They really do. Honest. They tell you who's doing shoddy work, who's not keeping promises -- how people are treating one another. If you really want to know what's going on in a community, check out who's suing whom.
Beware, however. Until a judge or jury decides the question, lawsuits are just one-sided allegations, so be fair. Talk to both sides.
Here's a sample civil suit. They usually spell out what the person suing (the PLAINTIFF) is upset about and what he or she or it (a government or corporation) wants the defendant to do about.
Here are two versions of stories written about the sample suit. Look at how careful the writers are to get the other side and to attribute the information.