Research Tips for Smart Search

Researching Law Firms and Opposing Counsel on Smart Search

How to Gain Strategic Insights into Your Legal Opponents

The Trellis Database aggregates civil litigation court Dockets, Documents, Rulings, and Verdicts. Many attorneys utilize us to gain crucial intel on opposing counsel or competitor law firms. 

Using Smart Search for Legal Research

Using Smart Search, you can search law firms or individual attorney names to learn how your opponents have litigated cases similar to yours, how they’ve positioned particular legal issues, as well as the legal authorities they’ve relied on.  You can also research whether those motions have been successful and whether they settle cases before or after filing motions for summary judgment.  Gain a strategic advantage by knowing what your opposing counsel may argue before they argue it.

Running a query on Smart Search will search the body and text of state trial court dockets and documents based on the keywords you use (including a lawyer or law firm).  Using relevant keywords and  Boolean operators, try searching the law firm/attorney name AND a motion type, a legal issue, a cause of action, a practice area, and/or a judge, then click on any tab to view the results.

Video Tutorials

Opposing Counsel - Cases

Opposing Counsel - Cases - Watch Video


Opposing Counsel - Motions

Opposing Counsel - Motions - Watch Video


💡 All of the above is also relevant to researching parties and corporations, not just opposing counsel!

Sample Search Queries

Boolean Operators in Smart Search

Below are some sample opposing counsel-related search queries you may run using different Boolean operators:  

Template Example Search
“law firm”
party:”law firm”
“attorney’s full name”
party:”attorney’s full name”
“last-name first name”
“law firm” AND “practice area”
“law firm” AND “legal issue”
“law firm” AND “motion-type”
“law firm” AND “motion-type” AND “document type”

“law firm” AND “motion-type” AND “legal issue”
“law firm” AND judge:last-name AND county:”name”
“law firm” AND “jury instructions”