Yesterday I spent some time doing a little year-end trimming of my internet favorites list.
Like most people, I keep a fairly extensive favorites list of websites that I use (or think I will). Some sites turn out to be extremely valuable, and I use them all the time. Others seem promising, but end up only being sporadically useful. I make cuts at the end of the year, taking sites that are rarely used off the list.
Here are some sites that made it onto my keeper list:
Maryland Board of Physicians: This is an excellent resource for checking the license history of treating physicians and potential experts on both sides. If a doctor you are relying on has a history of licensure issues, you need to know.
Maryland Judiciary: One of the best things about this site is that new appellate opinions are posted the day they are issued. Invaluable for staying abreast of developing areas of the law.
Maryland Judiciary Case Search: Free searching of electronic court records covering all of Maryland’s district and circuit courts. I use this as a quick and dirty background check. I run literally every person who will potentially take the stand in every one of my cases. If a witness has convictions, that may be admissible for impeachment under Md. Rule 5-609, it is almost malpractice to not know ahead of time. You’d be amazed at how often I find good stuff on here.
Mapquest: I use the directions feature to compute approximate travel times. This can be very useful in trucking cases, where it may matter how far a driver traveled, in what amount of time, and whether driving time and break regulations were followed.
Vinelink and the Federal Bureau of Prisons: Both sites can be useful for attempting service of process. You can use them to determine if an individual is an inmate in a state or federal correctional facility.
Service Members Civil Relief Act: This site allows you to determine whether an individual is serving on active duty in the armed forces. Very useful for service of process, or for the execution of a “non-military affidavit” in cases involving a request for default.
Maryland SDAT and DC Registered Organization Search: Great for finding the Resident Agent of Corporate entities.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Rules & Regulations: This is great for trucking accident cases. This site features an indexed, searchable database of all the safety regulations that commercial drivers and motor carriers are required to follow (and often don’t). An outstanding source of cross-examination material for drivers and corporate representatives.