The new edition of California Civil Procedure in a Nutshell is designed to bridge the gap between law school and law practice. While the booklet cannot provide legal advice, it will benefit these audiences in the following ways: (1) law students will consider it an effective aid for learning the key differences between their state and federal procedure courses; (2) bar applicants, who could not benefit from an upper-division course in California Civil Procedure, will value this booklet as a succinct pathfinder in their journey to enter the profession; (3) new associates will deem it a handy resource for their preliminary research; and (4) all readers will view its multiple Tables as pictures worth a thousand words.

Readability has been improved by placing the accompanying legal citations, with pinpoint cites, at the end of most paragraphs. Citing only the official reporter (when available) facilitates both brevity and flow. The ubiquitous case and statutory quotes promote an appreciation of content. One studying for an exam might find these citations helpful, when using the front-matter Table of Cases to link this Nutshell to your professor’s particular course. They are also invaluable short-cuts, for law clerks and associates in search of a handy reference tool.

The multiple end-of-paragraph parentheticals contain cite-specific reference phrases for reader convenience. This technique avoids the textual narrative being interrupted with sentence-by-sentence citation. It further eschews those ghastly, interruptive, downstairs doorbell-ringing footnotes—while retaining the flanking citations necessary for efficient legal research.

This Nutshell’s companion webpage is located at offers true-false and multiple choice quizzes, designed to open doors which were previously ajar. This e-component contains:

  • chapter review questions—intended to simultaneously evoke both true and false responses;
  • answers—to facilitate self-assessment;
  • a new multiple choice review segment; and
  • answers—to support learning objectives.

Imprint: West Academic Publishing
Series: Nutshells
Publication Date: 08/21/2014

William R. Slomanson, Thomas Jefferson School of Law


This title is available in our CasebookPlus format. Anchored by faculty-authored self-assessments keyed to our most popular casebooks, CasebookPlus allows students to test their understanding of core concepts as they are learning them in class.


Adopt the CasebookPlus option of your chosen text and provide your students with all the tools they need to gauge their understanding of the material—on their own, outside of the classroom, with no extra work on your part.

For faculty who wish to view their students’ quiz progress and results, we’ve added new optional customizable reporting capability that can help you evaluate your students’ understanding of the material. This feedback can also help your school demonstrate compliance with the new ABA Assessment and Learning Outcomes standards. Learn more about the reporting available to you from your Account Manager or view the course set-up instructions to get started.


Students purchasing a used book, or those who are renting their text, can still utilize all CasebookPlus digital resources by buying the digital only option.

In addition to the multiple case additions/deletions, and the numerous inter-edition substantive modifications, the Fifth Edition presents a significant organizational restructuring—to better track the evolution of a civil law suit. The driving force was that the former Arbitration & Mediation Chapter (3) although typically surfacing at the pleading stage—now constitutes the first three sections of Chapter 11 on Non-trial Disposition. This segment of the Nutshell has been significantly expanded, to reflect the dueling banjo arbitration preemption conflicts between the state and federal Supreme Courts. Another notable change is the addition of Chap. § 5-7, covering e-filing and e-service.

The 5th Edition Table of Contents substantially varies from the prior edition:

  • Chap. 3 was Arbitration and Mediation; and is now Venue. Chap. 4 was Case Management; and is now Choice of Law.
  • Chap. 5 was Venue; and is now Pleading Basics.
  • Chap. 6 was Choice of Law; and is now Joinder.
  • Chap. 7 was Pleading Basics; and is now Truth in Pleading. Chap. 8 was Joinder; and is now Case Management.
  • Chap. 9 was Truth in Pleading; and is now Motion Practice. Chap. 10 was Motion Practice; and is now Discovery.
  • Chap. 11 was Discovery; and is now Non-trial Disposition.
  • Chap. 12 was Non-trial Disposition; and is now Trial.
  • Chap. 13 was Trial; and is now Securing & Enforcing Judgments.
  • Chap. 14 was Securing & Enforcing Judgments; and is now Costs & Fees.
  • Chap. 15 was Costs & Fees; and is now Appellate Review.

Learn more about this series.