Graphical Keycite on Westlaw

I was at a conference in San Antonio in July where Westlaw announced a new graphical interface for “shephardizing” US caselaw.

The dome url is

I talked to the Canadian rep who said this is under development in Canada, but not yet available. I reccomended that they consult with the legal research and academic communities on features, specifically on being able to note up foreign cases in Canadian courts, as this is now a significant aspect of Canadian legal research.

I urge Slawites to do the same.

I think graphical keycite is great, but I’d like to hear other opinions.


  1. I’m always reluctant to get on the bandwagon of a publisher’s “improvements” but I agree, I like the graphical (is that a word?) keycite and would like it for Canada. Even more useful is your suggestion for being able to note up foreign cases in Canadian courts, Neil. I’ll pass this onto our rep.

  2. Two thoughts.

    Canadian reps may not be as plugged in to how this is rolled out as Eagan. Keep talking to the programmers there.

    Secondly, Shepards is unique (as is the US system generally) in how parochial it is, in not permitting citation tracking to and from non-US sources. When we visited Colorado Springs as part of the [lamented] Canadian Shepards project, we were aghast to see that all foreign references were dumped.

    This is of course consistent with the approach of Scalia J in Roper v. Simmons at and see Foreign Law and the US Constitution at

    One of the great things about Canadian lawyers is that they are by necessity and instinct comparativists. We thrive on foreign law and section 1 of the Charter throws us into it.

    I do however find it ironic that the Canadian Case Citations in E-Carswell only works for Canadian cases and that resort to the print version is required to do cross-system linkages.