practice resources

This page contains a number of practical resources counsel may find helpful:


The Calculator Site (external link) provides an age calculator to help determine a defendant's age on day of offense.


Converting documents to PDF: ADI offers guidance for converting documents from various programs to PDF.

Table of contents and table of authorities (PDF): The Central California Appellate Program has created helpful instructions on how to create tables for California appellate briefs. (This website requires pre-registration.)

Word searches

  • Searching a PDF document: Adobe has a search window. Open the document and type the keyword or phrase in the FIND window. The program searches the PDF document for every instance of the word. The window usually is at the righthand side of the toolbar. Depending on the version of Adobe you are using, you also can get it by clicking on the binoculars icon, or by clicking EDIT -> FIND or by hitting Control-F.
  • Searching a web page: The pages on the ADI and many other websites are searchable. Control-F opens a window for typing in the key word or phrase.

CCAP guide to bookmarking. Step-by-step instructions on how to create a bookmark in electronic text-searchable PDFs.

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The California courts’ website has resources for finding a court-certified interpreter. Such an interpreter works in court during oral testimony and at hearings. Translators of client letters and other documents may be available at a lower cost.

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These may be helpful in calculating credits, determining due dates, etc.

CCAP calculator: The Central California Appellate Program calculator includes complete instructions.

Duke: A commonly used website calculator is provided by Duke University.

  • Note re credits: When using the Duke website to calculate the actual number of days served in between dates for presentence credit purposes, it is necessary to add a day to the total.
    • "[I]t is presumed the Legislature intended to treat any partial day as a whole day. Conduct credits shall be computed on the full period of custody commencing with the day of arrest. Therefore, a sentencing court must award credits for all days in custody up to and including the day of sentencing."
  • (People v. Bravo (1990) 219 Cal.App.3d 729, 735; People v. Smith (1989) 211 Cal.App.3d 523, 525-527.) The calculation should therefore include the date of booking (see People v. Macklem (2007) 149 Cal.App.4th 674, 7002; People v. Ravaux (2006) 142 Cal.App.4th 914, 920), as well as the date of sentencing. Adding a day to the total provided by this date calculator ensures the date of sentencing is included in the number.

Time and date.com calculator: This site will automatically include the end date in the calculation if you check the appropriate box.

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ADI maintains an extensive topical index listing articles and other resources on ADI's and other projects' websites.

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  • California Appellate Defense Counsel: CADC is an organization of appellate panel attorneys who accept appointed appeals in California. (Membership required for full access to website.)
  • California Attorneys for Criminal Justice: CACJ is organization of criminal defense lawyers and allied professionals. It advocates for criminal defense in the legislature, the courts, and the media. (Membership required for full access to website.)
  • California Public Defenders Association: CPDA operates a variety of services for California public defenders and other defense attorneys. (Membership required for full access to website.)


Other sources

  • Lawyer Legion: criminal defense lawyer associations
  • NLADA: list of state defense attorney organizations

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Root & Rebound

Root & Rebound is a Reentry Advocacy Center operating in several states. In California, its team of attorneys and advocates uses resources, skill and expertise to fight for the rights of men and women returning back into society from prison and jail. Among its reentry services, this organization hosts a free Reentry Legal Hotline every Friday from 9 am to 5 pm (Pacific Time) at: 510-279-4662, holds free remote (through Zoom) legal clinics, and leads courses inside prison (CCC-Susanville and CCWF-Chowchilla). In addition, it provides Reentry Planning Toolkits - for the prisoner and also for families and loved ones; there is also a Tribal Reentry Advocacy Guide.

Youth Law Center: Compilation of Pandemic Relief Benefits

The Youth Law Center has recently developed a series of resources (linked here) related to the various economic benefits available as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. They specifically address how and when those benefits are accessible to populations including current and formerly systems-involved youth and young adults, foster and resource parents, kinship families and young people in detention settings.

General information

Innocence projects

  • California Innocence Project (southern Cal.) – California Western School of Law. CIP reviews more than 2,000 claims of innocence from California inmates each year. It is a law school clinical program; students work with staff attorneys on cases with strong evidence of factual innocence.
  • Northern California Innocence Project – Santa Clara University. The project works to exonerate innocent prisoners and pursue legal reforms that address the causes and consequences of wrongful convictions.
  • U.S. – Innocence Network: The Innocence Network is an affiliation of organizations dedicated to providing pro bono legal and investigative services to individuals seeking to prove innocence of crimes for which they have been convicted and working to redress the causes of wrongful convictions.
  • U.S. – Innocence Project (Cardozo Law School): A nonprofit organization, the Innocence Project's mission is to free innocent people who are incarcerated and to bring substantive reform to prevent unjust imprisonment. It publishes a list of innocence organizations around the world.

Law regulating prisons: California Code of Regulations, Title 15, Crime Prevention and Corrections, is especially helpful in representing inmates of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Prisoner rights organizations

  • ACLU's National Prison Project: Advocates alternatives to incarceration and helps prepare prisoners for release and a productive, law-abiding life at the earliest possible time.
  • Just Detention International: A organization to stop sexual abuse of prisoners.
  • Prison Activist Resource Center: A prison abolitionist group committed to exposing abuses of the imprisonment system.
  • Prison Law Office: The Prison Law Office strives to improve the living conditions of California state prisoners by providing free legal services. It represents individual prisoners, engages in class action and other impact-litigation, educates the public about prison conditions, and provides technical assistance to attorneys throughout the country. (The office generally does not handle criminal appeals or habeas corpus petitions challenging criminal convictions.)
  • Prison Legal News: A national inmate magazine and human rights organization.
  • Sentencing Project: A national organization researching and advocating for prison and sentencing reform.

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Ethics information: Rules, statutes, opinions, publications, other resources pertaining to ethics. (See also ADI Ethics web page.)

MCLE: Requirements, providers, calendar, FAQ for California MCLE.

Member search: Research bar status, background, contact information, etc., of each member or former member of the California State Bar.

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California statistical resources

  • Criminal Justice Statistic Center: Developed by the California Attorney General's Office. They have more than 5,000 statistical tables, with numerous reports and publications. The CJSC also has links to federal, state and local agency statistics. The site is searchable by keyword or by title. Custom statistical reports are available.
  • California Judicial Council court statistics: The latest workload statistics for California Courts. The report provides detailed statewide caseload data for the past fiscal year, as well as 10-year trend data on a wide range of court business.

National statistical resources


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*The material found on this website is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered to be legal advice and is not guaranteed to be complete or up to date. Use of this website is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship between the user and Appellate Defenders, Inc. (ADI) or any of the firm's attorneys. Readers should not rely upon or act upon this information without seeking professional counsel. See full disclaimer.