The Witkin Treatise Library is the most commonly used commentary on California law. The treatises have been cited over 20,000 times by the California Supreme Court and Courts of Appeal. They provide skillful case selection, expert analysis, and examination of the statutory, and case law, of virtually all important areas of California jurisprudence. Witkin treatises are also valuable in finding the practice guides, and other materials, relevant to a particular topic. They are often an excellent place to begin your research in California law.
Summary of California Law (10th ed.) KFC 80 W5 California Collection
This set comprises 16 volumes and covers every major substantive subject in California statutory and case law. It includes the following chapters:
California Procedure (4th ed.) KFC 995 W53 California Collection
This set comprises 10 volumes. It covers every major branch of procedure. It includes the following chapters:
California Evidence (4th ed.) KFC 1030 W5 California Collection
This set comprises 3 volumes. It covers both the law of evidence and the production, presentation, and discovery of evidence in civil and criminal procedure. It includes the following chapters:
California Criminal Law (3rd ed.) KFC 1100 W57 California Collection
This set comprises 6 volumes. It covers common law crimes, and public welfare offenses in the statutes regulating businesses and professions, labor, health and safety, and other subjects. It includes the following chapters:
Each chapter will begin with an outline of the materials, and topics, covered.
Each article is called a "section" in a Witkin's treatise. These sections will contain a discussion which explains the law and how the relevant authorities fit together.
Treatment of Case Law
The description of cases in Witkin can be substantially different than the headnotes found in case digests. Some cases may be covered only briefly, while others may be given far more discussion and detail than would be found in a digest.
In addition to citing within the four Witkin treatises, citations can also be found to these sources:
Topics new to the treatise are highlighted in the supplements and designated with a capital letter in their section number (i.e., §100A)
The finding tools includes with the Witkins Library include a subject index, a table of cases, and a table of constitutions, statutes, and rules. Remember that each treatise is updated by an annual pocket part, which is followed by updated finding tools.
All of the Witkin treatises are available through WestLaw. Additionally, all of the Witkin finding tools are separate databases within WestLaw. Here is a list of both:
Lexis also includes the Witkin Treatises available in these databases:
To cite a section of a Witkin Treatise use rule 15 in the Bluebook. Here are some examples:
For Summary of California Law and California Practice
volume / author / treatise / chapter name / section
4 Witkin, Summary of Cal. Law (9th), Real Property § 100
2 Wiktin, Cal Procedure (3d), Courts § 200
For California Evidence and California Criminal Law
volume / author / treatise / section
3 Witkin, Cal. Evidence (3d), § 1700
4 Witkin and Epstein, Cal. Criminal Law (2d), § 2300