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Go-to Secondary Sources

Procedural Treatises and Practice Guides

Judges are often asked to rule on matters of procedure rather than substantive law. Therefore, you are likely to rely on secondary sources geared towards procedural issues. 

For California civil procedure issues, try one of the following:‚Äč

For California criminal procedure issues, try the following:

For federal civil procedure issues, try one of the following:

For federal criminal procedure issues, try one of the following:

For a complete listing of all procedural treatises and practice guides, try the Appellate Procedure, Civil Procedure, Criminal Law and Procedure, and Evidence pages of the Law Library's Treatise Guide.


Benchbooks are a type of secondary source designed to provide guidance to judges in handling a wide range of procedural issues.

A series of benchbooks designed for use by California Superior Court Judges is available on Westlaw.

Books About Externing and Clerking for Judges

California Citation

California state courts follow the California Style Manual rather than the Bluebook for citations within their opinions. Your judge will almost certainly have a copy of the Manual in chambers, but a free PDF copy is available online.

Local Court Rules

While there are rules of general applicability like the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, each court has its own local rules, too. As a judicial extern, you should be familiar with your court's local rules.

Federal Local Court Rules

California Local Court Rules

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