Using Shepard’s® Citation Service on Lexis
How to Shepardize® a Case in Lexis Advance®
The most common use for the Shepard’s® Citations Services is determining if a case is “Good Law,” valid and citable. This process is referred to as Shepardizing®.
Shepard’s® provides a comprehensive report of the cases, statutes, secondary sources, and annotations that cite your document, including more recent cases that rely on your starting case.
Shepardizing®: Running the report
Retrieving a Shepard’s® report for your case can be done in various ways.
Shep: enter your citation directly into Lexis
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.
Enter Shep: 800 F.2d 111
The Shepard’s® report will display.
If you already are looking at your case in Lexis, you can detect possible issues in the Shepard’s® preview pane visible on the right side of the page.
Once you click on the signal indicator, the full Shepard’s® report will display with details on each citing decision.
Alternatively, click on Shepardize® this document in the preview pane.
The Shepard’s® Report displays results in four categories with links to each appearing on the top left pane, each containing valuable information about the document you Shepardized®: Appellate History, Citing Decisions, Other Citing Sources, and Table of Authorities.
The Shepard’s® signal indicator displays in the category in which the case signal appeared. Hover over any Shepard’s signal to see its short definition. (See page 6 for more information on signal indicators.)
This area contains direct and indirect case history regarding your case. It provides the case’s history in as many numeric listings as may be required. Appellate History is presented in an “outline” format, where indentations are used to identify the direct relationships between the listed cases.
On the top right are three buttons to change the display of your case’s appellate history to a list or map format.
- Map view. This shows the location and distribution of each of your search terms in each of the documents in your results in a graphical display.
- Full view. This lists all available information for each document, including document overviews, excerpts, and so on.
- Title view. This lists only minimal information for each document by suppressing the display of document overviews, excerpts, and similar information
You’ll find your Shepardized® case is indicated by blue shading in the appellate history list.
Subsequent Appellate History. Click on this link at the top to display the direct treatment of your case moving forward through the appellate process.
This area displays the indirect treatment of your case through analysis by other cases. It contains citations to primary authority, including agency and case law decisions.
This includes a list of citing decisions, each with a link opening the document to the section where your Shepardized® case is first cited, with text highlighted in yellow. Each also has an indicator of the type of treatment given to your case.
Narrow by Pane
Once you select the between the four main categories, you can filter your results using the options available in the Narrow By pane. Each category has its own filters. In Citing Decisions, your Narrow By options include (see red ovals):
- Search Within Results
As you work in the Narrow By pane, you can complete the following steps to manage your results set:
To narrow by more than one category under a filter, click on Select Multiple, select the checkboxes for the categories you want to narrow your results to, and select OK.
To return to your original results after narrowing them one or more times, select the Clear link at the top of the Narrow By pane. To remove a single filter, select the icon.
Note: Each time you narrow your results, the results are cumulative. For example, you can narrow your results to cases, then to a specific time line within those cases, and then to a specific jurisdiction or court within those cases in the timeline.
An additional display option that is available on the Citing Decisions page is Gridview, which displays a chart with an analysis by court.
Headnotes: When you Shepardize® your case you may find a long list of cases that cite to your decision.
With Lexis headnotes you can identify when a citing case discusses an issue similar to one or more of the Lexis headnotes of the case you Shepardized®.
In the headnotes box, the number indicates how many times each Lexis headnote from your Shepardized® document is identified to a citing case within this report.
The links indicate which headnotes are referenced in each document. Resting the cursor on a headnote displays the topic of the headnote.
TimeLine: filter your report by date range. You may want to select the most recent cases.
Other citing sources
In this area, you will find the indirect treatment of your case by secondary sources and statues citing your case.
Contains citations to:
- court documents
- law reviews
- annotated statutes
- other secondary sources.
Narrow by options
In the Narrow by options, select content of interest.
Any citations in blue text are linked to the documents and may be viewed online.
Search within Results allows you to narrow your search results to terms of interest.
The Table of Authorities
This gives you an at-a-glance analysis of the foundation of your case. It lists cases that your case cited and shows which cases it relied on, with their current status. Use the Table of Authorities to help validate a case as a precedent. You’ll find:
A list of cases cited by your case.
Options to sort cited cases by jurisdiction or analysis.
An indicator of how your Shepardized® case is treated in each case cited.
Narrow by options that let you filter the cases by:
- specific types of analysis;
- from certain courts,
- specific fact or point of law (use Search within Results).
Delivering your report
Each report category has options that let you save, print, download and email your report. On the upper middle part of the page, icons display for these options. Click on the icon of choice.
Print: Choose whether you want to print a single document, or print the results list.
To print the results list: while viewing your results list, select the specific results you want to print, or don’t select any results to print 250 of the first 1,000 results in your list. To print a single document: while viewing the results list, open the specific document you want to print.
Email: Choose whether you want to email a single document, or email the results list.
To email the results list: while viewing your results list, select the specific results you want to email, or don’t select any results to email 250 of the first 1,000 results in your list. To email a single document:: while viewing the results list, open the specific document you want to email.
Download: This will download the document as a PDF file. After clicking on the icon, a file name will appear which you can click on to save the file.
The Shepard’s® Signal™ indicators are integrated into case law documents and provide an immediate indication of the subsequent history and treatment of a particular case. When these codes are present, the Shepard’s ® research service displays one of the following signals:
|Warning: Negative treatment is indicated|
The red Shepard’s Signal indicator indicates that citing references in the Shepard’s® Citations Service contain strong negative history or treatment of your case (for example, overruled by or reversed).
|Warning: Negative treatment is indicated for statute|
The red exclamation point Shepard’s Signal indicator indicates that citing references in the Shepard’s Citations Service contain strong negative treatment of the Shepardized™ section (for example, the section may have been found to be unconstitutional or void).
|Questioned: Validity questioned by citing references|
The orange Shepard’s Signal indicator indicates that the citing references in the Shepard’s Citations Service contain treatment that questions the continuing validity or precedential value of your case because of intervening circumstances, including judicial or legislative overruling.
|Caution: Possible negative treatment indicated|
The yellow Shepard’s Signal indicator indicates that citing references in the Shepard’s Citations Service contain history or treatment that may have a significant negative impact on your case (for example, limited or criticized by).
|Positive treatment indicated|
The green Shepard’s Signal indicator indicates that citing references in the Shepard’s Citations Service contain history or treatment that has a positive impact on your case (for example, affirmed or followed by).
|Citing references with analysis available|
The blue “A” Shepard’s Signal indicator indicates that citing references in the Shepard’s Citations Service contain treatment of your case that is neither positive nor negative (for example, explained).
This material is intended as general information only. Your case may have factors requiring different procedures or forms. The information and instructions are provided for use in the Sacramento County Superior Court. Please keep in mind that each court may have different requirements. If you need further assistance consult a lawyer.