Casetext offers a variety of ways to cite-check cases. This article describes all the tools that you can use to see how a case has been cited by other cases. There are 4 tools, explained below: (1) our "citing cases" tab, (2) our summaries written by judges, (3) our "key passages," and (4) our SmartCite flags.
This article is focused on cite-checking cases. To find out how to cite-check the authorities in a brief or other legal document, please see "How do I cite check my brief?"
1. "Citing Cases" tab:
Casetext lists all the cases that have cited the case you are reading in the "citing cases" tab. That tab is found just below the case title. You can also access the "citing cases" from the window that appears again below the case name, as indicated by the red boxes in the screenshot below:
When you click on the "citing cases" tab or window, you'll be taken to a results search that lists all the cases that cite to the case you were just reading. From that screen, you can filter and narrow the citing cases by jurisdiction, motion type, cause of action, party types, and date. You can also search through the "citing cases" for specific terms in the "search within" bar that appears just below "filter and narrow" on the left-hand side of your screen:
After you click on the "citing cases" tab, you can rank the cases that cite your case as follows:
-Depth of Treatment: moves the cases that provide the most in-depth treatment of your original case to the top of the "citing cases" list;
-Newest to oldest: moves the newest cases to the top of the "citing cases" list;
-Oldest to newest: moves the oldest cases to the top of the "citing cases" list;
-Cite count: moves the most cited of the citing cases to the top of the list.
In addition, if you found a case through a document-based CARA A.I. search, you can use CARA's algorithm to rank the cases in the "citing cases" tab. CARA's algorithm will move the citing cases that most closely match the context of your uploaded document to the top of your search results.
To change how the cases in the "citing cases" tab are ranked, click the blue text that says "Sort by..." in the upper right-hand corner of the screen displaying your citing cases:
2. Summaries written by judges:
Casetext collects all summaries of a case written by judges in other cases and displays them in the "summaries written by judges" window that appears just below the case name. Each summary contains a hyperlink to the case that provided the summary.
As shown in the example below, Terry v. Ohio was summarized in United States v. Griffin, 730 F.3d 1252 (11th Cir. 2013) for the following proposition: "finding that out of the 4.4 million Terry stops conducted by the NYPD between 2004 and 2012, 88 percent did not result in an arrest or summons and that no weapons were found in 98.5 percent of the 2.3 million frisks conducted over the same period." This summary comes from a parenthetical that appears in page 1256 of United States v. Griffin:
3. Key Passages
When reading a case, you may notice that some passages are highlighted in green and some passages are highlighted in pink. These colors are used to alert you to the fact that certain passages in the case you are reading have been cited by other cases.
Passages highlighted in green indicate that multiple cases have cited that passage. To see the cases that have cited to that passage, click on the green highlighting. Doing that will bring up a separate window, showing you all the cases that have cited that passage. If you scroll down to the bottom of that window, you will see a button allowing you to "see and filter all citing cases." Clicking that button will allow you to see all cases citing a particular passage and filter those cases by search term, jurisdiction, motion type, cause of action, and date:
Passages highlighted in pink indicate that other cases have cited and emphasized those sentences. This tool captures each time a court uses "emphasis added" to emphasize the words in a case. To see the cases that have emphasized a passage, click on the pink highlighting. Doing that will bring up a separate window, showing you all the cases that have emphasized that passage. If you scroll down to the bottom of that window, you will see a button allowing you to "see and filter all citing cases." Clicking that button will allow you to see all cases emphasizing a particular passage and filter those cases by search term, jurisdiction, motion type, cause of action, and date:
4. SmartCite Flags
Casetext's SmartCite Citator uses flags to indicate how cases have been cited by other cases and treated on appeal.
A yellow flag indicates that a case has been distinguished by other cases, or cited by other cases with a contrary citation signal (But see, but cf., contra). By clicking on the yellow flag, you can see a list of cases that have distinguished the case you are reading, or have cited it as a contrary authority:
Under the yellow flag you may see arrows under specific contrary authorities; these will show how the cited case was discussed and distinguished in another opinion:
SmartCite also uses green, red, and orange flags to indicate how a case has been treated on appeal. To learn more about using our cases to see how a case has been treated on appeal, please see How do I know if a case is good law? and Can I see how a case has been treated on appeal?
The term "Shepardize" is used here to refer to the process of checking how a case has been cited by other cases. Casetext does not offer Shepard's Citations, which is a product of LexisNexis, and is not associated with or endorsed by LexisNexis or any of its affiliates.