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Table of Authorities Feature is Finally Available on WestlawNext

Kudos to WestlawNext for adding the Table of Authorities (TOA) feature. The Table of Authorities is a listing of the cases relied upon as authority by a case or other content you are viewing. KeyCite flags & symbols displayed in the Table of Authorities list allow you to quickly verify the validity of the relied-upon authority in the decision. Yellow or red KeyCite flags associated with a reference indicate that you should take a cautious approach to a point of law supported by that reference. The TOA can be a very powerful tool  to determine if you  or your opponent are relying on a case with a hidden weakness. For example, you might wish to rely on a case for a memo you are drafting. The reason you like that case is for one of several legal issues it discusses. The judge in “your” case may have decided that issue based on an earlier decision’s holding on a similar issue. If that earlier decision is later overruled or construed negatively for that particular issue, any later opinion (such as the case you are hoping to use) that relied on that earlier decision is also now affected with regard to that particular issue.

In WestlawNext, access to a case’s Table of Authorities now appears as a tab at the top of a full-text  document (e.g., a case). It is currently available in the following WestlawNext content types:

  • Cases
  • Law Review Articles
  • American Law Reports (A.L.R.)
  • Administrative Decisions
  • Trial Court Documents/Briefs/Trial Court Orders
  • Oral Arguments/Trial Transcripts
  • Expert Material
  • American Jurisprudence (Am.Jur.)
  • Corpus Juris Secondum (C.J.S.)
  • Restatements

Students who want help learning to take advantage of the Table of Authorities feature may meet with a Reference Librarian at the Reference Desk in the Law Library or schedule a meeting.