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Case Law - What It Is & Where to Find It: Citators

KeyCite

KeyCite is Westlaw’s citator.

KeyCite uses flags to indicate that the case has negative treatment or negative history. A red flag serves as a warning that the case is no longer good law for one or more points of law (e.g., overruled or reversed). A yellow flag warns that there is negative treatment (e.g., another court has distinguished a holding in the case).

KeyCite tabs are automatically listed at the top of each case.  The tabs include: filings, negative treatment, history; citing references (with depth of treatment bars) and table of authorities.

Shepard's

Shepard's is Lexis Advance’s citator.

Shepard's uses signals to indicate negative treatment or negative history. A red stop sign serves as a warning; a yellow triangle signals caution and an orange box means a holding in the case has been questioned. 

A synopsis of Shepard’s information is located on the right side of the case. The synopsis shows: prior or subsequent history; number of citing decisions (with signals indicating whether treatment is positive or negative) and number of other citing sources.

Researchers can click individual items in the synopsis or they can choose to  “Shepardize this document” for the complete report (including table of authorities).

BCite

BCite is Bloomberg’s citator.

BCite uses boxes to indicate negative treatment or negative history.  A red box indicates the decision was reversed, vacated or overruled. A yellow box indicates the decision has been modified, clarified or criticized. A blue box indicates the case has been distinguished. 

BCite tabs, located above the case include: Direct History; Case Analysis; Table of Authorities and Citing Documents.

A synopsis of Direct History and Case Analysis is located on the right side of the case.