Finding a case or statute on point does not
end the researcher's task. The found authority must be verified to make
sure that it is still good law, i.e., that a higher court or the same court
has not subsequently overruled or reversed the found case or law. Verification
is accomplished through the utilization of case citators. With the
advent of computerized research, citators such as
Key Cite® and AutoCite® have become popular. However,
the most widely utilized case citator is probably still Shepard's®
Citations which is available in both print and on-line versions.
In addition to telling you whether a case
has been overruled or disapproved, Shepard's can also tell you whether
the holding of a case has been criticized, limited, or followed by other
cases. This is possible because Shepard's and most other citators
tell you every case that has cited or mentioned the found or principal
In the highlighted column to the left, the
citation history of Christensen vs. Superior Court (1991) 820 P2d.
181, is shown. The first two citations shown in parenthesis are to parallel
citations, i.e., reports of the case found in other sets of court reports.
Letters to the left of citations are analysis abbreviations showing case
history and treatment of the case. Numbers in superscript between volume
and page number of citing cases refer to headnote numbers in the principal