West Publishing Company, a leading legal publisher, has developed a system that allows legal researchers to locate cases on specific points of law across various jurisdictions. They call this the West Key Number System. Editors at West have created an outline of American law. Each topic and subtopic has a specific number, or Key Number, associated with it. When preparing court opinions for publication, editors identify key points of law addressed in the opinion and write head notes for each of these points. Each head note is assigned a key number. These key numbers can be used to locate other cases that discuss the same point of law. They can also be used when searching the Westlaw database.
KeyCite allows the legal researcher to determine whether the opinion rendered in a case is still "good law" or if it has been overruled or reversed. Click on the link below for a chart of the KeyCite Status Flags.