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Hours and Locations

Law Library
Hall of Justice
600 Union Avenue
Fairfield, CA 94533
707-421-6520

Monday - Friday8:30 AM - 2:30 PM
Saturday - SundayClosed

Holiday Schedule

Special Collections

The Law Library has many resources to offer its customers. Everyone may visit Solano County Law Library. Although checkout is restricted to attorneys and judges, subject to copyright laws, the public may photocopy limited information from our books. The collection encompasses all aspects of California (civil, family, criminal, etc.) and federal (U.S.C.A., etc.) law. Statutory law books and practice titles are available. There are materials especially for the public, such as the Nolo Press series.

You can always call the Law Library at (707) 421-6520 for more details. Or you can explore the catalog for other Nolo and law-related titles available at the Law Library and Solano County Library.

Online services

Solano County Law Library subscribes to several databases, making the attainment of legal information cost-effective for legal professionals and the public. All the databases below are free to use when visiting the Law Library.

  • CEB OnLAW (Free access until September 7)—provides electronic access to Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB) titles; chapters from over 140 books (Available only at Solano County Law Library)
  • Legal Information Reference Center (NOLO Press)—Access 100+ Nolo Press titles online. Subject matter includes family law, real estate law, and other legal topics. You can download and email chapters and forms at no cost. (Available at Solano County Law Library and Solano County Library)
  • LexisNexis (Free access until August 31)—contains California and federal case/statutory laws; access to more than 200 form templates. (Available only at Solano County Law Library)
  • VerdictSearch—online version of a publication; spotlights specific cases and the monetary amounts that were requested. (Available only at Solano County Law Library)
  • Westlaw —contains California and federal case/statutory laws; chapters from over 50 legal books; articles from over 100 law reviews. (Available only at Solano County Law Library)

If you have not used the databases listed above, Law Library staff members can show you how. We can also direct you to legal self-help links  and foreclosure assistance or within the community.

Periodicals

  • The RecorderDaily Journal, law reviews from prestigious law schools, and California Lawyer.

Conference Room

The Law Library has a conference room available for public use. Please read our booking details before calling to make a reservation.

Finding Attorneys and Legal Professionals

According to California Business & Professions Code §6125, you may not practice law in California unless you are an active member of the California State Bar. Unfortunately, despite the statute, there are still individuals who fraudulently pose as attorneys or other legal professionals. Even if you have hired someone, it would not hurt to double-check their credentials. Visit the State Bar of California to ensure that you are indeed working with an attorney who is registered to practice law. Visit the Treasurer-Tax Collector-County Clerk’s office to determine if a legal document assistant, unlawful detainer assistant or paralegal is registered to provide services in Solano County. If you have been a victim of someone unlawfully practicing law, visit the State Bar of California and Solano County District Attorney’s Consumer and Environmental Crimes Unit for more information.

Equipment (Photocopies and Printouts: 25¢ per page – cash only)

  • 6 public computers with printers attached (all provide internet access); not reservable.
  • Wi-Fi is available (ask staff for details)
  • State-of-the-art photocopier
  • FAX machine
  • Dissomaster terminal—allows customers to calculate child or spousal support. Printouts are free at this terminal only.

Accessibility

Customers may use the Hall of Justice elevators to reach our library. The Branch has an adaptive keyboard and optical trackball available.  We possess magnifying tools, and some reading glasses. Please ask library staff for more information.

Branch History

Solano County Law Library has been in existence since 1891. As established by California Business and Professions Code §6340, a county law library must be located in the county seat. Since the 1970s, the Law Library has been located on the third floor of the Hall of Justice. We are open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Get assistance with legal research by sending an email or calling the law library at (707) 421-6520.

Nolo Press Titles Available at the Law Library

101 Law Forms for Personal Use
8 Ways to Avoid Probate
Building a Parenting Agreement That Works
Business Loans From Family & Friends
California Landlord’s Law Book: Evictions
California Landlord’s Law Book: Rights & Responsibilities
California Marriage Laws
California Power of Attorney Handbook
California Tenants’ Rights
California Workers’ Comp
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Complete Guide to Buying a Business
Conservatorship Book for California
Contractors’ & Homeowners’ Guide to Mechanics Liens
Contracts: The Essential Desk Reference
Copyright Handbook
Copyright Your Software
Credit Repair
Criminal Law Handbook
Deeds for California Real Estate
Divorce & Money
Divorce Without Court
Do Your Own Adoption
Employer’s Legal Handbook
Essential Guide to Family & Medical Leave
Essential Guide to Federal Employment Laws
Estate Planning for Blended Families
Every Dog’s Legal Guide
Every Nonprofit’s Guide to Publishing
Everybody’s Guide to Small Claims Court in California
Executor’s Guide
Fight Your Ticket & Win in California
Foreclosure Survival Guide
Form a Partnership
Guardianship Book for California
Homestead Your House
How to Do Your Own Divorce in California
How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
How to Form a Nonprofit Corporation in California
How to Form Your Own California Corporation
How to Manage a Contested Divorce in California
How to Probate an Estate in California
How to Raise or Lower Child Support in California
How to Seal Your Juvenile and Criminal Records in California
How to Win Your Personal Injury Claim
Independent Paralegal’s Handbook
Judge’s Guide to Divorce
Lawsuit Survival Guide
Leases & Rental Agreements
Legal Essentials for California Couples
Legal Forms for Starting and Running a Small Business
Legal Guide for Lesbian & Gay Couples
Legal Guide for Starting and Running a Small Business
Legal Guide to Web & Software Development
Legal Research
Living Together: A Guide for Unmarried Couples
Living Wills & Powers of Attorney for California
Long-Term Care
Mad At Your Lawyer
Make Any Divorce Better!
Make Your Own Living Trust
Mediate, Don’t Litigate
Music Law
Neighbor Law
New Bankruptcy
Nolo’s Depostion Handbook
Nolo’s Encyclopedia of Everyday Law
Nolo’s Essential Guide to Divorce
Nolo’s Essential Retirement Tax Guide
Nolo’s Guide to California Law
Nolo’s Guide to Social Security Disability
Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary
Nolo’s Pocket Guide to Consumer’s Rights
Nolo’s Pocket Guide to Family & Divorce Law
Nolo’s Simple Will Book
Nondisclosure Agreements
Patent, Copyright & Trademark
Plan Your Estate
Prenuptial Agreements
Public Domain
Quick & Legal Will Book
Renter’s Rights: The Basics
Safe Homes, Safe Neighborhoods
Save Your Small Business
Sexual Harassment on the Job
Social Security, Medicare & Government Pensions
Solve Your Money Troubles
Special Needs Trusts
Stand Up to the IRS
Stopping Identity Theft
Trademark
Trustee’s Legal Companion
U.S. Immigration Made Easy
Using Divorce Mediation
Win Your Lawsuit
Your Little Legal Companion
Your Rights in the Workplace

Online Legal Resources

Solano County Law Library
The Law Library is open to the public, and provides access to books and electronic resources that help people research their legal questions. The collection includes basic and specialized legal materials that address California and federal case law, civil law, criminal law, family law, and other legal areas. During operating hours, staff can assist customers with their research. Customers may even print or photocopy materials for a cost. Law Library staff does not give legal advice.

If the Law Library is closed, the public can still find self-help resources on the internet. If you are representing yourself, explore our listing of legal self-help links and legal self-help videos. Also, the Solano County Library branches possess Nolo Press books that have information on legal procedures and forms. Please call 1-866-57ASKUS to find out what the library closest to you has.

Ask the Law Librarian @ Solano County

Legal Services

County Code, Court Services, and Local Agencies:
www.solanocounty.com
Solano County’s official website; users may find the county code, county departments such as the District Attorney’s Office, and other materials.
www.solano.courts.ca.gov
Solano County Superior Court’s website, which offers local court forms and rules, docket reports (for Solano cases), and contact information for judges,
Family Law Facilitator and other court departments.
www.lsnc.net
Legal Services of Northern California’s official site; individuals may find information about Vallejo’s location.
www.solanobar.org
Solano County Bar Association’s website; the site features information about local lawyer referral and mediation services.

Other Statewide/Nationwide Legal Agencies:
www.publiclawlibrary.org
CCCLL’s listing of county public law libraries in California, self-help resources, and legal links.
www.lawhelpca.org
This website helps Californians find legal aid referrals & self-help resources.
www.calegaladvocates.org
Legal Aid Association of California’s website.
www.americanbar.org
American Bar Association’s website; includes national lawyer referral and information services.
www.lib.lsu.edu/collections/govdocs/directory/index.html
Louisiana State University Libraries’ federal agency directory.
www.lawguru.com
“LawGuru” allows users to submit a legal question to an attorney for a response.

Legal Research

Child Support:
www.childsup.ca.gov/resources/calculatechildsupport.aspx
Developed by the CDSS, this free child support calculator functions similarly to TurboTax.

Legal Forms:
www.courts.ca.gov
Developed by the Judicial Council, users can print or complete California court forms and find self-help information, court rules, and bilingual legal materials.
www.saclaw.org
Sacramento County Public Law Library’s website; this site offers self-help guides, printable forms (i.e., pleading paper), and a topical listing of print and online legal resources.
www.solanocourts.com/LocalForms.html
Legal forms designed by Solano County Superior Court for laypersons. Content includes civil law, family law, and other categories.

Attorney Search:
www.calbar.ca.gov
State Bar of California’s website; learn about an attorney’s background, complaint procedures (attorney/non-attorney), referral services and other info.
www.martindale.com / www.lawyers.com / www.avvo.com
Websites affiliated with the Martindale-Hubbell network; find attorneys by practice area or location (includes U.S. and other countries)
www.hg.org/lawfirms.html
Created by Lex Mundi; find attorneys by practice area or location (includes U.S. and other countries)

Guardianship:
www.courts.ca.gov/selfhelp-guardianship.htm
California Courts’ Self-Help Center provides self-help information about probate court guardianships, as well as forms and instructions.
www.gu.org
This policy-oriented website offers much information about kinship care, state and federal law, and support groups.
www.lsc-sf.org/
This site provides free legal and social work services and representation for children and youth less than18 years of age in the Bay Area.
www.prisonerswithchildren.org/
This site has information for grandparents and other relative caregivers and their advocates; includes a statewide resource list, as well as resources for Northern, Central and Southern California.
www.slh.lsnc.net
Developed by Legal Services of Northern California, Senior Legal Hotline’s site provides free legal advice via telephone to California residents 60 years of age and older on custody or visitation of grandchildren.

General Information:
Legal Information Reference Center (must have a Solano County Library card for access)
A resource of over 250 Nolo press legal reference titles in full-text, detailed how-to instructions, and thousands of forms on a wide range of legal issues. Basic User Guide
www.findlaw.com
This site includes state law, news articles and more.
www.nolo.com
Developed by Nolo Press, this site features articles and information about their publications.
www.freeadvice.com
“FreeAdvice” offers content written by attorneys, which help users find answers to their legal problems.
www.aallnet.org/chapter/scall/locating.htm
Webpage for the legal research guide “Locating the Law.”
www.justia.com/
This site offers legal articles, guides, teaching materials, and online research strategies; ideal for the experienced legal researcher.

Municipal Law:
www.ci.benicia.ca.us
This site contains Benicia’s council meeting agendas, minutes, and the city code.
www.ci.dixon.ca.us
This site contains Dixon’s council meeting minutes, ordinance summaries, resolutions, and contact information.
www.fairfield.ca.gov/
This site contains Fairfield’s council meeting minutes, ordinances, resolutions, city code, and contact information.
www.riovistacity.com/
This site contains Rio Vista’s council meeting minutes, ordinances, resolutions, city code, and contact information.
www.suisun.com/
This site contains Suisun’s agendas, council meeting minutes, city code, and contact information.
www.ci.vacaville.ca.us/
This site contains Vacaville’s city code, administrative and municipal services.
www.ci.vallejo.ca.us/
This site contains Vallejo’s agendas for city council and city commission meetings.
www.municode.com/
Municipal codes for the cities throughout the United States.

California Cases and Codes:
www.courts.ca.gov/opinions.htm
Opinions of the California Supreme Court and Courts of Appeal (published and unpublished)
http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov
An official site that has California’s constitution, codes, Senate and Assembly bills, and historical data.
www.ca.gov
State of California’s website; Offers links to California Code of Regulations, state agencies, tax information, birth & marriage, and other topics.
http://library.uchastings.edu/library/index.html
UC Hastings Law Library’s official site, which includes California propositions from 1911 to the present.

Federal Cases and Codes:
www.uscourts.gov/FederalCourts.aspx
Opinions from the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. District Court, and U.S. Court of Appeals.
www.law.cornell.edu
Developed by the LII; this site has administrative and statutory codes from California and other states.
http://www.loc.gov
Library of Congress site that provides bill information, resolutions, laws, Congressional Record, and other historical documents.
www.gpo.gov
U.S. Government Publishing Office, which has the U.S. codes, Code of Federal Regulations, bills, Federal Register, and other legislative publications.

Legal Self-Help Resources

Bankruptcy:
Bankruptcy Guide (U.S. Courts)
Information & Forms (Ch. 7, Ch. 11, et. al.)

Civil Law:

Civil Disputes
Cases for $25,000 or Less (California Courts)
Cases for $25,000 or More (California Courts)
Civil Forms—Solano County Superior Court’s Local Forms
“Equal Access Project” Guides
Peremptory Challenge / “Removing a Judge from Your Case” (SCPLL guides)
Requesting an Extension or Continuance (Civil; SCPLL guides)
Requesting an Extension or Continuance (Small Claims)

Judgments-
Civil Appeals ($25,000 or less; California Courts)
Civil Appeals ($25,000 or more; California Courts)
Collecting/Paying/Appealing Judgment (Small Claims)
Collecting a Civil Judgment ($25,000 or less; California Courts)
Collecting a Civil Judgment ($25,000 or more; California Courts)
Enforcing a Civil Judgment (SCPLL guides)

Name Change-
Adult
Child
Gender Change Only / Gender and Name Change

Personal Injury-
Information
“Equal Access Center” Guides
Demand Letter (California Courts)

Small Claims-
Information & Forms
Self-Help Videos
Small Claims Forms—Solano County Superior Court’s Local Forms
“Using the Small Claims Court” (California Dept. of Consumer Affairs)

Conservatorship, Guardianship & Power of Attorney:

Conservatorship-
Categories & Forms
“Handbook for Conservators”

Guardianship-

Categories & Forms
Probate Forms (e.g., Declaration of Due Diligence)—Solano County Superior Court’s Local Forms
Self-Help Video

Power of Attorney-
Information (Nolo Press site)
Forms

Court Cases:

Federal Cases-
PACER (must have account)
Supreme Court of the United States
U.S. District Courts (California & Other Locations)

State Cases (Appellate/Supreme Court)-
California Court of Appeals
California Supreme Court
Published/Unpublished Opinions

Local Cases (e.g., Solano)-
Solano County Superior Court—Court Connect
Other California Superior Courts

Criminal Law/Traffic (Infractions):

Criminal-
Appeal Process
Certificate of Rehabilitation and Pardon
Criminal Forms/Juvenile Delinquency Forms—Solano County Superior Court’s Local Forms
Expungement Guide (“Clean Your Criminal Record”-Public Defender, Solano)
Expungement Guide (“Clean Your Criminal Record”-SCPLL) – Review the guide carefully, as it features local forms for Sacramento. The samples & instructions might not fully correspond with CR-180 & CR-181.
Juvenile Delinquency
“Parolee Rights Manual
“Prison Law Office” Manuals
Request for Criminal Record (California Dept. of Justice)
Restitution / Victim’s Rights (Information & Forms)
State Habeas Corpus / Federal Habeas Corpus

Traffic-
Appeals Process
Ex-Parte Application to Dismiss Non-Felony Citations (VC §41500 Motion)
General Information on Traffic Law
Traffic Forms—Solano County Superior Court’s Local Forms
Uniform Bail and Penalty Schedules (via Solano’s Traffic Division)

Evictions/Real Estate:

Deeds-
Overview
Forms
Assessor/Recorder Forms—Solano County

Evictions (Unlawful Detainer)-
Guide for Landlords
Guide for Tenants
Stay of Eviction (Tenants; Solano’s UD Clinic)
Three-Day, 30-Day, 60-Day Notices (Landlords)
Video: “Resolving Your Eviction Case in the California Courts

Foreclosures-
Foreclosures

Homestead-
Overvihttps://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/the-california-homestead-exemption.htmlw
Information & Forms

Family Law – Children & Adoption:

Adoption
Adult
Child

Child Custody / Visitation-
Grandparent Visitation
Grandparent Visitation—Petitions (FCLL)
Online Orientation for CCRC (Parent Orientation/Education—Solano)
Obtain Custody

Emancipation of Minor-
Information & Forms

Juvenile Immigration Law-
Special Immigrant Juvenile Status

Juvenile Dependency-
Information & Forms
Video:  “Juvenile Dependency Court Orientation”

Peremptory Challenge-
Peremptory Challenge / “Removing a Judge from Your Case” (SCPLL guides)

Family Law – Partnership & Divorce:

Annulment
Information & Forms

Divorce (Dissolution of Marriage), etc.
Information and Forms
Summary Dissolution

Domestic Partnership
California Secretary of State Information

Legal Separation
Information & Forms

Name Change
Child
Divorce / Marriage

Peremptory Challenge
Peremptory Challenge / “Removing a Judge from Your Case” (SCPLL guides)

Spousal Support
Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO)

Fee Waiver:

Fee Waiver-
Information & Forms
“Ask the Court to Waive or Lower Court Fees” (SCPLL guides)

Laws & Regulations:

Federal Law and Court Rules-
Code of Federal Regulations
Federal Rules (Civil Procedure, et. al.)
United States Codes

California Law, Jury Instructions, and Court Rules-
California Codes
California Code of Regulations
California Jury Instructions (Civil, Criminal)
California Rules of Court

Immigration Law-
Family Preparedness Plan” (ILRC brochure)
Immigration Advocates Network
Immigration Resource Directory (California Courts website)
Immigration Services Fraud” (OAG brochure)
Web Resources (AILA webpage)

Local Law (County / Municipal Codes) and Court Rules-
City of Benicia
City of Dixon
City of Fairfield
City of Rio Vista
City of Suisun
City of Vacaville
City of Vallejo
Solano County Code
Solano County Local Rules of Court

Restraining Orders:

Restraining Orders-
Civil Harassment
Domestic Violence (Information & Forms)
Domestic Violence (Self-Help Videos; Petitioner)
Domestic Violence (Self-Help Videos; Respondent)
Elder/Dependent Adult Abuse
Injunction (Restraining Order) Against DMV
Victim Assistance
Workplace Violence

Wills & Estates:

Wills and Estates-
Affidavit for Collection of Personal Property (Small Estate Affidavit)
Living Trust (State Bar of California)
Transferring Property without Probate (Form Content)
Will Form (State Bar of California)

Legal Assistance: Free or Low-Cost Services

Representing yourself? Visit the Law Library for information or explore our listing of legal self-help links.

Ask the Law Librarian @ Solano County

“Lawyers @ Your Library” Program
Fairfield Civic Center Library
1150 Kentucky Street, Fairfield, CA 94533
Call 1-866-57-ASKUS (1-866-572-7587) for details
4th Tuesday of each month, 6-8 p.m.
First come, first serve. Space allocation varies, but may include up to 30 customers.
Spanish language attorneys may be available.
Register in person or by calling 1-866-572-7587 after 10 a.m. on the day of the program.

“Lawyers @ Your Library” Program
John F. Kennedy Library
505 Santa Clara Street, Vallejo, CA 94590
Call 1-866-57-ASKUS (1-866-572-7587) for details
1st & 3rd Wednesdays, 6-8 p.m.
Space is limited to 24 people.
Register in person or by calling 1-866-572-7587 after 10 a.m. on the day of the program.

“Law Library 2U” Program
Fairfield Civic Center Library
1150 Kentucky Street, Fairfield, CA 94533
1st & 3rd Thursdays, 6-7 p.m.
First come, first served.
1st Thursday assistance with filing and responding to civil lawsuits / torts / small claims
3rd Thursday assistance with evictions / tenants’ rights / neighbor law
Library staff assists customers in locating legal resources. Staff cannot interpret or give legal advice.

Abuse Victims/Domestic Violence/Restraining Orders:

Catholic Social Services of Solano County
125 Corporate Place, Ste. A, Vallejo, CA 94590
Mon.-Thu.: 9 a.m.–5 p.m. (closed 12 p.m.–1 p.m.);
Fri.: 9 a.m.–12 p.m.
Call for appointments: (707) 644-8909
Assists domestic violence victims and human trafficking/torture survivors.
Spanish-speaking services available.

Family Law Facilitator
Hall of Justice, 600 Union Avenue (2nd Floor),
Fairfield, CA 94533
Mon., Tues., Thu., Fri. 8:15 a.m.–12 p.m.
(Fri. for restraining orders only):
General Information Line: (707) 207-7348
Restraining order assistance daily

LIFT3 Support Group (Fairfield/Vallejo)
(707) 398-6865; Crisis line: (707) 425-1867
Assists with domestic violence restraining orders.

SafeQuest Solano
(707) 422-7345
Serves victims of sexual assault and domestic violence.

Solano Family Justice Center
Office of Family Violence Prevention
604 Empire Street, Fairfield, CA 94533
Mon-Fri 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.; (707) 784-7635;
Serves victims of domestic violence, elder abuse, child abuse and sexual assault.
Spanish-speaking services available.

Vacaville Family Investigative Response Services Team (FIRST)
312 Cernon Street, Ste. D, Vacaville, CA 95688
(707) 469-6600; Contact: Gloria Diaz
Serves victims of domestic violence, child and elder abuse.
Spanish-speaking services available.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

Solano County Bar Association–Dispute Resolution Service
PO Box 3524, Fairfield, CA 94533
(707) 422-5087
Mediation for consumer and small claims, neighbor conflicts, insurance claims, personal injury, business disputes, property damage, landlord-tenant, fee arbitration.

Solano County Courts Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
Mediation: (707) 207-7413
Arbitration: (707) 207-7932
Neutral Evaluation (HENCE): (707) 207-7413

Assorted Law

Legal Services of Northern California
1810 Capitol Street Vallejo, CA 94590
(707) 643-0054 or 1-800-270-7252
Intake hours for appts-Mon.-Fri. 8:45 a.m.–11:45 a.m.;
1 p.m. – 3 p.m. (no intake on Wed.)
For evening appointments call 1-866-815-5990 (phone intake only; limited to callers who can’t speak during office hours due to work, school or disability).
For low income individuals; civil law only: housing, landlord-tenant, public benefits, health benefits, education. Spanish-speaking and Tagalog-speaking services available. Call to inquire about other language services.

Solano County Bar Association—Referral Service
P.O. Box 3524 , Fairfield, CA 94533
(707) 422-0127
Mon.- Fri. 8 a.m.–12 p.m.
$50 for matching client with attorney plus 1/2 hour consultation
Methods of payment: Cash or credit card only

Solano County Small Claims Advisor
Direct consultation line: (707) 344-1446
Accessible on the following days:
Mon., Wed., Thu., Fri. 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Tues. 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Vital Immigrant Defense Advocacy and Services (VIDAS)
301 Georgia Street, Suite 111, Vallejo, CA 94590
Monday to Friday: 9 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1 p.m.-5 p.m.
Call for a consultation (707) 654-8405
Assists with family petition, residence adjustment or TPS, consular processes, pardons, Fiancé visa, request to remove conditions, DACA renewal, U / VAWA visa, FOIA –
criminal background checks, citizenship application, residence card renewal , renewal of work permit, defense of deportation and asylum, preparation of the asylum application, cancellation of deportation, bail hearing, retention of deportation, motions, and appeals.
Services available in Spanish.

Employment Law

Equal Rights Advocate Advice and Counseling Hotline
Hotline
Call for hours: (415) 621-0505; 1-800-839-4ERA
Phone clinic for gender discrimination and sexual harassment.

Women’s Employment Rights Clinic
Mon. – Fri. 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
(415) 442-6647
Deals with unemployment insurance benefits, wage claims, harassment and discrimination.

Workers’ Rights Clinic
(415) 864-8848
Mon. 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. (appts. only)
Clinic for low-income, unemployed, or soon-to-be unemployed. Deals with employment issues, discrimination, FMLA, and domestic violence.

Workers’ Rights Disability Law Clinic
Tues. beginning at 6:30 p.m. (appt. only)
(415) 864-8848

Family Law/Senior Assistance

Family Law Facilitator
Hall of Justice, 600 Union Avenue (2nd Floor),
Fairfield, CA 94533
Mon., Tues., Thurs., Fri.
(Fri. for restraining orders only):
8:15 a.m. – 12 p.m.
General Information Line: (707) 207-7348
Assists with divorce, child/spousal support, child custody, and guardianship of minor.

Florence Douglas Senior Center
333 Amador Street, Vallejo, CA 94590
Ten-minute appts. offered to seniors on the1st Wed. of the month
(707) 643-1044
Assists seniors with housing needs, public benefits, health care issues, and consumer and debt issues.

Legal Services of Northern California
1810 Capitol Street, Vallejo, CA 94590
(707) 643-0054 or (800) 270-7252
Intake hours for appts.: Mon.–Fri. 8:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.;
1 p.m.–3 p.m. (no intake on Wed.)
For low-income individuals; assists seniors. Spanish-speaking and Tagalog-speaking services available. Call to inquire about other language services.

Immigration/Spanish-Only

Catholic Social Services of Solano County
125 Corporate Place, Ste. A, Vallejo, CA 94590
Mon.–Thu.: 9 a.m.–5 p.m. (closed 12 p.m.–1 p.m.); Fri.: 9 a.m.–12 p.m.
Call for appts.: (707) 649-1615
Helps people with/without legal immigration status. Offers referrals, citizenship application assistance, and asylum representation. Spanish-speaking services available.

Other Law Libraries In The Area

Alameda County Law Library, Oakland, CA, (510) 208-4832, http://www.acgov.org/law/

Boalt Hall Library (U.C. Berkeley), Berkeley, CA, (510) 642-0900, http://www.law.berkeley.edu/library/

Colusa County Law Library, Colusa, CA, (530) 458-5149

Contra Costa County Public Law Library, Martinez, CA, (925) 646-2783, http://www.cccpllib.org/

El Dorado County Law Library, Placerville, CA, (530) 626-1932, http://www.eldoradocountylawlibrary.org/

Golden Gate University Law Library, San Francisco, CA, (415) 442-6692, http://www.ggu.edu/lawlibrary

Humphreys College: Laurence Drivon School of Law, Stockton, CA, (209) 478-0800 x143; Modesto location: (209) 543-9411, http://www.humphreys.edu/

John F. Kennedy University Law Library, Pleasant Hill, CA, (925) 969-3120; Pleasant Hill location: (510) 647-2065, http://library.jfku.edu/

Mabie Law Library (U.C. Davis), Davis, CA, (530) 752-3327, http://www.law.ucdavis.edu/library/

Marin County Law Library, San Rafael, CA, (415) 499-6355

Napa County Law Library, Napa, CA, (707) 299-1201, http://www.napalawlibrary.com/

Pacific McGeorge School of Law Library, Sacramento, CA, (916) 739-7164, http://www.mcgeorge.edu/Library.htm

Placer County Law Library, Auburn, CA, (530) 823-2573, http://www.placer.ca.gov/Departments/Library/LawLib

Sacramento County Public Law Library, Sacramento, CA, (916) 874-6012, http://saclaw.org

San Francisco Law Library, San Francisco, CA, (415) 554-1772, http://www.sflawlibrary.org/

San Joaquin County Law Library, Stockton, CA, (209) 468-3920

San Mateo County Law Library, (650) 363-4913, http://www.smclawlibrary.org/

Santa Clara County Law Library, San Jose, CA, (408) 299-3567, http://www.sccll.org/

Sonoma County Public Law Library, Santa Rosa, CA, (707) 565-2668, http://www.sonomacountylawlibrary.org/

U.C. Hastings Law Library, San Francisco, CA, (415) 565-4751, http://library.uchastings.edu/

University of Santa Clara School of Law Library, Santa Clara, CA, (408) 554-4767, http://law.scu.edu/library/

Witkin State Law Library of California, Sacramento, CA, (916) 654-0185, https://www.library.ca.gov/collections/law_coll.html

Yolo County Law Library, Woodland, CA, (530) 666-8918, http://www.yolocounty.org/Index.aspx?page=1172

Resource of the Month: Is the Truth Out There?

Is the Truth Out There?

A few years ago, while sitting outside with my mother, we noticed a fluorescent orb in the dusky sky. When we finally realized that the orange light was not an airplane because of the speed, it ceased moving and then quickly shot up and vanished. While this event did not turn us into Mulder and Scully, it did at least make us ponder cosmology’s mysteries.

But what if we wholeheartedly believed that it was an unidentified flying object (UFO)? With July’s promise of barbeques and Fourth of July fireworks, you may be surprised to learn that World UFO Day is celebrated on July 2nd. The day commemorates the supposed UFO crash that occurred in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947. World UFO Day aims to raise awareness of the existence of UFOs and to encourage all governments to declassify any related files.

Even before Roswell, fictional works about UFOs had already captivated audiences. It is said that people actually panicked in 1938 while listening to Orson Welles’s radio broadcast of “The War of the Worlds” (based on H.G. Wells’ 1897 work). When I was a child in the late 1980s, I remember being awestruck whenever I watched the UFO abduction episodes of “Unsolved Mysteries”. Even today, UFOs feature in television shows like “Project Blue Book”.

Why the continuous interest in the topic? In Christine D. Corcos’ 2009 article “Visits to a Small Planet: Rights Talk in Some Science Fiction Film and Television Series from the 1950s to the 1990s” (39 Stetson L. Rev. 183), she theorized that “the alien-invasion narrative [served] as a proxy for whatever social, legal, economic, or other threat the culture may fear the most at the time”. Comparatively, in his 1996 article “Illegal Aliens: Extraterrestrials and White Fear” (48 Fla. L. Rev. 397), Kenneth B. Nunn noted that there were similarities “between the representation of aliens in popular culture and European involvement in the slave trade” and thus such narratives conjured panic.

With regard to law, the most prominent UFO court case is associated with the Cash-Landrum Incident that occurred in 1980. A Texas family claimed to have encountered a UFO and witnessed it being chased by military helicopters. Following the event, the family members developed health ailments and they eventually filed a lawsuit against the federal government for $20 million in the Southern District of Texas. The case was later dismissed by the U.S. District Court in 1986.

Upon exploring Solano County Law Library’s databases, I found that there were secondary sources that wrestled with the concept (rather than the existence) of UFOs. Barton Beebe’s 1999 article “Law’s Empire and the Final Frontier: Legalizing the Future in the Earlyorpus Juris Spatialis” (108 Yale L.J. 1737) is entirely steeped in conjecture, as he envisioned a future in which space travel is commonplace and citizenship and property rights are continuously in flux.

In his 2017 article “Arkansas, Meet Tarasoff: The Question of Expanded Liability to Third Persons for Mental Health Professionals” (69 Ark. L. Rev. 987), J. Thomas Sullivan described a hypothetical legal situation involving a psychiatrist. If the psychiatrist is aware that her patient, a pilot, has been exhibiting PTSD symptoms after supposedly witnessing a UFO, would she be held liable for his actions (especially if he crashed a plane due to having an episode)?

The concept of UFOs also figures into Frank S. Ravitch’s 2009 article “Playing the Proof Game: Intelligent Design and the Law” (113 Penn St. L. Rev. 841). He draws parallels to UFO advocates and debated that if their beliefs are comparable to intelligent design proponents in that there is a lack of scientific proof, does this mean that school curriculums should also teach that controversy? For the workplace, in the case LaViolette v. Daley (2000 EEOPUB LEXIS 4858), the EEOC held that patent examiner Paul LaViolette’s belief in extraterrestrials entitled him to the same workplace protections under Title VII as employees who held religious beliefs.

I can understand why the above articles are written on a theoretical basis. If you charted the history of ufology, you have to also consider a mass of hoaxes and conspiracy theories bigger than ufologist Giorgio A. Tsoukalos’ hair (with the COVID-19 situation, though, we are all channeling Tsoukalos as most of us are sporting larger-than-usual manes these days). So, there will be persistent challenges to believing in UFOs. Let us not forget that, in 2003, the crop circles discovered in Rockville turned out to be a hoax.

What is the harm, though, in at least being curious? To quote the character Ellie Arroway from the film “Contact”, “…The universe is a pretty big place. It’s bigger than anything anyone has ever dreamed of before. So if it’s just us… seems like an awful waste of space.”

Resource of the Month: Lawyers Turned Romance Novelists

“Lawyers Turned Romance Novelists”

Legal thriller aficionados are likely aware that authors John Grisham, Scott Turow and Lisa Scottoline either formerly or actively practice law. Did you know that other lawyers have turned towards the romance genre? Here is a listing of lawyers-turned-romance novelists that you might find on Solano County Library’s databases Hoopla (full library card required), Cloud Library, and Overdrive. You’ll also find a description of one of their titles.

THE FIRST KISS / Grace Burrowes

Grace Burrowes, the nom de plume of a child welfare attorney who still practices under her real name, published her first romance novel in 2010. In The First Kiss, a single mother develops feelings for her neighbor—an attorney known for his Lothario reputation. Will they find romance?

THE CURSED / Alyssa Day

Before becoming a bestselling author, Alyssa Day worked as a trial lawyer in Seattle, Washington. In the first book of a new paranormal romance series, The Cursed features a Manhattan private investigator that operates near a supernatural realm. Can he help a former flame survive a deadly enemy?

THE ENFORCER / HelenKay Dimon

HelenKay Dimon practiced as a family law attorney in Washington, D.C. before discovering her passion for novel writing. In her romantic suspense book The Enforcer, a security expert is on the hunt for a woman who may have been connected to his brother’s murder.

PARTY OF TWO / Jasmine Guillory

Oakland resident and current novelist Jasmine Guillory graduated from Stanford Law School, and clerked for San Francisco’s Federal District Court before becoming an intellectual property attorney. In Party of Two, an attorney is caught up in a whirlwind romance with a politician amidst starting up her own law firm.

ABOUT THAT NIGHT / Julie James

Julie James left behind a legal career (which included working at a Chicago law firm and clerking for a U.S. Court of Appeals judge) after two of her screenplays were optioned in Hollywood. In About that Night, a U.S. Attorney prepares for a courtroom showdown with a billionaire that she once shared a passionate evening with years earlier. Who will win in the court of love?

GIRL’S GUIDE TO WITCHCRAFT / Mindy Klasky
Novelist Mindy Klasky can boast not only formerly working as a lawyer, but also a law librarian. In the paranormal romance Girl’s Guide to Witchcraft, when a librarian finds a spell to make her irresistible to men, will magic be enough to finally attract the man of her dreams?

RECKLESS / Selena Montgomery

Selena Montgomery is the pseudonym for Stacey Abrams, a lawyer and politician who is mostly known for her recent campaign to become the Governor of Georgia. In her novel Reckless, a successful lawyer falls for a sheriff as she defends a client from her past. Can they find love amidst the chaos?

DESTINY / Carly Phillips

Award-winning novelist Carly Phillips once worked as a lawyer in Connecticut and New York. Her novel Destiny—the second book of a series—continues the story of the Barron brothers, as a rocky romance blossoms between of one them and a paralegal. Will their romance blossom amidst all of the secrets and lies?

SLAVE TO SENSATION / Nalini Singh

Nalini Singh, a former lawyer and librarian, launched her Psy-Changelings series with the novel Slave to Sensation. Star crossed lovers from opposing races must fight their attraction for each other as a lethal war unfolds around them. Can love conquer all?

THE BOURBON KINGS / J.R. Ward

J.R. Ward, an Albany Law School graduate who worked as a lawyer in Boston, Massachusetts, is known for her assorted romance series. In The Bourbon Kings, the focus is on a Dynasty-esque family and their romantic travails—including a daughter turning to countless lovers in an effort to conceal her feelings for a handsome lawyer.  

THE ASHFORD AFFAIR / Laura Willig

Harvard Law School graduate Laura Willig once practiced at a New York law firm before devoting herself to writing full-time. In her book The Ashford Affair, a Manhattan lawyer who is on the verge of becoming partner stumbles onto a long-held family secret. What will she discover when her investigation leads her to Kenya?

If you read any of abovementioned books (or liked another title by a listed author), share your comments on Solano County Law Library’s Twitter (@SolanoLawLib) and Facebook accounts. Or share details about another lawyer-turned-romance novelist not on the list. Also, let us know if you would like a similar listing regarding legal thrillers.

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Resource of the Month: 2019

You may have noticed that our blog has been empty this year. Did you know that you can find “From the Law Librarian’s Lectern…” articles on the Daily Republic’s website?

Be sure to visit our blog again next year for new content.

Any materials shared by Solano County Law Library is for informational purposes only and should not be interpreted as legal advice. Please contact a lawyer for advice on specific legal issues.

Resource of the Month: November/December 2018

With December 20th being Poet Laureate Day, let us briefly visit the article “The Most Famous Legal Poem.” The author mentions the Pennsylvania Supreme Court case Porreco v. Porreco (2002), in which Judge J. Michael Eakin unorthodoxly included couplets in his dissent—such as “A groom must expect matrimonial pandemonium/When his spouse finds he’s given her cubic zirconium.” His poetic dexterity did not impress some of his colleagues, as Chief Justice Stephen Zappala believed that expressing an opinion in rhyme reflected poorly on the Supreme Court.

Given that the poet laureates mentioned in this posting are typically appointed by a government or an institution to compose poems for special occasions, perhaps they had better success in conveying their poetical vision than Judge Eakin. Some of the poets have even worked in the fields of librarianship and law. Did you know that Ina Coolbrith (1841-1928), a relative of religious leader Joseph Smith, was a Bay Area librarian who became the first California Poet Laureate and the first poet laureate in any state? Or that John S. McGroarty (1862-1944), California’s third Poet Laureate, was a Pennsylvanian lawyer before he became a journalist and a California congressman? Solano County even has a place in the state’s poet laureate history. Dr. Henry Meade Bland (1863-1931), the second California Poet Laureate, was born in Fairfield, California and earned his doctorate at Stanford University.

In Solano County alone, the late Joel Fallon (1931-2016), a military intelligence retiree, became Benicia’s first Poet Laureate in 2006. In 2010, author Juanita J. Martin became Fairfield’s first Poet Laureate. She also has the distinction of being the first African-American to become a poet laureate in Solano County. In 2015, public speaker and author Genea Brice became Vallejo’s first Poet Laureate and she was succeeded in 2017 by author Diana “D.L.” Lang.

The current United States Poet Laureate also has ties to Solano County. Tracy K. Smith, an educator, was raised in Fairfield, California and is a Fairfield High School alumnus. There are other historical ties between California and the United States Poet Laureate:

  • Robert Frost (1874-1963), a San Francisco native who was renowned for poems such as “The Road Not Taken,” served in the position from 1958-1959.
  • Philip Levine (1928-2015), who taught at Fresno State University and famously composed works about the blue-collar experience (e.g. “What Work Is”), served as the Poet Laureate from 2011-2012.
  • Juan Felipe Herrera, Smith’s predecessor, is a Fresno County native whose distinguished career has included a professorship at UC Riverside. He was the first Latino to serve as the Poet Laureate in California (2012-2014) and for the nation (2015-2017). His works touch upon California life and indigenous cultures (e.g. “Half-Mexican”).

As a fun project for the winter season, if you are viewing this posting from outside of Solano County, I encourage you to check and see if you have any poet laureates in your vicinity.  Although I am not a poet laureate, I would like to conclude this posting with a poem of mine published in 2006 (before I became a librarian): “Nomad.” I wish everyone a safe and wonderful holiday!

Any materials shared by Solano County Law Library is for informational purposes only and should not be interpreted as legal advice. Please contact a lawyer for advice on specific legal issues.

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