New Resource From HeinOnline – Brennan Center For Justice Publications



A new collection, Brennan Center for Justice Publications from NYU School of Law, is now available in HeinOnline. This collection includes more than 210 titles and 11,000 pages of material and is available to the patrons at Alameda County Law Library at no cost through the library’s subscription.

The Center’s law and policy scholarship is largely written by attorneys and covers a variety of topics. The Center’s publications are nonpartisan; most works are stand-alone journal-length articles. Once a year, the Center publishes a book-length volume, Democracy and Justice: Collected Writings, which compiles excerpts from the year’s shorter scholarship and includes new material for that publication.

The Brennan Center for Justice Publications can be found by name on HeinOnline under “Browse Collections by Name.”   The articles are listed in alpha order.

Here are examples of titles of articles that can be found in the collection – Voter Registration in a Digital Age: 2015 UpdateAutomatic and Permanent Voter Registration: How It Works.

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The Recorder – Available On ACLL Public Computers

Digital only edition – The Recorder

The Recorder – historically one of California’s premier legal newspapers – has gone digital-only.  The print version is no longer available. (Sigh.  Vinyl records are making a comeback but paper publications are an endangered species.)

Alameda County Law Library has a subscription available for your use in the library on our public computers.  Stop by the Reference Desk to ask a staff member to sign you in to our account.

Legal public notices

In addition to legal industry news and discussion of new law and legislation, legal newspapers, such as The Recorder or Daily Journal, are viewed as sources for listings for notices required under state law and court rules.  Examples of notices required under the law include the areas of claims of forfeiture, probate, fictitious business names, and court service by publication.

The Recorder has a separate section for searching and reading legal public notices.  Once you have access to the online subscription, look to the left for the Sections icon, click for the list, select Classified & Public Notices, then select Browse Public Notices.

Interesting how the concept of “public” notices has changed in the Internet Age.  Current California law, California Government Code 6040.5, was written in the 1940s.

As used in any law of this State providing for any publication, or notice by publication, or official advertising, “daily newspaper” means a newspaper of general circulation that is published on five or more days in a calendar week, and “weekly newspaper” includes any newspaper of general circulation that is published on at least one, but less than five, days in a calendar week.

Any provision in any such law for publication in a weekly newspaper shall be deemed complied with if publication is made once a week for the period specified in a weekly newspaper as defined in this section.

Hmmm… might be time for legislators to consider updating the statutory language for what constitutes “publication” in this century.  But then, some of us have still have shelves in our house full of vinyl.



Motion in Limine Changes at Alameda Superior Court

Effective July 1, 2014 each motion in limine requires a $60 fee.  Read the full announcement on the Court’s webpage

If you’d like to read about introducing evidence and motions in limine, see Laying a foundation to introduce evidence (preparing and using evidence at trial)  by Donald F. Miles. [A CEB action guide] 2012. KFC 1030 .Z9 M55 2012 — Action Guides Area

For more guidance from CEB, consider searching “motion in limine” in the CEB OnLaw database available at both the Oakland or Hayward branches of the law library.

See also Civil Practice Guide: California Motions in Limine available in both the Oakland and Hayward branches through the library’s WestLawNext subscription.

You can help keep the valuable research tools available in the law library by making a tax-deductible gift to the Alameda County Law Library online, by calling or mailing to Alameda County Law Library, 125 12th St., Oakland, CA 94567.






Don’t Get Left Behind- Jump on the WestlawNext Bandwagon!


According to Thomson Reuters Q2 2013 financial report, 80% of the company’s Westlaw revenue now comes from WestlawNext subscriptions, suggesting that more law firms and practitioners are making the transition from Westlaw Classic to WestlawNext. Greg Lambert, contributing author at “3 Geeks and a Law Blog” predicts that Thomson Reuters may begin phasing out Westlaw Classic in the next few years.

The Alameda County Law Library offers access to WestlawNext free of charge on library computers. With a Google-style interface and “intuitive” search engine, WestlawNext greatly simplifies the research process. You can print WestlawNext results for .20/page to the library printer, or email or save results to a USB drive free of charge.

Visit the Alameda County Law Library today and experience improved research outcomes with WestlawNext!

Email or Download Content from WestlawNext- Free of Charge!

rutter_wnPatrons using WestlawNext at the law library now have the option of emailing results or saving to a flash drive, free of charge. Through the library’s WestlawNext subscription, users can access the full-text of state and federal primary materials, and many popular secondary sources, including Rutter Group practice guides, California Jurisprudence, American Jurisprudence, and American Law Reports. Content retrieved from WestlawNext can be saved or emailed as PDF files or Microsoft Word or WordPerfect documents.

Form templates found in California Law & Motion Model Forms, Civil Procedure Before Trial: FORMS, California Transactions Forms, Miller & Starr Forms, and West’s Legal Forms can be downloaded or emailed as Microsoft Word or WordPerfect documents for easy manipulation.

To download or email one or more documents from WestlawNext, locate the envelope icon in the upper-right hand corner or the document or chapter you are viewing. Click on the arrow to the right of the envelope icon to open the delivery options drop-down menu. Select “Download” to save the document(s) to a flash drive, or select “Email” to email the document(s) to your home or work email address.


Click here to support law library services by making a tax-deductible donation!

Research Smarter and Faster with WestlawNext: Free at the Law Library

One Search Box, Multiple Content Areas

Visitors to the Alameda County Law Library can now use the WestlawNext database free of charge on library computers at the Main and Branch locations. Designed to be more intuitive and user-friendly than the “classic” Westlaw platform, the WestlawNext homepage features a simple, uncluttered interface reminiscent of the Google homepage.

From the single, versatile search box located at the top of the homepage, users can retrieve a document by citation or party name, access a publication or source (e.g. Rutter Group California Practice Guide: Bankruptcy), Keycite an authority, or research an issue. WestlawNext will automatically run a search executed from the homepage across thirteen core content categories, including cases, statutes and court rules, regulations, trial court documents, briefs, forms, and secondary sources. This is a major departure from the traditional Westlaw platform, which requires a user to select one of more sources before performing a search.

Search results appear in an “Overview” screen, which displays the most relevant document identified in each core category. Because WestlawNext searches for your terms across multiple categories of primary sources, analytical materials, and court filings, the resulting “Overview” page can serve as a customized research guide for the narrow issue that you are researching, identifying sources you may wish to consult before concluding your research. Select a specific content category to view all results found in that category.

Plain Language Searching, Improved Research Outcomes

WestlawNext also simplifies the task of formulating an effective search query, allowing users to retrieve highly relevant results by describing their legal issue in simple, plain language terms. While the classic Westlaw database features a “literal” search engine that requires searchers to carefully express an issue using synonyms, Boolean logic, proximity operators, and root expanders, WestlawNext de-emphasizes the importance of proper search syntax. When a user performs a descriptive word search, WestlawNext’s “intuitive” search engine applies its proprietary WestSearch algorithm to the search terms. Leveraging the West Key Number System, KeyCite, editorial content, secondary sources, and aggregate user behavior, WestSearch expands the search beyond the actual terms used to retrieve an inclusive, relevant results set. WestSearch displays documents that are strongly associated with the original search terms, even if the precise terms do not appear in every document.

Narrowing Results and Annotating Documents 

WestlawNext searchers can manipulate an overly broad results’ list and display a more targeted selection of documents by applying filters, or using the “Search within results” feature. Depending on the content category, users can filter search results by jurisdiction, date, party, attorney, judge, publication name, practice area, topic, or form type. Entering a word or phrase in the “Search within results” box retrieves only those documents from the original results set that contain a specific word of phrase.

WestlawNext has also developed several interactive tools that enable researchers to annotate documents and extract passages of text. Users can select the “Highlight” tool to highlight passages of text in pale yellow, or “Add a Note” to insert a virtual sticky note next to a specific paragraph. The “Copy with Reference” feature allows users to copy and paste passages of text, followed by the official Bluebook or California Style Manual citation.

New Tools for Searching Primary Law 

Like the classic Westlaw platform, WestlawNext provides full-text, electronic access to state and federal cases, codes, regulations, and court rules. Case results can be filtered by key number, party name, docket number, judge, attorney, law firm, or reported/unreported status. A list of “Related Documents,” including secondary sources, briefs, and trial court documents, appear to the right of the case results.

WestlawNext users can search the full-text of West’s Annotated California Code, or browse individual titles. The California Statutes Index – Words and Phrases helps researchers quickly identify governing code sections and statutory definitions. When viewing a code section, click on the “History” tab to view legislative history materials and read the text of the statute as it appeared on a particular effective date. The California Statutes Annotated – Historical file contains full-text, archived versions of West’s Annotated California Code dating back to 1987.

Search Analytical Materials

WestlawNext users can access analytical materials, including legal encyclopedias, treatises, practice guides, and law reviews, by clicking on the “Secondary Sources” link on the homepage, or by entering the title of a specific secondary source (e.g. California Jurisprudence) in the main search box. The library’s WestlawNext subscription includes full-text, searchable versions of the Rutter Group series of California practice guides, West’s California Code Forms, California Transactions Forms, Miller & Starr California Real Estate Forms, California Jurisprudence, American Jurisprudence, American Law Reports, and select law reviews. Users can run a search across all secondary sources, or within a single title.

Retrieve Trial Court Documents

The California Trial Court Documents file contains select pleadings and motions filed in California state and federal trial courts since 2000. Search by cause of action or motion type to review legal arguments and authorities used in similar cases. These successfully filed documents can serve as model forms for drafting pleadings and motions.

Try WestlawNext Today

With a Google-style interface and expansive, plain-English searching, WestlawNext is easy to use and quickly delivers meaningful results. Visit the library’s Main or Branch locations to explore the features of this exciting new research platform.

Retrieving Content from Practice Guides on

Library patrons can use the Citation Format Assistant on to retrieve sections and form templates from practice guides and formbooks published by Matthew Bender/LexisNexis and other legal publishers. is available free of charge on public computers at the Main and Branch libraries.

To retrieve a section/form template:

Step 1: Identify the section you want to retrieve from a practice guide published by Matthew Bender/LexisNexis. Ex.: California Points & Authorities, § 221.29.

  • Note: The “section number” usually appears in the upper-right hand corner of each page.

Step 2: Open In the “Quick Tools” box on the right-side of the screen, click on “Get a Doc.”

Step 3: Click on “Citation Formats” to the right of the search field to open the “Citation Format Assistant.”

Step 4: Under the heading “Option 1: Find a Citation Format,” enter the name of the practice guide (or other primary or secondary source) that you want to access and click “Find.”

  • Ex: California Points & Authorities

Step 5: In the results’ list, click on the hyperlinked publication name.

Step 6: Enter the section you want to retrieve in the text box to the right of the publication title and press “Get.” Ex.: California Points & Authorities, § 221.29.

Step 7: The requested section will appear in full-text and can be printed, saved, or emailed.