Research guides

Federal Caselaw

Case Verification

Citators, like KeyCite (available on Westlaw), Shepard's (available on Lexis), and BCITE (available on Bloomberg Law), can help attorneys determine if a case is "good law". They also provide references to additional legal materials, including treatises and law reviews.

"Citators perform three major functions:

        • They provide parallel citations and references to other proceedings in the same case, allowing you to trace a case’s judicial history;
        • They indicate if subsequent cases have overruled, limited, or otherwise diminished a case’s precedent, enabling you to determine whether it is still good law; and
        • They list citing cases, as well as treatises, law review articles, and other resources, providing research leads needed to trace the development of a legal doctrine forward in time." Kent C. Olson, Principles of Legal Research § 8.5, at 274 (2nd ed. 2015).

KeyCite

KeyCite Westlaw
Available on the library's Westlaw compuers.

To KeyCite a citation from the main search box, type KC: before the citation and click Search. To KeyCite when reading a case, click on the Negative Treatment, History, and Citing References tabs above the text of the case.

Shepard's

Shepard's Lexis
Available on the library's Lexis computers.

To Shepardize a citation from the main search box, type shep: before the citation and click Search. To Shepardize when reading a case,  click on the Shepardize this document link located on the right side of the screen.

BCITE

BCITE Bloomberg Law
Available on the library's Bloomberg Law computers.

BCITE is available once you are in the full text of the case. To access BCITE, select the BCITE Anaylsis icon from the menu on the right. From there, click on Direct History, Case Analysis, Table of Authorities, or Citing Documents.

Fastcase Authority Check

Authority Check Fastcase
Available on Fastcase, a membership database available to sole practitioners and attorneys in firms with less than 50 attorneys. Fastcase is also available in the library.

Authority Check is available once you are in the full text of the case. Above the case you will see a flag. Click on the flag to generate the Authority Check Report.

Authority Check differs from standard citators. As a "citation analysis tool", it generates a list of later citing cases to help you find related authority on your topic. For more information, including how it helps you identify negative citation history, see Using Authority Check.