Overheard at the Reference Desk

Recently a student was overheard to say, “Wow, using the book version of the California Codes is way easier than using it online.” The California Codes are divided into 29 titles beginning with Business & Profession and ending with Welfare & Institutions. The state of California does not publish an official code. Most lawyers use commerically published codes by Deering’s (of the Lexis-Nexis Group) and West’s (of West Group).
The great thing about the Deering’s and West’s versions are the annotations–or what I like to call the whipped cream, nuts, fudge sauce, and cherry on top.
An annotation to a code section includes the legislative history, any comments from the Judicial Council or the Law Revision Commission, and a selection of case annotations. There could also be a reference to an Opinion of the Attorney General, a reference to a California regulation, or to a law review. And it’s not just code sections that get annotated, there are also the annotated California constitutions, and annotated court rules.
Now that you know how useful these are, where can you find them? There is a copy of the West version right next to the Reference Desk in the First Floor Library, and another copy in the Gold Reading Room in alcoves 7/8. A copy of Deering’s can be found in alcove 6 of the Gold Reading Room.