Review: Statutes

You are using an Annotated Statute.  What additional materials might you find that would be very useful to your research?

You may find a summary of cases, citations to secondary sources, legislative materials, court documents plus other useful materials.

Annotated statutes are extremely useful.

Be sure you know how to find these additional materials using Lexis and Westlaw.

Below is an image of a Nebraska Statute on Westlaw Edge.  You can see the arrow on the left pointing to Notes of Decisions where you will find the summary of the important cases that have cited the statute.

For this statute, there is one case in Notes of Decisions.  As you can see in the image below.

The arrow on the right is pointing to Citing References where you will find cases (7), statutes & court rules, (2) secondary sources (7), appellate court documents (9), and trial court documents (8).

Below is the Nebraska Statute on Lexis. Below the statute, you will see Judicial Decisions. The arrow is pointing to the one case Lexis has decided to include in this section.  The Judicial Decisions.  This is similar to Notes of Decisions on Westlaw.

In the image below, the arrow is pointing to the Shepard’s document which is similar to KeyCite when the document is opened.

The image below is the Shepard’s document. opened.  As you can see it opens to Citing Decisions.  The top arrow on the left points to Citing Decisions (8) and the second arrow points to Other Citing Sources which for this statute is one law review article.

You will also find some of these additional materials in the print versions published by Lexis and Thomson Reuters (Westlaw).  If you are using the print statutes, you will also need to use KeyCite and Shepard’s.


Can you KeyCite and Shepardize statutes?


However, be sure that the materials you use pertain to the version of the statute you are researching.

Statutes can be amended, etc. so you need to be sure that the additional materials (e.g. cases)  discuss the version of the statute that you are researching.


It’s 5:00 o’clock on a Friday, and you just received an email requesting a list of cases that interpret whether entering into a lease in Illinois would submit a party to jurisdiction in Illinois, according to the state’s long-arm statute. You can get a head start on your research by retrieving the long-arm statute and browsing the Notes of Decisions in Westlaw and the Judicial Decisions in Lexis.

One more time.  Notes of Decisions are annotations that summarize important cases that have interpreted a statute or regulation, giving you a more complete picture of how the law has been applied.  The Judicial Decisions in Lexis are similar.


If you are doing statutory research, can KeyCite and Shepard’s reports identify new or pending legislation?

Yes. KeyCite and Shepard’s can identify new or pending legislation.