Is there any one of us who doesn't say, "I wish I knew that when I was younger?" Well, there is something I learned in the past month or so that I wish I had known when I was "younger" -- yeh, like maybe five weeks ago!
I've had some unpleasant dealings with a certain person. Then, I found out that, here in Wisconsin, it is possible to use the Web to check if someone has been to court a lot. A visit to wcca.wicourts.gov/simpleCaseSearch.xsl will help you find out if you're dealing with a person who has a good background or has had problems.
Take it from me, this is good to know if you're involved in the purchase or sale of a car or hiring repair work.
I hear other states have the same (or even better) information on line. So make use of the open records laws in your state in your hobby dealings.