Westlaw Research Guide - Westlaw Sign-On

Westlaw Research Guide - Westlaw Sign-On
Westlaw Research Guide
PROFESSIONAL LEGAL RESEARCH
lawschool.westlaw.com
Westlaw Research Guide for Law Students
In law school and in law practice, it is essential to have comprehensive, current,
and accurate information available. It is just as essential to develop research
skills that allow you to find that information quickly. This guide will help you
perform your research efficiently using Westlaw.
Customer Service
If you have general Westlaw questions, search questions about Westlaw, or questions of a technical nature, call 1-800-850-WEST (1-800-850-9378).
Assistance is available 24 hours a day.
For technical support, you can also send an e-mail message to west.support@thomsonreuters.com.
To browse and order free Westlaw reference materials, visit west.thomson.com/westlaw/guides.
About This Guide
The graphics and step-by-step instructions in this guide are based on accessing Westlaw via the Internet. Because of the evolving nature of Internet
technology, there may be recent changes to the Westlaw interface and functionality that are not reflected in this guide.
ALR, FindLaw, KeyCite, National Reporter System, ResultsPlus, The West Education Network, TWEN, United States Code Annotated, WestClip, West Key
Number System, Westlaw, and West’s are registered trademarks of West Publishing Corporation.
Windows and Internet Explorer are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation.
© 2008 West, a Thomson Reuters business
All rights reserved.
Printed in the United States of America.
Information in this guide is current through May 18, 2008.
L AW S C H O O L . W E S T L AW. C O M
Welcome
After you sign on to lawschool.westlaw.com, the lawschool.westlaw.com home page (Figure 1) is displayed.
This page organizes tools and resources you’ll use every day. For example, from the lawschool.westlaw.com
home page, you can
■
access Westlaw (refer to page 1 of this guide).
■
use the links at the top of the page to access a wide range of academic resources, including
• information specific to you and your school, such as course materials available through TWEN (The
West Education Network), contact information for your Westlaw account manager and student
representatives, and Westlaw training opportunities and special announcements
• free Westlaw documentation, career planning materials (including career services available through
FindLaw), and current legal news
■
access all the resources described above in an environment personalized for you and your law school
Figure 1: The lawschool.westlaw.com home page
Registering Your Westlaw Password
As a law student, you must register your Westlaw password within six weeks of the first time you sign on to Westlaw. Click Register Password Now in
the Sign On section of the lawschool.westlaw.com home page and follow the on-screen instructions.
Using West OnePass
When you register your Westlaw password, you will be prompted to use West OnePass to create your own easy-to-remember username and password.
Getting
Started
G E T T I N G S TA RT E D
Signing On to Westlaw
When you go to lawschool.westlaw.com, the lawschool.westlaw.com home page is displayed. Click Westlaw
Research at the top of the page. In the Sign On section, do one of the following:
■
Type your Westlaw password in the Westlaw Password text box.
■
Type your personalized username and password in the Please enter your username and Password text
boxes.
Click Sign On. The tabbed Law School page is displayed.
Signing Off from Westlaw
You should sign off from Westlaw before exiting your browser. Click Sign Off at the top of any Westlaw page.
A message is displayed indicating the number of transactions you performed. Click Sign back on to sign on to
Westlaw again.
Understanding Tabbed Pages
Tabbed pages organize the vast resources available on Westlaw into context-specific collections of frequently
used tools, services, and databases. They are a great place to begin your research project.
A wide range of tabbed pages are available. For example, tabbed pages can assist you when you are
performing research that focuses on
■
a particular practice area (e.g., environmental law, intellectual property, or products liability)
■
a particular U.S. jurisdiction (e.g., an individual state or a federal circuit)
■
jurisdictions outside the United States (e.g., Canada, the United Kingdom, or the European Union).
You can customize your research environment by selecting tabbed pages that will be available when you sign
on to Westlaw. (Refer to page 3.)
Several tabbed pages, such as the Law Review, Summer Associate, and Moot Court pages, are designed
specifically for law students with particular interests.
1
G E T T I N G S TA RT E D , c o n t i n u e d
Using the Law School Page
Consider the tabbed Law School page (Figure 2) your one-stop shop for the online research materials you’ll
use most often while you are a student.
The Law School page has two sections: Shortcuts and Resources. You can edit the options in each section to
reflect your particular needs. (Refer to page 3.) The links at the top of the page allow you to access
additional Westlaw services and features.
Shortcuts
The Shortcuts section in the left frame provides links to collections of Westlaw research tools, as well as law
school resources.
Resources
Westlaw databases that are frequently used by law students are available from the Resources section in the
right frame. The topical layout of the section enables you to browse collections of databases and easily
identify resources that are relevant to your research project. Hypertext links in the Resources section enable
you to quickly access a database or select multiple databases to search.
Click Research
Trail to view a
record of your
research sessions
and tasks from
the last 14 days.
(For more
information, refer
to page 35.)
Click
Add/Remove
Tabs to
customize your
research
environment by
selecting other
tabbed pages
from which you
can start your
research. (For
more information,
refer to page 3.)
Figure 2: Tabbed Law School page
2
G E T T I N G S TA RT E D , c o n t i n u e d
Personalizing the Law School Page
You can personalize the Law School page (and most other tabbed
pages on Westlaw) to meet your unique needs. You can edit the
options displayed in the right and left frames. To edit a section of
the Law School page, click the Edit link in the section you want to
modify, and follow the on-screen instructions.
Figure 3: Edit link in the
Shortcuts section
Selecting Other Tabbed Pages
You can customize your research environment by selecting tabbed pages, each of which will be available as
a starting point for your research when you sign on to Westlaw. Each page is represented by a tab near the
top of the page.
To select a tabbed page, click Add/Remove Tabs at the top of any page. The Manage Tabs page is
displayed. Select the check box next to the name of each page that you want to have available when you
sign on to Westlaw. Then click Next and follow the on-screen instructions.
Figure 4: Manage Tabs page
3
F I N D I N G A D O C U M E N T B Y C I TAT I O N
Finding a
Document by
Citation
Using the Find Service
When you know the citation of a document you want to retrieve on Westlaw, use the Find service. You do
not need to access a database. To use Find, do one of the following:
■
At the Law School page (Figure 5), type your citation in the Find by citation text box in the Shortcuts
section and click Go.
■
Click Find&Print at the top of any page. The Find a Document page is displayed (Figure 6). Type your
citation in the Find this document by citation text box and click Go.
To print the document immediately after it is retrieved, select the and Print check box, which is available at
the Law School page and at the Find a Document page.
Find Templates
Find citation templates for materials frequently used by law students are available from the Law School
page. These templates are especially useful when you are not sure of the correct citation format. Click Find
using a template in the Shortcuts section.
Figure 5 (above): Accessing Find from the Law School page
Figure 6 (right): The left frame of the Find a Document page
Find Publications List
Selecting a Country of Publication
You can browse and search a complete alphabetical list of publications
and abbreviations that can be used with Find. Click Publications List in
the left frame of the Find a Document page or Law School page. Click the
publication name or abbreviation to display its Find template with the
abbreviation of the selected publication automatically entered.
When you use Find to retrieve a document published in a country other
than the United States, you must specify the country of publication. Select
the appropriate country from the Publication Country drop-down list in
the left frame of the Find a Document page.
5
RETRIEVING A DOCUMENT BY TITLE
Retrieving a Case by Party Name
In cases, the title of a document consists of the names of the parties. To quickly retrieve a case on Westlaw
when you know one or more parties’ names, click Find a Case by Party Name in the Shortcuts section of the
Law School page or in the left frame of the Find a Document page. The Find a Case by Party Name
template is displayed in the right frame (Figure 7). Follow these steps:
1. Type one or more parties’ names in the text boxes in the right frame.
2. Select the jurisdiction in which the case was heard or the reporter in which the case was published. (If you
do not know the jurisdiction, select All U.S. Federal and State Cases.)
3. Click Go.
Figure 7: Find a Case by Party Name template
Retrieving a Brief by Party Name
You can also use a template to retrieve a brief when you know one or more parties’ names. To access the
template, click Find a Brief by Party Name in the left frame of the Find a Document page.
Restricting Your Search to the Title Field
To retrieve a document other than a case or a brief (e.g., an article from a law review or legal journal),
access the appropriate database and restrict your search to the a title field (ti). For more information about
restricting your search using document fields, refer to page 16.
7
Retrieving a
Document
by Title
S T E P 1 : A C C E S S I N G A D ATA B A S E
Your research on Westlaw will be most productive when you have clearly defined your issue. You should be
able to state your research question in one or two sentences, as you would in a legal brief or memorandum.
After you define your issue, there are five basic steps to follow in searching Westlaw:
1. Access a database (or up to 10 databases simultaneously).
2. Select a Westlaw search method.
3. Enter your search, using key words related to your issue.
4. Review your result.
5. If necessary, revise and refine your search.
Step 1: Accessing a Database
Using the Resources Section of the Law School Page
Many databases frequently used by law students are instantly available from the Resources section of the
Law School page. The topical organization of the Resources section enables you to browse collections of
databases. To access a database, click its name.
Using the Shortcuts Section of the Law School Page
■
Search for a database text box
To access a database when you know its identifier, type the database identifier in the Search for a
database text box and click Go. You can also use the Search for a database text box to access up to 10
databases simultaneously. (For more information, refer to page 10.)
■
Favorite Databases drop-down list
The Favorite Databases feature enables you to create a personal list of databases and groups of databases.
Multiple databases saved as a group are shown as one entry in the list. From the Favorite Databases
drop-down list, you can access a database, save a database or group of databases as a “favorite,” and
rename or delete a favorite.
■
Recent Databases drop-down list
The Recent Databases feature maintains a list of the 20 databases you have most recently accessed.
Multiple databases accessed simultaneously are shown as one entry in the list. Select a database from the
list to access it.
■
Westlaw Directory
Click View Westlaw Directory to access a complete, current list of databases on Westlaw.
9
Step 1:
Accessing a
Database
A C C E S S I N G A D ATA B A S E , c o n t i n u e d
Accessing Multiple Databases
Multiple database searching is available for most databases on Westlaw. Your search result is displayed in
one combined list, ranked first by document type and then by date or publication order.
To access up to 10 databases simultaneously, type their identifiers separated by commas or semicolons, e.g.,
ca-cs,ca-st-ann, in the Search for a database text box and click Go. The Search for a database text box is
available at the Law School page, other tabbed pages, and the Westlaw Directory.
Accessing a Database When You Are Unsure of Its Name
When you are unsure of the full name of a database, you can type part of the name in the Search for a
database text box and click Go. For example, if you want to access the database containing the publication
Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal (COMM/ENT), you might type hastings
communications. Westlaw displays a list of databases whose names or descriptions most closely match your
description.
To access a database in the list, click its name. To access more than one database, select the check box next
to their names and click OK.
Viewing Information About a Database
■
Using Scope
Scope is a Westlaw feature that provides detailed information and search tips for a database or service.
Access Scope by clicking the Scope icon ( ) next to a database name in the Westlaw Directory. You can
also click the Scope icon at the database Search page.
■
Searching the Westlaw Database List (IDEN)
The Westlaw Database List (IDEN) contains documents naming all the databases and services available
on Westlaw. To use IDEN, follow these steps:
1. Type iden in the Search for a database text box and click Go. The IDEN Search page is displayed.
2. Type a description of the information you need (e.g., employment discrimination law) in the text box.
Natural Language is the default search method in IDEN.
3. Click Search Westlaw. A list of the 20 databases that most closely match the concepts in your
description is displayed. To read the description of a database, click its number in the result list. To
access a database, click the database identifier in the description.
10
STEP 2: SELECTING A SEARCH METHOD
Step 2: Selecting a Search Method
Westlaw offers two search methods: Natural Language and Terms and Connectors. When you access a
database, the Search page is displayed with your default search method selected (refer to Figure 8 on page
17). To select a different search method, click its tab. The search method that is best for your needs is
determined by several factors. The chart below can help you determine which search method to use.
Use Natural Language when you are
Use Terms and Connectors when you are
searching for broad concepts
searching for particular terms
searching databases containing large numbers of documents and
you want to retrieve a small number of documents
searching for a particular document
searching for all documents containing specific information,
such as all opinions written by a particular judge or all articles
published in the New York Times that mention a specific
company
a new or infrequent Westlaw user or you are unfamiliar with
Terms and Connectors searching
not retrieving the information you are looking for by using a
Terms and Connectors search
searching a database for which Natural Language searching is
not available
Using Natural Language
The Natural Language search method allows you to use plain English to retrieve relevant documents. Enter
a description of your issue and Westlaw will display the documents that most closely match the concepts in
your description. Westlaw identifies legal phrases in your description (such as corporate veil), removes
common terms (such as is and for), and generates variant endings of terms (such as remodeling, remodeled,
remodeler, and remodelor for remodel). Natural Language searching is available in most Westlaw databases.
For tips on constructing Natural Language searches, refer to page 13.
Using Terms and Connectors
When you search Westlaw using the Terms and Connectors search method, you enter a query consisting of
key terms from your issue and connectors specifying the relationship between those terms. Terms and
Connectors searching is available in all Westlaw databases.
For tips on constructing Terms and Connectors queries, refer to page 14.
11
Step 2:
Selecting a
Search
Method
STEP 3: ENTERING YOUR SEARCH
Step 3: Entering Your Search
The following tips will help you construct effective searches.
Constructing Natural Language Descriptions
■
Creating Phrases
When you search using Natural Language, Westlaw automatically recognizes certain phrases in your
description. You can also create phrases yourself by enclosing search terms in quotation marks (e.g.,
“mere continuation theory”).
■
Adding Related Concepts
To add related terms to your description, type them in your description immediately following the term to
which they relate and enclose them in parentheses, e.g., tree branch (limb root) cross property line
(border boundary). Alternatively, after typing your description, click Thesaurus and select terms from the
list of related terms.
■
Requiring and Excluding Terms
You can specify terms that must or must not appear in documents in your result. After typing your
description, click Require/Exclude Terms. Then select the check boxes next to the terms that must be
included in each document and specify the number of times each term must appear, if desired. To exclude
terms, type them in the Exclude Terms text box, e.g., “voir dire”.
■
Restricting Your Search
You can restrict your Natural Language search by date. Select a date restriction from the Dates dropdown list and type the date in the text box, if necessary. The year in a date restriction must be entered in
four-digit format (e.g., 1998).
You can also refine your Natural Language search by restricting it to document fields (i.e., specific
document portions), such as the court, attorney, and judge fields in a case law database. In the Fields
section, type your terms in the text boxes.
13
Step 3:
Entering Your
Search
ENTERING YOUR SEARCH, continued
Constructing Terms and Connectors Queries
■
Creating Phrases
To search for a phrase, place the phrase in quotation marks. For example, to use the phrase golden
parachute in a search, type “golden parachute”.
■
Adding Alternative Terms
For example, if you are searching for customer, you might also want to also search for purchaser,
consumer, or client. Consider both synonyms and antonyms as alternative terms. For example, if you are
searching for legal, you might also include illegal, lawful, and unlawful.
■
Using Alternative Forms of a Term
■ If you enter the singular form of a term, Westlaw automatically retrieves the plural form as well; this is
true for all regular and most irregular plurals. If you enter the plural form, only the plural is retrieved.
■
If you enter the nonpossessive form of a term, Westlaw automatically retrieves the singular and plural
nonpossessive and possessive forms as well. If you enter a possessive form, only the possessive is
retrieved.
■
A compound term may be hyphenated, or it may appear as one word or two words. To retrieve all
forms of a compound term, use its hyphenated form, e.g., good-will.
■
An abbreviation may appear in various ways in documents; it may or may not include periods or spaces
between letters. To retrieve all variations of an abbreviation, enter the term with periods and without
spaces. Also, it is a good practice to include in your query the words or phrase from which the
abbreviation is derived. For example, “mothers against drunk driving” is an alternative search term for
m.a.d.d.
■
To retrieve words with variant endings, use the root expander (!). When you place the root expander at
the end of a root term, you retrieve all forms of that root. The root expander does not retrieve related
terms that do not begin with the root word. For example, drink! retrieves drink, drinking, drinker,
drinkable, and drinkability, but it does not retrieve drunk.
■
The universal character or asterisk (*) represents one variable character. You can place universal
characters in the middle or at the end of a term, but not at the beginning. You can combine universal
characters and root expanders in one term, e.g., dr*nk!.
14
ENTERING YOUR SEARCH, continued
Understanding Connectors
Refer to the following chart when using the Terms and Connectors search method. For information on using
the Add Connectors or Expanders list to add connectors and expanders to your search, refer to page 18.
Connector
AND
OR
Grammatical connectors
You type
■
Westlaw retrieves documents that contain
■
■
■
■
■
■
■
■
■paragraph: ti(jones +p jones)
■
&
a space
/p
+p
/s
Connector
BUT NOT
search terms in the same paragraph: warrant! /p habitab!
the first term preceding the second term within the same
search terms in the same sentence: danger! /s defect!
■
■
■
■tinker +s “des moines”
■
■
■
■
■
■
■
You type
■
■quotation marks: “stock option”
■
Westlaw excludes documents that contain
■
■
■
/n (where n is a number)
+n (where n is a number)
Phrase
either search term or both search terms: landlord lessor
■
+s
Numerical connectors
both search terms: work-place & safety
“”
%
the first term preceding the second within the same sentence:
search terms within n terms of each other: shar*** /5 profit!
the first term preceding the second by n terms: 20 +5 1080
search terms in the same order as they appear inside the
the terms following the percent symbol: r.i.c.o. % “puerto rico”
15
ENTERING YOUR SEARCH, continued
Understanding Field Restrictions
Almost all documents on Westlaw are composed of several parts called fields. Each field contains a specific
type of information. Use a field restriction in a Terms and Connectors query when you want to restrict your
search to a particular portion of a document. The table below provides examples of commonly used field
restrictions in case law documents and statute documents. For information on using the Fields drop-down
list to add field restrictions to your search, refer to page 18.
Case Law Document Field Name
Sample Query
title (ti)
ti(reno & anti-discrimination)
judge (ju)
ju(ginsburg)
attorney (at)
at(kuby)
panel (pa)
pa(easterbrook & posner)
concurring (con)
con(o’connor & abortion)
dissenting (dis)
dis(kozinski & “fourth amendment”)
topic (to)
to(92) /p standing /p air /p quality pollut! emit!
words-phrases (wp)
wp(“double jeopardy”)
synopsis (sy)
sy(kimba /2 wood & affirmed)
digest (di)
di(standing /p air /p quality pollut! emit!)
synopsis and digest (sy,di)
sy,di(standing /p air /p quality pollut! emit!)
Statute Document Field Name
Sample Query
citation (ci)
ci(22 +5 2304)
prelim (pr)
pr(“social security”)
caption (ca)
ca(oil gas /3 lease)
prelim and caption (pr,ca)
pr,ca(marriage & license)
text (te)
te(protect! /3 wild-life)
words-phrases (wp)
wp(heir)
credit (cr)
cr(89-554)
historical-notes (hn)
hn(92-84)
references (re)
re(religio! /3 free!)
annotations (an)
an(“migratory bird treaty act”)
16
ENTERING YOUR SEARCH, continued
Using Tools Available at a Database Search Page
When you access a database on Westlaw, a Search page is displayed (Figure 8). A variety of links and dropdown lists at the Search page enable you to easily construct effective searches and make the best use of your
research time. Not every tool is available in every database, nor is every tool available with both the
Natural Language and the Terms and Connectors search methods. When you finish constructing your Terms
and Connectors query or Natural Language description, click Search Westlaw.
West Key Number Digest
Click Custom Digest to access
the complete West topic and key
number outline.
Database Notices
Click Notices to view information
about related content in other
Westlaw databases.
Change Databases
Click Change Database(s) to run
your search in a different
database or edit your search
before running it in a different
database. (Refer to page 23.)
Figure 8: Database Search page
17
ENTERING YOUR SEARCH, continued
Selected Westlaw tools available at a database Search page include the following:
■
Add Connectors or Expanders list
Click an item in the Add Connectors or Expanders list to automatically add the item to your Terms
and Connectors query. To view a list of connectors and brief explanations of their function, click Help.
■
Fields drop-down list
Select an item in the Fields drop-down list to automatically add the field abbreviation and a set of
parentheses to your Terms and Connectors query in the Search text box. Type your terms inside the
parentheses.
■
Dates drop-down list
Select an item in the Dates drop-down list to add a date restriction to your search.
You can restrict your search to documents decided or issued on, before, or after a certain date, or
between a range of dates. Note that the year in a date restriction must be entered in four-digit format.
Note: The date restriction you add does not appear as part of your query in the Search text box.
18
S T E P 4 : V I E W I N G Y O U R R E S U LT
Result List
The citations of documents retrieved by your search are displayed in the result list (Figure 9). For many
types of documents (including cases, statutes, regulations, law review articles, and documents from many
news and business information sources), the result list includes your search terms and surrounding text.
■
Viewing the full text of a document
To view the full text of a document, click its name or retrieval number in the result list. The full text of
the document is displayed in the right frame, and related information is displayed in the left frame.
■
Using navigation tools
Term arrows at the bottom of the right frame enable you to move to the portion of the document
containing your search terms. Best arrows are displayed for a Natural Language search result; they let
you view the portion of the document most closely matching the concepts in your description. Document
(Doc) arrows enable you to browse consecutive documents in your result.
■
Linking to related information
Click the links on the Links tab in the left frame (Figure 10) to access related information, such as
KeyCite history and citing references.
19
Step 4:
Viewing Your
Result
V I E W I N G Y O U R R E S U LT, c o n t i n u e d
Figure 9: Result list with ResultsPlus information
Figure 10: Full text of a document with Links tab
20
V I E W I N G Y O U R R E S U LT, c o n t i n u e d
Page View
Most of the documents you retrieve can be displayed in split-page view or full-page view. In split-page view,
the text of a document is displayed in the right frame and related information is available in the left frame.
Full-page view presents information across the full width of the page, enhancing its readability. While in splitpage view, click the Full-Page View icon ( ) at the top of the right frame to display the information in that
frame across the full width of the page. While in full-page view, click the Split-Page icon ( ) at the top of the
page to switch to split-page view.
Viewing Cited Documents
Hypertext links allow you to jump from a
citation in a document (Figure 11) to the full
text of the cited reference (Figure 12),
without leaving the citing document. When
you click the link to a cited document, the
full text of the document is displayed in the
Link Viewer dialog box. You can browse,
print, e-mail, or download the cited
document in the Link Viewer, or maximize
the display to view the cited document in the
right frame and related information in the
left frame.
Figure 11: Hypertext link in displayed case
Figure 12: Cited reference in Link Viewer
21
V I E W I N G Y O U R R E S U LT, c o n t i n u e d
Locating Specific Terms Within Your Result
The Locate feature allows you to search the text of documents in your result for a particular terms or terms,
whether or not those terms were included in your search. After you enter a Locate request, documents
containing your Locate terms are marked with an arrow in the result list. Your Locate terms, rather than
your original search terms, are highlighted in document text.
To use Locate, follow these steps:
1. Click Locate in Result at the top of the result list or in the
left frame of a displayed document. The Locate Search
Terms page is displayed (Figure 13).
2. Type your Locate search terms in the Locate text box,
using the Terms and Connectors search method.
3. Click Locate. Your result list is automatically restricted to
only those documents in your search result that contain
your Locate terms (Figure 14). To modify your Locate
request, use the Edit Locate text box at the top of the
result list or click Edit Locate. To cancel your Locate
request, click Cancel Locate.
Figure 13: Locate Search Terms page
You can also use Locate to search for specific terms in a cited document displayed in the Link Viewer.
Figure 14: Locate result
22
STEP 5: MODIFYING YOUR SEARCH
Editing Your Search and Changing Databases
You can modify your search as follows:
■
Modify your search and run it in the same database or group of databases.
■
Run the same search in a different database or group of databases.
■
Modify the search and run the revised search in a different database or group of databases.
To modify your search directly while viewing the result list type your changes in the Edit Search text box. To
change databases, type a new database identifier in the Database text box. To re-enter a previously run
query or description or search a recently accessed database, click the arrow next to the appropriate text box
and make a selection from the drop-down list (Figure 15). Then click Search.
In the alternative, you can return to the Search page by clicking Edit Search at the top of the result list or in
the left frame of a document. To run your search in a different database, click Change Database(s) at the top
of the Search page. Then type the new database identifier in the text box and click Run Search. To modify
your search before running it in a different database, click Edit Search in New Database(s).
Step 5:
Modifying
Your Search
Figure 15: Modifying search while viewing the result list
23
USING WEST TOPIC AND KEY NUMBERS
The West Key Number System
Every legal issue in a case published in West’s National Reporter System is identified, summarized in a
headnote, and assigned a topic number (corresponding to the broad legal topic under which West attorneyeditors have classified that issue) and key number (representing a specific aspect of a topic). The West Key
Number System is uniform across all federal and state jurisdictions and enables you to move easily between
Westlaw and West print publications such as digests and reporters. You can search Westlaw using topic and
key numbers to quickly retrieve cases involving particular legal issues. For example, to retrieve cases with
headnotes classified under topic 115, Damages, and key number 101, Expenses, access a database and type
115k101.
Topic Field
You can also retrieve cases containing headnotes classified under a specific West digest topic by using a topic
field (to) restriction. For example, to retrieve cases containing headnotes that are classified under topic 162
(Executors and Administrators) and topic 409 (Wills), use this field restriction:
to(162 /p 409)
Because the topic field also contains the topic name and hierarchical classification information, you can
include terms describing your issue in a topic field search. For example, suppose you want to retrieve federal
cases involving student residency in a state as a factor in the tuition or fees charged by a college or
university. You could access the Federal Education–Cases database (FED-CS) and type a query using topic
81 (Colleges and Universities) and terms pertaining to your issue, such as
to(81 /p residen! /p tuition fee)
Headnote Field
Because West headnotes are a succinct expression of legal issues raised in a case, you can efficiently search
the headnote field (he) for terms pertaining to your issue. For example, you could access the All U.S.
Supreme Court Cases database (SCT) and type a query such as the following:
he(right free! /5 travel)
Digest Field
The digest field (di) contains the information in the topic field plus the text of all headnotes in a case.
Restricting your search to the digest field can help you avoid retrieving cases containing irrelevant
occurrences of commonly used terms or terms that have multiple meanings.
25
Using West
Topic and
Key Numbers
C H E C K I N G C I TAT I O N S U S I N G K E Y C I T E
Performing Citation Research
KeyCite is the citation research service available exclusively on Westlaw. KeyCite tells you whether the law
you are relying on has changed. You can also use KeyCite to expand your research by identifying citing
references to your case, statute, administrative decision, or regulation. KeyCite provides information such as
■
the direct history of a case or administrative decision
■
negative citing references for a case or administrative decision
■
citations to cases, administrative materials, secondary sources, and briefs and other court documents on
Westlaw that have cited a case, statute, administrative decision, regulation, patent, American Law
Reports (ALR) annotation, or law review article
■
citations to session laws or rules amending or repealing a statute or regulation
■
citations to proposed legislation affecting a federal or state statute
■
patent status, litigation, and prior art, as well as citing applications and assignments
Accessing KeyCite
To access KeyCite, do one of the following:
■
Type a citation in the KeyCite this citation text box at the Law School page and click Go.
■
At the top of any Westlaw page, click KeyCite to display the KeyCite page. Then type a citation in the
KeyCite this citation text box and click Go.
■
Click a KeyCite status flag in a document header or next to a document’s citation in the result list. For
more information about KeyCite status flags, refer to page 28.
■
Click History (or Full History) or Citing References on the Links tab.
Viewing KeyCite Information
When you first access KeyCite, the history of the case, administrative decision, regulation, or statute is
displayed. (Note that when you access KeyCite by clicking the green C, a list of citing references is
displayed.)
27
Checking
Citations
Using KeyCite
C H E C K I N G C I TAT I O N S U S I N G K E Y C I T E , c o n t i n u e d
KeyCite Status Flags
A KeyCite status flag (a red flag, a yellow flag, a blue H, or a green C) gives you immediate information
about the status of a case, statute, regulation, or administrative decision. KeyCite flags are also available for
patents, ALR annotations, and law review articles. The meaning of a KeyCite flag varies by document type.
In cases and administrative decisions, a red flag warns that the case or administrative decision is no longer good law for at
least one of the points of law it contains.
In statutes and regulations, a red flag warns that the statute or regulation has been amended by a recent session law or rule,
repealed, superseded, or held unconstitutional or preempted in whole or in part.
In cases and administrative decisions, a yellow flag warns that the case or administrative decision has some negative history,
but has not been reversed or overruled.
In statutes and regulations, a yellow flag warns that the statute has been renumbered or transferred by a recent session law;
that an uncodified session law or proposed legislation affecting the statute is available (statutes merely referenced, i.e.,
mentioned, are not marked with a yellow flag); that a proposed rule affecting the regulation is available; that the regulation
has been reinstated, corrected, or confirmed; that the statute or regulation was limited on constitutional or preemption
grounds or its validity was otherwise called into doubt; or that a prior version of the statute or regulation received negative
treatment from a court.
In cases and administrative decisions, a blue H indicates that the case or administrative decision has some history.
In cases and administrative decisions, a green C indicates that the case or administrative decision has citing references but no
direct history or negative citing references.
In statutes and regulations, a green C indicates that the statute or regulation has citing references.
Figure 16: KeyCite flags in document header and on Links tab
28
C H E C K I N G C I TAT I O N S U S I N G K E Y C I T E , c o n t i n u e d
History of a Case
Case history is divided into the following categories:
Direct History traces your case through the appellate process and includes both prior and subsequent
history.
Negative Citing References lists cases outside the direct appellate line that may have a negative impact on
the precedential value of your case.
Related References lists cases that involve the same parties and facts as your case, whether or not the legal
issues are the same.
Direct history in graphical view
To display the direct history of a
case in an easy-to-read graphical
view, click Direct History
(Graphical View) on the Links
tab. The history of the case is
displayed as a chart (Figure 17).
Each court decision is placed in a
box at the appropriate trial or
appellate court level; the specific
decision you are checking in
KeyCite is clearly marked. Arrows
further clarify the route of the
case through the courts.
Figure 17: Direct history in graphical view
Citing References to a Case
To view a list of cases, administrative materials, secondary sources, and briefs and other court documents
that cite your case, click Citing References on the Links tab.
Depth of treatment stars categorize citing cases by the depth of treatment they give your case.
★★★★ Examined
The citing case contains an extended discussion of the cited case, usually more than a printed page of text.
★★★
Discussed
The citing case contains a substantial discussion of the cited case, usually more than a paragraph but less than a
printed page.
★★
Cited
The citing case contains some discussion of the cited case, usually less than a paragraph.
★
Mentioned The citing case contains a brief reference to the cited case, usually in a string citation.
29
C H E C K I N G C I TAT I O N S U S I N G K E Y C I T E , c o n t i n u e d
History of a Statute
Statute history lists cases affecting the validity of a statute* plus legislation affecting the statute, which is
divided into the following categories:
Updating Documents includes citations to recent session laws that have amended or repealed the section.
Proposed Legislation includes citations to proposed bills that reference the section.
Bill Drafts lists all drafts of bills proposed before the section was enacted into law.
Reports and Related Materials lists reports, journals, Congressional Record documents, presidential or
executive messages, and testimony relevant to the section. This category also lists records of votes on New
York statutes.
Credits includes, in chronological order, citations to session laws that have enacted, amended, or
renumbered the section.
Historical and Statutory Notes describes the legislative changes affecting the section.
* A KeyCite flag is displayed for a statute whose validity is affected by a case if the case was added to Westlaw after January 15, 2001.
Figure 18: History of a statute
Citing References to a Statute
To view a list of documents that cite the statute, click Citing References on the Links tab. Citing documents
include cases that have affected the validity of the statute, cases from United States Code Annotated and
state statute notes of decisions, cases on Westlaw that do not appear in notes of decisions, administrative
decisions, Federal Register documents, secondary sources, briefs and other court documents, statutes and
court rules, and administrative codes.
30
S E N D I N G A N D S AV I N G I N F O R M AT I O N
Printing, Sending, and Saving Documents
You can send information you retrieve to a printer or an e-mail address. You can also download documents
to a word-processing file or save print requests on Westlaw for up to 30 days. Saved print requests are
stored in the Print/Delivery Manager.
Specify default settings (e.g., settings for delivery destination and format) at the Preferences page. Click
Preferences at the top of any page, then click Print and Download in the left frame. (For more information
about using Preferences, refer to online Help.)
Sending Information from Your Current Result
There are two ways to deliver or save documents from your current Westlaw search or service result:
■
Quick Print
When you access Westlaw using Internet Explorer 5.5 or later, you can print the document you are
viewing on an attached printer in HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) format with just two clicks of
your mouse. This printing feature delivers or saves documents based on your default specifications.
Click the Quick Print icon in the upper-right corner of the page. When the Windows Print dialog box is
displayed, click Print or Send Request, depending on your browser, to send the document to your
attached printer and return to your Westlaw result.
Sending and
Saving
Information
31
S E N D I N G A N D S AV I N G I N F O R M AT I O N , c o n t i n u e d
■
Delivering Documents in Your Result
To deliver documents, follow these steps:
1. If desired, select the check box next to each document in a result list you want to deliver.
2. Click a delivery icon, e.g., Print, at the top of a document or result list.
3. A dialog box, e.g, the Print dialog box, is displayed. Specify whether you want to deliver the current
document, specific documents, or the result list. If you select Current Document you can also specify
whether you want to include KeyCite history and citing references.
4. In the Page Options section, specify which document pages you want to deliver (e.g., full text of
documents, first pages only).
5. Click Settings at the top of the dialog box
to display a Settings dialog box for the
delivery destination you selected. In the
Content Options section, specify whether
you want to include features such as
KeyCite flags, highlighted search terms,
and images in your delivered documents.
In the Format section, specify the format
of your delivered documents, such as font
size and number of columns. Click Done
when you finish selecting your settings.
6. Click Print, Send, or Save depending on
the delivery destinations you selected.
Figure 19: Print dialog box
Using the Print/Delivery Manager
The Print/Delivery Manager stores pending, failed, and delivered requests so you can easily reprint your
documents. To view the Print/Delivery Manager, click Other in the upper-right corner of a document or
result list and choose Print Delivery Manager from the menu that is displayed.
32
S TAY I N G C U R R E N T W I T H W E S T C L I P
Using the WestClip Clipping Service
WestClip makes it easy for you to stay current with information that is important to you. For example, you
can automatically
■
retrieve summaries of the latest litigation involving a particular judge, party, attorney, or witness
■
track new legislation and regulations
■
follow the latest news on a topic of interest
■
retrieve the most recent journal or law review articles related to your law review comment or moot court
brief
Using the WestClip clipping service, you set up a Terms and Connectors query that is run automatically at a
frequency you select. Alternatively, save your WestClip entry and run it at a later date. You have several
options for the convenient delivery of your results. The inline HTML e-mail delivery option, for example,
enables you to view retrieved documents in the body of an e-mail message.
Setting Up a WestClip Entry
Follow these steps to set up a WestClip entry:
1. Click Alert Center at the top of any page. The Alert Center Directory is displayed.
2. Click Create in the WestClip section. The WestClip: Create Entry page is displayed.
3. Type a database identifier and a Terms and Connectors query in the appropriate text boxes. To modify
delivery settings for an entry, click Edit in the Delivery Settings section. The WestClip: Edit Delivery
Settings page is displayed.
4. When you finish making your selections, click Save at the WestClip: Edit Delivery Settings page. Then
click Save at the WestClip: Create Entry page.
To add your current Terms and Connectors query to WestClip, click Add Search to WestClip at the top of
the result list or select Add Search to WestClip from the Result Options drop-down list on the Result List
tab and click Go.
Staying
Current with
WestClip
33
S TAY I N G O N T R A C K W I T H T H E R E S E A R C H T R A I L
The Research Trail feature makes it easy for you to keep track of your Westlaw research and return to
previous research projects and tasks.
A new research trail is created each time you access Westlaw and saved when you end your research session.
Each research trail associated with your password is available for 14 days after it is saved. You can click an
item in a research trail to return to that information.
You can download a research trail or send it to one or more colleagues via e-mail. Hypertext links allow
you to jump from the research trail to a document or search result on Westlaw.
Viewing the Current Research Trail
To view the research trail for your current Westlaw session, click Research Trail at the top of any page.
Information about the tasks you’ve completed during the current session is displayed, including the citations
of documents you retrieved and the Westlaw databases you searched (Figure 20).
Viewing a Previous Trail
To view all research trails associated with your Westlaw password from the last 14 days, click List of All
Research Trails at the Research Trail page. If you do not return to a research trail within 14 days, it is
removed from the list. To save a research trail for an additional 14 days, click Reset.
Figure 20: Research trail
35
Staying on
Track with the
Research Trail
© 2008 West, a Thomson Reuters business L-340254/5-08
The trademarks used herein are the trademarks of their respective
owners. West trademarks are owned by West Publishing Corporation.
For assistance using Westlaw, call 1-800-850-WEST (1-800-850-9378).
For other reference materials, visit west.thomson.com/westlaw/guides.
lawschool.westlaw.com
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