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California Practice Guides: A Selective List  

Last Updated: Jul 5, 2012 URL: Print Guide Email Alerts

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Practice guides provide attorneys with practical, “how to” information.  They often include legal analysis, practice tips, pleading and transactional forms, and checklists.  The majority of the California practice guides are published by the three major publishers discussed below.

Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB), founded by the University of California and the State Bar of California, publishes over 100 practice guides on fairly specific topics.  In addition, CEB produces the Action Guide series of about 40 pamphlets on narrow topics of the law. CEB publications are available in print and in CEB's online database OnLAW.   

 Matthew Bender, a part of LexisNexis, produces several topical California practice guides and a few large, general sets on California practice.  California Forms of Pleading and Practice (55 volumes) and California Points and Authorities (24 volumes) are general litigation-oriented publications, providing legal forms, instructions and practice tips in many different legal areas.  California Legal Forms:  Transaction Guide (36 volumes) is a collection of forms and instructions for legal and business transactions.  Many of the Matthew Bender practice guides are available on Lexis as well as in print.   

Thomson Reuters publishes California practice guides under its own name and under the names of two publishers that it has acquired:  The Rutter Group and Bancroft-Whitney.  The Rutter Group publishes practice-oriented publications in its California Practice Guide series.  Rutter Group publications cover broad subject areas.  The California Civil Practice series is published by Bancroft-Whitney.  The 10 titles in this series cover various areas of civil litigation.  Practice guides from Thomson Reuters, the Rutter Group and Bancroft-Whitney are available in print and on Westlaw.   

In this list California practice guides have been organized alphabetically by title under subject headings.  For practice guides in print format the location and call number of the materials are provided.  If a practice guide is available on Westlaw, Lexis or OnLaw this will be indicated.   

To find additional practice materials by a particular publisher, perform an advanced search with the library catalog (GOCAT) using the legal topic in the keyword field and the publisher’s name in the publisher field or search for the topic and publisher as keywords.  Publisher names in this guide have been abbreviated as follows:

(BW) = Bancroft-Whitney 
(CEB) = Continuing Education of the Bar 
(MB) = Matthew Bender
(TR) = Thomson Reuters
(TRG) = The Rutter Group       

Note:  "Browse by Subject" provides a link directly to a list of practice guides on a particular topic.  The lists include all practice guides except the CEB Action Guides.  Action Guides are listed by subject under the "Action Guides (CEB)" tab.    

Reference Desk

For further assistance, contact the Reference Desk either by email  or call at 916.739.7164

CALI lessons

  • CALI Lesson - California Secondary Sources
    This lesson will serve as an introduction to some of the secondary resources available in the field of California law. The topics covered include the online and print formats of treatises, practice guides and the state legal encyclopedia. No prior knowledge of California law or legal materials is required, however students should have a basic understanding of building search queries with Westlaw and Lexis.

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