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Topic and Key Numbers Research. Using the Print Digests to Find Relevant Cases You have found a case with a relevant headnote and assigned key number.

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Presentation on theme: "Topic and Key Numbers Research. Using the Print Digests to Find Relevant Cases You have found a case with a relevant headnote and assigned key number."— Presentation transcript:

1 Topic and Key Numbers Research

2 Using the Print Digests to Find Relevant Cases You have found a case with a relevant headnote and assigned key number Go to a print digest set covering the appropriate jurisdiction and find the volume covering that topic, then find the specific key number All headnotes (digest paragraphs) from all cases discussing the point of law assigned to that key number are listed along with citations to the cases Using a key number found in a case

3 Using the Print Digests to Find Relevant Cases Browse the topic list at the beginning of any Key Number digest volume to select a relevant topic. Topic Analysis

4 Using the Print Digests to Find Relevant Cases Each topic in a digest set has an Analysis section, providing both broad and detailed outlines of the topic. Topic Analysis Broad analysis Detailed analysis

5 Many legal topics overlap in subject content. At the beginning of every new topic in the print digest, there are scope notes that explain which subjects are included and which are excluded. The Subjects Excluded list directs you to the digest topic under which those subjects are covered. These lists also appear in the Scope information on Westlaw. Topic Analysis Subjects Included and Subjects Excluded Lists in the Digests

6 Using the Print Digests to Find Relevant Cases Descriptive Word Index Each digest set includes a Descriptive Word Index. Specific words and phrases lead to relevant key numbers.

7 Using the Print Digests to Find Relevant Cases Descriptive Word Index Most descriptive words fall into one of five categories of elements common to every case: Parties or facts Places and things Issues or basis of action Defenses Relief sought

8 Example: John Landlord failed to replace a light bulb in the hallway of one of his apartment buildings. Jane Tenant failed to see a step and fell down a flight of stairs. She is suing John for damages. You might start by checking in the Descriptive Word Index under landlord, tenant, negligence, apartment, common area, or premise liability. At least one of these entries will probably lead you to key numbers in cases that discuss the same or similar issues. Descriptive Word Index

9 West’s Analysis of American Law West’s Analysis of American Law list all the topics and the specific key numbers with the title given to each key number Constitutional Law, Topic No —Particular Expressions and Limitations (1.2) Election regulations This publication also contains Subjects Included and Subjects Excluded sections for each topic.

10 Using Key Numbers to Find Relevant Cases on Westlaw After conducting a word search on Westlaw, you find a relevant case with an on-point headnote. You can use the key number assigned to this headnote to retrieve other cases discussing the same point of law. This is the most common way of finding relevant key numbers on Westlaw. Using a key number found in a case

11 By clicking a relevant key number or the Most Cited Cases link, you can run a key number search through a database … …and retrieve all headnotes assigned to that key number, creating a Custom Digest. Using a key number found in a case to create a Custom Digest. 92k90.1(1.2) Most Cited Cases

12 A Custom Digest contains the digest paragraphs assigned to that key number in the selected jurisdiction. Each headnote links to its corresponding case. You have created a Custom Digest of all headnotes assigned to 92k90.1(1.2) in the Eighth Circuit.

13 Using Key Numbers to Find Relevant Cases on Westlaw Access the Key Numbers and Digest service using the More drop-down list on the toolbar. Using the topic list to create a Custom Digest Key Numbers & Digest Scroll down the list of topics until you find one you want to explore..

14 Using Key Numbers to Find Relevant Cases on Westlaw Click the plus symbols to expand the topics and see subheadings. Expand subheadings if necessary. When you find a relevant key number, type it into text box or check the box beside it and click GO … Using the topic list to create a Custom Digest Search92K90.1(1.2)

15 Using Westlaw to Find Relevant Cases You can run a key number search in the headnote database of your choice. You can restrict by date or add terms for a customized result. Using the topic list to create a Custom Digest Add Terms Date Databases

16 A Westlaw Search Using a Key Number When you have a topic and key number, simply enter it as your query: 92k90.1(1.2) The “k” makes this a unique term. You will retrieve only documents containing the key number term. In either a case law (reporter) or headnote (digest) database Using Terms and Connectors searching

17 Westlaw Search for Relevant Key Numbers and Cases Known topic but unknown key number: to(92) /p campaign /s contribut! /s speech Unknown topic and unknown key number: di(campaign /s contribut! /s speech) in either a case law (reporter) or headnote (digest) database using Terms and Connectors searching

18 Question Which of the following statement(s) is true? 1.The most common method for using a key number to find cases is to work from a key number in a relevant case. 2.The Descriptive Word Index is a Westlaw dictionary service. 3.There are no similarities between the print digests and the Westlaw headnote databases. 4.Both 1 and 3.

19 Question Which of the following statement(s) is true? 1.The most common method for using a key number to find cases is to work from a key number in a relevant case. 2.The Descriptive Word Index is a Westlaw dictionary service. 3.There are no similarities between the print digests and the Westlaw headnote databases. 4.Both 1 and 3.


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