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n. a method of locating reports of appeals decisions based on prior precedents from Shepard's Citations, books which list the volume and page number of published reports of every appeals court decision which cites a previously decided case or a statute. Shepard's exists for all sets of reports of appeals cases, and is updated every month with supplemental booklets. While it looks like a mathematician's book of tables, Shepard's Citations is an invaluable tool in finding appeals decisions which either follow, distinguish or deviate from prior case law. (See: reports)