WSLL @ Your Service May 2012
What's New – Connie Von Der Heide
May 1 is Law Day
Law Day has been observed every May 1 since its establishment in 1958 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to mark the nation's commitment to the rule of law. Activities are taking place in courthouses around the country – including several in Wisconsin - to support the American Bar Association's 2012 theme, "No Courts, No Justice, No Freedom" and promote public understanding of how courts and the judicial process work.
Here in Madison, the Dane County Legal Resource Center (DCLRC) is providing space and access to library materials for members of the Dane County Bar Association (DCBA) who are providing free legal consultations from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. No appointment is necessary for this walk-in opportunity, and assistance is available in both English and Spanish. The courthouse is open to the public all day for tours and other events, including remarks by Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson scheduled at 3:00 p.m. after which cake is to be served. More information is available in this DCBA news release.
For information about Law Day activities taking place in other Wisconsin counties, see this article published in the Winter 2012 issue of The Third Branch, a quarterly publication of the Wisconsin Court System.
Our May and June legal research classes are now open for registration. In our May 23rd "Introduction to PACER" class, learn how you can use that service to access federal court dockets and obtain full text documents filed in federal civil and criminal court. In our June 21st class, "Researching Wisconsin Legislative History," learn both the sources that are used and the steps that are necessary in doing this type of research - including hands-on navigation of online legislative drafting files. For complete information and registration forms, please visit our Classes page.
New Look On WSLL Public Computers
Walk-in customers at the Wisconsin State Law Library will notice a new look to our public computers. We recently upgraded to Windows 7 and updated various software packages on the network. In addition, customers will now have their choice of three web browsers (Firefox, IE, and Chrome) and we've added Libre Office, a free open source suite providing word processing and other applications.
The upgrade also allows us to provide seamless in-library access to our Books Unbound subscription of browsable and searchable State Bar of Wisconsin CLE titles.
Please see our Computers & Internet page for complete listing of legal research applications available via the library.
A new way to access databases on our public computers.
National Library Week Wrap-Up
Many thanks to everyone who participated in our fun-filled National Library Week "Spring Training @ WSLL!" About 50 people joined us in the library Reading Room one afternoon for light refreshments and a chance at some door prizes. Several people also entered our "Which Case is a Foul Ball?" quiz, venturing a guess at which of six described cases was fictitious. Six correct entries went into a drawing, with Eileen Snyder of the Wis. Legislative Reference Bureau winning the prize: a totebag filled with baseball and springtime themed goodies. Even more people took our online fiction and non-fiction book title quizzes, making outs, runs or grand slams while sharpening their WSLL online catalog searching skills. Court staff took advantage of a WestlawNext training session, and library staff enjoyed a pizza & potluck lunch. This year's National Library Week planning committee included Elspeth Gordon, Carol Hassler, Devin Rogers, Julie Tessmer & Connie Von Der Heide – with help and contributions from everyone on staff.
Librarians Speak Out
On April 13, Connie Von Der Heide, Director of Reference & Outreach Services, spoke to UW Professor Gretchen Viney's Lawyering Skills class of approximately 50 third-year law students. Connie's presentation included tips on cost-effective ways to do web-based legal research, and demonstrations of law journal databases and other sources available through the State Law Library's web site.
On April 17, Connie spoke to a group of about 30 state agency attorneys during a day-long CLE seminar hosted by the Wis. DNR Bureau of Legal Services. She presented live demonstrations of legal research sources available through the State Law Library web site and described WSLL services and library materials that are available to government attorneys and employees.
Closed for Holiday
WSLL, MLRC & DCLRC will be closed Monday, May 28 in observance of the Memorial Day state holiday.
This Just In… – Pete Boll
Updated! COBRA Handbook, by I.M. Golub and Roberta K. Chevlowe
Aspen Publishers, 2012
WSLL Call Number: KF 3515.3 .C621
This concise one volume handbook provides benefits professionals, plan administrators, employers, service providers, fiduciaries, and attorneys with up-to-date coverage of the complexities of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA), as amended. The authors include numerous examples, model language, practice pointers, and references to relevant statutory, regulatory, and decisional law. Highlights of the 2012 edition include:
- What types of employee benefit plans are subject to COBRA
- Under what circumstances a COBRA qualifying event occurs
- What constitutes termination due to "gross misconduct" for COBRA purposes
- How a plan administrator can ensure compliance with COBRA's notification requirements, and what type of documentation should be retained
- Under what circumstances a plan must notify an individual of the termination of his or her COBRA coverage
- What information should be included in the required COBRA notice
- The rights of qualified beneficiaries who are receiving COBRA coverage
- How the federal government's COBRA premium subsidy works
Updated! Legal Malpractice, by Ronald E. Mallen and Jeffrey M. Smith
West Publishing, 2012
WSLL Call Number: KF 313.M3 L4
All new for 2012, this five volume set examines decisions involving liability claims based on alleged wrongful conduct by lawyers. Mallen and Smith's eight part examination consists of:
- Historical Introduction to Legal Malpractice
- Substantive Areas of Malpractice Exposure
- Risk Prevention
- Theories of Liability
The 2012 edition includes new sections concerning pre-trial remedies including Affidavit of merit, Anti-SLAPP motions, and summary judgment motions. It also contains reviews of recent and relevant case law concerning claims arising out of mediations and settlement conferences, regarding whether a cause of action can be pursued where the evidence for the lawyer's defense is otherwise confidential or is based on a privileged communication.
See our latest New Titles list for a list of new books and other resources.
For assistance in accessing these or other resources, please contact our Reference Desk.
Click to It: Logging into HeinOnline – Carol Hassler
HeinOnline is a useful resource for accessing full text law review articles and federal legislation, codes, and regulations. This database is easily accessed through our library computers, but did you know you can also read and download from HeinOnline from your home or office computer?
Library cardholders* can log in to HeinOnline for free with the barcode number from a Wisconsin State Law Library card. If you think you may have a library card but have lost it, contact us for a replacement or to get your library card number.
Find an article in HeinOnline in just a few easy steps:
- Go to our home page. http://wilawlibrary.gov/
- Click on "Find an Article" in the lower left corner.
- Type your journal name in the search box (e.g. "Idaho Law Review").
- From our catalog record, click on the HeinOnline link. You will be prompted to enter your last name and library card number.
- You will then be directed to the journal table of contents. Browse to the volume, and then click the appropriate page number to access the full text article.
For more direct access to individual articles, we recently added a citation search box to our Articles & Journals page.
* Library cardholders working at businesses or agencies with 25 or fewer attorneys can access HeinOnline using their library card number.
Tech Tip in Brief – Heidi Yelk
Getting Off-Track: Dealing with Web User Tracking & Targeted Ads
There's no doubt that advertising on webpages is here to stay. A growing segment of Internet ads are known as "behavioral advertising." Users are targeted with ads based on their Internet keyword searches and the websites they visit. Cookies placed on the user's computer are used to track web browsing and return "high interest" ads. If you notice website ads correlating to sites you've visited or ads that offer products you've purchased online, it's the work of cookies.
The web advertising industry offers an easy option to free yourself of some targeted advertising. Visit the Network Advertising Initiative site to see which advertising networks have placed cookies on your web browser, and to "opt out" of ad networks. In my experience, this method works moderately well.
However, according to a study by the Stanford Security Lab, that industry-based solution needs much improvement. This blog post, Tracking the Trackers: Early Results summarizes the Security Lab study. To delve further into protecting your web surfing habits from advertisers and data collectors, see this post on Self Help Tools.
The Stanford Security Lab also maintains DoNotTrack.us which advocates a universal opt out option. The "for users" in the upper right provides feedback on whether your web browser supports "Do not track" and directions on enabling do not track options.
WSLL Recommends: Wharton's Criminal Law
This monthly column highlights a legal research tool, in print and/or electronic format, that is not freely available on the internet. We hope it will increase your knowledge of sources with which you might already be familiar and help to expand your legal research toolkit.
This month the State Law Library recommends Wharton's Criminal Law. This 4-volume set is published by West. It was last updated with 2011-2012 supplements and is supplemented annually. The author, Charles E. Torcia, has been a law professor at Dickinson School of Law, the Marshall-Wythe School of Law of the College of William and Mary, and New York University School of Law.
This respected resource is a great starting place for criminal law research, as it covers the history of various criminal law principles, developments, and the present status of the law. It also contains an extensive list of defenses - both generally and as they apply to specific offenses such as burglary, forgery, libel, homicide, and more. One of the assets of this set is the thorough primary and secondary law annotations, with a particular focus on A.L.R. articles. It also provides both state and federal analysis, as well as an in depth look at the Model Penal Code.
Odds 'n' Endings – Julie Tessmer
Since this is a presidential election year, one name that comes to mind is Victoria Claflin Woodhull, the first woman to run for President. On May 10, 1872, Ms. Woodhull was nominated by the Equal Rights Party to be their candidate at a time when women were not allowed to vote.
It's time to dust the cobwebs off the bike and put some air in the tires to get ready for the 2012 Bike to Work Week May 14 to 18.
The following week, look to the sky as a Partial Solar Eclipse occurs on May 20. Scientists at the UW Space Place caution us to follow safe viewing guidelines when observing the Sun, as direct sunlight can cause serious eye damage.
1 – Law Day, and Happy 16th birthday, MLRC!
19 – Armed Forces Day
20 – Partial Solar Eclipse
28 – Memorial Day observed. WSLL, DCLRC & MLRC will all be closed.
31 – American poet, essayist and journalist Walt Whitman born in 1819 on Long Island