This unique history reveals how a century of Federal Court drama and influential rulings shaped the development and culture of Northern California.
From the gold rush to the Internet boom, the US District Court for the Northern District of California has played a major role in how business is done and life is lived on the Pacific Coast. When California was first admitted to the Union, pioneers were busy prospecting for new fortunes, building towns and cities—and suing each other. San Francisco became the epicenter of a litigious new world of fortune-seekers and corporate interests.
Northern California’s federal court set precedents on issues ranging from shanghaied sailors to Mexican land grants and the civil rights of Chinese immigrants. Through the era of Prohibition and the labor movement to World War II and the tumultuous sixties and seventies, the court's historic rulings have defined the Bay Area's geography, culture, and commerce.