Research Tips for Smart Search

Researching Your Judge on Smart Search

Learn about state trial court judges.

The Trellis database aggregates state trial court rulings and orders from judges all over the country.  You can use Smart Search to conduct research on a specific judge and gain intel on how the judge has ruled on a specific issue and why. 

Using keywords and various Boolean operators, try searching a combination of your judge’s name, a legal issue/topic (including case dispositive issues that form the heart of your case), and/or a motion type.

On the search results page, you’ll see up to four tabs of data for your judge-related search:  

  • Rulings:  This tab will display CA tentative rulings issued by your judge. **Note: For rulings in other states, search keywords (decision OR order) in the Documents tab.
  • Dockets:  This tab will display court cases your judge is/was involved in.
  • Documents:  This tab will display court documents filed in cases that your judge has presided over.   
  • Verdicts: This tab will display verdict data and analytics (across CA and NY) for cases that have gone to verdict before your judge, and will give you access to the underlying cases.  **Note: Verdicts is an add-on.

Search Judge Tentative Rulings - CA - Watch Video


Below are some sample judge-related search queries you may run using the “AND” Boolean operator


Template Example Search


judge:last-name AND county:”county name”

judge:last-name AND “legal issue”

judge:last-name AND “motion type”

judge:last-name AND “motion type” AND “legal issue”

judge:last-name AND pleading type

judge:last-name AND pleading type AND “legal issue”

judge:last-name AND “practice area”

judge:last-name AND “other specifics”

Alternatively, try “judge’s full name” rather than judge:last-name