Wisconsin State Law Library

Serving the Wisconsin Supreme Court and State of Wisconsin

Skip to content

Website Catalog

What’s New – Connie Von Der Heide

Staff News

Peter Boll, Acquisition Librarian, who also serves as a Lieutenant Junior Grade in the Navy Reserve, received recall orders to Active Duty in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Pete will be mobilized with Navy Cargo Handling Battalion SEVEN as a part of the Navy Expeditionary Logistics Support Group out of Williamsburg, VA. Following training and exercises at Norfolk and Williamsburg, Pete and his unit will depart for the Middle East in November, where they will be stationed for 9 to 10 months. We wish them all the best and look forward to their safe return home.

Andrea ChristensenWe welcome Andrea Christensen as our new part time filer. Andrea recently completed a B.A. in Political Science at UW-Madison and is preparing to take the LSAT in October. She also works part time as a clerical assistant at a downtown law firm, making her a WSLL customer as well!


WSLL bids farewell to Erin Schlicht, our summer intern. During her 150-hour library fieldwork course she assisted both WSLL and DCLRC with a number of projects. We wish her luck as she completes her final classes in the University of Washington library school’s online program and continues working full time in Circulation Services at the University of Wisconsin Law Library.

ABA Site Inspection Team Visits WSLL

An American Bar Association site inspection team was in Madison September 15-16 to meet with staff of the Madison Area Technical College Paralegal Program. The inspection was another step toward its becoming an ABA accredited program. Currently, only 25% of paralegal programs in the nation are accredited by the ABA.

Since many of the students in the program use WSLL as a resource library, the site inspection team also visited here. Julie Tessmer, WSLL Deputy Law Librarian and a member of the MATC Paralegal Program Advisory Board, met with the team and gave them a tour of the library. MATC officials have reported that the site inspection went very well, and they now await final approval of the program at the ABA’s spring 2009 meeting.

WSLL Staff Present Programs

Connie Von Der Heide, Director of Reference & Outreach Services, spoke at the September 9 meeting of the Dane County Bar Association. She presented an overview of State Law Library services and resources available to attorneys and demonstrated some of the databases available through the library’s website. In the coming months the presentation will be offered to other local bar associations in south central Wisconsin.

On September 26, Connie also presented a program, “Internet legal research tips for attorneys” at the Wisconsin Child Support Enforcement Association’s annual conference in Sturgeon Bay.

Jane Colwin, State Law Librarian, was involved in several programs last month. The Fourth Judicial District (headquartered in Oshkosh) implemented the state's Public Library Initiative (PLI), an effort to help educate Wisconsin librarians about resources available to assist self-represented litigants. Jane spoke at programs held in Sheboygan on September 17 and in Fond du Lac on September 29. For more information about the Public Library Initiative, see this article published in the latest edition of The Third Branch, or contact State Pro Se Coordinator Ann Zimmerman at ann.zimmerman@wicourts.gov.

On September 23 and 24, Jane also spoke at pro se training sessions for court staff, a new initiative launched this fall in the Ninth Judicial District (headquartered in Wausau) as a part of the Wisconsin court system's continuing effort to address the issues raised by the increase in self-represented litigation. More information is available in this article published in The Third Branch.

Upcoming classes

A few openings remain in the following State Law Library hands-on legal research classes. Register today to reserve your spot.

Using the Wisconsin Court System Website
Wednesday, October 8, 2008, 9:00-10:00 a.m. Class is Full
Wednesday, October 8, 2008, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Openings Available

Need some help finding the information you need on the Wisconsin Court System's website? Learn how to efficiently access Circuit Court records, find mandatory forms, search Supreme Court and Court of Appeals opinions, and check the status of appellate cases. You’ll also explore additional resources such as the Self-Help Center, court administrative office pages, and RSS feeds. Join us for a tour of this useful website.
FREE Class. 1 CLE credit applied for. Registration is limited to 8. Print registration form

Wikipedia: To Use or Not to Use for Legal Research?
Thursday, November 6, 2008, 9:00-10:00 a.m.

What is Wikipedia? You’ve probably seen it in your Google search results but can you trust the information? Is this online encyclopedia of over 10 million articles a good source for legal information? Learn the pros and cons of using this source for legal research. Can you (should you) cite to Wikipedia in briefs? Explore recent decisions in which judges have cited to Wikipedia. Learn the strengths and weakness of this open content, reader produced encyclopedia.
FREE Class. 1 CLE credit applied for. Registration is limited to 8. Print registration form

Up to Top


This Just In… – Julie Tessmer

This month’s featured titles include new and updated acquisitions from ABA Publishing.

New Title: Vouching: A Defense Attorney’s Guide to Witness Credibility, Law and Strategy, by Donna Lee Elm
ABA Publishing, 2008
Call Number: KF 8950 .E46 2008

This one-of-a-kind book supplies “all you need to know” about this sometimes misunderstood concept. It covers the topic of vouching every angle, citing relevant cases wherever applicable. You'll discover when vouching is permissible, when it's prohibited, and where the grey areas lie. If you’re a trial lawyer – prosecution or defense – this book can help you establish expertise in this area.

New Title: Virtual Law: Navigating the Legal Landscape of Virtual Worlds, by Benjamin Tyson Duranske
ABA Publishing, 2008
Call Number: KF390.5.C6 D87 2008

Author Duranske is a writer and an intellectual property attorney who maintains the website. You may be asking yourself: What is a Virtual World? In this book the author provides clear and practical advice on what is a virtual world and how to create a virtual world presence for your practice or for your clients with virtual world connections. The book also includes extensive appendices listing in-world and web-based resources for practitioners and legal scholars.

New Edition: Toxic Mold Litigation, by Raymund C. King
ABA Publishing, 2008
Call Number: KF 3964 .M64 T69 2008

There have been several interesting developments in the evolution of mold cases since the first edition was published in 2003. This new edition serves as a practical reference for lawyers and non-lawyers that have felt the impact of mold upon commercial and residential real estate.

Highlights include:

  • History of Toxic Mold Awareness
  • Update of Recent Cases
  • Assessing the Mold Claim and Preparing for Trial
  • Update on Mold and Government Regulations
  • Chapter dedicated to Floods and Hurricanes in the Gulf Coast Region
  • Forms, checklists, and copies of the actual petitions and orders from recent mold cases in the U.S.

New Edition: Hereof, Thereof and Everywhereof: A Contrarian Guide to Legal Drafting, by Howard Darmstadter
ABA Publishing, 2008
Call Number: KF 250 .D37 2008

To steal a line from Monty Python, “And now for something completely different.” If you’ve struggled through other books on legal drafting, this title may be just what you need.

Chapters include:

  • The Legal Clumsies
  • Untangling the Legal Sentence
  • Promiscuous Capitalization
  • Wrinkles in the Enforceability Boilerplate
  • Running with the E-mail Monster

New Titles RSS Feed
See our latest New Titles list for the complete list of new arrivals.

For assistance in accessing these or other resources, please contact our Reference Desk.

Up to Top


Tech Tip in Brief – Heidi Yelk

Converting Documents to PDF

For a couple of years now, our library has been using CutePDF, a free tool to convert documents (Word, HTML, WordPerfect, etc) to PDF format. CutePDF works very well when converting a single document. However, sometimes there’s a need to merge several documents together.

Another free tool, PDF ReDirect, offers a way to do that. With PDF ReDirect, users can select a variety of documents in several formats, enter them into a “print queue”, arrange files in the desired order and then save them all as one PDF document.

The PDF ReDirect download process is easy and straightforward. Once installed, users will see PDF ReDirect listed among their printer choices. To start the program, simply display a document and choose PDF ReDirect from the printer choices. Open the next document, choose the PDF ReDirect printer again, and the document is added to a merge list. A preview window allows you to keep track of each document. After you’ve assembled all your documents, click Save to create the PDF file.

The program comes with an easy to follow, step-by-step Help file which explains basic use as well as more advanced options.

Up to Top


Odds ‘n’ Endings – Carol Hassler

Register and Vote!

As the election heats up and we swing into October, don’t forget to register to vote. If you’ve already registered but can’t make your polling place on Election Day, remember to request an absentee ballot. For information on ways you can register to vote or to learn about absentee ballots check out the Wisconsin Elections Division or contact your local municipal clerk.

Get in the electoral spirit by reading about the first territorial election held in Wisconsin (October 10, 1836), or the details on the first Wisconsin Constitutional Convention held in 1846. Browse USA.gov’s Elections and Voting page, with links to Federal election information and history.

Explore in October

Chillier weather will invariably descend in October, but don’t let that put a stop to exploring. For outdoor fun ideas, turn to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources guide to state natural area events. As the leaves turn and fall, direct your attention upward: don’t miss NASA’s This Month in Exploration and its account of aerial achievements over the years.

Staying inside this season? Remember to check out the Federal Consumer Information Center’s pamphlets on topics like energy saving in the home, indoor hazards, and computer safety, or spend a comfortable afternoon exploring their colorful archive of public service announcements.

Finally, what is October without a nod to Halloween? Read, look, and listen to the Library of Congress’ fantastic collection of historical Halloween stories, music, and movies.

Up to Top


Ask a Librarian: 800-322-9755; 608-267-9696 (In Madison); wsll.ref@wicourts.gov
Library Hours/Locations: WSLL (WI State Law Library), DCLRC (Dane Co. Legal Resource Center), MLRC (Milwaukee Legal Resource Center)
Visit Our Website: http://wilawlibrary.gov

Editor: Connie Von Der Heide 608-267-2202 Comments welcome!

Archives

Popular Library Services