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Lloyd Sealy Library
John Jay College of Criminal Justice

How to use Shepard's Citators: Reading a Shepard's Report in LexisNexis

Use Shepard's citators to track the history of a case or a law

How do I read a Shepard's Report?

A Shepard's report for case law could include the following information:

  • Case name, citation, court designation, and year
  • Prior case history and subsequent appellate history (direct history, and one level of indirect history, if any)
  • Shepard's editorial treatment analysis codes
  • Citing references

Look for the features shown in the sample report below:

1. "Restrict By" tool that lets you limit the types of citations included on the report, a count of the citations currently shown, and the headline starting with "Unrestricted Shepard's Summary" indicating that they are no restrictions to the citations shown in the current report.

2. Citation to the case being Shepardized, with Signal showing its status.

3. Alternate citations to the same case as it appears in other legal reporters.

4. The Shepard's Summary, showing the number of citations according to their treatment of the case being Shepardized.

5. Links to LexisNexis headnotes, which expound the points of law involved in the case and its treatment

6. Prior History

7. Subsequent Appellate History (click on link to display)

8. Shepard's report of cases citing the case being Shepardized.

Shep rpt.jpg

copied from:

Shepard's Signals

The Shepard's Signal Marker indicates the standing of your case as treated by other cases.

Shepred.gif Warning Negative treatment indicated. Includes the following analyses:
  • Overruled by
  • Superceded by
  • Revoked
  • Obsolete
  • Rescinded
Sheporange.gif Questioned Validity questioned by citing references. Includes the following analyses:
  • Questioned by
Shepyellow.gif Caution Possible negative treatment indicated. Includes the following analyses:
  • Limited
  • Criticized by
  • Clarified
  • Modified
  • Corrected
Shepgreen.gif Positive Positive treatment indicated.

Includes the following analyses:

  • Followed
  • Affirmed
  • Approved
Shep circled a.gif Citing References with Analysis Other cases cited the case and assigned some analysis that is not considered positive or negative. Includes the following analyses:
  • Appeal denied by
  • Writ of certiorari denied
Shep circled i.gif Citation Information References have not applied any analysis to the citation. For example the case was cited by case law or law reviews that do not warrant an analysis. Includes the analysis: