Legal Aspects of Doing Business in North America - 2nd Edition - Loose leaf
Legal Aspects of Doing Business in North America - 2nd Edition - Electronic
Donald R Worley and Susan Bade Hull
Worley, Schwartz, Garfiled & Rice
San Diego, California, United States
California in a Nutshell
California is a land of superlatives. It has the most people of any of the United States
with a population of 30.646 million.1 It is highest in total personal income, retail sales
and many other parameters. Although known for its aerospace, electronics and other
high-technology industries, California is also first among the states in agriculture.
In fact, if California were a country, its gross national product of 533.816 million in 1986
would place it eighth among all the countries of the world. Only the United States, Russia,
Japan, West Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Italy produce more goods and
services, and such giants as the People’s Republic of China, Brazil and Canada rank
behind California economically.2
The California Constitution provides for a government through six elected constitutional
officers, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Treasurer, Controller and
Attorney General and a bicameral legislature consisting of a forty-member Senate and
eighty-member Assembly. Most state departments or agencies which regulate or impact
business in California are administered by officers appointed by the Governor. The constitutional
officers, legislators, and department heads of most state agencies are located in
Sacramento, the state capital.
The judicial power of the state government is divided among the Supreme Court, District
Courts of App eal and local Superior and Municipal Courts. Superior Courts have original
trial jurisdiction in cases involving amounts in controversy over US $25,000 and most
equitable actions (including the probate of decedents’ estates and dissolutions of marriage).
Municipal Courts entertain suits of US $25,000 or less.
1 Population Estimates for California State and Counties for 1 July 1991, Report 91E-2,
California Dept, of Finance, Demographic Unit (February 1992).
2 Washington’s Gross National