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Citator Basics: Lexis



     Shepard's is Lexis’s citator. Similiar to KeyCite, Shepard's uses signals to indicate negative treatment or negative history. 

 Positive Treatment: This tells you that there have been cases that had a positive impact on yours in some way

                             Warning (Statutory): This tells you that citing references contain some negative treatment regarding your case. This may be that it has been found unconstitutional or void 

 Warning: This tells you that citing references contain negative history or that the case may have been overruled in at least one point of law.

 Questioning: This tells you that citing references contain treatment that questions the validity of at least on point of law in your case. 

Caution: This means there is history of treatment that has a negative impact on your case. 

 Neutral: This means there are citing references for your case but they are neither negative nor positive. 

 Information Available: This means there are citing sources available for your case but they do not have history or treatment analysis. These could be secondary sources. 

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).



Just because a case has a                              warning or                             stop sign, the case may still work for you. Sometimes a case has only been overruled on one point of law when their are several. It's important to look at the reasons why a case has negative treatment before disregarding the case entirely. Additionally, even a case that has been overturned may have important citing references that you can use.

Other Resources

Additional Resources

Lexis has many different resources to help you use Shepard's and get the most out of your research. These training videos and hand outs will help you learn about the different features offered by Lexis. Lexis also offers in person training for current students. Keep an eye out to learn more about how to do better research with Lexis.