WESTLAW NEXT Tip of the Week: The Value of Keycite – Caselaw

May 6, 2013

Tip of the Week

You just received a brief from opposing counsel citing several cases to support their argument. You immediately decide to check whether courts have negatively discussed those cases. KeyCite® on WestlawNext gives you the information you need to determine whether a case is good law. You can also use KeyCite to make connections to the relevant cases you need. KeyCite is the legal industry’s most accurate and up-to-the-minute citation service, providing:

  • Current information: Caselaw direct history and precedential changes are available within 24 hoursKeyCite logo
  • Complete headnotes: Quickly limit your citing references to a relevant point of law in the West Key Number System®
  • Support for your legal arguments: More citing references for more types of documents than any other service
  • Comprehensive coverage:
    –   Every case in the National Reporter System®

    –   More than 1 million unpublished cases

    –   Federal statutes and regulations

    –   Statutes from all 50 states

    –   Administrative decisions from selected federal agencies

    –   Regulations and administrative decisions from selected states

    –   Patents issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

    –   American Law Reports (ALR®) annotations

    –   Articles from hundreds of law reviews

KeyCite Status Flags

Begin by accessing KeyCite and look for a KeyCite flag at the top of the document. The presence of a KeyCite status flag means the case has some negative treatment.

Red Flag A red flag warns that the case is no longer good law for at least one of the points of law it contains. For instance, the decision was reversed on appeal or overturned years later by a decision of the same court.
Yellow Flag A yellow flag warns that the case has some negative history but has not been reversed or overruled. For example, the reasoning of the decision was criticized or its holding was limited to a specific set of facts.

Most Negative Treatment

If a case has a red or yellow flag, the case providing the most negative treatment is displayed at the top of the document. Most negative treatment consists of a phrase such as Overruled by, Abrogated by, or Distinguished by and includes a link to the case, if available. KeyCite provides this important information up front (no clicks needed) so you can quickly determine whether to rely on the case or investigate further.

Most Negative Treatment

The next time you are under a deadline to check citations you can feel confident when using KeyCite, the most accurate, current, and reliable citation service.

This tip begins a series related to how KeyCite can help you with your research. In the next few tips you will learn more about Graphical KeyCite®, Viewing History, and Citing References.

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