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Lloyd Sealy Library
John Jay College of Criminal Justice

How to use Shepard's Citators: Shepard's in Print

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

Shepard's in Print

Shepardizing a case, statute  or law using the print version typically involves the use of many bound volumes that are periodically updated and then getting as close as possible to today's date using paper supplements.  To use the print version you must have access to the full set of Shepard's in print. The John Jay College library does not have the full set of Shepard's in print but does provide Shepard's through the NexisUni  database.  (For a list of the  print volumes you would need access to go to


Note: By using the the Shepard's tool in the  Nexis Uni database, the most current cases will be included in your research. as well additional information such as unpublished decisions and law review articles. For more information on the differences between using Shepard's in print and the Shepard's tool in  an online database go to 

How do I use use Shepard's in Print?


Follow these steps:

Step 1 -Select the Shepard's citator that corresponds to the reporter for your case.

For example, if you are going to Shepardize a case that appears in the New York Supplement you would use the Shepard’s New York Supplement Citations. Similarly, if you were going to Shepardize a case that appears in the United States Reports you would use the Shepard’s United States Citations.

Step 2 - Check to make sure you have the most current and complete edition of the Shepard's citator.

Locate the most recent Shepard’s supplement and look at the cover in the section called “What Your Library Should Contain” (see sample below).  This lists all the hardbound volumes, hardbound  supplements, and the softbound supplements needed in order to have complete coverage.

Shepard's US Case Citator


Step 3 - Understand the abbreviations for all the treatment and history codes.

You will find this information in the first pages of the main volumes.


Step 4 - Find your citation

Look  up the volume number and the page number of your citation. Start with the oldest volume and work forward. Notice that when a case is cited for the first time in a Shepard’s citator, it includes the case name and any parallel citations to the case. History citations immediately follow the parallel citations which are then followed by treatment citations. Shepard’s assigns history and treatment codes to the left of those citations. Shepard’s includes citations to any secondary sources at the end of the case.


Step 5 – Interpret the results

Determine whether your case is good law or bad law. Bad law is a case that has either been reversed or overruled.  Follow any cases of interest that have cited the case.


For detailed instructions on how to Shepardize a case using Shepard's citators in print go to  or watch this video