Attorney/Paralegal Guide for Finding Information to Investigate a Case


CLE credits earned: 2 GENERAL (or 2 LAW & LEGAL for WA state)

Put on your investigator hat and think about all of the information that is available in public filings. If you weren’t an attorney or paralegal, how would you get the information to investigate your case? That’s right – if you didn’t have interrogatories, depositions, or subpoenas to use – think about alternative sources for facts that might be important. Considering these other resources, and truly learning to implement them in your discovery plan will take some getting used to, but such a practice provides unlimited possibilities for finding information that is relevant and, more importantly, relatable. Here is the winning strategy, combine the skillfully cultivated information from your discovery efforts with the simple and straightforward tidbits you uncover in public records to create a well-constructed case that has instant credibility with any layperson.

This course will identify available sources of information that are free (or almost free). Accessing these sources early gives you an advantage and helps guide your case strategy.

This course is co-sponsored with myLawCLE.

Key topics to be discussed:

•   Public records
•   Locating witnesses
•   Background searches
•   Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
•   Safety standards and industry guidelines
•   Investigative techniques

Date / Time: February 23, 2021

•   2:00 pm – 4:00 pm Eastern
•   1:00 pm – 3:00 pm Central
•   12:00 pm – 2:00 pm Mountain
•   11:00 am – 1:00 pm Pacific

Choose a format:

•   Live Video Broadcast/Re-Broadcast: Watch Program “live” in real-time, must sign-in and watch program on date and time set above. May ask questions during presentation via chat box. Qualifies for “live” CLE credit.
•   On-Demand Video: Access CLE 24/7 via on-demand library and watch program anytime. Qualifies for self-study CLE credit. On-demand versions are made available 7 business days after the original recording date and are view-able for up to one year.

Select your state to see if this class is approved for CLE credit.

Choose the format you want.


Original Broadcast Date: March 6, 2020

Amy Johnson | Yarborough Applegate LLC,
Amy Johnson has worked in the legal field for almost 20 years and is employed as a senior paralegal at the law firm of Yarborough Applegate LLC, in Charleston, South Carolina, where she focuses on catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, and complex civil litigation. She was awarded AAJ’s National Paralegal of the Year in 2017. She has been a member of the National Association of Legal Assistants since 2003, serving at the national level on the Continuing Education Council (2015-18) and Ethics Committee (2018-19). Ms. Johnson is an active member of Charleston Association of Legal Assistants, where she has served as president, NALA liaison, education chair, and parliamentarian. She has mentored many associate attorneys and paralegals of all levels, and she formerly served on the Trident Technical College Advisory Board for its Paralegal Studies Program. Ms. Johnson is a frequent presenter at continuing education events nationwide. She earned her B.A. degree with honors from Wake Forest University and is currently pursuing her Master’s degree from Colorado State University.

Accreditation Policy
myLawCLE seeks accreditation for all programs in all states. (Accreditation for paralegals sought thru NALA and NFPA paralegal associations.) Each attending attorney/paralegal will receive a certificate of completion following the close of the CLE program as proof of attendance. In required states, myLawCLE records attorney/paralegals attendance, in all other states attorney/paralegal is provided with the approved CLE certificate to submit to their state bar or governing association.

    Automatic MCLE Approvals

All myLawCLE CLE programs are accredited automatically either directly or via reciprocity in the following states: AK, AR, CA, CT, FL, HI, ME, MO, MT, ND, NH, NM, NJ, NY, and VT. (AZ does not approve CLE programs, but accepts our certificates for CLE credit.)

    Live Video Broadcasts

Live video broadcasts are new live CLE programs being streamed and recorded for the first time. All of these programs qualify for “Live” CLE credit in all states except NV, OH, MS, IN, UT, PA, GA, and LA —these states require in-person attendance to qualify for “Live” CLE credit.

    “Live” Re-Broadcasts

“Live” Re-broadcasts are replays of previous recorded CLE programs, set on a specific date and time and where the original presenting speakers calls in live at the end of the event to answer questions. This “live” element allows for “live” Re-broadcast CLEs to qualify for “Live” CLE credits in most states. [The following states DO NOT allow for “live” CLE credits on re-broadcast CLEs: NV, OH, MS, IN, UT, PA, GA, and LA]

Many states allow for credit to be granted on a 1:1 reciprocal basis for courses approved in another mandatory CLE jurisdiction state. This is known as a reciprocity provision and includes the following states: AK, AR, HI, CT, FL, ME, MO, MT, ND, NH, NM, VT, NJ, and NY. myLawCLE does not seek direct accreditation of live webinars or teleconferences in these states.

Section I. Determining What You Hope to Find

Section II. Accessing Public Records

Section III. Locating Persons and Finding Background Information

Section IV. Vetting Experts and Other Professionals

Section V. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Requests

Section VI. Free Reports from Government Agencies

Section VII. Researching safety standards and industry guidelines