California Cases – Online and Free – Lexis Advance

California Official Reports website

Anyone who regularly researches California appellate cases should have the Lexis Advance California Official Reports site bookmarked in their internet browser.  This is a free internet website that allows a researcher to retrieve the text of California appellate decisions.  The site has recently been re-formatted by Lexis.  The publisher has added to the screen its Big Red search box as found on the screens of the subscription version of Lexis Advance.  Lexis provides this free, limited service as part of its contractual relationship with the California courts.

Searching on this site does not have all the capabilities that a full Lexis subscription offers.  Keywords searching is available.  But, by knowing a few search tips beforehand (no information is available on the public site) you can limit your search results to a more manageable file.

  • Know the name of one of the parties?   Use name search shorthand.   name(levi)
  • Use phrase searching.  yellow w/2 cab  The “w/” stands for “within” and the number for the number of words between the keywords
  • or even  name(yellow w/2 cab)
  • Have a sense of the date of the opinion?  Use the date shorthand with the keywords.   and =2017   or    and  <2015  (before 2015)   or    and >2009  (after 2009)

  You can be more specific with a date and a keyword.

Here is an example:

will return one case from 2017 with a named party “Levi”

Need more up-to-date resources?

This public resource should be viewed as a repository of opinions.  The database is not current.  It is only updated monthly.  Opinions are available through the site within 60 days.

You can search for the more recent opinions on the official California courts site but searching capabilities are limited.  No keyword searching.

To obtain electronic copies of recent unpublished decisions use  –  http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions-nonpub.htm

  • Unpublished or “non-citable” opinions are opinions that are not certified for publication in Official Reports and generally may not be cited or relied on by other courts or parties in other actions (see California Rules of Court, rule 8.1115).

To obtain more recent electronic copies of recently published decisions  – http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions-slip.htm

  • Published or “citable” opinions of the appellate courts are opinions ordered published in the Official Reports, and may be cited or relied on by other courts and parties.

Here is the message from the free case site from Lawrence W. Striley, Reporter of Decisions for the California appellate courts.  The Reporter of Decisions is responsible for supervising the preparation of more than 12,000 California Supreme Court and Court of Appeal opinions each year, including opinions published in both the Official California Reports and the Official California Appellate Reports as well as unpublished opinions posted on the judicial branch’s California Courts Web site.

 

 

 

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Briefs For Appeals Pending In California Courts – Researching Public Employee Pension Cases

Last week, the California Supreme Court issued a grant-and-hold-order in the pension case of Marin Association of Public Employees v. Marin County Employees’ Retirement Association (S237460).  The court has decided to wait for a decision in the appeal of an Alameda County-centric case – a different pension case — Alameda County Deputy Sheriff’s Association v. Alameda County Employees’ Retirement Association (A141913) or “pending further order of the court.”

Six of the briefs for the Alameda County case are available for reading and downloading at Alameda County Law Library on our public computers through our access to the California Public Law Library Briefs Service.  Four of the documents filed in the Marin Association case are also available on the database.  Visit the Reference Desk in Oakland or Hayward for help with accessing the briefs.  ACLL is one of the select California county law libraries having access to this resource.

There is a delay in the upload of the text of California appellate briefs to the free database.  You can call the Oakland Reference Desk at 510-208-4832 to check on availability before making a trip to the library.

Grant-and-hold order

An information discussion of the procedural aspects of the not frequently used grant-and-hold order can be found on the At the Lectern blog in a post – “Supreme Court Case on Hold for Court of Appeal Decision in Another Case.”

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Judicata – New Legal Research Platform

Judicata

There is a new online legal research platform now in beta — Judicata.

The company’s current focus is California primary legal sources – cases and codes.  Searching can be done by a natural language search or with terms and connectors.  The search and page format is clear, simple, and user friendly.

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MCLE Program – June 16

Alameda County Law Library will be hosting an MCLE program in Oakland next week on Thursday, June 16  – “Effective and Efficient Legal Research: Judicata.”  Online registration is available on ACLL’s Eventbrite site – INFO HERE.

Speakers will include professional legal research instructors from the company.  judicata_image

Topics will include:

  • Developing a strategy or plan of attack for your legal research
  • Breaking down research questions into the parts that matter so that you can search more efficiently and effectively
  • Constructing natural language queries that will find the best results (without the noise)
  • Mastering searching by terms and connectors

What content does Judicata have?

Judicata currently has California civil appellate opinions (from 1935 onwards) and California statutes.  Does not currently have federal cases, criminal cases, administrative decisions, state regulations, or repealed sections of California codes.

What filters?

  • Search Within Results: The Search Within Results filter limits your search results to cases that contain the text you enter into this box.
  • Publication Status: The Publication Status filter limits your search results to only published cases, only unpublished (slip) cases, or both.
  • Cause of Action: The Cause of Action filters limit your search results to cases where any of the complaints or cross-complaints alleged the selected causes of action.
  • Procedural Posture: The Procedural Posture filters limit your search results to cases in which any of the selected judgments or orders on a particular motion are being challenged on appeal.
  • Disposition: The Disposition filters limit your search results to cases having any of the selected dispositions.
  • Appellant’s Trial Court Role: The Appellant’s Trial Court Role filters limit your search results to cases in which the appellant had the any of the selected trial court roles.
  • Court:The Court filters limit your search results to cases issued by any of the selected courts.
  • Judge:The Judge filters limit your search results to cases in which any of the selected judges participated. You will need to start to type in the name of the judge in order to get filter suggestions.

You can explore Judicata for free.  For access, contact the company HERE .

https://www.judicata.com/

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Berkeley Balcony Collapse – Complaints Filed in Alameda County Superior Court – Culligan v. Black Rock, Inc

domainweb_headerComplaints were filed in Alameda County Superior Court this week to initiate negligence actions involving the recent deadly Berkeley, California balcony collapse.

A news article from the Bay Area News Group about the litigation can be read here.

For anyone interested in the causes of actions surrounding this incident, one of the complaints related to the disaster, Culligan v. Blackrock, Inc., RG1593019, can be read here – culliganvblackrock_acsup_complaint_rg1593019

The Alameda County Superior Court on-line public court records are kept behind a paywall.  But for the first week, new filings can be viewed without cost on the DomainWeb database.  A listing of documents with links can be can be viewed under the “Public Documents” link on the webpage.

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Searches for information by case numbers are always available at no cost on the system.  Reading full text of the filings does require an on-line account and payment.

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Now a Class Action – Uber Technologies Inc – Certification – 09/01/15

The New Economy has a new class action.

On September 1, 2015, U.S. District Judge Edward Chen of the Northern District of California certified a class of Uber Technologies Inc. drivers seeking employee status and reimbursement for withheld tips.  (Douglas O’Connor, et. al. v. UBER Technologies, Inc. (N.D. Cal. Sept. 1, 2015, C-13-3826.)uber_logo

Below is a pdf of Judge Chin’s order involving the class certification. (Docket No. 276, Amended order granting in part and denying in part Plaintiffs’ motion for class certification.)

Also below is a Word document that is a copy of the case docket as of 09/02/2015.  Both documents were copied from PACER.

Uber_technologies_class_cert_11952520-0–31989

Uber_technologies_cand_chin_docket_20150902

 

Petition Filed in Alameda County Superior Court Claims Warehousing Of Mentally Ill Criminal Defendants

The American Civil Liberties Union is a party to a Petition for Writ of Mandate filed on Wednesday, July 29, 2015 in the Superior Court of California, County of Alameda.  The plaintiffs claim California “warehouses” mentally ill criminal defendants in jails without treatment for months, often in defiance of judicial orders.  Pamela Ahlin, Director of the California Department of State Hospitals, is named as a defendant.

The Petition for Writ of Mandate filed in Stiavetti v. Ahlin, RG15779731, is available here –   stiavetti_v_ahlin_acsuperior

The Courthouse News website story about the case can be read here.

Access to petition from DomainWeb

The Superior Court of California, County of Alameda, provides the public with online access to civil case records (documents and information) through DomainWeb.  The access to many of the records are now behind a pay wall on the court’s website but Public Reports (Filings) Search  provides links to all non-confidential cases filed on any given day —  by location and case type. This search page allows you to view the initial case creation petition (filing) for free for the first 5 days from the date of the filing.  DomainWeb allows for downloading of the document to your computer.

 

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