How to Use Shepard's Citations for Cases
1. Identify your case's citation..
2. Find the Shepard's volumes that cover the reporter in the citation. Make sure that you confirm that your reports are current and complete. A complete set includes:
i. The maroon hard-back volumes
ii. The rep paperback Cumulative Supplement
iii. The blue Express Update (Look on the cover of the Express Update to ensure that you have all necessary volumes). Examples of the front covers of these books can be found in the Resources section of this BuILder.
3. Select the volumes that contain citations for cases decided after the case you are Shepardizing.
4. Find the volume number (in boldface) of the case being Shepardized.
5. Find the page number of the citation for the cited case.
6. Review the citations given for the citing cases. Several examples of citations can be found in the Resources section of this BuILder. The Parratt v Taylor cite explains the different parts of the citation. The California v. Carney cite are actual pages from a Shepard's citator. Note on those pages how the states and circuit courts are separated within the citiations. This makes it easy for the user to focus on a specific jurisdiction, as you must for your assigment.
7.. Use the letters to the left of the citation to decide whether the case is worth reviewing. The following is a breakdown of the abbreviations used by Shepard's:
a - affirmed *
cc - connected case*
d - dismissed */distinguished **
e - explained **
f - followed **
h - harmonized **
m - modified *
o - overruled **
q - questioned **
r - reversed *
s - same case *
v - vacated *
The abbreviations with the * next to them are used to determine the validity of the case. The abbreviations with the ** next to the are used to determine the persuasiveness of the case.
8. Review any case that cites yours and arrives at a different decision. Also, it is important to check all of the cases in your given jurisdiction
9. Repeat these steps for all the volumes and pamphlets until you have an up-to-date citation.