Skip to Main Content

CMM 402: Law of Communication: Welcome

Current Events/ Assignment Details

Search by citation:

 248 U.S. 215

Search by parties:

International News Service v. Associated Press

Search by topic:

Music, copyright law

Related Guides

Need More Information on Your Case?

Citators like Shepards are used for several reasons:

1. To help you check the status of a case, statute or other authority to ensure that it is still good law, i.e., that it has not been superseded, overruled, reversed, and/or questioned.

2.To provide parallel citations and both prior and subsequent appellate history for your authorities.

3. For locating cases, statutes, law reviews, and other legal resources that quote or cite to your authority on the same or similar legal issues.

* Signal Legend:

Negative treatment indicated-Warning: Negative treatment is indicated
Questioned Analysis-Questioned: Validity is questioned by citing references
Caution: Possible negative treatment-Caution: Possible negative treatment
Positive treatment indicated-Positive treatment is indicated
Citing references with analysis available-Citing references with analysis is available
Citation information available-Citation information is available
* Click any Shepard's editorial treatment code (e.g., distinguished, questioned) to view its definition.


The Summary box provides a snapshot of any subsequent, negative appellate history, as well as the numbers and types of citing references by type, including:

  • cases (by reason-i.e., negative, positive, neutral)
  • law reviews
  • restatements
  • secondary sources
  • statutes
  • treatises
  • annotations
  • other citations (in this case, articles)
  • court documents
  • Headnotes

Cases are broken down by many sub-groups, including:

  • Questioned
  • Criticized
  • Distinguished
  • Limited
  • Followed
  • Concurring Opinion
  • Dissenting Opinion
  • Explained
  • Harmonized
  • Interim Decision
  • Questionable Precedent

To view a document, either click on the hyperlink for the citation or the available pinpoint reference(s) that will take you to the exact place(s) where your authority is referenced.

With regard to cases, they are listed in order by U.S. Supreme Court, federal circuits in number order, federal districts courts in alphabetical order, and then states in alphabetical order. Unfortunately, law reviews and journals are listed in alphabetical order by publication title, rather than date. Obviously, date only matters when there are a lot of articles to review.

You could look at all of the citing decisions in an unrestricted report, but where there are a lot of citations, you may want to restrict your results. Lexis Nexis provides choices at the top of the screen for negative references only (All Neg), positive references only (All Pos), or a customized list (Focus-Restrict By). The Focus option is a great tool to limit a long list of citations by various criteria, including:

  • Negative, positive or other treatment
  • Jurisdiction
  • Federal (i.e., U.S. or particular Circuits)
  • State (i.e., a particular state or states)
  • Headnote(s) (i.e., the topic or topics Lexis Nexis has assigned to the authority)
  • Date (i.e., same year, prior years, subsequent years, exact date range)
  • Key words

Sasala, K. (2011). Shepardizing and Keyciting online. Retrieved September 6, 2013              


View this page in a format suitable for printers, screen readers, or mobile devices. 915 South Jackson Street • Montgomery, Alabama 36101 • (334) 604-9164