CA Appelate and Trial Briefs

Alameda County Law Library is a selective depository for California appellate briefs. We also have access to superior court trial briefs via Lexis Advance and Trellis. Appellate briefs from the 1990s to the present are available electronically. Earlier briefs are on microfiche and a portable drive available to library staff.

To determine if the law library has briefs from a specific case and/or to arrange for document delivery, call the Reference Desk at (510) 208-4832 or email us at

The majority of our briefs are for civil case appeals. Briefs from criminal cases are limited in number. Not all briefs filed for a case may be available. A reference librarian will check through the resources to inform a requestor on availability and delivery charges.

Briefs filed with the California Supreme Court since 1990, and with the California Courts of Appeal since 1996 can be retrieved by docket number or party name though the California Public Law Library Briefs’ Service, a Westlaw database. This database can be accessed on the library’s Research Computers by patrons with a library card.

Library staff can also search a portable hard drive with an archival collection of records and briefs for cases from 1972 to 1996.

Earlier California Supreme Court and California Courts of Appeal briefs are available on microfiche. The library’s microfiche collection dates back to 1895, but is incomplete. Briefs on microfiche can be viewed on the library’s microfiche reader.

Reference librarians can assist you in locating briefs for cases for which you have the case names (the names of the parties), the docket number, or the reported case citation.