceed with your case. Find
links that will help you complete your case without an attorney.

California state agencies-link to the state agency index

California Attorney General opinions
Attorney General opinions from 1986 to the present. The attorney
general provides advisory opinions to state, local officials, or
government agencies on matters of law that arise in the course of their

Federal Resources:

Federal Legislators-Senate and House Member Search
Identify and contact federal officials using this website.

United States Constitution

Online text versions of the United States Constitution.
The GPO version has additional analysis and interpretation
done by the Congressional Research Service.

United States Code

These sites provide searchable versions of the United States
. Codes can be searched by keyword, title, or section

Thomas (federal legislative information)

Congressional bills, Congressional Record, committee
reports and more. Users may track bills as they move through
the House and Senate, read and download the text of pending
bills and see how their representatives and senators vote.
The search feature allows users to look for bills by name,
number, subject, sponsor and other criteria. The site contains
bill summaries from 1973 to the present; bill text from 1989
to the present; public laws from 1973 forward; the Congressional
from 1989 to the present; committee reports from
the 104th Congress to the current Congress; and historical
documents and presidential nomination information.

GPO Access (access to federal administrative law and information)
Code of Federal Regulations, Federal Register

Full text of the Federal Register from 1994 forward. Full
text of the Code of Federal Regulations from 1996 to
the present.

Federal Agency index

Federal administrative agency opinions
Search for federal agency opinions by agency or by subject.

Supreme Court of the United States
the official site of the United States Supreme Court. Find information
on cases pending in front of the court, schedules for argument on
various pending cases, and the full text of the court's rules. The site
also contains opinions of the court from 1991-2001 in their bound
volume format; a case citation-finder; and the slip opinions of the
2001-current terms.

Federal Judiciary Homepage
Detailed links to all federal courts, federal court publications, and information on the federal judiciary.

Federal Case law
contains United States Supreme Court opinions from 1893-current. Users
may search by name, citation, or keyword search the text. Federal
Circuit court opinions may be accessed through Cornell's Legal
Information Institute.

Pacer (Public Access to Court Electronic Records)

Electronic (for fee) access to U.S. District, Bankruptcy, and Appellate court records.

Local Law:

Seattle Public Library site linking to municipal law-nationwide
Links to city and county codes available online from municipalities across the nation.

UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Affairs-links to California local law resources
Local codes, ordinances, and charters from California local governments.

Legal Directories:

California State Bar website-attorney finder and records of attorney discipline
to California attorney information using the member search feature.
Also the site provides links to attorney referral services statewide,
and lists of state certified specialists.

Martindale Hubbell Lawyer Locator
attorneys by location, area of practice, and many other criteria such
as the language they speak, where they went to school, etc. This site
provides rating information for attorneys.

West's Legal Directory
Online attorney directory.

Finding Law Schools, Law Library Catalogs Online, and California Public Libraries (law school finder) (law library catalogs online) (California Library Directory)

Forms and Rules links:

LexisOne provides
many links of use to the legal researcher. Among those links provided
are some to free legal forms and also forms for purchase. LexisOne
allows users to purchase access to Shepard's to update their legal
research. The site also provides access to free case law (five years of
state and federal court opinions; United States Supreme Court opinions
from 1790). This site is operated by LexisNexis, a legal publishing

I-CAN! Legal Modules
is a web-based system that helps users create court paperwork and
educate themselves about how to proceed in their own legal matters. The
site contains a video guide that helps the user select and fill out
appropriate court forms in civil matters such as Domestic Violence,
Unlawful Detainer, Paternity, and more. I-CAN! is free of charge and is
available in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese. I-CAN! was developed by
the Legal Aid Society of Orange County and was sponsored by
organizations including: Legal Services Corporation, Judicial Council
of California, State Bar of California, Orange County Superior Court,
Orange County District Attorney, Orange County Public Library System,
Disneyland, City of Irvine, and the City of Fullerton.

State Judicial Council Forms-California
Official site for California's Judicial Council forms. Fill out online or print.

Forms from the Feds
Links to
downloadable federal agency forms, listed by agency. Useful place to
access forms from the INS, Copyright Office, and more.
Links to
over 60,000 court forms nationwide. Some free forms are available and
many are interactive forms that may be filled in online.

California State Court Rules
Links to California Supreme Court, Courts of Appeal, Trial Court and Local court rules.

Court Rules-Law Library Resource Xchange
Links to over 1,400 sources for state and federal court rules. Browse or search by keyword.