Skip to Main Content

Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness

This guide will provide you with resources on the subjects of homeland security and emergency preparedness. If you don't find what you're looking for, or if you have questions -- please Ask Us!


Citation is important for legal research for a couple of reasons. First, you'll need to cite your sources if you are writing a paper (or the equivalent). If you are using APA, legal references should be presented in the conventional format of legal citation (this means Bluebook). You also need to understand the concept of a legal citation because it is important for finding cases, statutes, codes, and/or regulations both in print and electronic sources.

Legal Research Databases

Case Citation

1. Case Name
Brown et al. v. Board of Education of Topeka et al.
(plaintiff) (appellant) (party one) v. (defendant) (party two)


2. Citation
347 U.S. 483 (1954)
volume [347] source [United States Reports] page [483] year of decision [1954]


3. Parallel Citations
347 U.S. 483: 74 S. Ct. 686; 98 L. Ed. 873; 1954 U.S. LEXIS 2094; 53 Ohio Op. 326; 38 A.L.R. 2d 1180
[other sources for the case]


NOTE: The source for case law is usually a "reporter." Reporters are sets of print volumes containing judicial decisions/opinions.

Get the Case Law or Secondary Sources in WestLawNext

Once you have the names of the parties and/or the legal citation, use WestlawNext to read the full text of the decision.

The order of appellate court opinions is: deciding opinion and judgment (upheld or reversed), then concurring opinions (agree on final disposition of the case but not for the reasons stated in deciding opinion, the dissents, which disagree with the deciding opinion.

The Secondary Sources tab in WestLawNext refers to Law Reviews and other materials that argue points of law. These sources may be used by themselves, or as ways to find other cases that pertain to a legal argument being made. Find the Seconday Sources in the second column of the main page, then use the search bar at the top to search by subject or legal word or phrase. When using a phrase, employ quotes to hold the words together, such as "hate speech".

WestLaw Features

KeyCite highlights negative treatment by displaying a red or yellow flag. Red flags indicate the case is no longer good law; yellow flags indicate there is some negative history, but the case has not been reversed or overturned. For help in using KeyCite, select in order Help (bottom of each screen) | Documentation | Using KeyCite.

The Filings tab at the top refers to the filing made in this case, including briefs and fried of the court briefs.

The Negative Treatment tab provides the negative history for a case, which includes all negative direct history and negative citing references

The History tab gives the courts that have dealt with the case.

The Citing References are all cases that have cited this case.

The Table of Authorities refers to list of cases cited by the case being viewed.