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Basic Legal Research Guide: Determining if Case Law is Still Good

Shephard's Citations

To determine how courts have treated a decisions after its writing, use Shepard’s Citations, which are issued for most case reporters held by the Library. To use the print edition of Shepard’s Citations, which are all kept on the 2nd floor of the library in the legal reference section, follow these steps:

(a) Locate all Bound Volumes and Paper Supplements Which Contain Your Citation

(b) Verify That You Have All Necessary Volumes and Issues by looking at the front cover of the most recent pamphlet which contains your case citation. The month listed at the top of the pamphlet should be the present month, or the month immediately preceding. Once you have the most recent pamphlet, look at the box on the front cover that says "What Your Library Should Contain."

(c) Shepardize your citation

(i) "Cited material" is the cite you are shepardizing: a case, statute, regulation
(ii) "Citing material" is another case, statute, law review article, or ALR annotation, etc.
that cites the original case.
(iii) Locate your case in the Shepard’s volume: Shepard’s is arranged by series of the
reporter, volume & page

(d) Review the cases and other documents citing your citation

(e) Repeat these steps in pamphlets and bound Shepard’s volumes

Shepherd's Citations in the Library