The Westlaw editorial Process for caselaw: wrap-up

October 4, 2012

Westlaw Next

I hope that this series from our Editorial Operations team has been interesting and insightful. While we take great pride in the technologies that enable WestlawNext and all of our legal solutions, the context and analysis contributed by our editors is crucial to delivering the most valuable legal content. Our goal is to help the legal system perform better.

The articles in this series are collected below.

The Westlaw Editorial Process for case law When a court issues a decision, it may mark the end of a specific legal matter, but it is only the beginning for our editorial team…

Part 1 (Receipt and Loading) We began preparing for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act decision months before the decision was actually received.

Part 2 (Keycite) KeyCite Analysts review many decisions every year for direct history. Hundreds of thousands, in fact…

Part 3 (Headnotes) After the KeyCite Analyst, completed the history, the next step for Legal Editorial Operations was the creation of editorial enhancements, including headnotes and a synopsis.

Part 4 (Key Numbers) In a typical day, the team adds about 2300 Key Numbers to the 250 cases that move through the department. On June 28, however, the Team was preoccupied with one case:  the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act decision.

Part 5 (Codes validity) Regardless of the result of the Supreme Court’s decision, the USCA team knew that our customers would have the same question:  “I heard this statute was affected by health care legislation – is it still valid after the decision?”

Part 6 (Linking) When a customer brings up the opinion on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, they are treated to a wealth of information beyond the decision itself.

Part 7 (Analytical Content) When the Court released its ruling, a staff writer immediately jumped in and wrote an article titled “Health mandate penalty is permissible tax, Supreme Court says in surprise ruling.”