trialdex jury instructions

New search option

From time to time over the years I have introduced new features to this site. I generally give them a few months to learn whether people are using them (page views), and to see how much work is involved in keeping them current. If they get a lot of page views, I am OK with doing the work to keep them current; conversely, if they are easy to maintain, I am OK with low traffic. Sadly, I must say that they have been mostly low traffic, high maintenance tools, and I have let several of them go over the years.

trialdex search box

One successful feature has been the jury instruction search box on the trialdex front page. It has radio buttons to select full text searches for either federal or state jury instructions. Not every circuit or state has searchable jury instructions on the Internet, but plenty of them do. I have several writing projects going on, and just about always check for applicable jury instructions and annotations (you should, too). The search window saves me the time-consuming task of searching every court site individually.

360 Federal Crimes

Lately, I have been working on a new 2024 edition of 360 Federal Crimes, a field guide to the most commonly charged federal crimes. It is important to check every legal assertion in the book against the positions taken in every official instruction, and I have been using the trialdex search box to do that.

Anyway, it struck me that it would often be quicker to just search the instruction titles. So I put all of the tables of contents of all of the available official federal criminal pattern instructions on one page with links to the full text, so that they could be searched with a simple Ctrl F. Searching for "entrapment," for example, readily pulls up every entrapment (and entrapment by estoppel) instruction. It is not perfect, and sometimes you'll want to use the more sophisticated search terms available on the regular search box, but I have found it useful so far.

If you would like to try it, go to the search box on the trialdex front page and click on the "(search titles)" link next to the state and federal radio buttons. It will take you to the Federal Criminal Jury Instructions Tables of Contents page.

(04/04/23) (permalink)