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Using Shepard’s Citations In Print. Tina S. Ching Reference Librarian Ross-Blakley Law Library. What are Citators?. Legal Citation services indicate how and when a case or other legal resource has been cited. Citators can be used for:. Updating Precedential value Researching

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using shepard s citations in print

Using Shepard’s CitationsIn Print

Tina S. Ching

Reference Librarian

Ross-Blakley Law Library

what are citators

What are Citators?

Legal Citation services indicate how and when a case or other legal resource has been cited

citators can be used for
Citators can be used for:
  • Updating
    • Precedential value
  • Researching
    • Finding other cases
    • Finding articles
  • Analyzing
    • Treatment of the decision
the history of shepard s citations
The History of Shepard’s Citations
  • The inventor: Frank Shepard
  • Only comprehensive service available, until 1990’s
  • Purchased by Reed Elsevier, parent company of LexisNexis in late 1990’s
  • Currently the only comprehensive print service
  • “Shepardize”
why learn about shepard s in print
Why Learn about Shepard’s in Print?
  • You like books
  • The online version is based on the print version
  • You may be working for an “old school” attorney
  • You may not have computer or Internet access
some of the different shepard s citators
Some of the Different Shepard’s Citators
  • StateAll 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia
  • Regional

All Regional Reporters

  • Federal

Federal Reporter, Federal Supplement, etc.

  • SpecializedBankruptcy, Environmental, Immigration, Patent & Trademark, etc.
  • Other

Statutes, Regulations, Administrative Decisions, Constitutions, Restatements, Annotations, Law Reviews, etc.


How are Shepard’s Arranged?

  • Volumes are in numeric order, based on the Reporter
  • Reporter title, series, and volume information are at the top of the page
  • Cited case references are listed in bold
  • Parallel citations are in parentheses
  • Bound volumes are supplemented on a regular basis
periodic hard bound volumes updated by
Periodic Hard-bound Volumes Updated by:
  • Gold Pamphlet
    • Published annually, semi-annually, or quarterly
  • Red Pamphlets
    • Published more frequently
  • Blue pamphlets
  • Gray Pamphlets
    • Provides case name access
  • Shepard's Daily Update Service

ALL supplements must be checked to thoroughly update a citation

can you interpret this

Can you Interpret This?

Cir. 11

f 91FS2d11094

reading shepard s case citations step 1 case abbreviations
Reading Shepard’s Case Citations Step 1 – Case Abbreviations

Shepard’s has its own form of abbreviating cases

91 F.Supp.2d 1094

→ 91FS2d1094

step 2 case history abbreviations
Step 2 – Case History Abbreviations
  • a = affirmed
  • cc = connected case
  • m = modified
  • D = dismissed
  • p = parallel
  • r = reversed
  • s = same case
  • S = superseded
  • v = vacated
step 3 case treatment abbreviations
Step 3 – Case Treatment Abbreviations
  • c = criticized
  • d = distinguished
  • e = explained
  • f = followed
  • j = dissenting
  • L = limited
  • ~ = concurring
  • o = overruled
  • q = questioned
  • su = superseded by statute
step 4 abbreviations for supreme court action
Step 4 – Abbreviations for Supreme Court Action
  • US cert den = S.Ct. denied certiorari and won’t hear the case
  • US cert dis = Petition for certiorari was dismissed, but the case may be taken at a later time
  • US reh den = Request for rehearing denied
  • US reh dis = Request for rehearing dismissed

For other abbreviations, consult the tables at the beginning of each Shepard’s volume.

step 5 citations to headnotes
Step 5 – Citations to Headnotes


  • West headnote reference
  • Multiple headnotes = multiple entries
  • Now with LexisNexis headnotes
step 6 references to jurisdictions
Step 6 – References to Jurisdictions

Cir. 11

f 91FS2d11094

  • Citations from other jurisdictions will be listed.
  • Citations from secondary sources will be listed at the end.
shepard s recap
Shepard’s Recap
  • Helps to narrow research to important cases
  • Helps to narrow cases by subject matter
  • Identifies supporting law and arguments
  • Identifies secondary sources for additional research
  • If you don’t know what it means, check the tables in the front of the volume
the most important thing to remember about research
The Most Important Thing to Remember about Research


Failure to do so can cost you time, your case, and may even amount to malpractice. Check early, check often.

in the library the shepard s citators are located on the first floor in our core collection

In the library, the Shepard’s Citators are located on the first floor in our core collection.

Conveniently, they are on the tables right in front of the reference office. If you need help, just ask me or any one of the other librarians.




contact information
Contact Information

Tina S. Ching

Reference Librarian

Ross-Blakley Law Library