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ASRC 4304/6340: Critical Race Theory: Updating Case Law

Introduction to legal research for Critical Race Theory.

What Does It Mean to Update a Case

Once you have identified useful cases, it is important to update the cases before you rely on them. Updating case law means checking to see if it is still "good law." Using Shepard's on LexisNexis Academic, you can determine if a case has been expressly reversed oroverruled or otherwise impacted by subsequent authorities. Shepard's links to authorities that have mentioned your case. It is the researcher's responsibility to see if being mentioned by other courts may have impacted the case.

Updating on LexisNexis Academic

On LexisNexis Academic, find the case you want to update.  In the upper left-hand corner, you will see one of the following symbols:

Signal Description Details
Shepred.gif Warning Negative treatment indicated. Includes the following analyses:
  • Overruled by
  • Superseded by
  • Revoked
  • Obsolete
  • Rescinded
Sheporange.gif Questioned Validity questioned by citing references. Includes the following analyses:
  • Questioned by
Shepyellow.gif Caution Possible negative treatment indicated. Includes the following analyses:
  • Limited
  • Criticized by
  • Clarified
  • Modified
  • Corrected
Shepgreen.gif Positive Positive treatment indicated.

Includes the following analyses:

  • Followed
  • Affirmed
  • Approved
Shep circled a.gif Citing References with Analysis Other cases cited the case and assigned some analysis that is not considered positive or negative. Includes the following analyses:
  • Appeal denied by
  • Writ of certiorari denied
Shep circled i.gif Citation Information References have not applied any analysis to the citation. For example the case was cited by case law or law reviews that do not warrant an analysis. Includes the analysis:
  • Cited by.


Click on the symbol to see the cases that have cited your case.

For more information about using Shepard's, go to