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Caselaw and citators fall 2011
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Caselaw and citators fall 2011






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    Caselaw and citators fall 2011 Caselaw and citators fall 2011 Presentation Transcript

    • Case Law and Citators
      Legal Research and Writing
      Fall 2011
    • Why Court Opinions?
      • Cases
      • Courts
      • Statutes
      • Legislatures
      • Regulations
      • Executive Agencies
    • Court Hierarchy
      Court HierarchyFrom the Bottom Up
      • Trial Court
      • Court of original jurisdiction
      • Court of general jurisdiction
      • Court of limited jurisdiction
      • Family court, traffic court, juvenile court
      • Proper name varies from state to state
      • Intermediate Appellate Review
      • Name & Number of levels vary
      • Court of Last Resort
      • Supreme Court of [State]
      • Supreme Court of the United States
      See The Bluebook, Table T.1 for a breakdown of courts for each state
    • Cases: Print Publication Sequence
      Slip Opinions
      Distributed by the court; official
      Increasingly distributed online, official status must be determined by the court rules
      Put on electronic databases
      Advance Sheets
      Preliminary version of a case in a reporter
      Contain same editorial notes and pagination as bound volume
      Judge can make changes
      Permanent version of decision
    • Reporters
      Compilation of court decisions
      Generally chronological arrangement
      Can include decisions of:
      a single court
      single level of a court system
      a single state
      a region of the country (a number of states)
      a specific legal subject (topical reporters)
      These are increasingly rare in print
      ? What makes it into the Reporters?
    • National Reporter SystemWest Publishing (since 1880s)
      Publishes “reported” federal and state cases
      Court rules are increasingly allowing the use of unreported cases—the line is bluring.
      Provides uniform editorial treatment
      Cross referencing material
      Are NOT part of the case!!
      No substitute for reading the case!
      Some are unofficial, although some have been designated as a state’s official reporter
    • Maps!
    • Case headnotes
      Headnote – a summary of a legal issue discussed in the case
      Each headnote is assigned at least one specific topic
      West reporters integrate headnotes and their specific topics with the West digest system (more later!)
    • Headnote – note summary of specific point of case
    • How to find cases
      Reporters tend to be a collection of unrelated cases, so we have to have a finding aid such as:
      Secondary sources
      American Law Reports (ALR)
      Annotated codes
      Citators – Shepards & Keycite
      Electronic Databases
    • Digest
      A subject arrangement of case summaries
      Includes an outline or classification of the law or specific area of law
      Case summaries are organized in the outline, under the specific issue raised in the case
    • West’s Digest System
      Most comprehensive print case finding tool
      An index to all reported court decisions and some “unreported” decisions
      Only case finding tool for many older state cases not on electronic databases
    • Structure of Digest
      Arrangement – topic/key number system
      Outline of the field of law
      Divided law into major subjects
      Each subject divided into topics (400 total) and sub-topics
      Each sub-topic assigned a key number
      Cases assigned to specific topic/key number based on the case headnotes
    • Using the Print Digest
      1. Choose digest set
      Louisiana digest, regional digests*(not all regional reporters have digests), federal digests
      2. Dig In!
      Use case headnote
      Subject and topical analyses
      Search Descriptive Word Index
      Words and Phrases
      (defines words, but is often limited)
    • Using the Print Digest
      “Terms” from case, client meeting, etc.
      Read a case (headnote) or secondary source
      Descriptive Word Index
      (Gives you)
      Topic & Key Number
      Go to Volume containing topic and look up Key #
      Read Topic Outline
      Read case descriptions and pull and read relevant cases
    • Updating Print Digests
      Be sure to check:
      1. Main digest volume
      2. Pocket part
      Some pocket parts are so large, the publisher creates a separate bound volume
      3. Cumulative supplements for the digest set
      Small paperback supplements following the last volume in the set (some sets may not have this)
    • Hypothetical-Louisiana Case Law Digest 2nd Your divorcing client seeks alimony from her husband. She currently resides with her 5 year old daughter from the marriage as well as her stepdaughter who is six years old. Other than taking care of her two minor children and her household, she has no training for any kind of a job and is unemployed. Is she entitled to alimony under Louisiana law?
      Terms: Alimony; Support; Allowance; Divorce; Nullification of Marriage
      A) Louisiana Case Digest Second-Descriptive Word Index –look under “A” for Alimony
      B) You find that it is under Marrriage Key #62
      C) Go to Louisiana Case Digest volume which contains “Marriage”-it’s volume 38-on the spine “LisPendens to Master”
      D) Read case entries, find case on point and update
    • If you have a case:
      Select headnote dealing with your legal issue
      Use the corresponding topic and key number
      In print, go right to the appropriate volume
      In Electronic…
      Westlaw allows you to directly access online digest from case headnote…from there you can create a custom digest…
    • Westlaw allows you to directly access online digest from case headnote
      Click here
    • Choose what jurisdiction you want to find cases in
      Add additional search terms
    • List of cases and materials on topic for jurisdiction you selected
    • Click here for current page
      Type in search terms to have Westlaw help you find right topic/key number
    • Select best topic/key number from results list
    • Lexis
      “Search by Topic or Headnote”
      Broad areas of law
      Drill down to more specific issues
      If you have a case
      Lexis headnotes
      not the same as West headnotes!
      “More like this”
      Core terms
    • Select subject area and drill down
    • Subjects break down into specific sub-topics.
      Select your sub-topic.
    • Select jurisdiction, sources, and further refine your search
    • “More like this” uses core terms
      Lexis Headnotes
      Click Here
    • “More like this” allows you to search other cases with similar core terms.
      Can add your own terms.
    • Citators
      List subsequent cases, law review articles, statutes, and other secondary sources that refer to an earlier case.
      Way of tracking how a case has been used subsequently by courts, legislatures or commentators
      So What?
    • Uses for Citators
      Subsequent appellate history of your specific case
      Subsequent validity of your case
      (upheld or followed, overruled in full or in part, distinguished)
      Discussion of your case in subsequent cases
      Discussion of your case in secondary sources
    • Shepard’s lays out the subsequent history of the case, providing links to each decision
    • Westlaw also provides a graphical view of the history of your case
    • Using Online Citators
      Lexis – Shepard’s
      Westlaw – KeyCite
      Current, no need for updating with additional steps
      Links to case citations and secondary sources
      *LSU Law Library no longer has an updating method in print!
    • Using Online Citators
      Results can be sorted and narrowed very easily
      Sort by negative/positive treatment
      Depth of treatment
      Add additional search terms to narrow retrieved cases
    • How to Shepardize
      2 ways to Shepardize
      Directly from a case
      From Shepard’s tab on opening Lexis screen with case citation
    • Shepardize directly from your case.
    • Shepardize directly from Shepard’s tab
      Select Shepard’s for Research for more hits – all citing decisions. You can switch between these on results page by clicking between KWIC and FULL.
    • Either way, you will come to this page showing the citation history for your case. Note the breakdown of treatment.
    • Shepard’s lists prior and subsequent appellate history and then lists citing decisions. Under citing decisions, highest level of court is listed first, and federal before state courts.
    • Quick ways to limit Shepard’s display. Top line allows you to go to negative, positive and focus results. Shepard’s summary permits you to go immediately to specific types of treatment.
    • Focus – very powerful tool to limit Shepard’s display
    • Many options for limiting display. Types of analysis, focus terms, jurisdictions. Scroll down for more.
    • How to KeyCite
      2 ways to KeyCite:
      Directly from a case
      From KeyCite search box on opening Westlaw screen using case citation
      “Full history” results give direct history of case, but not many citing references
      “Citing references” results do not give direct history of case, but includes references to all citing cases.
      *you will often end up looking at both!
    • Option 1: KeyCite directly from your case. Note you can select “full history” or “citing references”.
    • Option 2: KeyCite box located on main Westlaw screen on side tab
    • KeyCite screen comes up. Note that you are brought to “full history” results. This gives you direct case history. To see all citing cases, you must select “citing references” option.
    • Many more cases referenced, but note that direct history of this case is no longer displayed.
    • KeyCite Limits
      Limit results by:
      Depth of treatment
      Search terms
      Headnote (Topic and Key Number)
      Must be in “citing references” display to use KeyCite limits
    • Limiting KeyCite display. Must be in “Citing References”.
    • Ways to limit are located on left hand vertical bar.
      Locate lets you add additional search terms
    • KeyCite lets you even look at some foreign jurisdictions