Sept. 10th is the Internet Slowdown

September 10, 2014 by

loading iconOr why you are seeing the super slow “loading icon” on this page…

This is a visualization of what the internet will look like if the FCC changes the regulations governing internet service providers. The FCC is holding hearings now and you need to let them hear your voice.

The big cable companies including Time Warner, Verizon, AT&T and Comcast want to be able to charge whatever the traffic will bear.

If you are reading this or other legal information blog, social media or website, this affects you!

If you click on the image, you will be directed to a page where you can easily send your protest to the FCC.

The slow loading icon will go away at the end of today so bear with us.

For a full explanation of the net neutrality rules controversy, see our earlier post at

Or click on the black bar at the bottom of the screen that reads Learn More about Net Neutrality and Take Action.
Thank you.

“What Happened to the Information Removed From PACER?”

September 10, 2014 by


This is a copy of a blog post from the University of North Carolina Law Library. This timely information about Pacer should be widely distributed. Please follow the link at the end of the paragraph below:

“The University of North Carolina Law Library has published a blog post to help people seeking information formerly available on PACER, but now removed, to understand the process for obtaining removed information. Thanks to the hard work of Law Library Graduate Assistant, Kate Dickson, and Reference Librarian, Jonathan Rountree, the blog post details procedures for requesting removed information we obtained from the various clerks of court for the courts affected by the removal as well as information about material still available on commercial databases like Lexis, Westlaw, and Bloomberg. The blog post is available at “

Thomson Reuters Retiring Westlaw Classic in 2015

September 8, 2014 by

Classic NextThomson Reuters has announced that it will retire the Westlaw Classic platform on August 31, 2015.

Library patrons can currently access both Westlaw Classic and WestlawNext on research computers at the Main and Branch libraries. WestlawNext is a more user-friendly search tool than Westlaw Classic, offering a simplified, Google-style interface and “intuitive” search engine that transforms plain language searches into relevant results.

The library’s WestlawNext subscription includes access to state and federal primary legal materials, Rutter Group practice guides, transactional forms and several legal encyclopedias. Content retrieved from WestlawNext can be printed, saved to a USB drive, or emailed free of charge.

To help library users make the transition from Westlaw Classic to WestlawNext, the library will offer MCLE programs on using WestlawNext in the coming year.


Just in! Law Library Adds “California Criminal Defense of Immigrants” to Its Collection including access via OnLaw.

August 28, 2014 by

ToobyONLAW_icon-80Several patrons have asked if we have or could get Norton Tooby’s book in the library.
We now have access to it both as a book and also as an electronic resource. Information from the electronic version of this title can be printed or saved to a flash drive.

“California Criminal Defense of Immigrants” discusses the issue from two perspectives, one the actual criminal case and two, its effect on the defendant’s immigration status. The goal of this book is to assist counsel in protecting the non-citizen’s immigration status and mitigating the harm the criminal case can bring to that status.

Since the decision in Padilla v Kentucky ((2010) 559 US 356) on the failure of the attorney to advise the defendant on the immigration consequences of a plea, the duty to protect the immigration status of the defendant has been receiving more attention. This book discusses this and the importance of preventing immigration related disasters while defending the criminal case.

Immigration officials are identifying criminal non-citizens during trials and placing “holds” to prepare a non-citizen for deportation proceedings. Therefore, it is essential that the defense attorney have in place safe havens, pleas and specific proceedings which are delineated in this book.

This practice manual walks you through the critical stages of a criminal case, how to identify the immigration concerns, create strategies and provide the advice you need for effective resolution of both issues.

Mr. Tooby brings his expertise into play to help other attorneys prepare for court in cases like this. He has been listed in Best Lawyers in America and his book is “Criminal Defense of Immigrants” is considered the standard in this area of law and has been used as a manual by United States Supreme Court judges.

Mr. Tooby’s co-author, Katherine Brady is a senior staff attorney at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center in San Francisco. She has authored several other books on this subject and co-founder of the national Defending Immigrants Partnership and the Immigrant Justice Network.

The book can be found at KFC 698 .T66 for the next few weeks on the new book truck and then on the shelf.

September 15, 2014 Deadline for Alameda County Property Owners to File Assessment Appeals

August 13, 2014 by

Ron ThomsenThe Regular Appeal Filing Period in Alameda County is July 2 through September 15. Applications for the Regular Filing Period must be received/postmarked no later than September 15. The Alameda County Assessor has a very informative website at Go to find much of the information you need for an appeal.

Assessment Appeals
The Clerk, Board of Supervisor’s Assessment Appeals Unit receives and processes assessment appeal applications; schedules hearings in accordance with legal requirements; maintains minutes and official records; provides administrative support to Assessment Appeal Board members and Hearing Officers; and provides assistance and education to the general public on the assessment appeals process. If you have questions about the appeals process please contact us at
(510) 272-3854.
Online Application for Changed Assessment
Press Release (88kb) *

This video walks you through the process of preparing and presenting your Assessment Appeal of your Property Tax Assessment at your county Board of Equalization or Assessment Appeals Board. State Board of Equalization Assessment Appeal Instructional Video.
The following documents are provided in Portable Document Format (PDF) and require the free Adobe Reader.
Application for Changed Assessment (PDF 544kb)
Withdrawal of Application for Changed Assessment (PDF 61kb) *
Notice: Application for Changed Assessment (PDF 174kb) *
Assessment Appeals Board Instruction Booklet - English (PDF 610kb) *
Assessment Appeals Board Instruction Booklet - Spanish (PDF 622kb) *
Assessment Appeals Board Instruction Booklet - Chinese (PDF 858kb) *
Request to Waive Nonrefundable $50 per Parcel Assessment Appeal Application Processing Fee (PDF 480kb) *
What to bring to AAB Hearing (PDF 240kb) *

In addition the Alameda County Law Library in Oakland has the definitive work Taxing California Property, 4th edition by Sean Flavin. It is a three volume loose-leaf shelved on the first floor of the Law Library in stack 116B with call number KFC 881 E35. It was last updated in 2014.
California Pleading and Practice, Chapter 540, “Taxes and Assessments “ with headings such as “In General”, “Structure and Administration of Property Tax System”, “Taxpayers’ Administrative Remedies”, and “Judicial Remedies Available to Taxpayers and Purchasers” provides explanations and forms.

“Beginning Your Legal Research Class” Returns on August 28th

August 11, 2014 by

This 1 1/2 hour class will provide information on materials and services available in the law library. Included is an over view of the types of books and online resources in the library and how they can be used by the researcher. Information will cover the differences between primary and secondary resources, the value of each and the most effective way to begin your research. A tour of the library to show where the materials are will be part of the class. There is NO MCLE credit for this class. It is designed for the public, beginning law school and paralegal students.
Thursday, August 28, 2014
2-3:30 pm.
Alameda County Law Library
125 12th St.
Oakland, CA 9460
$5.00 Advance Registration; $10.00 Day of Event
Pay with MasterCard or Visa by calling (510) 272-6483 or register online at Eventbrite (

New New New California Legal Malpractice Law

August 11, 2014 by

California Legal Malpractice lawIn 1736, Benjamin Franklin coined the phrase ”an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” to try to convince a skeptical colonial Philadelphia that having a fire deparment would be much better than having to rebuild a burned out city. By the end of 1736, Philadelphia a had volunteer fire department, the Union Fire Company, much of the credit going to Mr. Franklin.

The adage has held up to the present day, perhaps never so much so as in legal ethics and malpractice. As the law becomes more complex so too are disgruntled ex-clients becoming more combative and litigious. Lawyers are being hit with more suits and larger judgments. Estate planning and intellectual property attorneys and firms are fairly recent targets for zooming malpractice claims. Similarly affected are attorneys in the areas of real estate, personal injury, bankruptcy, and, here in California, entertainment law. This book emphasizes prevention and avoidance as the best cure. However, Chapter 13 (unlucky 13?) is “Handling a claim” if despite your best efforts prevention you have a claim filed against you.

The authors are not over stating the obvious in emphasizing the role of prevention. Because of unique nuances in California statutes, prevention may not be as simple as it may seem. The basic rules of professional ethics, the duty of care, loyalty, and confidentiality have remained the same over many years. However, California laws on the statute of limitations, the anti-SLAPP statute and other areas including recovery of punitive damages add more complexity to the issues.

The authors’ goal in producing this book is to fill the need for a resource that addresses these complex issues as well as the basics and to bring up to date information to bear in this new era of emerging technology, patent disputes, mega law firm mergers, and business globalization. The authors of this excellent book are share decades of experience between them. They all are well-known nationally for their work in this area.

The title covers the following issues and more.

Legal Elements of a Claim
Using Experts in a Malpractice Claim
Liability for or in Conjunction with the Conduct of Others
Defenses to Legal Malpractice Claims
Instructs in Legal Malpractice Prevention
Structuring a Law Firm To Reduce Risk Under California Law
Identifying and Resolving Conflicts of Interest
Email and Attorney Marketing: New Issues in 21st Century Law Practice
Ethics for the Trial Practitioner
The Tripartite Relationship

Available in the Law Library. Ask for location at the Reference Desk.

Hot Off the Press! CEB Hits the Bull’s Eye Again!

August 8, 2014 by

CA Torts FormsONLAW_icon-80Joining the many useful titles published by California Education of the Bar is the newest arrival to the Law Library.
California Tort Forms From Expert Litigators puts together not only form templates, but also a summary of applicable law, elements of the action, damages and defenses. The book covers some commonly sought out and some not so often sought out topics.
How often have you looked for sample for injuries caused by animals? Automobile accidents? Common carriers, like buses, trains and planes? Construction liability? Government liability? Medical malpractice? Premises liability? Product liability?
Templates include authorization letters, initial letters to defendants and insurers, demand for production and sample complaints, settlements and jury instructions. There are also templates from the defendant’s viewpoint.
This new titles comes with a CD-ROM, which can be used in your personal computer while in the library since the book does not circulate. The CD-ROM cannot be used on library computers. The book is available on the library Research and Forms computers through OnLaw , the CEB online database. Ask at the Reference Desk for a Research or Forms ticket to see California Tort Forms From Expert Litigators online.
The book can be found on the “New Book” truck at the library for the next few months. After that, it will be at the Reference Desk at KFC 310 .A65 C35.

Hidden Gems of the Library – Part 4 “Panic Attack! or I have an unusual discovery situation and I don’t know where to start!”

August 1, 2014 by

Hidden-Gems-logop14029712-4654L  Pattern Discovery may be the answer to your problem. The series discusses       specific subjects such as torts, medical malpractice, motor vehicles, employment discrimination or product liability. Even though it is called “Pattern Discovery,” It    covers some trial matters as well.
As an example, the tort set includes samples for interrogatories, depositions, and requests for production of documents, as well as 75 partial sets of “building block” pattern interrogatories for:
• People involved and sources of information;
• Circumstances of the occurrence;
• The occurrence;
• Injury, loss, and treatment;
• Events after the occurrence; and
• The lawsuit.
More than 50 partial sets of deposition checklists and ready-to-use sets covering 23 types of tort actions help you investigate the identity of the deponent, witnesses, the time of occurrence, weather warnings by parties, government standards and regulations, and more.
All volumes include instructions on writing interrogatories, requests for production of documents and admissions, discovery options, deposition preparation, handling experts and other witnesses, trial and negotiations and specific topics for that topic.
Although not California specific, these volumes provide valuable information which cannot be easily found anywhere else.
The co-authors are Donald Danner (who died in 2008) and Larry Varn. Mr. Danner was the co-founder of the American Society of Law, Medicine and Ethics and had extensive experience in the area of personal injury law. He graduated from Harvard University and Boston University School of Law. Mr.Varn is an experience trial attorney in Boston and has co-authored several volumes on pretrial discovery and expert witnesses.
Pattern Discovery can be found on the second floor of the Law Library at KF 8900.

Congress May Eliminate Print Federal Register & CFR

July 17, 2014 by



Congress is considering eliminating the statutory requirement to print the Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) and to produce their indexes. The Federal Register and Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) would be required to be published electronically. H.R. 4195, the Federal Register Modernization Act available at bill/4195  available at  passed the House unanimously by voice vote on July 14, 2014 and is headed to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

The Alameda County Law Library (ACLL) in Oakland has the current CFR in print which is a mixture of 2013 and 2014 volumes. HeinOnline (web subscription, available in the Main Oakland Law Library and Hayward Branch Library) provides the CFR from its inception in 1938 to the present as well as CFR – Compilation of Sections Affected, 1958 to 2014 (the present) and the CFR –List of Sections Affected, 1949-2000. Fortuitously the library has the commercially printed and superior index West’s Code of Federal Regulations, General Index issued yearly in four volumes.
Although the library no longer has the Federal Register in print, our HeinOnline subscription, available in the Oakland Main Law Library and the Hayward Branch, has the Federal Register, Vols. 1-79 (1936-2014) and is updated daily. Included are the Federal Register indexes.
See the American Association of Law Libraries’ Advocacy One-Pager on the Federal Register and CFR for background information at


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