How to shepardize a case

Subject Area(s):

  • Higher Ed: Law

Grade Level(s):

  • Graduate

Description:

This lesson is designed for first year law students in their second semester of school. It is the second task of a semester-long project culminating in the writing of a “Memo to Partner”. The lesson will take place during one Legal Writing class period, which is 90 minutes long. However, due to the difficulty of the subject matter, and in an effort to provide more individualized attention to the students to increase their motivation, the class will be split in half, so there will be two classes teaching the same lesson. The class will take place in one of the law school’s library. Each student will be required to use a laptop computer during the task. Students will work their way through the buILder, which contains a tutorial on how to Shepardize a case. Students will complete an accompanying worksheet, which will measure their ability to evaluate a case for validity and persuasiveness. Students will improve their reading comprehension skills as they compare the cases, they will have to compare the rulings of different courts and judges. At the end of the lesson, students will turn their worksheets into the Reference Librarian who will review the answers with the class.

Goals & Objectives:

Instructional Goals

§ Students will learn to Shepardize a case using books rather than an on-line service.

§ Students will learn to evaluate whether or not a decision is still good law (validity).

§ Students will learn to evaluate how their case has been treated by other courts in their jurisdiction (persuasiveness).

§ Students will improve their legal reading comprehension skills by comparing case law

Learning Objectives

  • First Year Law Students will:

· Successfully Shepardize their assigned case

· Successfully evaluate the validity of their assigned case

· Successfully evaluate the persuasiveness of their assigned case

Motivational Goals

§ Generate interest in the research process

§ Generate interest in doing research using books rather than an on-line service

§ Build confidence in evaluating case law for validity and persuasiveness

§ Promote satisfaction in search accomplishments

Blogging Free Legal Research

It’s clear that properly using citators to update research is part of an attorney’s ethical duty to conduct adequate legal research. See, e.g., Idaho State Bar v. Tway , 919 P.2d 323 (Idaho 1996) (failure to properly Shepardize caused counsel to miss statute of limitations resulting in suspension of license); see also Carol M. Bast & Susan W. Harrell, Ethical Obligations: Performing Adequate Legal Research and Writing, 29 Nova L. Rev. 49 (Fall 2004).

Given the importance of properly using citators such as Shepard’s and KeyCite, it comes as no surprise that attorneys are still reticent to use free legal research tools such as Google Scholar to update research.

Exactly how good is Google Scholar at updating research? Is it a plausible alternative to Shepard’s and Keycite?

These questions are part of a larger research project that I’m currently working on. Ultimately, these are questions only the individual attorney can answer after studying the various research tools. However, if my preliminary research is any indication, it seems that Google Scholar is every bit as accurate as commercial citators for updating case law. (For a discussion of this function of Google Scholar, see this previous post.)

Google recently announced that it is now listing cases based upon the extent to which the cited case is discussed, which– as the Law Librarian Blog points out– brings Scholar even closer to KeyCite/Shepard’s functionality. Here’s the text explaining Google’s change, courtesy of the Law Librarian Blog:

Today [March 8], we are changing how we present citations to legal opinions. Now, instead of sorting the citing documents by their prominence, we sort them by the extent of discussion of the cited case. Opinions that discuss the cited case in detail are presented before ones that mention the case briefly. We indicate the extent of discussion visually and indicate opinions that discuss the cited case at length, that discuss it moderately and those that discuss it briefly. Opinions that don’t discuss the cited case are left unmarked.

Given this change, I decided to conduct a simple test of two cases. I selected two state cases, each with a moderate number of citator results (around 40 results). For each case, I compared the KeyCite and Shepard’s results with the Google Scholar “How Cited” Results.

With respect to both cases, every citator result that affected the validity of the cases (negative citing references) appeared in all citators, including Google Scholar, towards the top of the results. All results that discussed the cited cases appeared in all citators, as well. In connection with these two particular cases, the ordering of results were substantially similar in all citators. Importantly, however, Google Scholar does not index most unreported or unpublished cases. So, if you want an accurate depiction of how many times a case is cited, there is no substitute for West or Lexis. But with respect to precedent that might actually affect a case’s viability, I found no substantive differences between the citators.

Of course, there are differences in the way Google Scholar and Lexis/Westlaw present the results. Google doesn’t provide any treatment signals (e.g., red flags, stars, etc.). Nonetheless, one might argue that this might cause attorneys to study the precedent more carefully, rather than rely on the West/Lexis characterization of precedent. I also found the case excerpts in Google Scholar’s How Cited results much more helpful than the excerpts provided by West and Lexis.

Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that this is is merely anecdotal evidence, not empirical research, and this post should not be considered legal advice.

LW 466 – Law of the Workplace

This guide was created to support students in LW 466 with their major research project.

Shepard’s Citation Service & Shepardizing Cases

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What is Shepardizing?

Shepardizing a case refers to using Sheaprd’s Citations (also known as a citator) to identify other cases or authorities that have discussed the case you are looking at. You can use the process of Shepardizing to determine your case’s current value as precedent. In other words, it can help you determine whether a case is still “good law.”

Shepard’s Signal Indicators

How to shepardize a case

Look for these signals to quickly determine whether your case is still “good law.”

How do I Shepardize a Case?

Searching for a Case

Start with a search from the homepage using the citation of the case.

How to shepardize a case

Finding the Shepard’s Information

Your result for the case will look like this. Note the red warning sign next to the name of the case (in the red circle) – if I scroll over this, it will warn me that “negative treatment is indicated.

Another useful option is the “View the top citing reference” in the blue circle above. This will take you to the most relevant citing case – in this case, Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

In the green square above you can see a list of the various ways this case has been treated – warning, questioned, caution, positive, neutral, and cited by. Click on one of the options to see the relevant cases.

To see a full Shepard’s Report for the case, click “Shepardize this document” in the orange circle.

Looking at a Shepard’s Report

How to shepardize a case

The Shepard’s Report will list the relevant cases that cite, overrule, call into question, or otherwise address your case. You can narrow the list of cases by using the filters in the green box above.

Note, you can also Shepardize any of the cases in your report by clicking the yellow triangle next to the name of the case, as shown in the red circle above.

How to shepardize a case

When looking at your Shepard’s Report, you can see how each case has treated your case by looking beneath the name of the case. Above we can see how Gonzales v. Carhart treated our case, Roe v. Wade, by looking in the blue circle – we can see that it was cited by Gonzales, but also that it was “overruled in part.” You can see the relevant language, if applicable, beneath the bullet point for each treatment of the case.

Lexis Guides & Tutorials

Shepardizing a case helps determine the precedential value of a legal authority. Shepardizing a case helps determine the precedential value of a legal authority. Most commonly associated with case law, Shepard’s citators are also published for the constitution and statutory law.

Furthermore, what is the purpose of a Citator? A Citator is a tool which allows you to track the history of your case and the treatment of your case by subsequent courts. Citators allow you to determine if your case is still good law and it acts as a research tool allowing you find other cases (and other secondary materials) which cited your case.

Secondly, what does it mean to Shepardize a case on Westlaw?

The term Shepardize means the process of checking a case’s prior precedents. The use of KeyCite on Westlaw is the equivalent to Shepardizing a citation using Shepard’s on Lexis. By using KeyCite, you can easily determine if your case is still “good law.”

How do you Shepardize case law?

Shepardize a Case: Westlaw

  1. Find a case; go to the full text of case.
  2. Look in the left-hand area of the screen for KeyCite.
  3. Top of screen should have a brief note that states if the case is overruled, superseded, etc.
  4. Click tab for Negative Treatment (to see if still good law).

Category: how . Last Updated: 3 months ago . Views: 11

ANSWER

To “shepardize” in Westlaw: On the Westlaw homepage, search for your case and click on the case report.. There will be tabs across the top. The two tabs that relate to Shepardizing are Negative Treatment and Citing References.

How to Shepardize on Westlaw Legal Beagle?

The term Shepardize means the process of checking a case’s prior precedents. The term comes from the citation service called Shepard’s, which up until the late 1990s was the only real game in town. Then Westlaw quit using Shepard’s, Shepard’s went to Lexis (Westlaw’s main competitor), and Westlaw launched KeyCite.

Can You Use Google Scholar to Shepardize? It’s clear that properly using citators to update research is part of an attorney’s ethical duty to conduct adequate legal research. See, e.g., Idaho State Bar v. Tway, 919 P.2d 323 (Idaho 1996) (failure to properly Shepardize caused counsel to miss statute of limitations resulting in suspension of license); see also Carol M. Bast &…

How to Shepardize? To Shepardize a case on LexisNexis when you have its citation: Click the Shepard’s®—Check a Citation tab at the top of the screen. Note: You can also move into Shepard’s directly from a case you are viewing by clicking on the Shepardize® link at the top of the screen. Type the citation in the open field (e.g., 800 f2d 111).

How to Shepardize a case in print following four easy to ?

Students, paralegals, and lawyers are better prepared to deal with surprises in litigation if they can learn basic legal research skills such as learning how

How to Research Case Law Legal Beagle? How to Research Case Law. Whether you’re employed in the legal field or involved in a lawsuit, chances are that, sooner or later, you’ll need to research case law. Case law is developed when judges interpret and apply the laws to the cases that come before them. These cases and the decisions issued by the

How to Find Regulations? lawschool.westlaw.com lawschool.westlaw.com Category: Research Fundamentals For research assistance 24 hours a day, seven days a week, call the West Reference Attorneys at 1-800-850-WEST (1-800-850-9378) or click Help on Westlaw® for a live help session. Using the Westlaw Research Pyramid Regulations are primary law, similar to statutes in the

What does it mean to Shepardize in Lexis Nexis?

Shepardize a Case: Westlaw Find a case; go to the full text of case. Look in the left-hand area of the screen for KeyCite. Top of screen should have a brief note that states if the case is overruled, superseded, etc. Click tab for Negative Treatment (to see if still good law).

How to Brief (Summarize) Decisions? How to Shepardize a case using LexisNexis and Westlaw databases Shepardizing Online The verb Shepardizing refers to the process of consulting Shepard’s to see if a case has been overturned, reaffirmed, questioned, or cited by later cases.

Is the Case Still Good Law? To determine whether a case is still good law, you need to check the subsequent history of the case as well as subsequent citations to see how other cases have treated your case by using citators (Shepardizing on Lexis or KeyCiting on Westlaw).

How To Shepardize Updating Legal Research Using The ? epub library displays one of the lexisnexis and westlaw are the primary online databases used by shepardize updating legal research using the shephards citations service on lexisnexis nov 16 2020 posted by j r r tolkien media publishing text id 5934b392 online pdf ebook epub library 7930bf41

How To Shepardize Updating Legal Research Using The ?

how to shepardize updating legal research using the shephards citations service on lexisnexis Dec 08, 2020 Posted By Ken Follett Media Publishing TEXT ID 7930bf41 Online PDF Ebook Epub Library case lexisnexis provides a report showing every opinion where that case has been how to shepardize updating legal research using the how to shepardize updating legal

Last modified: February 14 2021

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Shepardizing cases (as well as statutes and other legal authorities) is important because a citation must be reliable. Lawyers and judges rely on previously decided cases to support their arguments or opinions. If the case cited is no longer good law, reliance on the case is faulty.

Similarly, what does it mean to Shepardize a case on Westlaw? The term Shepardize means the process of checking a case’s prior precedents. The use of KeyCite on Westlaw is the equivalent to Shepardizing a citation using Shepard’s on Lexis. By using KeyCite, you can easily determine if your case is still “good law.”

Similarly, what does Shepardize mean?

Shepardize is a legal research method of locating reports of appeals decisions based on prior precedents from Shepard’s Citations, books which list the volume and page number of published reports of every appeals court decision which cites a previously decided case or a statute.

What does it mean to KeyCite a case?

The presence of a KeyCite status flag means the case has some negative treatment. A red flag warns that the case is no longer good law for at least one of the points of law it contains. For instance, the decision was reversed on appeal or overturned years later by a decision of the same court.

Many Moors don’t know the value of shepardizing. This is one of the reasons many cases are lost because previous cases were used
against them and they were not able to find the most recent cases.

Try to imagine the impact of the millions of cases decided in this Country over the past 200 years. Because the principle of stare decisis(to adhere to or abide by past decisions) forms the basis for this legal system, every legal decision has potential precedential value. For example, some cases are followed as precedent; i.e., they are “good law,” while others can no longer be used to support future decisionsand are considered “bad law.” As a legal researcher, you must be aware of both types of decisions. The president has learned that bad law could be used but you must know how to apply it. This was taught to him while in law school.

How would you have known about shepardizing if Frank wasn’t known. Thanks to Frank Shepard, that is not necessary. In the early 1870’s,he realized the necessity for tracking the discussion of principles of law in court opinions, and also tracking the history of these opinions.
He devised a method for extracting this information from published opinions and indexing it for the benefit of legal researchers. So, you don’t need to rely on your memory; you can rely on the information compiled in Shepard’s Citations.

First printed in 1873, Shepard’s Citations has evolved into a vitally important method of tracking CASE LAW. Today, the company named

For Frank Shepard continues working to fulfill his vision. Shepard’s collects all of the legal data necessary for a legal researcher to:
1. Determine whether your case has continued precedential value through the history letters assigned by the company’s legal editors;

2. Evaluate and analyze significant decisions by reference to treatment letters, which indicate what other judges have written about your case; and

3. Trace the discussion of specific points of law or fact through the use of headnote numbers.

DEFINITIONS
To understand Shepard’s Citations, it helps to review the meanings of the following common legal terms as they apply to Citations.

CASE, CITATION, CITATION SUMMARY, CITATOR, CITE, COMMON LAW, LEGAL AUTHORITY, PRECEDENT, REPORTER, SHEPARDIZE, STARE DECISIS

CASE: This is an ambiguous term, with two or more distinct meanings. First, the term generally refers to a legal action litigated between opposing parties, e.g. Mr. Smith and Ms. Jones. That “case” starts in a trial court, before a judge, and where required or requested, a jury. Following the outcome of the trial between Smith and Jones, the case may be heard by a court of appeals, a higher state appellate court, or even by the U.S. Supreme Court. As it progresses through the various courts, that litigation may collectively be referred to as the case of Smith v. Jones.

The term “case” is also used to mean a single opinion written by a judge. In that opinion the judge applies the law (i.e. case law and statutory law), to the facts and explains how the decision was reached. Any written opinion, whether published in a case reporter or not may be referred to as a case, by its case name. Using the example above, the case name Smith v. Jones would be used to refer to opinions written during the course of the litigation. These “cases” may be used as precedent in subsequent cases.

CITATION: A citation is an unambiguous reference to a legal authority. A citation can tell you where to find the full text of a statute, case, or other source of legal information. EXAMPLE: Greer v. Northwestern National Insurance Co., 109 Wash.2d 191,743 P.2d 1244 (1987) is a citation to a case. It identifies the locations of the Greer opinion in the Washington case reporters.

In this example, the case of Greer v. Northwestern National Insurance Co. is located in volume 109 of Washington Reports, Second Series at page 191. The Greer opinion is also located in volume 743 of West’s Pacific Reporter, Second Series, at page 1244. This is a parallel citation for the Greer case. ( more information on parallel citations)

A citation can also be a reference to a statute or other legal authority. For example, Mich. Comp. Laws S 208.23 (1995) is a citation to a statute. It identifies the location in the Michigan Compiled Laws where your statute can be found.

CITATION SUMMARY: Citation summaries address the relationship between a cited case and a citing case. Included in the summary is an identification of the point of law for which the case was cited, and usually a quote from the citing case. Citation summaries are found in several of the printed citators and in CD-ROM citators.

CITATOR: A case citator is a publication that reports the subsequent litigation of a case, as well as how courts unrelated to the litigation have commented on that case. A citator for statutes reports whether any subsequent legislative action has affected or modified particular code sections and lists cases citing those sections. Because Shepard’s has been producing citators for more than 100 years, “Shepard’s” and “citator”are nearly synonymous.

CITE: Used as a verb, to “cite” a case or other authority simply means to refer to that authority. The reference can be made in a positive, negative or neutral manner. Used as a noun, “cite” is synonymous with “citation.”

COMMON LAW: Also known as case law, common law is a set of principles and rules of action that have been made by judges, in the course of writing opinions in litigated matters. That is to be distinguished from statutory law, which is law created by legislative bodies. Common law rests on the principle of stare decisis, which means that judges will abide by, or adhere to decided cases or precedent. Common law reflects
the principles determined by the social needs of the community, which change over time.

LEGAL AUTHORITY: A legal authority is a case, statute, regulation, treatise, law review article, or other legal reference source. Those sources may be binding or persuasive to a court interpreting and applying the law to the evidence presented by the parties to a case.

PRECEDENT: Precedent is a case opinion that provides guidance to a judge in a subsequent case, generally either because the prior case is similar in its facts or raises similar questions of law. Judges are usually required to decide the cases before them on the basis of principle established in prior cases. (See stare decisis.)

REPORTER: This term has historically meant books or other publications that contain the actual text of cases. A reporter may also appear in other media, such as CD-ROM.

SHEPARDIZE: To Shepardize a case or other legal authority means to use Shepard’s Citations to identify other cases and authorities that have discussed the authority being Shepardized. By Shepardizing authorities, you can analyze their current value as precedent.

STARE DECISIS: To stand by that which was decided; to adhere to or abide by prior case decisions.

This concludes the importance of shepardizing.

How to shepardize a case

Casetext offers a variety of ways to cite-check cases. This article describes all the tools that you can use to see how a case has been cited by other cases. There are 4 tools, explained below: (1) our “citing cases” tab, (2) our summaries written by judges, (3) our “key passages,” and (4) our SmartCite flags.

This article is focused on cite-checking cases. To find out how to cite-check the authorities in a brief or other legal document, please see “How do I cite check my brief?”

1. “Citing Cases” tab:

Casetext lists all the cases that have cited the case you are reading in the “citing cases” tab. That tab is found just below the case title. You can also access the “citing cases” from the window that appears again below the case name, as indicated by the red boxes in the screenshot below:

How to shepardize a case

When you click on the “citing cases” tab or window, you’ll be taken to a results search that lists all the cases that cite to the case you were just reading. From that screen, you can filter and narrow the citing cases by jurisdiction, motion type, cause of action, party types, and date. You can also search through the “citing cases” for specific terms in the “search within” bar that appears just below “filter and narrow” on the left-hand side of your screen:

How to shepardize a case

After you click on the “citing cases” tab, you can rank the cases that cite your case as follows:

-Depth of Treatment: moves the cases that provide the most in-depth treatment of your original case to the top of the “citing cases” list;
-Newest to oldest: moves the newest cases to the top of the “citing cases” list;
-Oldest to newest: moves the oldest cases to the top of the “citing cases” list;
-Cite count: moves the most cited of the citing cases to the top of the list.

In addition, if you found a case through a document-based CARA A.I. search, you can use CARA’s algorithm to rank the cases in the “citing cases” tab. CARA’s algorithm will move the citing cases that most closely match the context of your uploaded document to the top of your search results.

To change how the cases in the “citing cases” tab are ranked, click the blue text that says “Sort by. ” in the upper right-hand corner of the screen displaying your citing cases:

How to shepardize a case

2. Summaries written by judges:

Casetext collects all summaries of a case written by judges in other cases and displays them in the “summaries written by judges” window that appears just below the case name. Each summary contains a hyperlink to the case that provided the summary.

As shown in the example below, Terry v. Ohio was summarized in United States v. Griffin, 730 F.3d 1252 (11th Cir. 2013) for the following proposition: “finding that out of the 4.4 million Terry stops conducted by the NYPD between 2004 and 2012, 88 percent did not result in an arrest or summons and that no weapons were found in 98.5 percent of the 2.3 million frisks conducted over the same period.” This summary comes from a parenthetical that appears in page 1256 of United States v. Griffin:

How to shepardize a case

3. Key Passages

When reading a case, you may notice that some passages are highlighted in green and some passages are highlighted in pink. These colors are used to alert you to the fact that certain passages in the case you are reading have been cited by other cases.

Passages highlighted in green indicate that multiple cases have cited that passage. To see the cases that have cited to that passage, click on the green highlighting. Doing that will bring up a separate window, showing you all the cases that have cited that passage. If you scroll down to the bottom of that window, you will see a button allowing you to “see and filter all citing cases.” Clicking that button will allow you to see all cases citing a particular passage and filter those cases by search term, jurisdiction, motion type, cause of action, and date:

How to shepardize a case

Passages highlighted in pink indicate that other cases have cited and emphasized those sentences. This tool captures each time a court uses “emphasis added” to emphasize the words in a case. To see the cases that have emphasized a passage, click on the pink highlighting. Doing that will bring up a separate window, showing you all the cases that have emphasized that passage. If you scroll down to the bottom of that window, you will see a button allowing you to “see and filter all citing cases.” Clicking that button will allow you to see all cases emphasizing a particular passage and filter those cases by search term, jurisdiction, motion type, cause of action, and date:

How to shepardize a case

4. SmartCite Flags

Casetext’s SmartCite Citator uses flags to indicate how cases have been cited by other cases and treated on appeal.

A yellow flag indicates that a case has been distinguished by other cases, or cited by other cases with a contrary citation signal (But see, but cf., contra). By clicking on the yellow flag, you can see a list of cases that have distinguished the case you are reading, or have cited it as a contrary authority:

How to shepardize a case

Under the yellow flag you may see arrows under specific contrary authorities; these will show how the cited case was discussed and distinguished in another opinion:

How to shepardize a case

SmartCite also uses green, red, and orange flags to indicate how a case has been treated on appeal. To learn more about using our cases to see how a case has been treated on appeal, please see How do I know if a case is good law? and Can I see how a case has been treated on appeal?

The term “Shepardize” is used here to refer to the process of checking how a case has been cited by other cases. Casetext does not offer Shepard’s Citations, which is a product of LexisNexis, and is not associated with or endorsed by LexisNexis or any of its affiliates.