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Federal Court Structure U. S. Supreme Court U. S. Court of Appeals U. S. District Courts Agency Rulings (FCC, EPA, etc.)

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Presentation on theme: "Federal Court Structure U. S. Supreme Court U. S. Court of Appeals U. S. District Courts Agency Rulings (FCC, EPA, etc.)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Federal Court Structure U. S. Supreme Court U. S. Court of Appeals U. S. District Courts Agency Rulings (FCC, EPA, etc.)

2 Court Reporters U. S. Supreme Court United States Reports (U.S.), and others U. S. Court of Appeals Federal Reporter (F. 3d and F. 2d) U. S. District Courts Federal Supplement (F. Supp) Agency Rulings (FCC, EPA, etc.)

3 Legal Citations The basic form of a legal citation is: 438 U.S. 726 Where: 438 U.S. 726 volume source page Typically, you will also see the name of the case: F.C.C. v. Pacifica Foundation, 438 US 726 (1978)

4 Legal Citations (cont.) The format will be the same no matter if it is a statute: 18 U.S.C.A. § 1464 (title 18, United States Code Annotated, section 1464) or journal article: 46 FCLJ 267 (volume 46, Federal Communications Law Journal, page 267)

5 Parallel Citations Parallel citations are multiple citations for the same case, each one pointing to a different source (called reporters). F.C.C. v. Pacifica Foundation 438 U.S S.Ct MLR 2553 (United States Reports) (Supreme Court Reporter) (Media Law Reporter)

6 Parallel Citations (cont.) While each reporter will give the complete decision of the court, those published by private publishers provide additional/editorial materials (added value) in addition to the court decision. F.C.C. v. Pacifica Foundation 438 U.S S.Ct MLR 2553 (Government Printing Office) (West Publishing) (BNA) (Official Version) (Private Publisher) (Private Publisher)

7 Keyword Searching in Westlaw Find federal court cases dealing with the right of a high school to censor its school newspaper

8 Keyword Searching in Westlaw Find federal court cases dealing with the right of a high school to censor its school newspaper censorship AND “high school newspaper” searching All Federal Cases = 70 Cases

9 Cox Broadcasting v. Cohn, 420 U.S. 469 (1975) Supreme Court Decision: 1.Supreme Court has jurisdiction and that the free speech question (1 st & 14 th amendments) must be settled. 2.No state may impose santions on the accurate reporting of a rape victum’s name obtained from official court records open to the public. The 1 st and 14 th amendments limit Georgia from using the broadcast as a basis of invasion of privacy.

10 Cox Broadcasting v. Cohn, 420 U.S. 469 (1975) Supreme Court Decision: 3.The reporting of the crime and the resulting prosecution are legitimate concerns to the public and fall within the press’ responsibility. 4.The interest of privacy fades when information is from public records. 5.Decision of the Georgia Supreme Court is reversed.

11 Cox Broadcasting v. Cohn, 420 U.S. 469 (1975) Facts of the Case: 1.Reporter broadcast rape victum’s name (obtained from official public court records) 2.Victum’s father brought suit against broadcaster (based on Georgia statutue) that his right to privacy had been violated. 3.Trial court found in favor of victum’s father in spite of broadcaster claim that broadcast was legal under 1 st and 14 th amendment.

12 Cox Broadcasting v. Cohn, 420 U.S. 469 (1975) Facts of the Case: 4.Georgia Supreme Court determined that while trial court made an error in its interpretation of the state statute, the victum’s father had made a case for invasion of privacy based on the state statute, and that the 1 st and 14 th constitutional amendments did not require review in this particular case.


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