Shepardizing a Case

Shepard's Citations

How to Use Shepard's

Shepard's Abbreviations

KeyCite

 

Shepard's Citations

Case law is based upon precedent or authority. In order to find out if a case can be used as authority, check to see whether the case has been followed, distinguished, limited or questioned in subsequent court cases.

  • Places a court decision in perspective relevant to its current validity and importance as a precedent or reference in later cases or legal sources.
  • Indicates whether a case has been overturned or modified by a later decision
  • Another  use of is to lead you to related cases and legal literature on the same topic or point of law. Every time your case is cited or mentioned in the text of another court decision this is added to the citation listing for that case.

How to Use Shepard's

  • Locate the Shepard’s Citations set that matches the reporter in which your case is published.
  • Find the volume and page of the case you are Shepardizing.
  • Use the headings at the top of the page to find the reporter volume and beginning page number of your case.
  • Beneath the beginning page number are citations to cases and authorities that have cited your case up to the point in time that particular volume was published.
  • These citing references will provide (i) the volume number of the reporter
    of the citing case; (ii) the reporter of the citing case; and (iii) the page number on which the cited case appears in the cited case.
  • Cited cases will be listed followed by case name, decision date, parallel citations in parentheses (legal citations to the same case in other reporters), and the citing references.

Shepard's Abbreviations

History of Case:                             Treatment of Case:

a (affirmed)                                         c (criticised)

m (modified)                                       d (distinguished)

r (reversed)                                          e (explained)

s (same case)                                       j (dissenting opinion)

S (superseded)                                    ~ (consenting opinion)

v (vacated)                                            L (limited)

                                                              o (overruled)

                                                              q (questioned)

KeyCite

  • KeyCite is the online equivalent of Shepardizing available through West Campus Research.
  • Go to Westlaw Campus Research
  • Click on Law
  • Type in case citation or case name
  • KeyCite information appears in the left hand column