WESTLAW NEXT Tip of the Week: Using Graphical KeyCite

June 18, 2012

Tip of the WeekUse 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 places every reversal, rehearing, reconsideration, or other case proceeding in 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

View of History tabWhile 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.

A list of direct history and related references appears in the left columnA list of direct history and related references appears in the left column and the graphical view displays on the right. The case you are checking in KeyCite is clearly highlighted on both the list and graphic.


 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.

Graphical KeyCite display

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.

Changing the Display

Depending on the complexity of the direct history, the display may be reduced in size to give you an overview of the complete direct history. Use the Graphic toolbar ( Graphic toolbar ) to change the display options.

  • To increase or decrease the size of graphic, click the Zoom In ( zoom in icon ) or Zoom Out ( zoom out icon ) icons.
  • To change the position of the graphic, use the hand pointer ( hand pointer icon ) to drag it to the desired position.
  • To reset the display to the default view, click Reset.
  • To view the text version of KeyCite history and hide the graphical history, click Hide. To show the graphical history, click Show.
  • To view the graphical history and hide the text version of KeyCite history, click the arrows ( arrows icon ) in the left column.

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