Shepard’s Citations and Other Citators Is the Authority Still Good Law?
What are Citators? zA citator is a tool to discover whether the authority in which you wish to rely has been cited elsewhere, and if so, how it has been treated by other authorities. zValidation -- a tool to check the status of the authority: “Is case or statute still good law?” yHas the case’s status changed since it was published? Reversed on appeal or overruled? yHas the statute or regulation been amended, repealed, or found unconstitutional?
Citator Functions zFunctions as a case finding tool to expand your research. yFind cases on similar issues. yTrace references to specific headnotes. zFind references to secondary resources. yLaw Reviews/Journals and A.L.R. Annotations.
Shepard’s Citations... zShepard’s is the most frequently used print citator used by the legal profession. zShepard’s lists every instance in which a legal authority has been cited by another legal authority. zTo access Shepard’s, you must have a CITATION to a legal authority. zLearning to Shepardize is a rite of passage.
Formats zShepard’s Citations are available in a variety of formats: yPrint yExclusively on LEXIS online database. xWESTLAW citator service is called KEYCITE. yElectronically on CD-ROM
Online v. Print zAdvantages online: zIncludes unpublished decisions. zIncludes all law reviews/journals in the Lexis.com system. zStatutory annotations are linked directly to cases. zMore comprehensive scope of citing references.
Where are the print Shepard’s citators located at FCSL? zShepard’s Citations in print are located in the Reference Room on aisles 106 - 108. zBe sure to pick the correct Shepard’s. zThey ALL look alike!
Available Shepard’s Citations... zOver 200 different units of Shepard’s Citations are published in print. Examples include: yShepard’s United States Citations for United States Supreme Court decisions. yShepard’s Federal Citations for U.S. District Court and Court of Appeals opinions. yState cases may be Shepardized in state and/or regional citators. z The exact coverage in each citator type is different.
Types of Shepard’s zJurisdictional Shepard’s -- state, regional, or federal. Coverage varies. Consult appropriate divisions. yState Reporters – shows citations of the official state reporter, selected leading law reviews, annotations, and federal court cases for that particular state. yRegional Reporters – cites to all state cases in that component of the NRS. xThere are no citations to law reviews or statutes.
More types of Shepard’s zTopical yCovers specific areas of law or type of tool. Examples include: xLaw reviews, C.F.R., and Restatements. xOr by subject area -- administrative law, bankruptcy, labor, tax, intellectual property (copyrights, patents and trademarks).
What makes Shepard’s SO Special? zThe print version uses a unique citation style. Definitely NOT in Bluebook format! z833 F. Supp. 1028 = 833FS1028 z Editorial citations and treatment letters appear in a “secret code” to the uninitiated! zAbbreviations and symbols signal how an authority has been treated or interpreted by other authorities.
So what does Shepards look like?? zNext slide is an example from Print Shepards for the Pacific Reporter 2d series. zThe Slide following that is an example form Print Shepards for Michigan Statutes.
STEP ONE: Select the CORRECT citator. zFederal citators -- Shepard’s Federal Citations and Shepard’s United States Citations. zJurisdictional citators -- State and regional citators. Regional citators do not include statute and other non-case legal authorities as cited references. zSpecialized citators -- Specialized Federal Practice Citators (labor, bankruptcy), Shepard’s Uniform Commercial Code Citations, among many others.
STEP TWO: Check for the most current and complete edition. zCheck the most RECENTLY issued supplement and consult the information on the cover: “What Your Library Should Contain.” yEach Shepards volume covers a specific period of time and they are NOT cumulative yYou MUST check all applicable bound volumes, softbound supplements, and updates listed under this section!!
Step Two (continued) zTo completely Shepardize a case you may have to look in several or all of these: y maroon bound volumes y maroon bound supplements y red paperback cumulative supplements y gold annual or semi-annual supplements y white advance sheets y blue express issues.
STEP THREE: Understand the Citator. zLearn about its scope of coverage and unique features. zRead the preface – it describes important features of that particular citator. zNotice the “Case Analysis - Abbreviations” zHow To Use... Work through the example. zIllustrative example. Practice, practice, practice!
STEP FOUR: Find the citation in the citator z1. THE RIGHT DIVISION -- look for your reporter z2. VOLUME NUMBER -- located on the top of the page and in easy-to-find boxes. z3. CASE PAGE NUMBER scan for page number in bold, between dashes. z4. REPEAT STEPS A - C in each publication listed in “What Your Library Should Contain” section. zBe METHODICAL!!
STEP FIVE Interpreting the entries. zSee “Case Analysis – abbreviations” yHistory of the cited case and citations to other authorities citing the case. yEditorial analysis in letter-form abbreviations. xBe especially alert for negative treatment codes “o” for overruled “r” for reversed. yOften located in the inside covers. zNote Headnotes -- raised superscripts preceding the citing case’s page number. z Citing references are organized by jurisdiction and court.
REMEMBER... zAll abbreviations are defined in the introductory material!! zYou do not have to memorize them, just know where to look!!
Shepard’s for case law Summary zFairly mechanical process, not that difficult, once you have practice it, but EXTREMELY important. zTool used to validate your research and find precedential authorities. zPart of the ethical obligation to provide competent representation. zRemember, learning to Shepardize in print is a rite of passage for all law practitioners!
Shepard’s for statutes. The process is the same! zSTEP ONE: select the right citator. zSTEP TWO: check the “What your Library Should Contain” in the current update. zSTEP THREE: Shepardize cite in all volumes. zSTEP FOUR: while consulting Table of Abbrevations, the preface, and “Statute Analysis - Abbreviations” zSTEP FIVE: interpret information found.
Shepard’s for statutes... zRead the introductory material!! zAnd note the treatment and history signals are different than cases yConsult the “Statute Analysis - Abbreviations”
More help is available for Using Shepard’s zCheck out the Shepard’s tutorial on LexisNexis. You do not need a Lexis password to do the tutorial! Pick the one on Updating. zReview the illustrative examples located in the print versions. zASK A LIBRARIAN for help!