(Closed) Legal Bees – Research question

posted 6 years ago in Legal
Post # 3
3182 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

@VAwife:  Generally speaking cases at the trial level aren’t published. Once you get to the appellate level you will see some published, but not all. Depending on the court those migjt be available on the courts website or legal research websites which generally cost money. although google scholar is a decent free one. Technically the records are public but without a case number it’s going to be difficult to get anywhere. 

Sorry for typos I’m on my phone!

Post # 5
1695 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

@VAwife:  You have to understand the volume of cases is huge.  There is an online database.  There are two.  Westlaw and Lexis.  But they are very expensive because it’s a very large volume of cases that are annotated and catalogued.  Of course they include of a lot of things you aren’t really looking for.  You won’t be able to search by attorney necessarily either.  You search by citation or party name.  So unless you have that information, it will be very hard, whatever the route you go.  Even if a case is public, attorneys do not give information about their former clients.  You can always check to see if the attorney has ever been sanctioned on the state bar website.  But as far as “win/losses”, you’re going to have a much harder time.  If you don’t trust this attorney, you should find one that you do!  It’s really important that you are able to trust them (not that you should trust everyone, but follow your gut).  Or if you have friends how have worked with attorneys, ask for referrals.


Good question to ask…”how long does it take you to return a phone call.” 

Post # 7
963 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

It totally depends on the type of the case.  I can go onto my local clerk’s office website and search for cases by attorney.  But depending on the type of case, the search results might not mean anything.  For example, if it’s a matrimonial case, I am not able to see any of the filings.

Post # 8
3941 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

@VAwife:  I’ll PM you.  I’m a VA paralegal.

Post # 9
1695 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

@VAwife:  Just FYI, your library will not have access to those legal bases.  They are THAT expensive.  And unless you’ve had some training on them, they can be very cumbersome.  Legal research in general can be a difficult thing.  In my law firm, the only people we rely on to do legal research are law students and other lawyers.   

I WOULD be wary of things you’ve read online.  How many attorneys are in her office.  How long has she been practicing in this particular field?  Is she board certified in that area?  Who does she consult when she needs outside help?  How many other areas of law does she practice?  What is her caseload?  These are all good questions to ask as well. 

What area of law is this that you are hiring her for? 

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