California Law Series - Guide C2
HOW TO FIND CALIFORNIA STATUTES
Researching California law usually includes a search for relevant statutes. A good starting point for such
research is secondary sources such as treatises, practice guides, and law review articles, which often include
references to applicable code sections. This guide is intended to assist the user in locating and updating
NOTE: When using LexisNexis, you can search for the appropriate database by using the database menus in that system
or by using the “shortcut” database names provided below. To use these shortcuts, click on the “Command Searching” tab
in LexisNexis, type the source names into the search box exactly as listed and then click the “Go” button. You can then
search as you normally would.
PUBLICATION OF CALIFORNIA STATUTES
California statutes are published in two different ways:
Chronologically as session laws; and
Topically (arranged by subject) in Codes. The Codes are the standard working tool for
researching statutory law.
Print publication: California statutes are first officially published as Chapter Laws (individual
pamphlets containing the text of new legislation). Then at the end of each Legislative Session, the
Chapter Laws are compiled and published as the Statutes of California and Digests of Mea-
sures (bound as California Statutes and Amendments to the Codes). Since California does not
publish an official printed code, publication of California codes is provided by two commercial
publishers, West and Deering (LexisNexis). Both versions of the codes follow the same arrange-
ment of 29 Titles subdivided by section.
Internet publication: California Statutes and Codes are available on the Web (see below) and are
usually more up-to-date than any print publication.
West’s Annotated California Codes provides a subject arrangement of the general
and permanent legislative law of California and includes court rules and uncodified
laws of general interest. In addition to the