Legal Links

California’s Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District, located in Sacramento, was established by constitutional amendment in 1904 as one of the three original courts of appeal. The geographical area of the District is larger than the combined area of Connecticut, Delaware, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Its jurisdiction covers the following counties: Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, El Dorado, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Mono, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Yolo and Yuba.

The Gordon D. Schaber Downtown Courthouse of the Sacramento Superior Court houses the main administrative offices of the court, as well as containing trial courtrooms, the department of the Presiding Judge, and the general civil and criminal case processing support units.

Three buildings in the immediate vicinity of the Downtown Courthouse also provide court services. Located at 800 9th Street are Departments 53 and 54, hearing general civil law and motion matters. Located at 800 9th Street, first floor, is Department 59 where general civil settlement conferences are heard. The Erickson Building is located at 520 9th Street where civil matters are heard in Departments 57 and 58.

Founded in 1927 by the legislature, the State Bar of California is an administrative arm of the California Supreme Court. All lawyers practicing in California must be members of the State Bar. The mission of the State Bar: “Preserve and improve our justice system in order to ensure a free and just society under the law.”
The Attorney General represents the people of California in civil and criminal matters before trial, appellate and the supreme courts of California and the United States. The Attorney General also serves as legal counsel to state officers and, with few exceptions, to state agencies, boards and commissions. Exceptions to the centralized legal work done on behalf of the state are listed in Section 11041 of the Government Code.
The California court system, the largest in the nation with more than 2,000 judicial officers, 18,000 court employees, and nearly nine million cases, serves over 34 million people. The state Constitution vests the judicial power of California in the Supreme Court, Courts of Appeal, and the superior courts. The Supreme Court and Courts of Appeal are appellate courts that primarily review superior court decisions.
Insurance is a $80 billion-a-year industry in California. Overseeing the industry and protecting the state’s insurance consumers is the responsibility of the California Department of Insurance (CDI). The CDI regulates, investigates and audits insurance business to ensure that companies remain solvent and meet their obligations to insurance policyholders.
The Secretary of State’s responsibilities include: Serving as the state’s Chief Elections Officer, Implementing electronic filing and Internet disclosure of campaign and lobbyist financial information, Chartering corporations, Commissioning notaries public, Overseeing the State Archives, Filing a host of documents from Uniform Commercial Code financing and tax lien information to certificates of limited partnerships and limited liability companies, Serving as an ex-officio member of the California State World Trade Commission, Serving as a trustee of the Golden State Museum.

The current Chief Clerk, E. Dotson Wilson, was first elected January 6, 1992, and was reelected by the Members of the Assembly for the 1993-94, 1995-96, 1997-98, 1999-2000, 2001-02 and 2003-04 Legislative Sessions. He serves as the Parliamentarian of the House, and also supervises a 30 member staff of legislative clerks.

The base of operations for the Chief Clerk and his staff is the Assembly Chamber. A long desk spans the width of the Chamber and serves as the permanent workstation for a dozen clerks, who process the thousands of bills and publish thousands of pages of information for the public record. Information compiled by this staff is made available to potentially millions of computer users via the Internet system.

The State Controller is the Chief Financial Officer of the State of California, elected by the people. It is the mission of the State Controller’s Office to strengthen California’s financial condition by being the leader in economic policy development; providing financial management services to state and local government; and being the independent protector of taxpayer dollars.

CAOC is an organization of more than 3,000 attorneys who represent plaintiffs/consumers who seek responsibility from wrongdoers.

In each case, the person the CAOC member represents faces an opponent with far more power and access to resources: polluters, governments, insurance companies, automobile manufacturers, and banks. CAOC members take cases they view as worthy, invest their own resources in developing and taking such cases to court, often over a several year period, and are paid only from those cases which are successful.