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Lawyer in the Library


The law library's collection is non-circulating to ensure that materials are available at all times.

The Contra Costa County Public Law Library primarily serves the bar, bench and public. Bar and bench needs focus on California law unless there is no California precedent, in which case general treatises containing decisions from other jurisdictions are used. Federal law may also be used depending on the cause of action. Public users generally need easy to understand treatises that explain laws using basic terminology. Form books are also regularly used by the public, as well as members of the Bar. Considering the nature of our clientele, the goal of our acquisitions policy is to make available a comprehensive California collection, primary and secondary Federal sources, general treatises representing most areas of law, and materials geared toward helping pro pers. International and foreign materials are presently excluded from collection development purchases.

Basic Acquisitions Guidelines

California Law
Every effort will be made to purchase all published California legal materials not to exceed (3) titles representing an area of law. Exceptions may be made depending upon the demand for a particular title or area of practice; and budget constraints.

Other States
Unless the laws of other states are included in a general treatise, no practice materials from other states will be purchased. Selected statutes from other states will be retrieved using the Internet.

Federal Law
Primary sources that include statutes, cases and regulations will be purchased, in addition to a basic collection of Federal treatises.

General Treatises
Efforts will be made to build a treatise collection containing materials representative of diverse legal practice areas. Newly published titles will be reviewed and added as needed. Occasionally a new title may replace an existing title if the treatment of the subject matter is better. Most areas of practice will be represented by at least one title. Duplication of coverage will be avoided when possible.

Business Materials
No business materials will be purchased. If business information cannot be retrieved using the Internet, patrons will be referred to the public library.

Major California and national legal newspapers will be purchased, in addition to selected non-legal local newspapers.

Law Reviews
Emphasis will be placed on maintaining a collection of law reviews published by California law schools. No efforts will be made to build a comprehensive law review collection. Some practice related legal periodicals may be purchased depending upon demand.


Reference Assistance
Help is provided in locating statutes, regulations, cases, and treatises pertaining to any legal matter. However, the staff cannot give legal advice or interpret information retrieved.

Computer Assisted Legal Research
Computer assisted legal research is available on the Internet, with access to Westlaw, HeinOnline, CEB OnLaw and Judicial Council Legal Forms.

Photocopies and Computer Printouts
Two copy machines are available for use in the photocopier room. The cost is $.20 per copy. See staff for special copying needs such as duplexed copies, or copies of originals that are on colored paper. Computer printouts are $.20 per page.

Charges for fax use are $1.00 per page to transmit and $1.00 per page to receive. No charge for cover sheets.

Word Processing
Microsoft Office is available on seven (7) public workstations. There is a $.20 per page charge for printing.

Conference Room
The library has two conference rooms that are available for classes, depositions, or private attorney/client meetings. The rental charge is $75.00 per half-day (mornings or afternoons), or $140 for full-day rental. Reservations must be made in advance.

The A.F. Bray Courthouse and Contra Costa Public Law Library are wheelchair accessible.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Martinez branch is offering telephone, email and front door service for information and the purchase of forms and forms packets. Forms and packets sold at the door are for cash only; we cannot accept bills larger than $20. Please call (925) 646-2783 for more information.

Fee-based Services
Flash drive - $3.00 each
Photocopies - $.20 each
Computer printouts - $.20 each
Fax - $1.00 per page to send or receive
Conference room rentals: $20/up to 1 hour; $75/half-day (morning or afternoon); $140/all day

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