This week's book giveaway is in the Mac OS forum. We're giving away four copies of a choice of "Take Control of Upgrading to Yosemite" or "Take Control of Automating Your Mac" and have Joe Kissell on-line! See this thread for details.
If somewhere in the "more code" (line 8 in your example), dataList is set to null, then the getData() method will return null. But the new operator itself never returns null, so there's no need to check for that.