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Podcast: Do You Have a Right to a Jury in a Civil Action in CA Courts?

New! Listen to the Podcast – Do you have a right to a jury in a civil action in California Courts?
Presented by John R. Wierzbicki, Co-Director, Witkin Legal Institute, Recorded May 4, 2020
***Listen Here***
***Download Materials Here***

This is part one in a series on juries. More are coming soon.

Stream Virtual Classroom presentations, including the Unforseeable Circumstance “Force Majeure” Clauses audio podcast by the Witkin Legal Institute on the California County Law Libraries’ Website
https://www.publiclawlibrary.org/classes.htm#HeadingAnchor:58aR45c

About the Speaker: John R. Wierzbicki is co-director of the Witkin Legal Institute. B. E. Witkin founded the institute before he died to carry on his life’s work in producing Witkin’s California Library: Summary of California Law, 11th ed., California Procedure, 5th ed., California Criminal Law, 4th ed., and California Evidence, 5th ed. John heads the Institute’s educational activities and writes on the topics of constitutional law, contracts, civil trial practice, and taxation.


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COVID-19 Quick Guides: Holographic Wills in California

By Ruth Geos, Reference Librarian

Yes, even in these technological times, and to the surprise of some, handwritten wills–called holographic wills– are a valid form of will-making in California.  Holographic wills, for their hand-crafted style, need no witnesses and no notary: making this holographic form of estate planning an accessible option during this Shelter in Place period.  A holographic will works best for simple designations, to make clear what you want on your death and who you want to have the property you own.

CA Probate Code §6111 sets out the essential elements of what makes a holographic will valid, including the key requirement that the signature and the “material provisions” of the holographic be in the handwriting of the person making the will.  Ultimately, it must sound like a will, meaning it is meant to be effective on the death of the person writing it out–but it does not need gilt edges or fancy words. One of the most extreme examples of all holographic wills is one written on a tractor fender, the will of a dying farmer scratched in the metal,  archived at the University of Saskatchewan College of Law, along with the farmer’s knife. Pen and paper would work just as well.

For more resources on this topic, see the San Francisco Law Library’s COVID-19 Quick Guides: Holographic Wills in California.  Please note that holographic wills are not recognized in every state, and that the requirements for a valid will may vary from state to state.

For a collection of broader resources on the COVID-19 crisis, see the COVID-19 Guides and Resources or contact the San Francisco Law Library reference team at reference.sfll@sfgov.org


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California Lawyers Association COVID-19 Videos and Resources to Help Businesses and Individuals

The California Lawyers Association has videos and resources to help businesses and individuals navigate COVID-19. Video topics include employer concerns, employee health and safety, leave, benefits, health care, the eviction moratorium, custody, and more. Visit their site here, to watch these videos.
https://calawyers.org/covid-19-public-resources/#videos 

The California Lawyers Association’s COVID-19 resources also include webinars by The Arnold and Porter Law Firm on legislative actions affecting companies, and the CARES Act. There are also links to the Disaster Legal Assistance Collaborative of organizations providing free legal assistance during the pandemic, and resources to help businesses and individuals. These include links to state and federal agencies, business and industry organizations, state and local links, mental health, and additional COVID-19 resources 

If you have COVID-19 legal research topics you would like the San Francisco Law Library to explore, or have any questions, please contact:  sfll.reference@sfgov.org To make use of remote legal research resources, please see the SFLL Resources Available to you from Home including free full text remote access to the Fastcase legal research database, the Nolo Legal Information Reference Center [containing full text of hundreds of Nolo Press publications] and many other resources.


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How to Sign up for important Meeting Alerts from the California Judicial Council…

On April  6, the California Judicial Council met to adopted several new temporary emergency rules affecting topics from jail population, evictions, and foreclosures to statutes of limitations in response to the COVID-19 crisis. The Judicial Council’s meeting information page has previous meeting agendas, minutes, videos, and a search feature for meetings back to 2015, and archived meetings back to 2003. 
https://www.courts.ca.gov/jcmeetings.htm

To sign up for future meeting alerts, go to the Calendar Page
https://jcc.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx

In the upper right corner is a sign-in button.  Clicking on that brings you to a page allowing you to create an account with the California Courts Meeting Information Center.

If you have COVID-19 legal research topics you would like the San Francisco Law Library to explore, or have any questions, please contact:  sfll.reference@sfgov.org To make use of remote legal research resources, please see the SFLL Resources Available to you from Home including free full text remote access to the Fastcase legal research database, the Nolo Legal Information Reference Center [containing full text of hundreds of Nolo Press publications] and many other resources.


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Update on Notary Services for California during COVID-19

This summary is provided by the reference team of  The San Francisco Law Library, to provide information to all during this COVID-19 crisis. Questions or other inquiries may be sent to: sfll.reference@sfgov.org

The CA Secretary of State has now provided some information to state notaries and to California residents on how to go forward in this Shelter in Place period, with executing documents that generally require notarization, such as wills or advance health care directives, approving within limits both local mobile notaries and out of state remote  online notary services:

CA Secretary of State:

How do I get something notarized during California’s shelter-in-place order?: https://www.sos.ca.gov/business-programs/bizfile/covid-19-frequently-asked-questions/

During this unprecedented time, those seeking notarization may do so safely by contacting a mobile notary or using an out of state remote online notary. Mobile notaries are individual notaries who travel to a customer’s location to perform notarizations. When a mobile notary arrives at an agreed-upon location, they may practice physical distance while observing a customer sign a document. All California notaries public may consider the following guidelines to assist in maintaining proper social distancing:

  1. When you arrive at the customer’s location or an individual appears before you, let them know that you want to maintain a safe distance to adhere to CDC guidelines.
  2. From a safe distance, verify the identity of the individual appearing before you.
  3. From a safe distance, perform the notarial act, including all journal entries.
  4. After you have made your journal entries, you may wish to step back to a safe distance while the individual signs your journal and enters their thumbprint, if needed, while still maintaining control and direct line of sight of your journal.
  5. Once the notarization is complete, return the notarized document back to the customer.

The CA SOS has also explained, in its FAQ’s on COVID-19 Questions  that California notaries cannot themselves perform remote online notarization services

  • Can California Notaries Public perform a notarial act without the physical appearance of the signer (Remote Online Notarization)?Pub perform a notarial act without the physical appearance of the signer (Remote Online Notarization)?

California Law does not provide the authority for California Notaries Public to perform a remote online notarization. The personal appearance of the document signer is required before the notary public. However, California citizens who wish to have their documents notarized remotely can obtain notarial services in another state that currently provides remote online notarization. California Civil Code 1189(b) provides that any certificate of acknowledgment taken in another place shall be sufficient in this state if it is taken in accordance with the law of the place where the acknowledgment is made. 

The National Notary Organization has put together a listing of states that offer remote online notarization services which can be consulted, and also summarizes the information for each state, including the range of possibilities for California.

If you have COVID-19 legal research topics you would like the San Francisco Law Library to explore, or have any questions, please contact:  sfll.reference@sfgov.org To make use of remote legal research resources, please see the SFLL Resources Available to you from Home including free full text remote access to the Fastcase legal research database, the Nolo Legal Information Reference Center [containing full text of hundreds of Nolo Press publications] and many other resources.

 

 


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Free COVID-19 resource hub from Fastcase, other Legal Publishers

Fastcase has teamed with Docket Alarm, Employer Resources from Littler, AILA, Law Street Media, LexBlog other legal publisher resources to provide free access to COVID-19-related resources, including federal and state responses, cases, secondary resources, news, and CLE updated daily. http://www.fastcase.com/covid19/


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Winter 2020 Book Drive

Book Drive

Each quarter we will seek donors to purchase a new title for the Law Library. Here is our Wish List for the Winter season. Growing our collection is about so much more than a single book—it is a living demonstration of how the Library expands the public’s access to justice and provides legal practitioners with the tools they need to represent members of our local community. Please see our Donation Guide for more ways to support the Law Library.

Complete QDRO HandbookThe Complete QDRO Handbook, 4th ed.
Written by Patricia D. Shewmaker and James Robert Lewis IV
$149.95, ABA, 2019
ISBN: 9781641053587

Discovery across the GlobeDiscovery across the Globe: Obtaining Evidence Abroad to Support U.S. Proceedings
Edited by Brett Harrison, Gavin Foggo, and Jorge A. Mestre
$149.95, ABA, 2020
ISBN: 9781641055086

DRONES A LEGAL RESEARCH GUIDEDrones: A Legal Research Guide
Written by Carol A. Fichtelman
$85, William S. Hein & Co., Inc.,2019
ISBN: 9780837741161

Family Law Financial DiscoveryFamily Law Financial Discovery 
Written by Roberta B. Bennett et al.
$290, CEB, 2019
ISBN: 9780762613045

HIPAA A Practical Guide to the Privacy and Security of Health DataHIPAA: A Practical Guide to the Privacy and Security of Health Data, 2nd ed.
Written by June M. Sullivan and Shannon B. Hartsfield
$119.95, ABA, 2020
ISBN: 9781641055727

Negotiation Essentials for LawyersNegotiation Essentials for Lawyers
Edited by Andrea Kupfer Schneider and Christopher Honeyman
$99.95, ABA, 2019
ISBN: 9781641054812

Removal DefenseRemoval Defense: Defending Immigrants in Immigration Court, 3rd ed.
Written by Erin Quinn and ILRC Staff Attorneys
$225, ILRC, 2020

Sexuality LawSexuality Law, 3rd ed.
Written by Arthur S. Leonard and Patricia A. Cain
$140, Carolina Academic Press, 2019
ISBN: 9781611632361

The Waivers BookThe Waivers Book, 3rd ed.
Edited by Ruth Lozano McChesney and Sarah K. Redzic
$279, AILA, 2019
ISBN: 9781573704373


Please take a look at our Book Drive page to see Wish List items from prior months. We are still wishing for these books!


To donate, please contact sflawlibrary@sfgov.org or call (415) 554-1791. We appreciate your contribution!