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Legal Research Certification Program (Prepare to Practice): Lesson Six- Citators

Modules and lessons for excellence in legal research and research strategies.

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General Questions:

Preparing to Practice

On Lexis

Shepardize Schmerber v. California, 384 U.S. 757. You are most interested in Headnote 2. Does this have positive or negative treatment in the Ninth Circuit?

On Westlaw

If you are looking at Community Telecable of Seattle v. City of Seattle, 149 P.3d 380, which headnotes are most likely treated negatively and should not be relied upon for a memo or brief?

Citators Introduction

Lexis uses the term "Shepard's signals" and Westlaw uses the term "KeyCite flags", but collectively they are known as citators. These citators help you determine whether your source is still considered good law or if you should take a closer look at subsequent cases. Often listed as the negative treatment of cases, citators help you better understand your case and help you prepare research that is still good law. In this lesson you will find an overview of citators, a description of the meaning of the different flags and symbols, then videos on using the citators in Lexis and in Westlaw. If you want extra practice using these resources, look at the "Preparing to Practice" section on the bottom left for real life problems using citators.

Citators Overview

Citators Learning the Meaning of the Symbols

Citators- Shepard's on Lexis

Citators- KeyCite on Westlaw


Next Lesson

Congratulations! You've completed Lesson 6. Click on the Lesson 7 link to continue with this module. Want more practice? Try the questions in the "Preparing to Practice" section in the bottom left column.