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BC 470: Mass Communication Law
Professor Chuck Ganzert

Library Resource Guide

Off-Campus Access: If you have trouble accessing Westlaw or any other electronic library resource from off-campus with a cable modem, wireless, or a non-NMU internet service provider, login using the VPN client software. It is located under Start, All Programs, Cisco Systems VPN Client, VPN Client. If you don't have an NMU issued laptop download the software here.

Court Cases


Lecture Notes from Library Presentation (powerpoint). Practice exercise.

Reference & Secondary Sources

Black's Law Dictionary...........................(located in the right-hand column under Secondary Sources)
.............Also available ................................................2nd Floor Reference Collection:: KF 156 .B53
Legal Thesaurus ...............................................................................3rd Floor Books: KF 156 .B856
Legal Research in a Nutshell ......................................2nd Floor Reference Collection: KF 240 .C54
The Elements of Legal Style ...............................................................3rd Floor Books: KF 250 .G37

American Jurisprudence 2d
A comprehensive legal encyclopedia summarizing legal principles of state and federal law (written for lawyers). Provides citations to leading cases, statutes, regulations, and journal/law review articles.

Michigan Law and Practice Encyclopedia
A 26 volume encyclopedia for Michigan law, this is the Michigan equivalent of Corpus Juris Secundum. Located in the Olson Library Reference collection, 2rd floor: Reference KFM 4265 .M5

American Law Reports
Attorney-written articles that cite, summarize, and analyze case law on a particular legal issue.

Legal Periodicals
Full text articles from over 700 legal journals and law reviews available through Westlaw. Articles often discuss developing areas of law, legal issues on which there is disagreement among scholars and judges, or legal issues of particular social importance.

Library Catalog
Use the library catalog to locate books on various legal topics.  Also used to determine if the library owns a particular law journal.



Westlaw Next
Westlaw Campus is a comprehensive database containing the decisions of cases from all 50 states as well as the federal courts including the Supreme Court.

United States Reports (U.S.) - KF 101 .A3 (v.340-560 ; 1950-2010)
The complete decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court, including dissenting opinions.

Supreme Court Reporter (S.Ct.)
The Library's earliest set of Supreme Court cases.  Contains the headnotes of the main points of law for each case. Available through Westlaw Next.

Federal Reporter, Third Series. (F.3d), Second Series. (F.2d), First Series (F.)
Contains the complete decisions of cases decided in the U.S. Court of Appeals (all circuits). Available through Westlaw Next.

Federal Supplement, Second Series (F.Supp.2d), First Series (F.Supp.)
Contains the complete decisions of selected cases decided in the U.S. District Courts.  Available through Westlaw Next.

Federal Agency Decisions

FCC Record
A comprehensive compilation of decisions, reports, public notices, and other documents of the Federal Communications Commission of the United States. Search the full-text of the FCC Record going back to volume 1 (1986) from the University of North Texas.

Olson Library keeps the last 10 years (along with indexes) in print on the 3rd floor of the library. The call number is KF2763.3 .A2 U535.



Michigan Reports (Mich.)
Official publication of all decisions of the Michigan Supreme Court.  Available through Westlaw Next.

Michigan Appeals Reports (Mich.App.)
Official publication of all decisions of the Michigan Court of Appeals.  Available through Westlaw Next.


Westlaw Next contains federal and state statutes (United States Code Annotated and Michigan Compiled Laws Annotated) as well as the Code of Federal Regulations and state administrative codes. Click on the Statutes & Court Rules for quick access to the U.S.C.A. or individual State statutes.

United State Code Annotated (U.S.C.A.)
The entire body of federal law currently in force, organized into 50 subject divisions (called titles).  Includes references to court decisions and law reviews related to particular statutes.  Available through Westlaw Next. Click on the Statutes & Court Rules link for quick access to the U.S.C.A..


Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.)
A cumulating of the Federal Register arranged into 50 subjects divisions known as titles.  Available through Westlaw Next.

Federal Register (F.R.)
The daily compilation of executive and administrative rules and regulations which have the force of law.  See the monthly and annul indexes. Freely available on the Internet: Federal Register.


Michigan Compiled Laws Annotated (M.C.L.A.)
The entire current law of Michigan arranged into subject divisions. Includes references to court decisions and journal articles related to particular laws.  Available through Westlaw Next. Click on Statutes & Court Rules to access the laws from any of the 50 states.


Michigan Administrative Code
A compilation of administrative rules and regulations issued by various state agencies and departments. Available through Westlaw Next.

Michigan Register - Ref. KFM 4236 .M53
The state version of the Federal Register, issued monthly.  Contains new and proposed rules issued by state agencies. Freely available on the Internet: Michigan Register.

Citations and Abbreviations

The basic citation form for any legal reference you may find is:

volume number
page number

In general, abbreviations for law materials found in Olson Library are listed below. Click on an abbreviation to determine the Olson Library holdings of that particular source. 

Code of Federal Regulations
Westlaw Next
Federal Reporter, Second Series
Westlaw Next
Federal Reporter, Third Series
Westlaw Next
Federal Register
Westlaw Next
Federal Supplement
Westlaw Next
Michigan Compiled Laws Annotated
Westlaw Next
Michigan Reports
Westlaw Next
Michigan Appeals Reports
Westlaw Next
Supreme Court Reporter
Westlaw Next
U.S. Reports
Westlaw Next
U.S. Code Annotated
Westlaw Next


If time permits, a second practice exercise.

For abbreviations not listed above, see:

The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation - Ref. KF 245 .U58

Further Assistance
If you need help with any of these resources, ask for assistance at the Library's Reference Desk (227-2294), use the live chat, or contact Mike Burgmeier, Reference Librarian.

Library Hours
Mon: 7:30 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Tue: 7:30 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Wed: 7:30 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Thu: 7:30 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Fri: 7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Sat: 12:00 noon - 8:00 p.m.
For exceptions and full year hours