Communication Law Final Paper
Your final paper for this course requires you to focus on a well-publicized US communication law case from the last 10 years, of your choosing. You will need to determine, based on your knowledge of media law, whether or not you think the case was decided correctly, and why.
- You should choose a well-publicized case that has appeared in the news in the last ten years and deals with at least one of the areas of communication law discussed in this course.
- The case may be on-going. That is, it may still be in the appeals process. However, there should be at least one court decision to discuss.
- Do not pick a case that was settled out of court.
- You will find that a case which is not clear-cut (i.e. one in which there are strong legal arguments on both sides) will serve you best for this paper.
- Your paper will need to include at least 5 outside sources that are cited, where appropriate, in the paper. Two of them may be popular press sources, the others should be legal documents (such as a judicial opinion), academic articles, or books related to the law. You will probably want cite the textbook, but it does not count as one of your sources. Hint: you may find it helpful to cite verdicts from similar cases that may have served as precedents.
- The paper may relate to a case we discussed in class or which is featured in the textbook.
- Your paper should be 10-15 pages in length. It should be double-spaced, written in Times New Roman Font, size 11 or 12, with one-inch margins. It should include the following:
- An in-depth description of the case, describing the situation from which the dispute arose, the parties involved, the decision of the trial court and any appeals courts, and the stated reasons for the court’s decision(s).
- A description of the legal framework that applied to case, including any statutes and/or common law principles that apply, and important precedents.
- Your assessment of whether or not the case was decided correctly, relying for evidence on the legal framework laid out above. This section should be the most substantial part of the paper, demonstrating a clear understanding of the laws that applied in this case.
- A conclusion that discusses the lessons that media workers can learn from a close examination of this case. How might a knowledge of this case help guide media workers who face similar situations in the future?
- Finally, your paper must have a properly and consistently formatted bibliography. This is included in your page count.
- Note: it strongly advised that you clear your topic with the instructor before writing your paper. You can send an email with the name of the case, and will receive confirmation within 24 hours whether the case will work well for this paper, provided you initiate the process by April 10. This is not required, but if your paper is weak because the case you chose does not meet the criteria described above, the responsibility is yours.
This paper is worth 50 points (25% of your final grade). It is due via blackboard by the start class on April 18th.