Working across Brief, View and FindCase, CiteCase’s icons allow a user to see at a glance the nature of a case citation and if a case can be relied on for its precedential value. For example you’ll be instantly alerted as to whether there is Litigation History , or whether citing cases give ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ treatment.
Exactly the same system is used in Westlaw. The only difference is its name: there it is called Keycite.
CiteCase Symbol Definitions
Red Flag – warns that a case has some negative litigation history or case citing, and as such may no longer be good law. This may be because it has been overturned on appeal (negative litigation history), or because one or more later judgments have cast significant doubt over its validity (negative cases citing).
Yellow Flag – a yellow flag is used to warn you that the case should be investigated further before being relied on. It warns that a case has partial negative litigation history or cases citing, but has not been entirely overruled or reversed. It can also mean a case has been doubted or distinguished by a later judgment.
Blue H – indicates that a case has some litigation history which is not known to be negative.
Green C – indicated that a case has some cases citing (that are not part of its litigation history) and that these citations are not known to be negative.In the example below from Brookers Online Criminal Law Database the blue H next to the case title (indicated by the orange arrow) lets a CiteCase user know there is non-negative litigation history.
Once the case Rajamani v R (SCNZ. 23/08/07) is opened for more investigation further citing references are revealed. (See the screen shot below.)
Click the link for a downloadable printable PDF of CiteCase Definitions This provides more detail with illustrated examples.
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