justools -- The Legal Research Engine

Author:
Contact:
Samuel Plachel
info@justools.ch

Please do not hesitate to contact me by e-mail if you have any questions. Your feedback is also very welcome.

I. What is justools (U.S. version) and how does it work?

justools (an artifical word composed of the Germanized Latin "ius" and English "tools") offers free and userfriendly research in U.S. law (e.g. in the U.S. Code and the Code of Federal Regulations). There is also a (original) Swiss version available (www.justools.ch).

justools is very easy to use:

  • On the left-hand side, there are your research "Tools" (= the light-blue boxes; see "What are the Tools and how do I use them?"). Click on one of the Tools and start your research; if you open a fresh justools session, the U.S. Code direct access Tool will be open (while the other Tools are closed).

  • On the right-hand side you will see -- depending on the Tool you are using at the time -- a section of a code, a Supreme Court decision and so on.

  • At the top of the screen, there are a number of links to different external sites containing legal information.

Hint: If you open a new justools session, you will be presented the newest Supreme Court decisions on the right-hand side. To open an additional justools session (e.g. to research the U.S. Code and Supreme Court decision parallely), just click on the justools logo on the upper left corner of the screen.

II. What are the Tools and how do I use them?

The research tools can be found on the left-hand side of the screen. They are designed to enable fast and easy research -- e.g. for looking up a section of the U.S. Code or a Supreme Court decision.

Clicking on a Tool will open it up, while all the other Tools will close to save space on your screen. Enter your search query, select applicable options if available and click "submit" or "search". You will immediately see the result of your query on the right-hand side of the screen.

A quick example: Let's assume you wanted to see section 1441 of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). You know that the IRC is Title 26 of the U.S. Code (if you don't, have a look at the "U.S.C. index" at the top of the screen). Therefore, open the Tool "U.S.C. (GO TO TITLE AND SECTION)" (if it is not already open). Enter "26" in the Title field, and "1441" in the Section field. Then simply click "Submit" -- 26 U.S.C. 1441 will immediately appear on the right-hand side.

III. What are those links on the top of the screen?

If you click one of the links (sorted by topic), the content will show on the right-hand side -- e.g. a list of all Supreme Court decisions since 1990 (link 'Supreme Court' > '1990-present') or the Internal Revenue Service Bulletin (Link 'Agencies' > 'IRS Bulletin').

IV. Why was justools invented?

I initially invented justools (Swiss version) during my legal studies, because there was no comprehensive and easy-to-use legal research engine available at the time. I added a U.S. version in 2011 because I and my colleagues (all of us being Swiss lawyers and tax people, but hopefully the project will be of use to Americans as well) needed quick access to U.S. financial markets law and tax law. justools is of course not intended to replace the big legal databases already available (in fact, it gets all the actual contents from these databases), but its purpose is only to give easy and quick access to the most important legal resources.

This project is (and will remain) purely acadamic and non-commercial. There will be no charges and no ads.

If you like this legal research machine, please recommend justools to your colleagues and friends!

recommend us.justools.ch

justools -- The Legal Research Engine

Author:
Contact:
Samuel Plachel
info@justools.ch