ACLL November Closings – Veterans Day – Monday, November 12, Thanksgiving Weekend

Veterans Day

ACLL will be closed on Monday, November 12 for the Veterans Day Holiday.


Later in the month, ACLL will also be closed for the Thanksgiving Weekend.  Below is a calendar showing these closings:




Shop with Amazon – Support ACLL

AmazonSmile has donated over $100 million to charities thanks to customers shopping at To celebrate, AmazonSmile is donating 5% (ten times the usual amount) to Alameda County Law Library when you shop at through Nov 2.

Finding An Attorney

Patrons, who want to hire an attorney, frequently ask staff at the Alameda County Law Library Reference Desk if we can recommend someone who has experience with the patron’s particular legal issue.  We cannot.  ACLL staff does not make attorney referrals.  We can and do recommend resources for researching attorneys’ background, area of expertise, and geographic location.

If you have already asked friends, family, and business associates for recommendations without luck, the following are some other suggestions to explore.


One of our most frequently suggested resources is the Alameda County Bar Association Attorney Referral Service.  The service can be contacted by phone at 510-302-2222, extension 4.

How does the ACBA program work?

A client calls the Lawyer Referral Service and explains his or her legal problem to a professional referral counselor.  After evaluating the case, the LRS counselor provides the client with contact information for two qualified attorneys.  The client then contacts the attorney directly to schedule his or her consultation.  The client’s placement fee includes a consultation of up to 30 minutes with an attorney.  At that time, the attorney will decide whether they can help the client and discuss fee arrangements. 

LRS phones are open from 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., and 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.  If you call after hours, you can leave a message and they will return your call within 1-2 business days. They are not able to accept walk-in requests for help, no exceptions.

More information from  HERE

Internet commercial directories

Many people try to do a simple internet browser search, such as, “divorce attorney oakland” to identify attorneys in the area that might be able to help them.  Today’s internet is a digital commercial market.  The results are not always pure and can be manipulated for profit or worse.  The researcher needs to be aware that a listing is an online commercial and nothing more.  The directory publishers are looking to make money just as the telephone company did with the publication of the paper Yellow Pages in years gone by.

The directories allow for searches by practice area and geographic locations.   A researcher might want to search through a number of different sites to bring up a selection of names.  Be sure to cross-check any attorney’s name on the official State Bar website to look for current status and any disciplinary actions taken against the individual.

A discussion of some of the larger commercial lawyer directories is available at

Here is a list of sites links from the Attorneys at Work blog post –

A change was announced this month for two of the better-known internet directories for lawyers and legal services.  Internet Brands, the company that now owns both, is combining two of the top sites – the and the sites – into one Martindale-Avvo.  The combined site is not active yet. (10/30/18)

State Bar Specialists

The California State Bar website does allow for limited searches by geographic location and subject specialty, if the attorney has obtain an advanced license specialization.  The State Bar’s program certifies specialists in 11 areas of law and has accredited entities who certify licensees in 11 additional areas of law.  Run a search on the advance search screen.

The State Bar attorney search page also allows you to search for attorneys who are fluent in languages other than English.

For more information on obtaining legal services, read this previous Advance Sheet post.



Alameda County Superior Court – Temporary Access To Public Filings

Public access to filings at Alameda County Superior Court

The Alameda County Superior Court provides full text public access to complaints filed with the court during the week the document is filed.  You can find listings with links to many complaints by date under the “Public Reports (Filings)” link under DomainWeb.

For example – below is a copy of the employment complaint filed against the City of Oakland and Oakland Councilwoman Desley Brooks headlined in the October 24 San Francisco Chronicle.…/Farmers-market-money-went-dir…

The complaint is available here at  complaint employment Desley Brooks City of Oakland

MCLE – Substance Abuse – December 5, 2018

Substance Abuse in the Legal Profession

Wednesday, December 5 from 12:00 to 1:30 at the Alameda County Law Library

One hour Substance Abuse MCLE credit

$30 advance registration, $40 day of event

Speaker: Mr. David Mann, Northern California Consultant, The Other Bar

Mann approaches this very serious topic in a manner that incorporates humor and irony and invites attorneys to engage in a bit of sometimes much needed self-reflection.  He incorporates his own situation as a case study of an addict.  You will laugh, you may be shocked, and you will be tempted to cry.

He will review the brain chemistry of addiction and alcoholism, and discuss the behavioral and health consequences of the disease.  The personality traits of attorneys and the qualities of the legal profession combine to make lawyers significantly more susceptible to addiction, and more difficult to treat than the general population.  A self-diagnosis exercise is provided for attorneys who are concerned that they may have a problem.  He discusses both systemic and individual solutions to the problem, with references to strategies and resources available to attorneys.

The ethical rules concerning substance abuse will also be reviewed.

David Mann is a graduate of Ohio State University and Stanford Law School.  He served as a Deputy Public Defender in San Francisco before becoming a solo criminal defense practitioner.  After 12 years of practice, substance abuse-related issues caused him to resign from the bar with disciplinary charges pending.  Following a relentless battle with addiction which included numerous hospitalizations and periods of living on the streets, he succeeded in getting clean and sober in 1998.  Since then he has worked, among other things, as a cab driver, a private investigator, a paralegal, and a drug and alcohol rehabilitation counselor.  He presently serves as the Northern California Consultant to The Other Bar, a statewide organization of recovering attorneys, judges, and law students.  In this capacity, he spends his time providing outreach and education to the legal community, and assisting attorneys as they struggle with substance abuse and related challenges that threaten their ability and/or eligibility to practice law.

Register online at Eventbrite HERE

Download the program flyer HERE

Tax (Information Resource) Returns

With the recent one-time revenue boost from the State of California, the Alameda County Law Library has been able to reinstate a few of the previously cancelled resources.

Back on our public research pc menu is CCH Tax – Federal & State published by Wolters Kluwer as part of its CCH Intelliconnect product lines.  This database provides access to federal tax materials including – laws, cases, regulations, IRS Letter Rulings, and miscellaneous IRS publications.

The service also provides information from the California State Tax Reporter, as well as, the text of various state tax releases.

For anyone trying to do tax legislative history research, this database provides an online archive of material for prior years.  Coverage varies for federal and state tax documents.

California Verdicts On Lexis At ACLL

A new way to sort through verdicts and settlements

The Alameda County Law Library provides access to California jury verdicts and settlements through Lexis.

The Award segment in Jury Verdicts and Settlements was recently released on the Lexis Advance service.  You can use this segment to narrow results to specific dollar amounts.  Researchers may enter a dollar amount and choose (greater than), (less than), and (equal to).  Combining (greater than) and (less than) (with an AND connector between the two) will allow for a dollar-amount range.

Example search: breach of contract and award > 10000000 and award < 20000000   Note: For large numbers, do not use commas as one would normally do writing out the number.

This segment is available in the Advanced Search forms.

Click on image to enlarge.