Web Site Review: Leagle.com

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www.leagle.com home pagewww.leagle.com home page

Where: http://www.leagle.com

Who: Leagle, Inc., Virginia

What: Federal and some state US Case Law

Overview: Leagle.com offers free access to cases decided in federal courts and state higher courts. You can search for cases on the site, and see other cases citing the one you’re looking for, which allows you to track the history of cases. Leagle.com also provides articles, proposed regulations and statutes.

Highlights

  • Leagle.com provides a comprehensive, searchable database of court cases. Site use is free, and you’re not required to register or provide personal information.
  • The site loads quickly, and has a simple, eye-pleasing layout.
  • The databases are extensive. According to the “About Us” page, the collection is “up to date within 24 hours of release of opinions from the courts and is also complete historically for all time for Federal courts and back to 1950 for state appellate and supreme courts.”
  • Linked material is presented in an easy-to-read format, and contains separate tabs that show the citations within the case as well as to the case.

Potential Drawbacks

  • The site contains advertisements, and these ads put cookies on your computer.
  • The site is strictly do-it-yourself document retrieval. You won’t find interpretations of law, like those in subscription tax research services.
  • The on-site search engine is poor. While the returned results looked useful, clicking on them resulted in run-time error messages.
  • The “Proposed Regulations” and “Statutes” tabs are virtually useless, with no discernible method of searching them, and no indication of what regs and statutes are available.
  • The site froze up repeatedly (in both Chrome and Internet Explorer browsers), and navigation is lacking. Freeze-ups may have to do with multiple tabs open within the browser. Clearing the cache generally worked to unfreeze the screen.
  • There is little information about the site owner, other than the oft-repeated statement that the company is not a law firm and cannot be relied upon for legal advice. While not detracting from the convenience of viewing old cases, non-transparency is troubling.

Opinion: Leagle.com is a useful tool for finding and reading older cases, though the site bugginess is frustrating. Still, for the price (free), tax practitioners will find it helpful when searching for non-tax cases cited in tax court rulings.

Taxing Lessons Final Grade: D

Review Policy Disclosure: Taxing Lessons receives no compensation for web site reviews and has no affiliation with the reviewed sites.

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