Citation Checking and Shepardizing

What is Shepardizing?

Using proper citations is important in any kind of writing, especially legal writing, because legal cases and the decisions rendered in those cases are often highly dependent on legal precedent or previous rulings. Citation checking is simply the process by which you ensure all of the cases, precedent rulings, and legal arguments are accurately cited, and have the correct legal formatting.

Shepardizing determines if a case can be used as an authority to support a party’s legal argument, or if the scope of the case or a particular legal matter or cause of action has been limited by any subsequent rulings. Shepard’s Citations are also used to determine how and when a particular court case was first cited by another court and what legal history exists.

Why is Shepardizing significant?

Shepardizing is significant in evaluating the precedential value of legal authority cited in a party’s motions or briefs. It ensures that the case law you rely upon to support your claims is up to date and is still good law. It also assists counsel in locating other case law, statutes or legal resources that opine on the legal issue being adjudicated by the Court. This additional information can ultimately assist in presenting the strongest legal authorities and making the most compelling case on behalf of your client.

Why Hire a Legal Consultant for Citation Checking?

Citation checking is essential to ensure the references and legal cases cited in a legal document are correct and up to date. Professional lawyers and legal consultants should handle both citation checking and Shepardizing because they have the required skills, knowledge, and  modern tools needed to analyze various cases and determine whether any prior and subsequent decisions related to that case reinforce or contradict your legal arguments.