Q&A: How do I limit search results by type of case?

September 16, 2010

This question came in this week from one of our Twitter followers:  

Q:  What about limiting search results by type of case? I’d love to get rid of criminal cases in my search results.

Since we weren’t sure if the Twitter follower was asking about Westlaw or WestlawNext, we asked Reference Attorney Tom Perusse to provide answers for both.

On WestlawNext:  After running a search and selecting Cases on the left-side under View there is a filter entitled Topic if you scroll down under Narrow.  Simply put a check in the box next to Civil.  The list will automatically refresh showing only civil cases.

On Westlaw:  You can exclude PUBLISHED criminal cases from your search result by using the “but not” connector (%) at the end of your query followed by the West Digest Topics related to criminal law. Add this string to your search to exclude criminal cases: % to(110 197 203 349 350H)

Topic Number Subject Matter
110 Criminal Law
197 Habeas Corpus
203 Homicide
210 Indictment and Information
231E Kidnapping
234 Larceny
342 Robbery
349 Searches & Seizures
350H Sentencing & Punishment