WESTLAW NEXT Tip of the Week: Using Graphical Keycite to Follow the History of a Case

May 13, 2013

Tip of the Week

Have you ever had to follow the history of a case through multiple appeals and remands? Visualizing the procedural process oftentimes can be difficult; however, on WestlawNext you can use KeyCite® to view the direct history of a case in an easy-to-read graphical display. Graphical KeyCite® traces the case through the appellate process and puts every reversal, rehearing, reconsideration, or other case proceeding into context. This feature can be a huge time-saver when you need to know how a case has moved through the court system.

Accessing Graphical KeyCite

While viewing a case, the History tab will identify whether the case has direct appellate history. Click the History tab to view the direct history and related references for a case.
History tab
A list of direct history and related references appears in the left column and the graphical view displays on the right. The graphical view always displays unless you chose to hide it. The case you are checking in KeyCite is clearly highlighted on both the list and graphical view.

The graphical view

Viewing Graphical KeyCite

Graphical KeyCite displays the direct history of a case with each court decision referenced in a box at the appropriate court level (U.S. Supreme Court, State High Court, Intermediate Court or Trial Court). The connecting arrows clarify the route of the case through the courts.

Decisions on the merits are referenced in the larger case boxes, while court orders or rulings on petitions and motions (such as the granting of certiorari or the denial of a rehearing) are referenced in the smaller procedural boxes. Each box provides a link to the full text of the decision. To enlarge a single box, simply hover over it.


Viewing Graphical KeyCite


As you can see, Graphical KeyCite makes it easy to follow the appellate process of a case. This is an essential tool when reviewing the history of a case that went through several appeals and remands.

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