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LACBA Video: Searchable Civil Register Practical Use Scenarios

Richard Walch and John Collins present several practical uses of Searchable Civil Register.
In the video above, Richard Walch and John Collins present several practical uses of Searchable Civil Register. This 30-minute video clip focuses exclusively on how to use Civil Register for effective case management.

Did you know that LACBA has a unique, searchable database that can tell you more about judges, commissioners, parties and even opposing counsel than you thought possible? It's called the Searchable Civil Register.

LACBA regularly downloads the full Superior Court civil register (docket sheets), and has created an index allowing for searches by almost any criteria. You can find out such things as:

  • How many peremptory challenges (Section 170.6) filed against a judge in any given year (identify possible "difficult" judges to avoid or investigate).
  • How many motions for summary judgment granted versus denied (does this judge tend to grant them?).
  • How many days spent in trial (does the judge try cases or dispose of them by other means?).
  • How many demurrers granted or denied (and with or without leave to amend).
    • How many SLAPP motions granted or denied.
    • How many motions to compel granted or denied (should you invest the time for a motion?).
    • How many continuances granted or denied.
    • And more.
How about the number and types of cases in which various parties, or an opposing law firm, have been involved? Is your opposing party a vexatious litigant? How many cases has she filed in the Superior Court? Which other firms has your client retained?

Watch this free 30-minute demonstration of this powerful system presented by two masters: John J. Collins, veteran trial lawyer and past President of LACBA; and Rich Walch, the former Executive Director of LACBA for 20 years.

Don't miss this event! The lawyers who have seen this presentation, love it!

Practical Use Scenarios

The following use case scenarios are outlined here in the same order as they are presented in the video.

They provide you with insightful examples about practical uses for collecting intelligence that help you build effective strategies.

  • Scenarios for practical daily work.
  • The statistics regarding the frequency of events enable you to strategize for more effective case management.
  • Gather Information. Learn about the playing field. Use the insight to win.
    • Scenario I:
    • You are a Plaintiff Lawyer. You file a complaint.
    • Court assigns your case to JUDGE JUDY.
    • You would like to learn about JUDGE JUDY's tendencies and track record.
    • How do other attorneys feel about JUDGE JUDY?
      • Example: How many Affidavits of Prejudice are filed for JUDGE JUDY?
      • Search on JUDGE Paul Boland and select the Case Type, "Affidavit of Prejudice" for the year 2002.
      • Search Results: How many? 5 Affidavits of Prejudice. Search on another comparable judge as a comparable measurement.
      • Example: Search on JUDGE Sohigian for the same year: 2002
      • Search Results: 256 proceedings. You can see the number of Affidavits of Prejudice compared.
      • Who were the lawyers who filed for the proceedings?
      • You can call some of these lawyers to talk about tips and experiences.

    • Scenario II:
    • You are a defense attorney on a case for which you receive a complaint poorly drafted.
    • You want to prepare a Demurrer but wonder. Is it a waste of time?
    • Before you spend time on drafting a Demurrer, you would like to know what are the chances that JUDGE JUDY will SUSTAIN or DENY the Demurrer?
      • Example: Select JUDGE JUDY and the Case Type, "Demurrer" for a Time Period.
      • Example: Select JUDGE Haley Fromholtz and select Case Type "Demurrer Sustained" for the year 2002.
      • Search Results: We discover that this Judge does not hesitate to sustain. So, putting your time and energy into drafting a Demurrer might be a good investment for your client. Because you manage cases like this wisely, they keep you on retainer.

    • Scenario III:
    • How often does JUDGE JUDY Grant or Deny a Summary Judgment?
    • The fee you bill to your client might be as much as $25,000.
    • So, why not find out what the chances are first?
      • Example: Select Case Type:
      • Summary Judgment Granted
      • In the same Time Period for the same Judge.
      • Example: Judge Paul Boland – Summary Judgment Granted – 2000 to 2002
      • Results: 15 Proceedings Granted out of 20.
      • This information helps you make a wise business decision for your client. That's why they keep you on retainer.

    • Scenario IV:
    • How many days in trial for JUDGE JUDY?
    • A number of judges take weeks or even months to go to trial. Other judges help to settle.
    • Search on the Judge within a Time Period.
      • Example: Select Judge Boland for 2002.
      • Search Results: Judge Boland 99 cases.
      • Same Search on another Judge to compare the days to trial.
      • Same Search on Judge Crisbo for 2002.
      • Search Results: 165 cases.
      • You can also look at the days off calendar.

    • Scenario V:
    • In many cases, you may want to know how many days LEGAL FIRM ABC & ASSOCIATES spends in trial over a Time Period.
    • Search on Default: Bench Officer: ALL and Keyword: ALL.
      • Example: In the Custom Search box, type in "Collins" (name of law firm) in year 2004.
      • Search Results: 500 proceedings in 66 cases. This means a lot of trial time (500 being a default limit to the number of search results).
      • Look over the results list. What kind of cases do you find?
      • 52 proceedings with 15 cases.
      • Look at how many days of trial as a rate of going to trial. This means a high probability that the firm will challenge your case in court.
      • You can also evaluate how much experience and expertise the firm has in trial court and for what types of cases.

    • Scenario VI:
    • Your case is reassigned to another judge.
    • You might not know this judge.
      • Search on the judge to evaluate his / her track record and tendencies.
      • Search Results: 500 proceedings in 66 Cases. This means a lot of trial time (500 being a default limit to the number of search results).

    • Scenario VII:
    • Sanctions: how often does JUDGE JUDY issue them?
      • Example: Set up a search. In the "Custom Search" box type "sanction" and select Judge Sohigian for the year 2002.
      • Search Results: 126 proceedings in 93 cases.
      • With 290 cases, this means a high probability of sanctions, and dollars were assessed.
      • Note: we used the singular "sanction" rather than "sanctions" because the court clerk may or may not have typed in the "s." If you type in "sanctions" and the Case Summaries only contain "sanction," you would obtain no search results. However, if you type in "sanction" and both "sanctions" and "sanction" appear in the Case Summaries, your search results will include Case Summaries that contain both the singular and the plural of your search criteron, in this example, "sanction."

    • Scenario VIII:
    • Torts: how often and how does JUDGE JUDY rule on legal malpractice?
      • Example: Use the Case Type drop down box and select "Torts: Legal Malpractice" for the year 2002, and for a particular Judge.
      • Search Results: Look at the number of proceedings in so many cases. How many and how they are handled informs you.

    • Scenario IX:
    • In many cases, you want to learn more about the track record of your opposing party which can be a law firm, a business, or an individual.
    • A new client walks in the door. She is being sued by Mr. Litigates.
      • Example: In the Party box, type in "Mr. Litigates" for the year 2003.
      • Search Results: Look at the number of cases he has taken to court. You can evaluate his status as a vexatious litigant.




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