Fee Agreement Forms Manual – Reference Review

Fee Agreement Forms Manual – A Review

By C. X. Berber

A new (to me) legal, ready-reference resource: Fee Agreement Forms Manual (KFC/77.5/ F43/ P52/2007 — Reference), is published by the Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB).  Although this resource is in the midst of the ready-reference section and I’ve probably laid eyes on it every day I’ve worked here, when the page updates came in I realized I wasn’t familiar with it. I took the time to find out what exactly this book would be used for.

fee_forms_agreement_imageThis is a manual of forms with sample contracts for client-lawyer agreements, for use by lawyers. These forms can be used as-is, or as a template for creating one’s own form. Subjects covered are Business, Civil, Bankruptcy, Criminal Debt Collection, Elder Law, Estate Planning, Limited Scope Representation, Marital Dissolution, Medical Malpractice, Personal Injury, Probate, Unlawful Detainer, and Wrongful Termination.
At the end is a chapter of letters for non-engagement, and completion of representation. The final chapter, “Statutes and Rules”, has the text for pertinent sections of the California Business and Professions Code and Rules of Professional Conduct discussed in Chapter 1. The Tables of Statutes, Regulations and Rules contains all the codes used in the manual listed under code titles, and refers the user to the pertinent section of the manual. The volume is indexed.

ONLAW_icon-80The format is in 8-1/2” x 11” size binder for easy copying. It is also available online, through our OnLAW subscription database. As this is a reference item, it can only be used in the library. There are copy machines available in the library for your convenience.

The forms manual is current, and the loose-leaf filing is up-to-date. This manual is cited as 2d ed Cal CEB.

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CEB & California County Law Libraries Partner Program

ceb_logo_2California’s Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB) is teaming up with the Council of California County Law Librarians (CCCLL) to help support the continued free public access to legal resources for all Californians — but — your help is needed.

As part of the partnership program between CEB and CCCLL, when you or your firm places an order for CEB products using a designated CEB priority code (9629A  for the Alameda County Law Library) CEB will credit that county law library’s account with 10% of the value of the order.   By simply using a priority code, you or your firm help maintain the public law collections available to all within your community.

CEB products included in this program are:


OnLAW libraries give you access to the largest source of web-based California legal commentary and analysis.

CEB Books   

Comprehensive and authoritative, CEB print materials offer in-depth coverage of the law and expert analysis and guidance from California’s leading practitioners.

CEB’s Specialization Courses ~ Preparation for Certified Specialist Exams

  •  FLIC (Family Law Intensive Course) 
  •  EPIC (Estate Planning Intensive Course)

Please support the goals of the Alameda County Law Library as it continues to envision a future in which all people have effective access to justice. To bring about this vision, we provide access to information required for participation in the legal system, resolving legal disputes, engaging in commerce, and tending to personal affairs and academic projects.

Use CEB priority code 9629A when you place an order with Continuing Education of the Bar.

Thank you.

Flyer for CEB/CCCLL Partner Program




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Used/Out Dated Nolo Books, Statutes, Tax Portfolios for Sale


The Law Library is selling some of its used/out of date books. Currently the prices range from $4.00 each for some old California statute volumes such as Penal Code and Health & Safety volumes to $20.00 for a used, older edition of Black’s Law Dictionary. There are Nolo books on many subjects such as divorce which are all priced at $5.00 each. The selection varies from day to day.

BNA Tax Management Portfolio $1
Black’s Law Dictionary $20
CEB Action Guides $15 each
Cal Jur 3d volumes $4 each
Codes/Statutes volumes $4 each Nolo books $5 each with or without CD

Hidden Gems of the Library’s Collection

Hidden-Gems-logoWe all have a tendency to use the same materials over and over again because they are comfortable and reliable.
This is the beginning of a new series to familiarize you with some other resources available in the library which you might find helpful in doing your legal research.
For this first post, we are featuring the California Judge’s Benchbook series. The practice materials we have from Rutter, CEB , Lexis and other publishers are either written for attorneys or the general public (NOLO). The Judges Benchbooks are written as guides for judges to use in understanding cases and in making decisions relevant to them. According to the Preface they are to be “used to guide a judge through the proceedings”. Often, it also can help attorneys and participants to learn about the proceedings from a judge’s perspective and it can be useful in presenting information in court. The books often have information in them which may be not found in the attorney practice manuals.
The California Center for Judicial Education and Research (CJER) which creates the Benchbooks (published by West) also conducts continuing education programs for judges as well as training programs for new judges. The Benchbooks are updated annually.
The books on civil procedure are organized chronologically paralleling the steps and procedures in a civil case. They books are located on the open shelves and include:
California judges benchbook 2d. Civil Proceedings—before trial KFC 995 .C335
California judges benchbook. Civil Proceedings – discovery KFC 1020 .C35
California judges benchbook 2d. Civil Proceedings – trial  KFC 1025 .C335
California judges benchbook. Civil Proceedings – after trial KFC 1061 .C335
California judges Benchbook : small claims court and consumer law KFC 976 .C34 (at the Reference Desk)
Other titles in the series outside the civil procedure area are:
California judges benchbook: domestic violence KFC 1121.4 .C3
California judges benchbook: search and seizure KFC 1162 .C357
Look for more hidden gems on our blog in the near future.

New Book: The CalAware Guide to Public Records and Private Information in California

Written as a reference for journalists, government officials, and others seeking access to public records, The CalAware Guide to Public Records and Private Information in California examines the California statutes that permit, limit, or bar public access to records created and maintained by California agencies, courts, and legislative bodies, including those records that contain private or confidential information about individuals. A user-friendly index helps researchers quickly determine if a particular type of record is discussed in the Guide.

The majority of the text concerns the California Public Records Act “CPRA” (Gov. Code § 6250 et seq.), the law governing access to records in the possession of state and local agencies. Although the Act creates a presumption of public access to agency records, requiring an agency to promptly comply with copying and inspection requests, some types of records are explicitly exempt from disclosure. Summarizing applicable statutory provisions and relevant case law, the author identifies the types of agency records that are subject to disclosure, and those that are exempt. Government Code § 6255 affords agencies some discretion to withhold records that contain confidential or sensitive information, articulating a balancing test that weighs public interest in disclosure against the need to preserve individual privacy rights.

The Guide discusses strategies for enforcing access rights if an agency fails to comply with an inspection request. A sample request letter advising the agency of its response obligations is provided. If the requestor believes that the agency is wrongfully withholding records, he or she may bring an action for injunctive or declaratory relief, or seek a writ to compel disclosure. Outcomes of pervious suits brought under CPRA are examined.

Later sections discuss public access to judicial and legislative records. Although there is a presumption of access to both civil and criminal case records, the author explains that some court records may be sealed, available only to the parties involved in the suit, while others are confidential by statute, or available to the public for a limited time period. Access to California legislative records is governed by the Legislative Open Records Act “LORA” (Gov. Code § 9070 et seq.). Under this Act, preliminary drafts, notes, and legislative memoranda are generally exempt from disclosure.

The CalAware Guide to Public Records and Private Information in California is available at Main Library in Oakland for in-library use.

Popularity Contest for Law Books: The Winners Are

In the first quarter of 2012, the most popular books in the Alameda County Law Library in Oakland and its branch in Hayward, excluding primary law, were:

10. Win Your Lawsuit: Sue in California Superior Court Without a Lawyer.
 California Practice Guide: Civil Appeals and Writs.
California Mortgages, Deeds of Trust, and Foreclosure Litigation.
California Criminal Law, 3d ed.
  6. California Practice Guide: Federal Civil Procedure Before Trial.
California Practice Guide Family Law.
West’s California Jurisprudence, 3d ed.
  3. Summary of California Law, 10th ed.
  2. California Practice Guide: Civil Procedure Before Trial.
California Forms of Practice and Pleading.

Although this is the multi-media age with Pixar in neighboring Emeryville and Apple in Mountainview, it’s Damhoudere’s Praxis rerum criminalium (1554) and his Practique judiciaire et causes civiles (Antwerp, 1572) with their illustrations and useful texts, published in many languages and editions that combine art and learning to achieve popularity in the past and a resurgence in the present. See Mike Widner’s blog at http://blogs.law.yale.edu/rareworks/archive/2010/11/28/an-illustrated-manual-of-criminal-law.aspx for more information.

Post-Foreclosure Evictions: Procedural Guidance

Pursuant to CCP 1161a-1161c, special procedures apply when a mortgage lender or buyer of a foreclosed property seeks to initiate unlawful detainer proceedings against the former property owner or the tenants of the former owner.  Although these procedures must be followed carefully to avoid delay in the eviction process, many of the traditional landlord-tenant practice guides offer little guidance for evicting the former owner or their tenants.

Matthew Bender Practice Guide: California Landlord-Tenant Litigation, a new title from LexisNexis, is the exception. The authors of this practice guide discuss in detail the procedures for eviction under CCP 1161, with citations to recent appellate decisions. Chapter 4, “Termination of Tenancy,” includes explanation of applicable notice periods and requirements for terminating the tenancy, which differ for the former owner and for any tenants of the former owner. Chapter 5, “Unlawful Detainer” reminds readers that they cannot use the standard Judicial Council Unlawful Detainer Complaint form to evict after foreclosure, but must draft a complaint form that incorporates specific elements and allegations. A template for a “Complaint to Evict Residential Tenant After Sale Under Writ of Execution pursuant to CCP 1161a” is provided. The authors also discuss perfection of title, and the effect of local rent control ordinances on a buyer’s ability to evict a tenant from a foreclosed property.

Matthew Bender Practice Guide: California Landlord-Tenant Litigation is available at the Main Library in Oakland.