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MCOM 3327 (Osei-Hwere): Media Communication Law

Mass Media Law

Supreme Court Calendar

The Supreme Court page for Calendars and Lists includes the dates that the court is scheduled to hear arguments this term, through the month of April.

Pending Cases in the Supreme Court

While pending cases could be searched by docket number on the Supreme Court website, it is easier to browse a list of cases for the 2020/2021 term on the Oyez website.  The standard view shows the cases listed alphabetically with a short description of the case.  If a case has already been argued before the court, it will show when it was decided or if the decision is still pending. 

To view cases by topic, first click on the blue button "View by: Court Term."  In the drop-down menu, click on "Issue."  Next click on the blue button for "Issue" that appears.  You may scroll a list on its drop-down menu.  Be advised, the list consists of main terms and subterms.  For example:  Economic Activity > Intellectual Property > Copyright.  NOTE:  Cases listed by "Issue" cannot be limited to the current term of the Supreme Court, so numerous older cases are included..

Information from the About Oyez page:  Oyez (pronounced OH-yay)—a free law project from Cornell’s Legal Information Institute (LII), Justia, and Chicago-Kent College of Law—is a multimedia archive devoted to making the Supreme Court of the United States accessible to everyone. It is the most complete and authoritative source for all of the Court’s audio since the installation of a recording system in October 1955. Oyez offers transcript-synchronized and searchable audio, plain-English case summaries...

Granted/Noted Supreme Court Cases

Lists of Granted/Noted Supreme Court Cases now includes about 30 noteworthy cases to be decided in the 2020/2021 term.  The current list is updated as decisions are handed down.  Cases that are yet undecided are listed as pending.

Actual Court Documents

While the Supreme Court has a page on Where to Find Briefs, the links to free resources do not work.  It does suggest Westlaw as a database resource.

To search Westlaw for briefs of pending Supreme Court cases: 

  1. Go to the library home page
  2. Click on button for Databases A-Z
  3. Click on "W"
  4. Click on Westlaw
  5. You are at the tab for "All Content"
  6. Click on Briefs
  7. Click on Briefs again
  8. Click on the link to "Advanced" for the advanced search form
  9. Look for the box by "Party Names"
  10. Try to type in just one word for the defendant's name and one word for the plaintiff's name.  (Example:  smith jones  Example:  google oracle)
  11. Browse the results for likely hits.

The free SCOTUSblog is an excellent source for easy access to actual court documents.  It has a page for all the major cases in the 2020/2021 term.  Click on the link to "sorted by case name" for an alphabetical list of cases.  Click on a case name and scroll to "Proceedings and Orders" to view the documents, such as petitions and amicus briefs, that are available online.  Is SCOTUSblog reputable?  The ABA Journal wrote about in a 2013 article.  In 2012, it was the first blog to receive a Peabody award.  Harvard Law School Library lists it on a guide to Free Legal Research Resources - United States.

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Try the Discover search box on the library home page to search multiple databases at the same time.  Also try "EBSCO Search" to search about 60 databases from the vendor EBSCO at the same time. 

Find Law Review and Law Journal Articles

You will probably have to search all of these databases to find a few articles that mention the case you are researching:

  • HeinOnline > Periodicals > Law Journal Library
  • NexisUni > Law Reviews
  • Westlaw > Secondary Sources > Law Reviews & Journals

NOTE:  if you search HeinOnline, you will need to verify that the sources are indeed law journals and law reviews, not trade journals, etc.  Search the journal title in the database Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory to verify that the "Serial Type" is a  Journal and that the "Content Type" is Academic/Scholarly.