Looks like one of core CiviCRM files (namely part of mySQL query at CRM/Contact/BAO/Query.php) has to be changed in order to achieve "Search results sort by Last Name". What would be the best (I mean, most proper) way in CiviCRM to do this?

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The answer is already here. According to tiny mention at the bottom of http://wiki.civicrm.org/confluence/display/CRMDOC/Directories page, it is possible (and, more important, it works!) to copy modofyed core files to Custom PHP Path Directory (at civicrm/admin/setting/path?reset=1) , preserving original files/folders structure, so next time CiviCRM gets security updates, changes should be kept (unless original file / function major changes).

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