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BUSI 3312: Business Law

Tips for finding full text of cases, Shepardizing, etc.

Connect to Nexis Uni

Nexis Uni is available on campus and off-campus to current WTAMU faculty, students, and staff. Off-campus use requires login.  This database includes cases and law review articles.

Search for a Case by Citation: Nexis Uni

It is easier to find a case if you know the citation for it.  The fastest way in Nexis Uni to search by citation:

  1. Sample case citation:
    573 S.E.2d 785
  2. At library home page, go to Databases, A - Z.
  3. Click on "N."
  4. Click on Nexis Uni.
  5. Go to Guided Search.
  6. Click on Cases.
  7. Now the second search box is Jurisdiction.
  8. Choose Federal or State.  (If not sure which to choose, may try each option separately.)
  9. Type in the citation.
  10. Click Search.
  11. View search results.
  12. The first case listed will be the actual case.  (If it displays a different citation, click on the link to the case to view all parallel citations.)
  13. The other cases listed cite the actual case.

Search for a Case by Name - Nexis Uni

While you can search by case name, it does not work as accurately as searching by citation.  If many of the names in the case are common, a search by names will often find too many results.  Citation searches are unique and normally find only one case.  The fastest way to search by name of a case:

  1. Sample case name:  Kelo v. City of New London
  2. Go to Cornette Library home page
  3. Click on Databases A - Z.
  4. Click on "N."
  5. Click on Nexis Uni.
  6. Click on Get a Doc Assistance.
  7. Click tab for Cases by Party Name.
  8. Type a name in each search box.
  9. For Jurisdiction, may choose:  U.S. Federal, States & Territories (for state-level or territory-level cases), a specific Federal court, or an individual state (for state-level cases).
  10. If the Jurisdiction is unknown, may first search U.S. Federal.  Next, can try searching States & Territories.
  11. There may be multiple cases with the same name in the search results.  It may be possible to determine the correct case by evaluating the date of the case and the name of the court.

Using Nexis Uni Effectively

Reading Cases, etc.: Nexis Uni

You have some choices in viewing a list of search results:

By Category: the left-hand column of the screen has “Narrow By" options to filter the results.

  • For cases, can select Timeline, Court, Publication Status (Reported), Search Within Results, etc.
  • For law review articles, can select Category (of publication), Sources (to truly narrow results to law reviews and journals), Search Within Results, etc.
  • Clicking on a "Narrow By" option will find fewer, better results.

Sort by: located in the upper, right-hand corner of the screen.  Items are automatically in order by Relevance. Other "Sort By" options are different for cases compared to law review articles.

Full Text: click on blue link to view full text.

Nexis Uni “Connectors” Great search tricks:

Connector How to Use Example
AND to find both terms in a case alcohol AND blue laws
OR to find either term in a case Sunday closings OR blue law
W/SENT to find both terms in the same sentence formula w/sent trade secret
W/PARA to find both terms in the same paragraph copyright w/para music
W/# to find a term within a certain number of words of another term logo w/8 trademark
AND NOT to exclude a word music downloads AND NOT iTunes
ATLEAST#(word) # is the minimum number of times a word or phrase will appear in a document ATLEAST5(manufacturing defect) will only find the cases where the phrase manufacturing defect appears at least 5 times
! the exclamation point replaces one or more characters at the end of a word liab! will find liable or liability

Reminders: Nexis Uni

  • In a U.S. Supreme Court case, any information before the heading Opinion, is not part of the opinion written by the court. This additional information should not be included when you brief the case.

  • Also, if a concurring opinion or dissenting opinion is written, it is okay to brief it—but be aware it is not part of the official opinion of the court.
  • If you type in two or more words, they are searched as a phrase. Example: real property. If the words you are searching are not a phrase, connect them with a word such as AND. Example: alcohol AND blue laws