WestlawNext Q&A: Working without directory links, and other topics

July 26, 2010

WestlawNext users are full of questions – and West Reference Attorneys are even more full of answers. Here are their responses to a few questions asked recently by customers.

Q. How do I use WestlawNext without directory links?
The search box on WestlawNext has many functions, including identifying available content. When you begin typing the name of the specific publication you’re looking for, a drop-down list will appear that shows relevant databases. For example, if you begin typing “Norton,” the drop-down list will show a link to Norton on Bankruptcy publications. This also works when typing in the old database sign-on identifiers such as CA-ST-ANN.

You can also find a list of resources by browsing from the home page. For example, if you want to find a list of materials related to Family Law, just click on the Topic tab on the home page and then the link for Family Law.

Q. How long do Folders, Notes and Eyeglasses last on a document?
The Folders and Notes will stay with your documents until you delete them and will appear regardless of which Client ID you have logged in under. The eyeglasses remain for 30 days and are specific to the Client ID.

Q. In what order do the results on KeyCite Negative History appear?
 The citing references listed in KeyCite Negative History appear in the same order as they do in Westlaw.  In both Next and Westlaw.com the references having the strongest negative treatments are listed first.  Then, within the sort of each treatment phrase group, we sort by date in chronological order.  The first in the list is not the most negative, it is the oldest reference which has the most negative treatment.   This is true for both Westlaw.com and Next.  For instance, if there are 3 “Disagreeing” references and 3 “Distinguishing” references, all “Disagreeing” references will be listed before all “Distinguishing” references.  However, within the Disagreeing references the oldest reference will be listed first.  Within the Distinguishing references the oldest will be listed first.

Please note that this is the sorting order for the citing references within the Negative Treatment tab on Next and the Full History link in Westlaw.com.  

The sort order within the citing references tab/citing references link  is different.  There we sort within a treatment phrase in reverse chronological order.  There is a reason for the sort order difference. When a researcher is viewing the negative citing references on the Negative Treatment/Full History link she is seeing the negative citing references in context of any negative direct history relationships that exist.  Since the direct history flows in chronological order, the negative citing references on that same display flow in that order.   When a researcher is viewing the negative citing references on the Westlaw.com Citing References link, she is seeing the negative citing refs in context of the other citing references which flow in reverse chronological order.  To be consistent, we display these the negative references in reverse chronological order as well.  In Next, on the citing references tab the negative references are in amongst the other citing references unless the researcher filters them out. 

 The “Most Negative” label that appears on the Negative Treatment tab in Next is determined by weighing a number of factors including severity of treatment, jurisdictions of both the cited and citing cases, and date.  When all of these factors are considered the “Most Negative” may be the reference listed as the first negative citing reference or it may not.  Each situation must be evaluated individually.

Q. Why are there two search boxes on the Key Number page?
The tabbed search box at the top of the page will run a full-text search of headnotes for the selected jurisdiction. You can select a Topic, or even drill down to a specific Key Number, before running a search. The Title Search box on the right is a quick way to scan through the Key Number titles to locate the Key Number you want.