item image
29 Oct 2018 Author : InfoPro Community Manager

Advantages of timely, validated state case law with summaries and headnotes for your jurisdictional work

Researchers rely on the Lexis Advance® service for a wide range of legal content—including validated case law relevant to specific jurisdictions. In fact, LexisNexis has more total federal and state case law than Westlaw.*

It’s easy to access state case law via the Lexis Advance® service. From the home page, just go to the Explore Content pod, click the State tab and select the state(s) you need.

Then you can easily use the red search box to enter a source name, a citation, terms or shep: [citation] to Shepardize®—or click source links as shown below.

Why turn to Lexis Advance for state case law? Below you’ll see some distinctive ways in which Lexis Advance state case law gives lawyers confidence they are building cases on good law that’s current and relevant.


Building cases on good law

The only way to Shepardize a state case is to use Shepard’s® Citations Service, available only from LexisNexis. Here are a few advantages: Only Shepard’s can show you good points of law from overruled cases by displaying “overruled’ and “followed” treatment for the same case.

  • Shepard’s attorney editors follow rigorous quality controls for case law and a strict 29-step editorial process that includes careful tagging and any needed corrections by attorney-editors in coordination with the courts, as well as Shepard’s analysis, creation of headnotes and case summaries, and updates to address ongoing changes in the law. LexisNexis makes more than 500,000 corrections and enhancements to cases received from the courts each year.
  • Shepard’s full spectrum of editorial analysis shows you both negative treatments and true positive treatment; it helps you uncover splits of authority to gain additional support you can’t find elsewhere. A recent comparison of signal values across ~ 3,000 cases illustrates this difference:


LexisNexis Shepard’s Quality Study, an internal quality comparison study completed on September 13, 2018:

  • Shepard’s Citations Service performed as well or better than KeyCite in identifying negative treatment and history.
  • As indicated in the graphic above, Shepard's also provides more signal values, providing a more nuanced picture of how cases have been treated. In addition to red warning signals and yellow caution signals, which both KeyCite and Shepard’s provide, Shepard’s provides true positive treatment indicated by the green signal, an orange “questioned by” signal, and blue signal for neutral treatments such as “explained.”



In addition to quality control, the LexisNexis editorial process provides fast turnaround to help you stay current.*

  • LexisNexis puts (overall) cases online faster than Westlaw more than 88 percent of the time.
  • Editorial enhancements like headnotes and cases summaries are generally completed within 72 to 96 hours on average.



Through more than 1,000 case collection points throughout the U.S., LexisNexis collects all available case opinions as determined by the courts. Then, LexisNexis attorney-editors prepare case summaries and headnotes to ensure researchers have access to the true intention of a court’s decision—and can quickly identify relevant state case law.

The attorney-editors do not apply editorial opinion when creating headnotes. They use the language of the court so users can cite LexisNexis content with confidence.

It’s also worth noting that LexisNexis headnotes are built specifically for online research with a system designed to support new and emerging topics and areas of law. This compares favorably to Westlaw, which uses a print-originated key number system that limits the ability to re-categorize and accommodate emerging legal topics.

Case summaries give you key insights that help improve your research. LexisNexis provides a summation of relevant facts and pertinent legal authorities, and the outcome of each opinion, enabling you to quickly see how cases relate to your own.

Plus, LexisNexis® Court Reports publish the official court opinions in seven jurisdictions—California, Georgia, Massachusetts, Montana, Vermont, the Virgin Islands and Washington—all of them enhanced by case summaries and headnotes written by attorney-editors in cooperation with the courts.


More information

For more details on state case law on the Lexis Advance service, call 800-543-6862 or contact your LexisNexis representative.


*Comparison data based on information available as of October 2017.

LexisNexis, Lexis Advance, Shepard’s and the Knowledge Burst logo are registered trademarks of RELX Inc. Other products or services may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.