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LRAW Research Spring 2025

Learning Outcomes: Federal Case Law

Upon completing this Federal Cases unit, you will be able to:

  • Describe the mandatory or persuasive authority of federal cases to other cases and specific courts based upon precedent (stare decisis), the jurisdiction, and the hierarchical structure of the federal and state court systems.
  • Recognize specific case reporters containing federal court opinions by name and citation and identify the courts and jurisdictions reported in each one.
  • Analyze a case and determine its relevance to a legal issue in the context of a set of facts.
  • Find both Westlaw Topics and Key Numbers and Lexis Headnotes and Topics and use them to find additional relevant cases by subject.
  • Retrieve relevant federal cases in Lexis, Westlaw and select free Internet resources by citation, party name, and keywords using the search function and appropriate filters.
  • Interpret citator signals and demonstrate using the Lexis and Westlaw citators to update a case and locate additional cases and secondary sources citing to that case.
  • When presented with a legal problem, identify key search terms and design an efficient legal research strategy for locating cases relevant to that problem.
  • Cite a case citation using the Bluebook and be able to interpret the citation.