California Law

The Witkin State Law Library is a unique resource for conducting legislative and regulatory history research. Our near-complete collection of California bills is accessible to all, and our collection of bill file analyses goes back to 1975. Our collection of the California Code of Regulations (CCR) contains superseded regulation versions dating back to its origins as the California Administrative Code in 1945.

Additionally, see Guides and Publications for information on how to conduct research, much of it online, across a range of topics. Our librarians are here to assist you if you have any questions through our Ask a Librarian feature.

If you need an Authentication Certificate or Apostille, the California State Library is not authorized to issue them, and we refer you to the California Secretary of State.

Highlights from our collection include:

Primary Sources

Legislative

Senate and Assembly Bills (1867–date)

The Library has selected bills from 1867 and virtually all versions of the bills from 1876 to date. Bill books contain all versions of a bill from its introduction through when it was either chaptered or last amended. The library has physical versions through the 2003/2004 Legislative Session, but official bill information is also available online from 1993 to date from California Legislative Information.

Bill File Analyses (1975–date)

This collection includes summaries, fiscal effects, and comments on different versions of select bills which are invaluable in legislative intent research. The library has print versions through 2012, with some gaps, with access to current analyses through California Legislative Information. Additional materials related to legislative intent, such as letters of support, comments, committee hearing records, and further are kept at the California State Archives if available.

California Codes (1872–date)

The Library has superseded editions of the California Codes back to 1872. West's Annotated California Codes provide enactment dates, notes to relevant court decisions, and complete citations of the code history to aid in legislative intent research. Current codes are available online via California Legislative Information.

Regulatory

California Code of Regulations (1945–date)

This collection contains all the administrative regulations of California state agencies adopted pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act. For regulatory history assistance, we have superseded versions of the California Code of Regulations, and the Supplement and Notice (formerly Z) Registers. If you are looking for information on the intent of a regulation, we do not have access to rulemaking files, where information regarding regulatory intent is kept. For these records, you should reach out to the promulgating agency or the California State Archives.

California Code of Regulations Supplement (1945–date)

Commonly referred to as the "Register," this is a record of changes to the regulations filed with the Secretary of State and published on a weekly basis.

California Building Standards Code

Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations is maintained by the California Building Standards Commission and is published in its entirety every three years. The most recent publications are available online, with superseded editions available in print at the Witkin State Law Library.

California Regulatory Notice Register (1974–date)

First published in 1974, the Notice Register — sometimes referred to as the "Notice Supplement" or "Z Register" — is a weekly publication of all proposed agency regulatory actions including Notices of Adoption, Amendments, Repeals of or other rulemaking activities.

Judicial

California Supreme Court and Appellate Court briefs (Cal.–Cal. 4th, Cal. App.–Cal. App. 4th)

Our collection of briefs is nearly complete, but not all are housed on-site. Please contact us in advance so that we can make materials available if you wish to visit.

California Attorney General Opinions (1899–date)

Providing legal opinions upon request to designated state and local public officials and government agencies on issues arising in the course of their duties, these formal legal opinions have been accorded great respect and weight by the courts.

California Attorney General Reports (1874–1942)

A shorter report that includes indices to opinions rendered to various agencies, including tables on number of opinions requested, pending, and issued.

Secondary Sources

Witkin California Treatises

These treatises on law and procedure are renowned for their readability and practicality. Extensive references to cases, practice guides, law reviews, and other commentary make them an invaluable resource when beginning to research California law.

California Jurisprudence (Cal. Jur.–Cal. Jur. 3d)

Derived from California statutes and cases, this resource presents a thoroughly indexed and cross-referenced collection that illustrates the rules of California law and all exceptions, qualifications, and limitations.

California Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB)

These publications offer expert step-by-step guidance, legal analysis, and forms for business law, criminal law, employment law, estate planning, family law, litigation, real property law, and other California legal topics.

Practice Guides

The library has a wide collection of California practice guides, including those by Rutter Group and Matthew Bender, that include case citations, forms, and law practice tips useful for lawyers and those proceeding pro se.

Court Rules

This collection contains current and superseded rules of court for California courts from the local to federal district level.

Legal Forms

The library has volumes of forms adopted or approved by the Judicial Council for use in the courts of California that may be scanned. Additional other forms include jury instructions and forms from select practice guides.