If you have a legal citation, you will need to correctly identify each component to determine which reporter published you case. Each citation is typically broken down into three basic components: the volume number; the reporter series; the page number.
89→ Volume # 83
Ohio St.→ Ohio State Reports
93→ Page # 93
Once you have deciphered the citation, you can use various resources to locate your case.
If you have a case name (names of parties involved), there are several sources available that will enable you to locate the case.
Locating cases on a particular topic can be a daunting task, especially if you are unfamilar with the area of law. Here are a few suggestions to help out:
Case law, like statues and regulations, is dynamic. Therefore it's essential to determine whether or not your case is still good law. In order to ascertain that fact, you will need to make use of a Citator.
A Citator is a legal reference tool that helps you determine what has happened to your case after it was released. Basically it takes the document and lists other documents that cite that document.
The two major legal citators are Shepards, on Lexis, and KeyCite on Westlaw.
When using a Citator, you’ll want to pay special attention to the “signal” given for your document. In KeyCite, the signals are often flags, while in Shepards , the signals are often geometric shapes. A red signal in both means that your document is in trouble and you need to find out why and how it affects your issue.