Dr. Ronald B. Standler
Legal Research Attorney

Legal research is necessary to find statutes, cases, and regulations that can be cited in a Brief as authority to support a litigant's position, and to inform the judge of the controlling law in the jurisdiction. Citation of authorities is part of effective advocacy and is a duty that an attorney owes to his/her client. For more information on the obligation to do legal research, see my essay.

Bumbling around in on-line databases can easily waste hundreds — even thousands — of dollars and can either return too much to read or miss relevant material, which, together with the need to learn unfamiliar search skills, quite understandably intimidates new users.   I have used online databases in science, electrical engineering, medicine, and patents since 1981 and I have used online legal databases since 1991, so I am experienced with such research methods.

End of Service   Because of the high cost of a subscription to unlimited use of Westlaw databases (i.e., $3500/year in 2013), and because of a lack of paying clients for legal research services, I discontinued my legal research services in July 2015. I can resume my Westlaw subscription, and resume providing the legal research services described below, but only if a client guarantees at least $7500/year in payments to me.

Simple Service

I can quickly search and find relevant cases, statutes, and regulations in the USA, print them on paper, and send them to you.

Alternatively, I can download relevant cases, statutes, etc. from Westlaw in PDF and copy them to a compact disk to send to you. That gives you the ability to search the text for specific words, and — of course — you can print the files.

Specialized Services

Memoranda of Law

I can also prepare a memorandum of law that summarizes and critically reviews cases, and distinguish apparently contradictory holdings. Such a memorandum will also include quotations from cases and with citations in Blue Book format. Such memoranda can save time for a litigator who is busy with court proceedings and depositions.

Note that reading and analyzing cases requires significantly more time than the simple service in the above section, so producing a memorandum of law is more expensive.

I can send a memorandum as an e-mail attachment in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format — with printing enabled and cut-and-paste enabled — for your secretary to use to create future Briefs via cut-and-paste, without needing to retype the quotations and citations. This method avoids errors in the quotations and citations in your Brief, because I obtain the quotations directly from Westlaw via a cut-and-paste.

Technical Information

Litigators are familiar with getting facts and opinions from opponents through interrogatories, document requests, and depositions. However, many litigators overlook a parallel way to find information useful in litigation: searches of published information in science, engineering, medicine, technology, engineering standards, and patents.

There are many different ways that such published information can be useful to litigators, for example:
Because I have more than 16 years of experience in scientific and engineering research, and because I have more than 14 years of experience as an attorney, I can do more than merely find such technical information: I can also interpret it in the context of law, as well as provide critical reviews of the technical information.

My Credentials

My brief credentials:
My c.v. is posted at my website.

I will personally do all work on your project, so you get the full benefit of my knowledge and experience.

List of information sources available to me.

Fees and Expenses

I charge an hourly rate for my time, plus reimbursement of expenses, and interest on invoices that are not paid within 30 days. Details are posted at my webpage on fees and terms.

I charge for actual expenses of searching databases in Dialog.

My legal research services are available exclusively to licensed attorneys.   As a matter of policy, I do not work for pro se litigants, unless they are also a licensed attorney.

Contact Dr. Standler:

Dr. Ronald B. Standler
P.O. Box 3780
Concord, NH 03302-3780


Some attorneys think on-line searches are too expensive, but searches are much cheaper than the cost of ignorance. Searches for reported cases on similar facts are an excellent way to find relevant statutes and legal theories, and to avoid arguments that failed in the past for good reason. And briefs with many citations can be more persuasive than arguments without citations to authority.

Companies and individuals often spend hundreds of hours of time "reinventing the wheel", when a search of technical literature would have quickly allowed them to build on the results of others and would have avoided wasting more than $10,000 filing a patent application that is invalid because of the existence of prior art.

Copyright 2003-2013 by Ronald B. Standler
This document is at   http://www.rbs2.com/legres.htm
first posted 24 Sep 2003, revised 30 Oct 2015

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