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COMS 428: Freedom of Speech

Course guide for COMS 428

Legal Databases

Nexis Uni (formerly LexisNexis)

There are two ways to find legal resources in Nexis Uni (formerly LexisNexis). You can search via the 'All Nexis Uni' on the right side of the site and then choose the category(ies) to begin your search. Consider using terms like 'computer crime' or 'cybercrimes' to find cases.


Or you can go 'Guided Search' towards the bottom of the main page and choose to search by either 'Cases' or 'Law Reviews'. Don't forget to enter in your search term the next entry box over.

If you choose to search by 'Cases', you'll be given the option to search by 'Federal Cases' or 'State Cases'. If you're interested in 'State Cases' be sure to specify the state you are focused on; for example - California, Maryland or Florida.




From the results page, you can either scroll through all of the results or use the categories on left side to narrow your focus on cases by specific courts, by date, or by practice area and topics.




Similar to the Westlaw database, Nexi Uni provides indicators of how positively, or negatively, a case has been referenced in other court proceedings and decisions.

You can then forward a result in several ways - print, email, download, export references or save to the cloud; these options will be directly above the results list. Hover over the various icons to learn what their functions are.


Using Westlaw

Enter your keywords here (i.e. cybercrime) or use the case name (i.e. Morse v. Frederick) to find information.



You also have the option to choose specific types of sources, court circuit, state courts, and tools.



To navigate through results either scroll down the page or jump to specific sections by choosing from the options on the left side of the page. 



The flags on the left of the cases denote how postively/negatively a case has been referenced in other proceedings or decisions.


Click on a box to the left of the result before choosing one of several options on how to save or email the resource.



Enter your keywords or case name into the search field on HeinOnline's homepage. This will be under the first tab title "Full Text". Other search options include by citation or case law.

On the results page, you will be able to filter how you view them. You can narrow down by title, title of the law review publication, etc. For the purpose of your assignment, click on 'Section Type' and then 'Article' - this way you will see only law review articles pertaining to the court case you are researching.


To access the remaining articles (after refining your results), click on the title to read the full article. 

You have two ways in which to download the pdf or email yourself the article. Before clicking on the article title, look to the right corner of the results field and you'll see four icons to 1) directly access the pfd file; 2) download the pdf file; 3) email the article; 4) tag and save a bookmark within HeinOnline (you would need to create your own log-in).

The other option to download the article would be after clicking on the article title. Just above the text of the article will be located many of the same icons shown on the previous page.

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