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Researching Texas Law: Court Documents

Introduction

Legal directories contain information on expert witnesses, counsel, judges, and other parties of note in a case. Depending on the directory used, this information may be solely biographical in nature or it may contain information about credentials, publications, testimony, or other details relevant to the individual's qualifications. These directories are commonly used to do background research before conducting depositions, engaging in discovery, hiring experts, or going to trial.

Finding Directories

Free print sources:

There are very few print sources of directory information. Many of the directories that used to be available in print have moved to online-only publishing, and those that still exist are being rendered obsolete by online sources. One source that is still in print is the Texas Legal Directory.

Free online sources:

  • Be wary of online directories! There is often no way to verify any of the information presented in these services. It may be out of date or outright wrong. Be especially cautious of sites that ask you to pay to access basic biographical information or that refuse to tell you where they get their information.
  • Many bar associations offer online directories of their members. If you're looking for an attorney in a particular jurisdiction, start with the state or local bar association.
  • Some professional associations maintain directories of members who serve as expert witnesses. If the information is current, these can be a good way to locate potential experts to help with your case or to do background research before cross-examining a hostile witness.

Fee-based sources:

  • Westlaw's "Expert Materials" database has searchable reports, resumes, transcripts, etc. and is also searchable by jurisdiction. A Westlaw subscription is required for access.
  • Lexis Advance's "Expert Witness Analysis" database offers searchable reports, resumes, transcripts, etc. and is also searchable by jurisdiction and topic. Its "Directories" database has biographical information on attorneys, judges, etc., but its geographical coverage varies. A Lexis Advance subscription is required for access.