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Researching Texas Law: Court Documents

Introduction

Information about verdicts and settlements in civil cases gives attorneys an idea of how various types of claims have been settled in their jurisdiction and what kind of outcome can be expected in a particular case. This information can help an attorney decide what kind of verdict is reasonable to ask for and whether a settlement offer should be accepted.

Finding Verdicts and Settlements

Unfortunately, outside of criminal cases, it's quite difficult to find reliable verdict and settlement information. The details of these outcomes are often sealed or confidential and don't give any details beyond the fact that the case was settled or a verdict was rendered.

Print sources: A few journals exist that report on verdicts, but these are very expensive and are generally owned only by large law firms who specialize in settlements. Most law libraries will not have access to these journals.

Free online sources: There is nothing comprehensive or reliable. Beware of databases that promise you access to settlement information, especially if they ask you to pay or subscribe before seeing what they have.

Fee-based online sources:

  • Westlaw offers a Jury Verdicts & Settlements database, searchable by jurisdiction or topic. A Westlaw subscription is required for access.
  • Lexis Advance offers a Jury Verdicts & Settlements database, searchable by jurisdiction or topic. A Lexis Advance subscription is required for access.