Research at Your Fingertips
Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission:
Search for attorneys licensed by the Supreme Court of Illinois by filling in the attorney's last name (and/or other info) and selecting an exact or phonetic last name search. Gives you the date admitted, business address and phone, any former names, whether or not the attorney is authorized to practice law, and if there is any record of public discipline and proceedings.
Findlaw Lawyer Locator:
There is less-detailed information than in Martindale-Hubbell, but if you need contact information and the attorney is not in M-H, try here.Search by firm name or attorney name.
Illinois Legal Directories:
This is an online version of the "Blue Book" information. You can do a search by attorney or law firm, field of practice, mediator, or out of state.
Martindale Lawyer Locator:
Seems to include all of the information found in the printed Martindale-Hubbell directory, and includes several ways to search:
Location/Area of practice
Auto Valuation and More
For about $25, you can order a detailed vehicle history report, which checks a car's identification number to see if it has ever been involved in a fraudulent situation, if the title is encumbered, if it's been in a wreck and retitled, or if there's been a manufacturer's recall, plus much more.
International crash-test results, rollover ratings, the deadliest vehicles, the costliest vehicles, safety statistics, and much more. Also lets you compare crash results for three vehicles at once. Note: Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom of the web page.
Kelley Blue Book:
Values, reviews and ratings, advice, financing, and insurance for new and used vehicles. Also allows you to compare new vehicles or used vehicles and contains reviews.
Site has tabs for autos, classic cars, motorcycles, boats, RVs, and manufactured homes.
Background Checks: Doctors and Other Professionals
American Medical Association Doctor Finder:
"AMA Physician Select provides basic professional information on virtually every licensed physician in the United States and its possessions, including more than 690,000 doctors of medicine (MD) and doctors of osteopathy or osteopathic medicine (DO)."
DocFinder gets its data from state government licensing boards and contains the licensing background and disciplinary information of physicians and other health care practitioners. Some states have chosen not to include data directly in DocFinder's database (e.g., Illinois), but DocFinder has links to websites providing that information. A new feature lets you search all states in their database at once (helpful if you don't know where a physician is at the moment).
IDEX Defense Network:
"The Collaborative Defense Network for Expert Witness Research. IDEX collects information on, and researches the background of, expert witnesses. Exclusive to the defense bar, the network has grown to over 4,000 member law firms, insurance companies, corporations, and government entities." This is a fee-based tool.
Illinois Division of Professional Regulation:
Do a license lookup on the Illinois professional you're tracking. Results include the licensee's name, license number, license status, city and state, original date of licensure, license expiration date and disciplinary action indicator. See ARDC to do a similar search for attorneys:
Missouri Division of Professional Registration:
Do a license lookup on the Missouri professional you're tracking.
Directory of boards of professional and occupational licensure across North America.
Census and Demographic
The starting point for an amazing amount of data, including figures from the 2000 census, the 1990 census, projections and estimates, and more. State and county quick facts give summaries of the most-requested data for states and counties.
Easy-to-use tool for investigating U.S. demographic trends that includes graphics and exportable data.
Better Business Bureau Information System:
Check here to see if a company has a reliability report written about them or a complaint registered against them.
Need to look up information on a nonprofit organization? GuideStar's database includes more than one million nonprofit organizations.
Allows you to search by company name, ticker, industry keyword, stock quote, IPO companies, executive name, news, and also do searches for reports for free. Also includes an A-Z index of companies. Additional information available for a fee.
Illinois Corporate Name Search:
You can do a corporation search, LLC search, or combine the two, and check by name, keyword, partial word, or file number. This search gives results from the Illinois Secretary of State's database and gives names of the principal officers, incorporation date, and agent, and whether the company is in good standing, among other things.
Securities Class Action Clearinghouse:
Maintained by Stanford Law School, this site gives an index of filings, decisions, and settlements and includes a court circuit/district index, a chronological index, and a map of the federal circuits.
Search for products and services, companies, or brands, or browse extensive categories of industrial products.
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission EDGAR Database:
Search companies, SEC filings, and historical archives, among other things. There is a handy tutorial for how to use the site.
Government & Federal
Immediate links to:
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Courts of Appeals
- U.S. District Courts
- U.S. Bankruptcy Courts
USA.gov (formerly FirstGov):
- Includes A-Z index of all federal agencies with direct links to their websites
- Immediate links to each federal branch: Executive, Legislative, Judicial
- Immediate links to state, local, and tribal governments
- Immediate links to U.S. government telephone and email directories
- Tons of information organized by topic
Judges of the United States Courts:
"The Federal Judges Biographical Database contains the service record and biographical information for all judges who have served on the U.S. District Courts, U.S. Circuit Courts, U.S. Courts of Appeals, and the Supreme Court since 1789. To view a judge's biographical entry, type in the judge's name (Last name, First name) or use the alphabetical index."
Online search for docket sheets from federal district, appeals, and bankruptcy courts. Some courts also have full-text documents available. This is a fee based database, but charges are minimal.
Thomas: Legislative Info on the Internet:
Search legislation (current and past) and the congressional record, track bills, get congressional committee information, and more. Updated regularly.
Lets you track the work (caseload, dispositions, etc.) of federal district judges and compare the stats to profiles for the district and nation as a whole.
Popular Names of Acts in the U.S. Code:
This table is simply a list of common names for legislative acts (e.g., Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986). Where possible, there is a link directly to the relevant section of U.S. Code (but not if it's codified in many different titles).
Search the entire U.S. Code or browse the specific section.
CFR (Code of Federal Regulations)
The Code of Federal Regulations, also available online through the Government Printing Office, can be searched or browsed by specific sections from 1996 (some parts) through the present.
Government / States / General
Links to information for any state, including federal (e.g., Congressional delegation, military bases, etc.), state, and local governments; education (e.g., lists of schools); and other (e.g., media outlets, airports, etc.).
Includes information on and links to miscellaneous information about each of the 50 states from the state constitution to climate, from fast facts to topography and state maps and everything in between.
Government / State / Illinois
Annual Report of the Illinois Courts:
Get statistics on civil caseloads by county, average time lapse from filing to verdict, law case disposition by county, and more. Report used to be issued in print, but now is only available online at this website. You must use the print version for stats prior to 2001.
Official Site of the Illinois Courts:
Immediate links to information about:
- Supreme Court - judge information, caseload statistics, committees/commissions, and documents (including rules, opinions, and dockets)
- Appellate Court - map of Illinois districts for election of judges, contact information, appellate court clerks, caseload statistics, judge bios, court opinions, and argument calendars
- Circuit Court - judges, stats, clerks by county and district, map of judicial circuits
- Illinois court documents
- Judicial links and research
State of Illinois:
Includes links to:
- Federal government
- State government - legislature, constitutional officers, judiciary, state agencies/boards/commissions, state directory
- County government
- Municipal government
Government / Counties / Illinois
National Association of Counties:
Information about counties for Illinois (or any state) including:
- 1980, 1990, 2000 population
- Square miles
- County officials
- County courthouse contact info
- County seat
- Cities located in the county
- Census Bureau quick facts
- Map of Illinois counties
- County codes and ordinances
- Also includes a list of Illinois cities and their corresponding counties.
Government - Community - Illinois
Township Officials of Illinois
Not all communities are townships, but this site is a place to start. Includes links to:
- Individual townships
- State of Illinois sites
- Federal government sites
- Municipalities' sites
- Counties' sites
- Associations' sites
Legal Research - Illinois
Illinois General Assembly:
Includes legislation and laws (bills and resolutions, public acts), Illinois Compiled Statutes, legislative reports, the Illinois Constitution, information on the current Illinois House and Senate, previous general assemblies (through 1977), legislative agencies, administrative rules, the Illinois Register, and a legislator lookup.
Illinois State Bar Association:
Provides links to a variety of websites helpful for professionals concerned with Illinois law, along with the full text of Illinois Bar Journal and ISBA newsletters. Also includes ISBA ethics opinions and a guide to the Illinois statutes of limitations.
Illinois Supreme Court and Appellate Court Opinions:
Contains opinions from 1996-2008 and recent modifications to decisions. A word of caution on the site: These are slip opinions, and "they cannot and should not be considered the final decisions of the court."
Legal Research - Miscellaneous
Cornell Law School:
Award-winning site with links to constitutions and codes, court opinions, law by source or jurisdiction, directories, and even an introduction to basic legal citation.
This site pulls together an amazing amount of information and links. There is a channel for legal professionals that includes resources by practice area, federal and state resources, links to cases and codes, reference resources, forms, articles, and more. Also includes a "Lawyer Search" feature and a directory of expert witnesses, court reporters, and legal investigators, among other things. Try the "Search Findlaw" feature: Use the drop-down menu to search the Findlaw article library, legal dictionary, legal news, and legal websites, among other things.
Guide to Law Online:
Prepared by the Law Library of Congress, this page provides an annotated guide to government and law sources online. For example, the Illinois page at includes links for the Constitution, Executive, Judiciary, Legislature, Legal Guides and Miscellaneous, and General Sources.
HG.org (formerly Hieros Gamos):
This catch-all site has a little (or lot) of everything: 70 areas of practice, directories to find law firms or experts, legal news, legal forms, links to bar and other legal associations, and much more.
Comprehensive website with many links. Major categories include Daily News & Info, Legal Research, Office Tools & Travel, and Breaktime.
'Lectric Law Library Forms:
Large collection of free legal forms split into two categories: business and general, and legal practice. Note disclaimer from the site: "While [the forms] may provide general ideas on format & content, validity requirements can and do vary greatly from state to state. Many MUST be properly modified for your own location and circumstances."
Allows you to search for a specific term, word(s) within a definition, or browse an A-Z listing. If you don't find anything here, try .
A fee based website.
LLRX Court Rules, Forms, and Dockets:
This site includes links to over 1,400 sources for state and federal court rules, forms, and dockets. You can browse to find the resource you need, or search by keyword.
Online search for docket sheets from federal district, appeals, and bankruptcy courts. Some courts also have full-text documents available. Fee based, but reasonable in cost.
A fee based website.
Libraries - General
Library of Congress:
Good place to start if you want to know if someone has ever published a book, or if you have an incomplete citation for a book.
American Academy of Pediatrics:
This site has current AAP policy statements, clinical reports, technical reports, clinical practice guidelines, and parent pages.
American Hospital Directory:
A good source for hospital financial information and utilization data. Provides online data for over 6,000 hospitals. Database information is built from Medicare claims data, hospital cost reports, and other public use files obtained from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
Includes peer-reviewed articles on 7,000 diseases and disorders. If you know your expert witness published an article on a topic, but you cannot find it in PubMed, it might be here. Other tools include specific cases, a consumer health section, an institution finder, and a pill identifier (by imprint code).
Free Medical Journals:
Links to over 400 medical journals that have free full-text articles. The time frame for when the articles become available varies by publisher (e.g., after six months, after a year, etc.).
Also try this website for free medical articles:
Definitely worth checking before paying for an article!
"The Bartleby.com edition of Gray's Anatomy of the Human Body features 1,247 vibrant engravings?many in color?from the classic 1918 publication, as well as a subject index with 13,000 entries ranging from the Antrum of Highmore to the Zonule of Zinn."
Journal Titles and Abbreviations:
Your expert's C.V. has a number of articles on it with cryptic abbreviations for the journals. Just where has he/she published? Check the abbreviations at this source to find out the journals' full names.
Medical Algorithms Project:
"A medical algorithm is any computation, formula, survey, or look-up table useful in healthcare." This site collects over 6,100 algorithms spanning major medical domains, organized into 45 chapters (e.g., trauma medicine, performance measures and quality of life, and infection control).
Contains a medical dictionary, pharmaceutical company search, medical abbreviations, hospitals and associations.
MedPix Medical Image Database:
Allows you to search for images by disease topic, patient profiles, and organ systems, among others.
Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary:
Provides spellings, pronunciations, and definitions for many medical conditions. If you're not sure of the spelling, just enter what you do know followed by a "*" (e.g., gastro*).
This website by the publishers of the Physicians' Desk Reference (PDR) has a drug information section that is good for checking the spelling of drug names. You can click on the specific drug to obtain information about it that is written in everyday terms and "based on the FDA-approved drug information found in the PDR." Also contains disease overviews, information on health and wellness, and clinical trials.
Clinical Practice Guidelines, Critical Pathways and Primary Care Guidelines:
The Clinical Practice Guidelines, Critical Pathways, and Primary Care Guidelines are meant to serve as guidelines for routine patient care. This site also has links to JCAHO and others.
This source provides a handy way to find medical articles without having to go into Westlaw. PubMed, which is a service of the National Library of Medicine, provides access to over 15 million citations from MEDLINE and additional life science journals back to the 1950s. Includes links to many full-text articles (although most have fees to view articles). The journals database translates journal abbreviations into full titles.
Military and Civilian Personnel Records:
Limited information is available because of privacy concerns, but some is there.
Lets you enter an acronym or abbreviation directly, browse alphabetically, or browse by category.
Bartlett's Familiar Quotations:
Need a quote to jazz up your document or speech? Racking your brain to figure out who is credited for a famous saying? Try here! And if you specifically want a "contemporary" quotation, try Simpson's (see listing below).
A compilation of research tools for journalists, this page collects a number of unusual, but potentially handy, calculators: cost of living (and comparison), distance between any two places in the world, percent change, currency converter, and more!
Fagan Finder Translation Wizard:
Choose from nearly 50 languages (e.g., Latin, Yiddish, Thai, etc., and all the more common languages). Also includes an international keyboard.
This database claims to hold 5 million articles (nonmedical) from over hundreds of publications. You can search for a term directly or browse an alphabetized list of publication names and also a list of publications by topic. Some articles are free, some are not.
A "catch-all" website that includes almanacs, an atlas, a dictionary, an encyclopedia, a thesaurus, biographies, a conversion tool, and periodic table. Infoplease is part of Pearson Education.
This website attempts to gather links to all news sources on the Internet?-both in the U.S. and around the world. It is very useful if you are trying to locate the nearest media source in a small town or find all the news sources in a larger city.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary Online:
Use this resource when the paper dictionary just is not handy. Also includes a thesaurus.
Looking for a story or quote from a National Public Radio story? Check here!
Online Real Estate Assessors:
Searchable by state. If you come up with nothing, check other sources because the county assessor you need may have put up a website since this page's last update.
Rand McNally Maps and Directions:
Get maps or driving directions between two destinations from a respected publisher of maps and atlases. More accurate than MapQuest!!!
Scientific and Technical Acronyms, Symbols, and Abbreviations:
Click on the "Acronym Finder" link and enter a term or a keyword to narrow your search. Also includes handy reference tables ranging from mathematical symbols and signs to the Greek alphabet, plus many more.
Simpson's Contemporary Quotations:
Claims to include "the most notable quotations: 1950-1988." Contains "over 9,000 quotations from 4,000 sources organized into 25 categories and 60 sections."
"Snips" long, cumbersome Web addresses into short ones that easily fit into documents or email messages.
Time and Date Tools:
Includes a "date difference" calculator that will add or subtract days to/from a given date. Site also has other good calendar and time tools, including a world time search, calendars, and countdowns.
Translation of Documents:
An easy-to-use site for rapid translations where you can get the "gist" of foreign language text and web pages. Language possibilities are more limited than with Fagan Finder (see listing above).
Need to look at a previous version of a website? Try here. This page allows you to browse through 40 billion web pages from 1996 to just a few months ago.
Municipal and Building Codes
Municipal Code Corporation:
Their database contains the municipal codes for over 1,500 communities, including Peoria, Rockford, and Springfield.
An AT&T website where you can search the white pages, yellow pages, do a reverse lookup, and check for toll-free numbers.
Illinois Department of Corrections Inmate Search:
If you are having trouble locating the plaintiff, a witness, or even a client, check here.
Reverse Phone Directory:
Reverse phone and address directory (including cell phone, unlisted, and disconnected numbers) to find those elusive witnesses. Some searches are free.
Includes yellow pages, white pages, reverse lookups, maps, area and zip codes, and driving directions.
Find a person, business, area code, and zip code. Also allows you to find someone if you have a phone number or address already.
Contributions to State Races:
Check on political contributions to state races. Note: The website says information isn't available for Illinois, BUT IT IS?click on the link anyway. You can search contributions by individual contributor, candidate, committee, or proposition.
Political Money Line:
The Federal Election Commission records all contributions from individuals for amounts over $200. Use this website to check on political contributions to a party or candidate on the federal level back to 1980.
"Metasearch" engine that combines results from Google, Yahoo, Ask Jeeves, About, LookSmart, Overture, and FindWhat. Allows you to easily limit your search by what you're looking for (e.g., images, audio files, etc.).
The most popular search engine in the world right now. However, every search engine returns different results, so for a comprehensive search, be sure to try the same search using several different search engines.
This link gives you the traditional Yahoo, which organizes websites according to categories.
Midwestern Regional Climate Center:
Get daily climate data, surface hourly observations, hourly precipitation, storm data, and much more. They can email the info (nominal fee) or send paper copies. Certified data is somewhat more expensive (about $25.00) than uncertified data, but both fees are reasonable.
National Climatic Data Center:
NCDC is the world's largest archive of climate data. Offers a site search by keyword, city, and station name, as well as an option to browse by data type. Most data can be purchased online and then downloaded right to your desktop.
Zip Code and Area Code Finders
Area Code Finder:
Includes area codes even for very small towns. Also can find international area codes and can decode in the opposite direction, giving major cities within an area code. The Area Decoder provides current information related to area, city, and country codes.
Zip Code Finder:
This site is from the U.S. Postal Service and gives the ZIP + 4 code for a city, all zip codes for a city/town, all cities/towns in a zip code, and ZIP + 4 for a company.