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Legal Research & Writing LAW-215
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Legal Research & Writing LAW-215

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  1. Legal Research & WritingLAW-215 Updating and Validating Your Research

  2. Updating and ValidatingYour Research • In this unit, we will learn: • The process of cite-checking. • Techniques for effective and efficient Shepardizing or KeyCiting as well as the use of these citators as research tools. • The procedure for Shepardizing and KeyCiting cases, statutes, constitutions, and ordinances. • Online updating

  3. Updating and Finding Tool: Citator • Index or compilation listing every published instance in which a legal authority has been cited. • A “guide” to determine if your case is still good law. You must read citing cases to determine validity. • Cited case: Case you are “Shepardizing” or “KeyCiting” • Citing case: Case that cites the case you are “Shepardizing” or “KeyCiting”

  4. Reasons to Use A Case Citator  To determine the history and treatment of a case – updating, validating – still good law?  To find additional cases that stand for the same legal principal, and to find secondary authority – finding tool

  5. Citator Formats 1. Shepard’s in Print 2. Shepard’s in LexisNexis Academic 3. Shepard’s on Lexis 4. KeyCite on Westlaw

  6. Shepard’s In Print Introduction to Legal Research

  7. Shepard’s • Shepard’s began as a print product and continues to exist in print in addition to the electronic (online and CD-ROM) version of Shepard’s. • Shepard’s is available exclusively on Lexis-Nexis.

  8. Shepard’s • Over the years, law students became familiar with this updating process. It became known as “Shepardizing”.

  9. Shepardizing locates: • Reversals • Overrulings • Judicial history • Precedents • Concurring opinions • Dissenting opinions • Appeals • Courts: Federal, state, bankruptcy, appellate, etc.

  10. Shepard’s • Shepard’s also provides the researcher with the following information about a case: • parallel citations, and • citations to secondary sources.

  11. Steps in Shepardizing a Case • Locate the volumes of Shepard’s you need. • State Shepard’s • Regional Shepard’s • Federal case Shepard’s • Examine the front cover of the most recent issue and read the box labeled “What Your Library Should Contain.” Make sure you have all of the volumes needed.

  12. Choose the correct Shepard’s citator. Shepard’s Northeastern Reporter Citations 1995 1995 - 2005 Bound Supplement(s) Supplemental Pamphlets Base volume

  13. Example:Games v. Indiana, 684 N.E.2d 466 (Ind. 1997).

  14. Generally, start with the base volume and find your case citation (684 N.E.2d 466) Note that volume 684 isn’t in this base volume. There are usually multiple base volumes. Just go to the next one. 1995

  15. Always check “What Your Library Should Contain”

  16. Steps in Shepardizing a Case • Select the volumes of Shepard’s that contain citations to cases decided after your case was decided. • Examine the upper right and left corners of the pages in Shepard’s to locate the volume number of the case you are Shepardizing. • Scan down the page looking for the bold page number identical to the page on which your case begins.

  17. 684 N.E.2d 466 Locate the volume number Locate the initial page number (in bold) Columns of citing cases with “signals” or abbreviations

  18. Steps in Shepardizing a Case • Carefully examine the entries listed, paying particular attention to the parallel citation, the history of the case as it progressed through the court system, its treatment by other cases, and any other sources, such as annotations and law review articles that discuss your case. • If desired, verify that you are Shepardizing correctly by checking one or two cites listed by Shepard’s to ensure your case is, in fact, mentioned by these cites.

  19. What is in Shepard’s? • Immediately following parallel citations are the prior and subsequent court history citations of the case being examined. • Next follow later cases that have cited the case being examined. • Cases are arranged in reverse chronological order via jurisdiction, i.e. U.S. Supreme Court followed by decisions from the federal circuit courts. Next are decisions from federal district courts, and then state courts. • Citations to secondary authorities such as law reviews or ALRs are featured last.

  20. Preface in all Shepard’s volumes Abbreviations for Case History

  21. Preface in all Shepard’s volumes Abbreviations for Case Treatment

  22. f 698NE2d14 1205 Case at 698 NE2d at p. 1205 follows Games case for point of law in West headnote 14 of Games

  23. Steps in Shepardizing a Case • Repeat, as needed, in other volumes of Shepard’s. • Examine and analyze troublesome entries, including later cases that criticize or question your case.

  24. Steps in Shepardizing Statutes, Constitutions, and Administrative Regulations • Locate the volumes of Shepard’s you need. • Shepard’s (State) Citations for Statutes • Shepard’s Federal Statute Citations • Shepard’s Code of Federal Regulations Citations • Examine the upper right and left corners of the pages in Shepard’s to locate the title or article of the provision you are Shepardizing. • Scan down the page looking for a boldfaced entry for the particular section in which you are interested.

  25. Steps in Shepardizing Statutes, Constitutions, and Administrative Regulations • Carefully examine the entries listed, paying particular attention to the history of your statute, constitutional provision, or regulation, and then to its treatment by later cases. Each volume of Shepard’s will contain a Table of Abbreviations for any abbreviations used. Examine other sources, such as law review articles and annotations, if desired. • Analyze troublesome entries.

  26. Shepard’s in LexisNexis Academic

  27. Pulling a case automatically gives you a Shepard’s link in the upper-right hand corner

  28. By clicking on that link you automatically Shepardize the case

  29. Possible Negative Treatment Indicated

  30. The Shepard’s Signal Indicators Warning-Strong negative treatment indicated. Includes: Overruled by, Questioned by, Superceded by, Revoked, Obsolete, Rescinded Caution-Possible negative treatment indicated. Includes: Limited, Criticized by, Clarified, Modified, Corrected Positive treatment indicated. Includes: Followed, Affirmed, Approved Citing References with Analysis-Other cases cited the case and assigned some analysis that is not considered positive or negative. Includes: Appeal denied by, Writ of certiorari denied Citation Information-Indicates that citing references are available for your case, but do not have history or treatment analysis(for example, the references are law review citations

  31. Caveat: Do you own analysis and do not rely on Shepard’s traffic light system. This system is just a quick visual guide not a thorough analysis.

  32. Use Custom Restrictions to Narrow Results

  33. Smaller Answer Set Returned

  34. Shepard’s on Lexis

  35. Features of Shepard’s Online • FULL • KWIC • Summary • Custom restrictions • Table of Authorities • Alerts

  36. How to Shepardize a Case Online • Sign on to • Click the Shepard’s tab at the top of you screen. • Type in your citation in the open field. • Select one of the following options: • Shepard’s for Research (also called “FULL”) • Shepard’s for Validation (also called “KWIC”) • Click the word “Check” at the bottom of your screen.

  37. Table of Authorities • In addition to checking the currency of a particular case, the Table of Authorities allows a researcher to check the status of the cases that underpin the case being checked. • The Table of Authorities checks the currency of all cases that are cited in the case being updated.

  38. In addition, electronic Shepard’s allows you to limit your analysis by: • Jurisdiction, • Headnote, • Date, or • Type of analysis (i.e. positive, negative, followed.)