Using the Witkin Treatises

This guide introduces the four Witkin Treatises for researching California law.


The four Witkin treatises are well known in California and are valuable when researching California law. The treatises are all available in print in the Mabie Law Library. The treatises are also availble on Westlaw and Lexis to law students, law faculty, law staff, and to others with individual Westlaw and Lexis passwords.

This guide introduces each of the Witkin treatises, discusses some of their common features, suggests research strategies, and links to additional information about E.B. Witkin and the treatises.

The sixteen volume Summary of California law, now in its 10th edition,
covers major topics in California law.

The ten volumes in California procedure cover civil and administrative procedure.

California evidence consists of four volumes, covering rules of evidence
in both civil and criminal proceedings.

California criminal law contains seven volumes on elements of crimes, defenses,
criminal procedure, evidence, and trials.

The Witkin Legal Institute, responsible for producing the treatises, maintains a website
with useful information about the treatises and their original author.

Indexes and Finding Tools

The Witkin treatises in print are updated by annual pocket parts (or paperback supplements), with their own indices and tables. The contents of print updates are incorporated into the electronic versions of the treatises on Westlaw and Lexis.

Each Witkin treatise has its own subject index, a table of contents, table of cases, and table of statutes, constitutions, and rules.

The Witkin combined index is a print index to the contents of all four treatises.
Law California Collection KFC80 .W52

There are also print volumes which combine the tables for the four treatises:

Citations to Witkin Treatises

Bluebook Rule 15 -- Books, reports, and other nonperiodic materials -- governs citations to Witkin's treatises.

The California style manual (4th ed., 2000) section 3:1 -- Treatises, textbooks, practice guides, and Witkin -- includes sample citations to each of the Witkin treatises.

Heafey Law Library Research Team