The guide will help you find online sources of public records as well as other Web-based people finding tools. When searching public records such as court filings, property records or the records of a government agency, understand that you will often find details in the supporting paper documentation, which is not available online. According to BRB Publications' Public Records Online, 5th edition, only 35% of public records are available online, and many of these contain insufficient information for verification purposes. Moreover, data in public records online is often erroneous. To be certain you have found information about the right person, you should verify it with the source (court or government agency).
The Virtual Chase has assisted legal professionals conducting research on the Internet since Summer 1996. Originally a hobby, the site began as a means by which to disseminate articles and teaching aids to law librarians and other instructors of Internet research. Now owned by the law firm Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP, it offers articles, guides, teaching materials, an alert service and more on Internet research strategies and resources. The site is open to anyone free of charge, but we provide materials with experienced researchers, lawyers and other legal professionals in mind.
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