Every Lawyer’s Investigative Research Database

If you are just opening your practice or can’t afford to hire a private investigator when you need one, consider applying for a subscription to an investigative database such as TLOxp, and do your own investigating. TLOxp’s database is made up of public records, publicly available information and proprietary information, including credit headers. TLOxp can be used to:

Create background dossiers on people and businesses

Conduct due diligence

Find addresses and phone numbers (sometimes even unlisted or mobile numbers) for hard-to-locate people

Identify someone’s possible employer

Locate real property (deeds, mortgages, foreclosures and evictions; availability will vary by jurisdiction)

Locate limited personal property assets (cars — not bank accounts or stocks)

Uncover criminal histories (availability is also limited because not every jurisdiction sells criminal records to TLO or other investigative databases)

Find vehicle sightings

Uncover bankruptcies

You can subscribe to the service, pay a flat rate or pay per transaction. The cost to search is $2 to retrieve basic contact information and $10 to retrieve a “Comprehensive Report.” (This doesn’t include a “Vehicle Sighting Report,” which is $25). There is a 30-day free trial offer.

Digging Deeper

Despite it using more sophisticated search techniques than any of the free public records sites, searching TLOxp is easy. TLOxp offers “regular” name searching and all types of “reverse” searching (by address, phone number, Social Security number, email address and more). We’ve even created a successful search by using two different people’s first names (no last names) combined with various cities they once lived in and the city they currently lived in.

Like all databases that provide credit headers, TLOxp requires you to get credentialed prior to using its database, so you will have to fill out an application and set up an account in advance of use. If your account is approved, be aware that you will not have access to full dates of birth and full Social Security numbers until you submit to a site visit. (Although we have been told by some law librarians that they simply had to fill out extra paperwork.)

Most investigative databases that offer you immediate access do not include credit headers (so their information may not be as fresh), and they do not offer as much information as TLOxp. They will also cost more, so take the time and sign up for TLOxp before you need it.

Carole Levitt and Mark Rosch

Carole Levitt, President of Internet for Lawyers, is a lawyer, law librarian and legal educator with more than 30 years in the legal field. She served as Chair of the Executive Board of the California State Bar Law Practice Management Section’s Executive Council. Mark Rosch is Vice-President of Internet for Lawyers, and a frequent speaker on the topics of Internet research and using technology more effectively in the practice of law. 




About Karen Olson

Information Professional with twenty years experience in legal, public record, and business research. Fifteen years law firm experience.

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