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ECON 394LI Law and Economics


Welcome to the Library Guide for ECON 394LI Law and Economics with Prof. Rus Janis (Fall 2017). This guide contains information and links to help you complete your legal analysis assignment.


For this assignment, you will locate information about an ongoing legal case on a topic of your choosing, relate it to the theories you have learned, and analyze the real-world implications of the precedent it could set.

There are several ways you can locate information about pending cases:

  • Legal news and blogs. Legal bloggers and news sites will often post about new cases that have been brought to the courts. They will include a summary of the issues and may provide some legal analysis.
    • Jurist Legal News. Covers significant goings-on in the courts, and links to further information.
    • Justia Legal Practice Areas. Aggregates news and blog postings by area of law.
    • SCOTUSblog. The blog of the Supreme Court of the United States.
    • Oyez. Includes summaries of pending Supreme Court cases, and video of oral arguments.
    • Reuters Legal News.
    • Blawg Directory (American Bar Association). Lists law blogs by topic.
    • Law360. Legal news aggregator. Requires registration for seven days of free access.
    • Can view news by practice area (e.g. intellectual property, product liability). Requires free registration for access.
    • Westlaw. Has a searchable news section (newspapers, wire associations, blogs, newsletters). Note that many of these documents are "out of plan" and not accessible to UMass. You can also search briefs.
    • Google. If you know what case you are interested in, you can search it in Google to locate information and commentary. Or you can search for terms like "class action lawsuits" to find pages that list open cases.
  • Court web sites. Each level of court has its own website that may list pending cases, while others will direct you to use PACER.
  • Organization web site. Organizations that are involved in litigation (as a party or as a "friend of the court") might list the cases on their web site, or other cases related to their mandate. They also issue press releases about new litigation. Search Google for advocacy organizations related to the topic you are interested in.
  • PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records). PACER is a database of electronic court filings. It is searchable by court level, parties, or area of law. Note that use of PACER is not free; however, accumulated balances of less than $15 per quarter are waived. Please see the PACER link on the left for more information. An alternative is to send me the case number and court level, and I will locate the document for you.
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