BUS 202 Getting Started

BUS 202 Getting Started

Take a survey end of class


BUS 202 Getting Started

  • Follow syllabus and professor instructions for writing paper

This guide was created for the purposes of a practicum experience by Brittany Cronin.

Legal Dictionary     Nolo Plain-English Law Dictionary

BUS 202 Go to Court to Watch a Case

Check the local courts to find a civil case to watch.

​Related sources:

California Continuing Education for the Bar   (See your professor for login info)

California Business Litigation
California Law of Contracts
Drafing Business Contracts
Selecting & Forming Business Entities
Advising California Employers and Employees Drafting Employment
Documents for California Employers

Nolo Law   Excellent e-books on basic law topics.


Using Cal Jury Instructions CACI to Find Cases in WestLaw

BUS Law Using Cal Jury Instructions to Find Cases

  1. Open CACI California Civil Jury Instructions
  2. ​Use this link to see  CACI Tutorial
  3. Look at "Table of Contents" to find your broad legal issue (ex. contracts, evidence, etc.).
  4. Go to the Series number for that larger issue (ex. Series 300 Contracts).
  5. From the general legal issue you can find a jury instruction on a specific issue (ex. 312. Substantial Performance).
  6. Read the jury instruction and Sources of Authority for that issue.
  7. Sources of Authority provide references and quotes from cases that discuss that particular legal issue.
  8. Use the citation from Sources of Authority to find the case in the California Court Opinions or WestLaw.
  1. Search the case citation or case name.
  2. California Courts Legal Opinions
  3. WestLaw Legal Research 
  1. (ex. Connell v. Higgins (1915) 170 Cal. 541, 556, Citation= 170 Cal. 541). 
  2. Read the case and look at the Headnotes to determine how the legal issue you are interested in was resolved.
  3. Make sure the related case is on your issue of law (breach of contract, duty, compensatory damages.



Legal Citation

Legal Citation: Examples

Legal Citation: Examples

How to read legal citation (Locating the Law: A Handbook for Non-Law Librarians by Southern California Association of Law Libraries)

Parts of a legal citation.  

  • Volume.  
  • Reporter. 
  • Page.    

Ex.Li v. Yellow Cab Co. (1975) 13 Cal.3d 804, 119 Cal.Rptr. 858, 532 P.2d 1126.

What does this mean? Let’s take it apart.

  • Basically: the official version of this 1975 California Supreme Court case is found in Volume 13 of the California Reports, 3rd series at page 804. Unofficial versions appear in Volume 119 of the California Reporter and Volume 532 of the Pacific Reporter, 2nd
  • So for the official version:
    • Volume= 13
    • Reporter= California Reports 3rd Series
    • Page= Beginning at page 804

The citations given after the first, official cite are known as unofficial or parallel citations. The text of the opinion is the same in all sources, whether they are designated as official or unofficial.

Here are some examples:

  • Lyle v. Warner Bros., 38 Cal. 4th 264, 132 P.3d 211, 42 Cal. Rptr. 3d 2 (2006)
  • Li v. Yellow Cab Co. 13 Cal.3d 804, 119 Cal.Rptr. 858, 532 P.2d 1126 (1975) 

How to cite in your paper:

  • First time you use it in your paper enter the Full Citation 
    • Ex: Lyle v. Warner Bros., 38 Cal. 4th 264, 132 P.3d 211, 42 Cal. Rptr. 3d 2 (2006).
    • Ex: Brown v. Helvering, 291 U.S. 193, 203 (1934).
  • After that, you can use the Short Form Citations
    • Ex: Lyle, 38 Cal. 4th 264 at  page number you are quoting to.
    •  Ex: Brown, 291 U.S. at 203. 
      • OR: 291 U.S. at 203.
      • OR: Id. at 203.
        • The short form should include an identifiable portion of the case name unless it appears in the passage supported by the citation.

Examples Taken from Cornell Legal Information Institute: Basic Legal Citation 

Citing CACI Jury Instructions

  • Cite the book: Judicial Council of California Civil Jury Instructions (2011)
  • Cite instructions: “CACI No. _________.”
  • Cite verdict forms: “CACI No. VF- _________.”

Wilson, 503 U.S. at 334-36.

Citing Unpublished Opinions

Georgetown Law Library Bluebook Guide 
Unpublished Opinions

Legal Research: How to Read a Legal Case

Reading a legal case can be confusing and frustrating.  The articles below should help you learn what is important to take from a legal decision.

Need Help?

Judy Opdahl

Instruction and Reference Librarian, Business & Economics Librarian (Spring Semesters)
Image of librarian Judy Opdahl
Office Location: 
KEL 3306, office is outside of the librarian hallway
Office Hours: 
email for an appointment

Spring Semesters serving as the Business & Economics Librarian.