Legal Research in California
Looking for more information about various laws in California? Try these great resources. Also, see our legal basics for how to use these resources.
Sites with more detailed discussion of California law:
SmartLaw.org (by Los Angeles County Bar Association)
Federal, State, and Local Codes
Codes are collections of laws passed by a body of lawmakers, such as Congress, the state legislature, and the city council.
- U.S. Code (laws passed by U.S. Congress)
- Los Angeles County Code (certain county laws applicable throughout most of the county, such as health code; the remainder are applicable only to unincorporated areas within the county)
- Los Angeles City Charter and Codes (Charter sets out areas of city authority; codes are laws passed by L.A. City Council)
- Municipal codes for other cities in L.A. Metro area
Rules and Regulations
Rules and regulations are “laws” enacted by agencies within the executive branch at every level – federal, state, and local. These are created to implement and enforce laws already passed by the legislative branch.
Federal: Code of Federal Regulations
Case law research
We are also subject to decisions made by courts and judges, which form the basis of “case law.” You can search for federal and state case law for free via Leagle.com, and some California case law via LexisNexis