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Advocate Resource Center

Tips on Searching


We use Verity search engine. This supports both simple word searches and boolean queries - meaning that you can refine your queries using logical operators such as "and", "or" and "not". The information below introduces how to search this site, and covers:

What is searched? TOP
The search extends to all of the major content areas of the site. While there will be some variation, based on whether these tools are in use in your area, these include:

  • News
  • Calendar
  • Library
  • New Cases
  • Roster
  • Mail List Messages

Search indexes include all of the major fields associated with each piece of content (Title, Organization, Description, Location, etc.), and, in the case of the Library, includes the body of file attachments in most common file formats, including Word, WordPerfect, Excel, HTML and most PDF files.

Basic QueriesTOP
Most queries can be written by entering the words and phrases you're interested in.

Words: If you want to see documents dealing with custody you can start with a single-word query, such as:

protectionYour query finds all items that include the word "protection."

Phrases: To see documents that refer to a series of words that occur in a specific order, such as "order of protection" or "in forma pauperis," enter the whole phrase:

order of protectionYour query finds only items that include that exact phrase in that exact order.

Note: Searches will be case-insensitive unless you use uppercase. The query apple will return Apple, apple or even aPpLe, whereas the query Apple will return only Apple. This means that all search words should be in lower-case, unless you are searching for a word that always has the same capitalization.

Refining Queries TOP
You can make your queries more specific by combining the words you used for basic queries with operators. Operators are special words that are used to indicate logical relationships between the descriptive terms that make up your query.

andReturns results containing all specified words regardless of order. orReturns results containing any of the specified words, regardless of order.not

Eliminates results containing a specified word.

Ex: "support not spousal"


Returns results containing specified search terms in proximity to each other.

Ex: "Aker <near> Kennedy" returns results with the case name Aker v. Kennedy


Returns results where the word before and after the operator must be in the same sentence or paragraph.

Ex: "custody <paragraph> protective order"

" "
(double quotes)

Use quotes to make sure that only the specific word is found. (Can also be used to find phrases.)

Ex: "bank" will only find the word bank and not banking, banked or banker.


Wildcard operator that represents any one character. You can use a ? to specify the first letter of a word.

Ex: "mari?uana"


Wildcard operator that represents one or more characters. You cannot use a * to specify the first letter of a word.

Ex: "bank*" (finds bank and bankrupt)

Search HintsTOP

Email Addresses

The search treats the "@" character as a blank space, so if you're searching for an email address, substitute a blank space for the @.

Ex: "mobrien" will return results for ""

Case Names

Do not include periods (".") in your searches.

Ex: "Aker <near> Kennedy" returns results with the case name Aker v. Kennedy Instead, use the <near> operator

Search ResultsTOP

Search Results are displayedby tool, with the first 5 results for each tool visible on the default results page. Click on the "more..." link below any set of results to see additional returns.

Shared SearchesTOP

After you have conducted a search, you will have the option to "search shared content from all practice areas." By clicking on this box, your search will run again on items posted in other practice areas which have been marked as "shared" by the practice area hosts.

When your search is finished, items pulled from other practice areas will appear on the Search Results page and each item will indicate the source practice area from which it originated.

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