How can Citators help researchers?

Asked by: Beth Morar  |  Last update: November 3, 2022
Score: 4.6/5 (68 votes)

A citator is a research tool that allows one to look up a specific citation (to a case, a statute, etc.) to discover other resources that cite it.

How can citators help researchers what do they do?

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.

What do citators do?

A citator is an online tool that helps to track the history of a case and the treatment of the case in subsequent courts. Citators allow you to see if the law is in good standing and acts as a research tool to help you identify cases which have cited the case you are viewing and secondary sources.

What are citators in legal research?

What is a citator? At its core, a citator is an index of legal materials. With a citator service, a legal researcher can generate a list of materials that cite to a specific source or document. The two primary legal citators are KeyCite (Westlaw) and Shepard's (Lexis).

How do you use Shepard's Citations?

The easiest way to Shepardize® a document if you know its citation is to simply enter “shep:” followed by the citation, and click on the search button as shown. For example: Enter Shep: 800 F. 2d 111 The Shepard's® report will display.

Citation and Referencing for beginners

32 related questions found

Why are Shepard's and KeyCite important to a legal researcher?

Shepard's citators and KeyCite help us check the validity and history of court opinions, statutes, and other legal materials. A citator indicates which legal materials have cited the case (or other legal material) you are interested in.

What is the main reason to use Shepard's Citators?

Shepard's has a system whereby the researcher can focus the scope of his or her research by concentrating only on the citing material most relevant to the issue being researched. The original cited case may have dealt with multiple issues, only one of which is of interest to the researcher.

Why are citators important to the study and practice of law?

A citator became necessary as soon as the law became large enough that any one lawyer, practicing in any one area, was unable to remember all the law that he needed to know. This of course happened very quickly, as the common law world is ever expanding.

What are the two functions of a citator?

There are two broad purposes of a citator.
  • Validity: To establish the authority of a primary source such as a case or statute.
  • Research: To assist with research by providing a list of primary and secondary sources that cite a case or statute.

What does it mean to Shepardize?

To Shepardize a citation is to ascertain the subsequent treatment of a legal decision, thus putting its precedential value in a complete context. The term originates from the common historical use of Shepard's Citation Service to track the treatment of specific decisions.

How do you Shepardize case law?

"Shepardize" a Case: Westlaw KeyCite
  1. Find a case; go to the full text of case.
  2. Top of screen should have a brief note that states if the case is overruled, superseded, etc.
  3. KeyCite information is under the tabs Negative Treatment, History, and Citing References.
  4. Click tab for Negative Treatment to see if still good law.

How do I know if my case has been overturned?

The only way you can know if your case is still good law is to validate your research. "Validating" your case research means to run your case through a citator service to see if there are subsequent legal authorities that invalidate your case and then reading those cases that negatively impact your case.

What tool to use to see if a case has been overturned?

The major tool that is used by legal researchers to check the status of a case is called a case citator.

What does KeyCite mean?

KeyCite is the powerful citation research service available exclusively on Westlaw. You can use KeyCite to view the history of a case, statute, administrative decision, or regulation to help determine whether it is good law and to retrieve citing references.

What is the difference between KeyCite and shepherds?

Shepard's includes extensive analysis for cases, statutes, regulations, patents and other primary law sources. No “followed” in KeyCite. “Positive” in KeyCite means no negative treatment. With Shepard's, you'll know at a glance if your authority has been weakened or strengthened.

What is a Shepards signal?

The Shepard's Signal™ feature shows an at-a-glance precedential value of the case or statute you are Shepardizing. Graphically represented by one of seven possible signals, the Shepard's Signal also provides hypertext links directly to the Shepard's ® Citation Service report specific to the document being viewed.

What are case citators?

A case citator is a legal research tool which allows you to: find cases. track a case's history and it's treatment by subsequent courts. provide links to relevant cases, legislation and secondary sources.

How do you use the citator in Westlaw?

From your case, click the Citing References tab at the top. This lists all legal materials that cite your case (called citing references). The default View in Westlaw is All Results (cases, statutes, secondary sources, etc.). Change the View on the left by clicking on Cases.

What is case law and why is it important?

Case law is law that is based on judicial decisions rather than law based on constitutions, statutes, or regulations. Case law concerns unique disputes resolved by courts using the concrete facts of a case. By contrast, statutes and regulations are written abstractly.

What is the importance of legal citation form in legal research and writing?

What is "legal citation"? It is a standard language that allows one writer to refer to legal authorities with sufficient precision and generality that others can follow the references. Because writing by lawyers and judges is so dependent on such references, it is a language of abbreviations and special terms.

How can legal research skills be improved?

The following are seven essential ways required to enhance legal research skills.
  1. Inculcate the habit of reading case laws, legal blogs to stay updated. ...
  2. Start from the basics. ...
  3. Effective reading. ...
  4. Learn how to check multiple sources for the correct information. ...
  5. Go beyond keywords — Learn to build a cogent thread of thought.

Why is legal research skills important?

Being able to show that you have good legal research skills can help in securing training contracts in law firms or funding for study or research projects. In legal practice it can also help to show any client that your work is accurate and that it is value for money.

What is the name of the Shepard's you would use to Shepardize decisions of the United States Supreme court?

Shepardizing Your Case. One of the most widely used citators is called Shepard's Citations, which is available to USC users via LexisNexis Academic in the "US Legal" folder).

When using the KeyCite feature in Westlaw Which of the following symbols indicates that the case is no longer good law for at least one of the points of law it contains?

A red flag warns that the case is no longer good law for at least one of the points of law it contains.

How does Westlaw KeyCite work?

KeyCite® is the citator in Westlaw. KeyCite, quite literally, flags statutes that are not good law. When you pull up a statute in Westlaw, if you see a red or yellow flag, that means that there is negative treatment for that statute.