WSLL @ Your Service   Jan./Feb. 2004
An E-publication of the Wisconsin State Law Library

What's new -- Amy Crowder   Learn @ The Law Library

A warm welcome to Rachel Campbell, the State Law Library’s new circulation library assistant. Rachel joined the staff on January 5, following the retirement of Lucille Busse in December.

Rachel may be familiar to you. In the past, she has worked at the Madison Public Library circulation desk. She has also worked at Michael Best & Friedrich’s Madison office, in the reception area and in the office services and accounting departments. A 2003 graduate of UW Madison (English), Rachel says her past experience, and seeing familiar faces, has helped her quickly become comfortable at the State Law Library.

When Rachel isn't at work, she enjoys painting in acrylics, pastel and charcoal drawing, and writing. She has written several freelance articles for local publications and may be interested in selling her original artwork in the future. Rachel describes herself as a huge pop culture fan and film nerd. Her favorite movie is Psycho -- the original one, she won't see the remake. She's also a raging Doritos junky and frequently indulges in Victor Allen’s and Starbucks coffee -- both of which are sold nearby.

Rachel says she likes working at the State Law Library and is looking forward to getting to know the library staff and our regular users. She is very approachable and says, “If I don't know the answer to a question, I’ll find it or direct you to someone who can help.” We are happy to have Rachel on staff and look forward to working with her.

New "Edition"
Aquisitions Librarian Pete Boll and his wife Jennifer are the proud parents of Ryan Peter, born on January 19, 2004. Congratulations to the Boll family.

Happy Second Anniversary
In January, the State Law Library celebrated two years in the Risser Justice Center. Only 81 more years to tie our residency in the Capitol's East Wing!

 

Legal Research Tip o’ the Month

Q: I want to find a federal act in the U.S. Code (USC), but all I know is the name of the act. How can I locate it?

A: The print index to the USC includes a Table of Popular Names. Look up the name of the act to find the USC title and section. For some acts, you can also do this online. As an example, let’s locate the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

  • Go to our Federal Law webpage, scroll down to the U.S. Legislative Branch category, and click on U.S. Code (Cornell Legal Information Institute).
  • In the righthand sidebar, click on Table of Popular Names.
  • Click on the appropriate alphabetical range -- in this case “Part 11. Enforcement through Federal Coal” -- then find and click on Fair Credit Reporting Act.
  • You’ll now see the beginning of the text of that act, with its location in the USC listed directly above. For citation purposes the chapter and subchapter are dropped, so the location of this act in the USC would be expressed as 15 USC 1681 et seq., or Title 15, United States Code, section 1681 and following.

You’ll note that some acts in the online table are not linked to any text. Where possible, the Legal Information Institute (LII) has linked the Popular Names item to its relevant section of the U.S. Code. However, often a given legislative act is codified into many different Titles. In such cases, LII has left the entry in the Table, for reference purposes, but has not attempted to link the entry. For these, consult the above-mentioned print table.

For more assistance in finding federal acts or using the U.S. Code, contact our Reference Service at 608-267-9696 or 800-322-9755, or by email at wsll.ref@wicourts.gov.

Upcoming Classes
Register today to secure your spot in our upcoming hands-on legal research classes. Please visit our Classes & Tours page for complete class descriptions and registration information.

BadgerLink: What It Is and How To Use It
Wednesday, February 4, 8:30-9:30 a.m.

Tax Resources on the Web
Wednesday, March 3, 8:30-9:30 a.m.

Mining for Company Nuggets: Locating Corporate Information on the Internet
Wednesday, March 17, 2004 10:00-11:30 a.m.

The Wisconsin Legislature Web Site
Wednesday, April 7, 8:30-9:30 a.m.

WSLL Web -- Elaine Sharp Tech Tip in Brief -- Heidi Yelk

Prior WI Acts & Statutes Now Online
Wisconsin Acts from 1969-present and Wisconsin Statutes from 1989/1990-present are now available on the web. Access Acts; access Statutes (scroll down to see 1989/90-2001/02).
Both the Acts and the Statutes are also available under the heading Wisconsin Legislative Branch on WSLL's Wisconsin Law page.

WI Forms Online
"Online Legal Forms for Wisconsin Practitioners," an article in the Dec. 2003 issue of Wisconsin Lawyer, "provides an overview of online forms useful to Wisconsin practitioners, focusing on those forms produced by a readily verifiable, reliable source, and available for free or at low cost." Read article.

Public Access to Court Records (PACER)
As of Jan. 2004 PACER now provides same-day registration and password, a process that used to take several days. For a small fee, PACER users may obtain case and docket information from federal appellate, district and bankruptcy courts. Docket information includes a claims registry, a listing of parties and participants in the case, information about the suit and dollar demand, a chronology of case events, case status, types of documents filed for certain cases, judgments, and appellate court opinions. Users may either search PACER by specific court or use the U.S. Party/Case Index. For more information and to register, visit PACER's Overview.

U.S. Supreme Court Research
Annotated links to reliable, substantive sites for U.S. Supreme Court research are provided in the recent LLRX article "Web Guide to U.S. Supreme Court Research". The Guide includes the best websites for opinions, case summaries, briefs, oral arguments, and court docket and calendar information. It also annotates sites that provide information about the justices (past and present), court practice, court history, court administration, etc. Read article.

Google Expands its "Search by Number" Feature
Google has added UPS and FedEx tracking numbers, patent numbers, and other specialized numbers to its "Search by Number" feature. To view a list of possible number searches plus examples of how to format each type of search, visit Goggle's Search by Number.

For the inveterate list reader
Do you enjoy "Best of" lists? If so, here's a page that has gathered hundreds of "Best of 2003" lists. Categories include: Books, Music, Film, TV, Art, Games, Sports, Health, Business, Advertising, Automotive, Comics, Beer/Wine, Ideas, and much more.

How to choose and use secure passwords
In today’s electronic world, maintaining and managing passwords has become a cumbersome task. Unfortunately, it’s a task that few of us take very seriously. Everyone has heard of computer users who keep their passwords taped to their computer or use the same password for every account. These are habits that risk the security of your network, your work product, and your privacy. Here are some ideas for choosing and using passwords:

  • Passwords should use a minimum of six characters.

  • Real words should not be used.

  • Use a combination of letters, numbers and special characters (plus signs, etc)

  • Change your passwords on a regular basis.

  • Avoid using public computers to access password-protected accounts. If you must use a public computer, clear the cache and close the browser when you are finished. If possible, cut and paste your password rather than typing it.

  • Keep your passwords private. Never email your password or give it out over the phone. (Legitimate system administrators are able to access accounts without asking for your password.)

  • Create complex passwords from simple beginnings, such as:
    • stringing two words together with a number: bowl6spoon
    • inserting numbers into a word: L1E2G0A9L
    • taking the first letter from each word in a phrase: The Cat Jumped Over The Moon = tcjotm.

  • Experts warn against writing down your passwords. If you have too many passwords to keep in your head, consider password storage software or online password storage. Some programs include Password Agent and TK8Safe.

Send your suggestions for future legal research Tech Tips to the editor.

 

Odds 'n' Endings -- Connie Von Der Heide

New Online Journal
The American Bar Association recently debuted its first issue of Law Practice, available online. The journal continues Law Practice Management, dropping the word “Management” to reflect its relevance to a broader potential audience. The debut (Jan/Feb 2004) issue includes Robert W. Denney & Associates’ 15th annual year-end “What's Hot and What's Not” report on the legal profession.

Prose & Cons
Have you already finished reading and viewing the legal fiction books and videos you received as holiday gifts? Or maybe you’ve done some New Year’s reorganizing around the house and found a few such items that could use a new home. Consider donating them to our Prose & Cons collection. We accept gently used legal fiction books, videotapes, and audiobooks. To get an idea of what’s in the collection, see our recently updated list. Thank you!

February Notables

February 2: Groundhog Day. Visit Groundhog.org, the official Web site of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club.

February 14: St. Valentine's Day. Check out HistoryChannel.com’s exhibit.

February 20: Northern Hemisphere Hoodie-Hoo Day "At high noon (local time) citizens are asked to go outdoors and yell "Hoodie-Hoo" to chase away winter and make ready for spring, one month from now." Source: WellCat.com

February 24: Mardi Gras Day. Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, is the French and southern U.S. day of celebration on the last day before Lent. In Germany it’s called Fasching or Fastnacht, the English call it Pancake Day, and it’s also known as Shrove Tuesday, from the custom of confessing one's sin and being forgiven (or shriven) on that day.

February 29: Leap Day 2004 (February 29th only occurs in Leap Years)
Check out LeapZINE for ways to celebrate Leap Day!

Also worth noting: February 2004 has 5 Sundays! This is an occurrence that only happens every 28 years ... 1920, 1948, 1976, 2004, 2032, 2060, 2088.

 

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!