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Case Finding and Advanced Searching Strategies

What Is a Table of Authorities?

Whereas Citing References and Citing Decisions identify all cases that cite to a particular case (looking forward in time at the subsequent cases), the Table of Authorities identifies all of the cases relied upon and cited by a particular case (looking backward in time).

Although you generally would like to cite to as recent cases as possible, the leading case on a particular legal issue may be an older case, perhaps from a higher court. The Table of Authorities collects all of the citations within a case and describes the depth of treatment and how those cases were treated by this case. This makes it easy for you to verify the validity of authority that is being relied upon by a case.

Westlaw

To view the Table of Authorities for a case on Westlaw, click on the tab for "Table of Authorities."

Screenshot of Westlaw page for case showing Table of Authorities tab above case text

The Table of Authorities provides a list of the cases cited in your case. The KeyCite flags offer clues as to whether your case is relying on other cases that may not be good law, which could be useful if you want to distinguish your situation from the case. 

Screenshot of Westlaw's Table of Authorities for case

Lexis

On Lexis, you can access the Table of Authorities by clicking on "Shepardize this document" in the right sidebar of the case. 

Screenshot of Lexis page for case, showing link to Shepardize document to the right of the case's text

The Shepard's Report includes a tab for Table of Authorities in the left sidebar. 

Sreenshot of Lexis's Table of Authorities for case, showing link to table on left of Shepard's Report page