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Overview of the California Court System

The variety of legal issues Californians face on a daily basis can first appear overwhelming. 

To understand California courts it's best to think of them as two basic systems, trial courts and appellate courts. 

There are 58 trial courts, also known as superior courts in California. There is essentially one per county. Trial courts handle criminal cases, civil cases, and even appeals. Criminal cases can include traffic violations, misdemeanors, and felonies. Civil cases can include small claims, probate, family law, and juvenile cases. 

The appellate courts are located in districts throughout the state and handle appeals by those who do not agree with the outcome of their case in a trial court. Appellate courts also hear appeals of small claims or misdemeanor cases. The absolute highest court in the state is the Supreme Court of California, which reviews appellate court decisions and cases where the death penalty has been imposed.

California Attorneys and Lawyers

When faced with a legal issue, contacting an experienced attorney is always the best bet. At LawInfo you can search for a skilled, Lead Counsel Rated California attorney by location and by practice area. 

We have California attorneys who dedicate their practice to specific areas of the law, so you will not only find an attorney but an attorney who is knowledgeable to help you with your particular legal issue.