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What are Citators?
Citators allow you to know how the primary authority you are relying upon has been subsequently treated.
In law, the best-known citators are KeyCite which is available in Westlaw and Shepard's which is available in LexisNexis.
Using KeyCite on Westlaw
Uses of KeyCite
- To determine whether there is negative treatment of a document,
- To determine whether there is information you need to know about a document,
- To lead you to more documents to support your argument.
How to Access KeyCite
- From within the document
- A KeyCite flag appears above the title of the document with most severe and recent negative treatment spelled out.
- Tabs across the top of the document provide in-depth information about its treatment and history.
- Type kc followed by the document's citation in the search box at top of page, this takes you directly to the document's KeyCite report.
Meaning of Flags
- Red flag
- Cases & administrative decisions - Warns that the document is no longer good law for at least one of the points it contains.
- Statutes, court rules, regulations - Warns that the document has been amended, repealed, superseded, or held unconstitutional or preempted in whole or in part.
- Yellow flag
- Cases & administrative decisions - Some negative history exists but the document has not been reversed or overruled.
- Statutes, court rules, regulations - The document has been renumbered, there is proposed legislation or a proposed rule that will effect the document if passed, that it was limited or called into doubt.
- Blue-striped flag
- The cited case has been appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals or U.S. Supreme Court.
History vs. Citing References
- History is the procedural path of the document.
- Citing references are other documents that have cited the original document.
NOTE: Patent and trademark history and citing references are also available in KeyCite.