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Legal Research Quick Reference Guide

2020

Case Law

Trial Courts:

  • U.S. District Courts (94 Districts, e.g. C.D. Cal)
    • Federal Supplement (F. Supp., F. Supp. 2d, F. Supp. 3d)

Intermediate Courts (Appellate):

  • U.S. Courts of Appeals (12 Regional Circuits, e.g. 9th Cir. and Fed. Circuit)
    • Federal Reporter (F., F.2d, F.3d)

Court of Last Resort (Appellate): 

  • U.S. Supreme Court
    • United States Reports (U.S.)
    • Supreme Court Reporter (S.Ct.)
    • United States Court Reports, Lawyer's Edition (L.Ed, L. Ed. 2d)

Trial Courts: 

  • California Superior Courts (58 counties)
    • Not published

Intermediate Courts (Appellate): 

  • California Courts of Appeals (6 districts)
    • California Appellate Reports (Cal.App., Cal. App. 2d, Cal. App. 3d, Cal. App. 4th)
    • West's California Reporter (1959-Present) (Cal. Rptr. Cal. Rptr. 2d, Cal. Rptr. 3d)
    • Pacific Reporter (1883-1959) (P., P.2d)

Court of Last Resort (Appellate):

  • Supreme Court of California
    • California Reports (Cal. Cal. 2d, Cal. 3d, Cal. 4th)
    • West's California Reporter (1959-Present) (Cal. Rptr. Cal. Rptr. 2d, Cal. Rptr. 3d)
    • Pacific Reporter (P., P.2d, P.3d)

Statutory Law

Session Laws (by date):

  • United States Statutes at Large (Stat.)
  • United States Code Congressional and Administrative News (U.S.C.C.A.N.)

Codes (by subject):

  • United States Code (U.S.C.)
  • United States Code Annotated (U.S.C.A.)
  • United States Code Service (U.S.C.S.)

Session Laws (by date):

  • Statutes and Amendments to the Codes (Stats.)(sometimes known as Statutes of California)

Codes (by subject):

  • No official code
  • West's Annotated California Codes 
  • Deering's California Codes Annotated
  • Cite as: Cal. [subject] Code

Administrative Law

Register (by date): 

  • Federal Register (Fed. Reg.) 

Administrative Code (by subject):

  • Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) 

Register (by date): 

  • California Regulatory Notice Register (proposed regulations only)

Administrative Code (by subject): 

  • California Code of Regulations (Cal. Code Regs.)