Lexis+ Feature Highlight: Shepardizing Code Subsections

January 31, 2024

One of my longstanding favorite statutory research features offered by Lexis+ is the Subsection Report. Let’s explore how this tool works below!

Comprehensive Report

When you Shepardize a statute, you can view a comprehensive report of all the citing references for the statute by clicking the Shepard’s symbol or “Shepardize Document”. However, when you are dealing with a statute that has distinct subsections for analysis, the comprehensive report can be overwhelmingly and mining for relevant case references can be time-consuming.

Screenshot with arrows demonstrating where to click on a statute to open the comprehensive report on Lexis+.

Subsection Report

With the Subsection Report, you can select a specific subsection of the statute (if the database has identified the specific citation as a reference within other sources) and review the case references for that particular subsection. I find this a particularly valuable filter when I’m searching for case law on a definition or element of a test within a lengthier statute.

But wait, it gets better! You also have the option to turn on “Subsection Signal Indicators” when viewing a statute on Lexis+. This will show you not only the Shepard’s symbol for the statute based on the comprehensive report, but also the Shepard’s symbol for each subsection of the statute. This may be a great way to hone analysis on challenged or controversial points of a statute.

I think the Subsection Report can be tricky to find if you don’t know to look for it. When viewing a statute on Lexis+, follow these steps to view the Subsection Report:

  1. Click “Shepardize Document” from the right menu of options.
  2. Click “court treatment of subsections” under the citing decisions analysis map.
  3. Review the list of versions of the statute cited by the court and select the section to view citing references.

To save some time, alternatively follow these steps to turn on Subsection Signal Indicators when viewing a statute on Lexis+:

  1. Toggle on “Signals on Subsections” (under the Shepardize Document button) from the right menu of options.
  2. Select the signal indicator next to a subsection to navigate to the court cases citing to that particular subsection.
Screenshot with arrows indicating that the “signals on subsection” tool is activated on Lexis+.