Read and Use a Legal Citation

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Nia Rodgers
Public Affairs Research Librarian
(804) 828-8565
Cabell Library, Room 121

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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 volumes containing judicial decisions/opinions.

Get the Case

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

WestlawNext KeyCite is similar to Shepardizing and is used to determine the validity of a decision, statute, agency opinion, or other legal documents. 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.