Coastal Post Online

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MAY 2002

All County Law Libraries Threatened By California Assembly By Jim Scanlon

Every law library in California might have to close, or drastically curtail hours and services if AB-2648 passes. For the Marin Law Library, located across San Pedro Road North, across from the Civic

Center passage of the bill would mean reducing staff to perhaps one librarian and cutting hours of operation from 62 per week to 30.

The loss of library services state wide will have no effect on large law firms and corporations, which have private libraries , but would severely curtail the activities of small firms, independent lawyers and, most of all, the general public, the lay person looking for information. Like, say, Erin Brocowich.

California State law requires that every county have a law library. For over a hundred years, law libraries have been funded by two sources, county governments which provided free space and from fees from court filings.

Over the past twenty years, contrary to public perception, court filings have dropped dramatically and this has placed a strain on all law libraries statewide. Personal injury suits for damages over $25,000 are roughly half what they were in 1986-1987.

The bill comes to a committee vote in Sacramento on May 8, 2002. Opponents hope to kill the bill in committee. The Chairman of the Assembly Local Government Committee is Patricia Wiggins of Sonoma

County whose local address 50 D Street Suite 301, Santa Rosa, 95404, Tel 707 546 4500, Fax 707 546 9031

Marin County Residents can contact Joe Nation 3501 Civic Center Drive, Room 412 San Rafael, CA 94903, Tel 415 479 4920, Fax 415 479-212.

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