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media_law_newbie

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Hello,

 

I am a student taking a mass media law class and we are supposed to use this site for research but I'm not having much luck. We were given a case to research: Children's Television v. FCC, 852 F.2d 1332,1338-40 (D.C.Cir.1988), but when I search that name in this site I can't find anything. Is there a way to find past cases and read them? Is it in a different search engine than the search bar on the top of the site? I found caselaw.findlaw.com, but even that one needs you to know what Court the case was at, and the legal topic and the industry and the docket number, etc and I just have no idea what any of that is or how to figure it out from those numbers in the case name. 

 

We were also given a case citation: 

Supreme Court of the United States, 1974
418 U.S. 241, 94 S.Ct. 2831, 41 L.Ed.2d 730, 1 M
ed.L.Rptr. 1898.

I found this case: MIAMI HERALD PUBLISHING CO. v. TORNILLO,  418 U.S. 241 (1974) which seems to mostly match, but even looking through that case I can't find that exact citation with all of those numbers at the end anywhere to know for sure. 

 

I feel pretty dumb asking these questions but if anyone could help I would greatly appreciate it!

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A better place to look is Google Scholar: You can search all federal courts at one time and all civil courts at one time and even every court if you want to compile case decisions on a particular topic.

 

http://scholar.google.com/

 

The first one is actually named Action for Children's Television vs FCC:

 

http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=12220076459824773816&q=Children's+Television+v.+FCC,&hl=en&as_sdt=803

 

Note many other cases brought against the FCC by that Plaintiff:

 

http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=Children's+Television+v.+FCC%2C&btnG=&hl=en&as_sdt=803

 

I found the same Miami Herald case using the citation number which ends with the numeral 730:

 

http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=418+U.S.+241&btnG=&hl=en&as_sdt=803

 

This is apparently a landmark freedom of the press case as it has been cited 4848 times in subsequent cases.

 

I'm guessing that's the case you need to read since your class involves mass media.

 

The following web pages will teach you how to read case citations:

 

http://lawlibguides.byu.edu/c.php?g=315332&p=2106921

 

http://www.wikihow.com/Read-a-Legal-Citation

 

Feel free to come back to this thread if you'd like further discussion.

 

 

 

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On 8/26/2017 at 8:28 AM, media_law_newbie said:

We were also given a case citation: 

Supreme Court of the United States, 1974
418 U.S. 241, 94 S.Ct. 2831, 41 L.Ed.2d 730, 1 M
ed.L.Rptr. 1898.

I found this case: MIAMI HERALD PUBLISHING CO. v. TORNILLO,  418 U.S. 241 (1974) which seems to mostly match, but even looking through that case I can't find that exact citation with all of those numbers at the end anywhere to know for sure.

 

 

"All those numbers at the end" are called parallel citations.  Decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court are officially published in books called United States Reports.  They are unofficially published in West's Supreme Court Reporter and the Lawyers' Edition (which I believe is published by Lexis).  When citing a U.S. Supreme Court decision, it is acceptable, in most cases, simply to include the official reporter citation (in this case, Miami Herald Publishing Co. v. Tornillo, 418 U.S. 241 (1974).  However, in some contexts, parallel citations should be included, so you get "418 U.S. 241, 94 S. Ct. 2831, 41 L. Ed. 2d 730."  That way, no matter which set of books a person has access to, he can find the case easily (although these days, parallel citations are easy to look up online, and most case research is done on Lexis or Westlaw).  As far as "1 Med. L. Rptr. 1898," I assume that is something called Media Law Reporter, and I further assume it is a publication that compiles decisions from various courts that concern media law topics.

 

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