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This is a re-post from another thread.  I am still of the opinion that your time would be best spent looking for a good attorney, but if you want to try your hand at law, the following is a good start on how to do legal research:

1) Being without access to Lexis or Westlaw puts you at a major disadvantage because you, for the most part, don't have access to an electronic database.  You can search for free, however, in a limited setting at:
           c) there may be others, but these are the only ones I am familiar with.

2) Secondary sources of law are the best place to start to get an overview of the particular area you are researching.  For example, if you were in a law school library, you would want to start with something like AmJur, Corpus Jurus, or for example in Texas, TexJur, etc. - ask a librarian, they will help you locate these.  Also, law review journals are also extremely helpful, but it may be harder to find relevant articles without an electronic database.

3) Caselaw - statutes control, but the implementation of / meaning of the statute is controlled by the interpretation of the courts - this goes for federal or state law.  US or state supreme court rulings apply to all junior courts in their jurisdiction; but appellate court rulings are only mandatory authority in their individual circuit.  For example, the federal Ninth Circuit's test for alleging scienter with particularity in securities fraud cases differs somewhat from other circuits, and will remain this way until the Ninth Circuit changes it, or until the Supreme Court does; i.e., you can have the same statute, but it can be applied differently in different circuits. 
              a) Looking for caselaw in print, you'll be looking at the Pacific Reporter for certain states, the Atlantic Reporter for others, etc.  Again, ask the librarian for the ones that contain your state.  There will be a key book that has, generally, areas of the law and relevant cases.  If you find a case on point, it will always reference mandatory or persuasive authority - write down the relevant cases cited, and search those cases for other cases, etc.
              b) when you think you've found "the law," you need to make sure it is still "the law," i.e., that it has not been overridden by statute or superior court rulings.  To do this, you Shepardize the cases - the Sheperdizing books will be next to the individual reporters.  By looking up the case you think controls the area of the law relevant to your analysis, it will give you a list of cases that either support, cite, distinguish or override the case you're researching.  This is also a good place to find more cases, which may lead you to other relevant cases.  Again, ask the librarian to help you find them if you are unable to do so.
              c) In legal writing, paragraphs are often interrupted by legal citations.  This can interrupt the flow, but its necessary to know if the cite or quote is mandatory or persuasive authority.
              d) Legal citations can be intimidating, but aren't all that hard to figure out.  Take the following to the library with you so you don't get confused.
Carpenter v. Longan, 83 U.S. 271, 274 (1873).
The italicized portion is called the "style" of the case, and is the name of the lead plaintiff and defendant, but not necessarily in that order.
The first number after that is the # of the book in the reporting series, and will usually give you a clue as to what the authority is - for example, here, U.S. is the name of the reporter that contains U.S. Supreme Court rulings, so if you were to look this case up in print, you would look for U.S. series, then find book # 83.  271 is the page number of the beginning of the opinion, and 274 is called a pincite.  Pincites are used when you are quoting or citing to a specific part of the opinion.  For example, "the mortgage follows the note" is found on page 274 of this opinion, so the pincite makes it easier to find the specific point of law or quote you are referencing.  1873 is obviously the date the opinion was issued.  Usually, the jurisdiction is also included in the parenthises, but because the reporter is U.S. (like Tex., Mass., Nev., etc.) you know its the supreme court.

In re Vargas, 396 B.R. 511 (Bankr. C.D. Cal. 2008).
The "style" of this case is generally what you see when its a bankruptcy case.  B.R. is the name of the federal bankruptcy court reporter.  Notice here that in parenthises before the date tells you the district - this allows you to reference the authority of the court issuing the opinion.  Here, its the bankruptcy court in the central district of California.
Shepard v. Boone, 99 S.W.3d 263, 266 (Tex. App. Eastland 2003, no pet.).
Texas cases are mostly the same, but non-supreme court rulings have an extra italicized blurb to let you know the subsequent appellate history, if any.  See "Texas Rules of Form," pgs. 98-104.  Here, "no pet." means that no petition for Texas supreme court review was made.  Also in parenthises, is the name of the appellate court - all district courts in this circuit are bound by this opinion, but this opinion is only persuasive - not mandatory - authority in, e.g., the Dallas district, or the Houston district.  Notice the name of the reporter - S.W.3d - Texas cases are located in the Southwest reporter.  The oldest ones are S.W.; they filled up that one, so they also have S.W.2d; they filled up that one, so now they're up to S.W.3d.
Mortg. Elec. Registration Sys. v. Groves, 2011 Tex. App. LEXIS 2696 (Tex. App. Houston 14th Dist. Apr. 12, 2011).
Notice on this one, the reference is to LEXIS - that is because this case has not yet been assigned a place in the S.W.3d reporter, but it is available for search on LEXIS.  LEXIS and Westlaw organize their cases differently than the print journals - 2011 is the year, Tex. App. lets you know the authority, and 2696 is the case#, not the page number.  The page numbers and pincites would look like: 2011 Tex. App. LEXIS 2696, *3-*5.

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Derrick Richards
Jayson, thanks for the informative thread, will follow up on some of your leads. Motions that were filed and were powerful, would be nice to look at, but seems you can't find the correct wording, unless you have better access, amen

Keep up the good words and works, Derrick
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Here are some simple way to search for case law for foreclosure defense "

1. Read your State Court of Appeals Opinions related to foreclosure. These Opinions usually included case laws approved by Appeal Judges. These are powerful arguments and case law.

2. Read Court House other people foreclosure cases pleadings from your state prominent foreclosure defense lawyers. Read cases dated couple years back to see how did they do to survie so long. Read recent cases to see the new defensive pleadings. Lawsuits case files are public info, you can even make copies of pleadings for research.

3. Go to local library and ask the librarian for this book " Foreclosure, Defenses, Workouts and Mortgage Servicers" by National Consumer Law Center. It has chockful of info about foreclosure defense . All public library should have a copy . The library also have books of how to fight credit card debts collectors. Check them out. It's free.
Below is the summary of this book. Free to be read at your local library

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