Law: Reference & Topical Research

Is My Case Still Valid?

Attorneys use two citation tools to determine the validity of a case:  Shepard's on Lexis and KeyCite on Westlaw.  Warning:  currency and scope are limited on the academic versions of these services.  They should not be used outside the teaching environment.

Finding Cases on a Topic

In Browse, select Practice Areas  tab and then choose a topic. Search cases. Select a jurisdiction:  federal, state, or both.  Add additional keywords, if necessary, and search.

In Browse, select Tools and then West Key Number System, then select caselaw.  Select key number to search, select jurisdiction (federal, state or both), and additional keywords, and search.

In Browse, select Secondary Sources by topic. Search American Law Reports (ALR), American Jurisprudence 2d  (AmJur2d), or law reviews and journals.  Add additional keywords and search. The ALR, AmJurd2d and law reviews and journals will cite the names of cases on your topic and provide some context and explanations.  However, this would be an indirect way of locating cases.




Finding Opinions by a Particular Judge

Click on "Search by Subject and Topic," then select "Legal". Select "Federal and State Cases".  Select "judges" from pull-down menu & enter the judge's last name. Select jurisdiction(s) if known.