Shepardize Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Shepardize, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Shepardize?

(n) Shepardize is the process by which decision of the appeals court in previous similar cases published in Shepardiz’e Citations is located to be cited in the case

History and Meaning of Shepardize

Shepardizing is a legal research process that lawyers use to update their legal briefs and ensure that the case law they are relying on in their arguments is still good law. The term is named after Frank Shepard, who pioneered the process of compiling and organizing case citations in the early 1900s.

The process involves checking a particular legal case (primary authority) to see if it has been subsequently overruled, reversed, or cited in other cases (secondary authority). Lawyers use Shepard’s Citations, a comprehensive collection of case law citations, to identify whether their case has been superseded by subsequent case law developments or still holds its legal value.

Examples of Shepardize

  1. Before submitting a brief to the court, the lawyer Shepardized all of the cited cases to ensure that they were still good law.
  2. The paralegal was tasked with Shepardizing all of the cases in the memorandum to make sure that none of them were overruled.
  3. The attorney was confident in the strength of her legal arguments after Shepardizing all of the cases cited in her brief.

Legal Terms Similar to Shepardize

  1. KeyCite: Similar to Shepard's Citations, KeyCite is a citation research service by WestLaw that identifies whether a legal case or statute is still good law and provides links to subsequent citing cases, historical versions, and annotations.
  2. Bluebook: A legal citation manual that provides guidance on how to format and cite legal authorities in legal documents.
  3. Lexis Advance: A legal research platform that offers access to a vast collection of legal materials, including cases, statutes, regulations, and secondary sources.