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Superior Court Judges in Los Angeles County Have Limited Access to Current California Statutes and Cases


11/15/04

We have learned that Superior Court judges in Los Angeles County no longer have current California statutes accessible to them, and that their court case reporters containing published appellate decisions are not being updated, leaving them with no easy access to recent cases issued by appellate courts.  The judges still have some access over the internet to recent cases, but have difficulty obtaining easily readable copies.  In the past, many litigators have assumed that if a California statute or case was cited to the court, the court had easy access to that document.  Most local rules for Superior Courts require attorneys filing motions with the court to provide copies of cases or statutes only if they are from federal courts or out-of-state jurisdictions.  However, as the financial problems of California governments affect the Superior Courts, judges may not always have easy access to California case law and statutes.  This already appears to be the case in Los Angeles Superior Court and may be developing elsewhere.  Litigation attorneys should consider this when briefing significant motions and should, at a minimum, ask the court whether it needs copies of important authorities cited to it even if those authorities are California case law or statutes.

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