Skip to Main Content

Guide to Westlaw Campus Research

Using KeyCite

KeyCite: This feature works in conjunction with the West Key Number System to connect documents that discuss the same legal issues. This is most helpful when determining if a case is still good law. 

In order to verify if a case is still good law, you need to check the case history and treatment. 

  • Subsequent History: Subsequent history indicates whether your case was appealed and later overturned, or affirmed. 
  • Subsequent Citations (Case Treatment): Subsequent citations indicate how other cases that came after your case have treated your case. 

KeyCite Flags alert you to negative references or events that may affect the validity of that document:

Click the Negative Treatment tab to view any direct negative history of the case. The alert flag next to the case name will also bring you to this Negative Treatment report.:

Click the History tab to see the subsequent history of a case:

Case History

Westlaw also displays the direct history of a case in an easy-to-read graphical map:

History Map

To view subsequent citations (case treatment), click on the Citing References tab:

This feature links to cases that cite the case you're reviewing. It also includes related secondary sources and court materials that indicate if the case is still good law.

Citing References columns

The Treatment column shows how the subsequent cases have treated the *cited case. If the treatment is negative, this column will include a Negative notation.

The Headnotes column indicates which headnotes in the *cited case contain the points of law discussed by the citing cases.

In addition, the Depth column provides Depth of Treatment bars, which are measures showing how much the *cited case has been examined and discussed in a subsequent case.

*The case which is KeyCited

The Table of Authorities tab is a list of cases relied upon as authority by the document you are viewing. 

Table of Authority