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WSLL @ Your Service October 2012

What's New – Connie Von Der Heide

Staff News

Amy Crowder recently accepted the position of Deputy Law Librarian at WSLL. She succeeds Julie Tessmer, who was appointed State Law Librarian earlier this year. Amy, who has been a member of the WSLL staff since 1994, was formerly Director of Web & Bibliographic Services, and prior to that she held the position of Cataloger. Congratulations, Amy!

An article by Carol Hassler, WSLL Web Services Librarian, appears in the September/October 2012 issue of AALL Spectrum. In "Organizing County Legal Information in Wisconsin" Carol chronicles the origins, development, ongoing maintenance and updating of WSLL's vast County Legal Resources database.

Lisa Winkler, Librarian at the Dane County Legal Resource Center (DCLRC), was invited to speak at the September 18 public hearing of the Wisconsin Access to Justice Commission. The Commission was created in 2009 by the Wisconsin Supreme Court at the request of the State Bar of Wisconsin to aid the courts in improving the administration of justice by supporting civil legal services to those who cannot afford them. Its mission is to develop and encourage means of expanding access to the civil justice system for unrepresented low-income Wisconsin residents. Through the Commission's series of public hearings being held around the state, local community members, judges, lawyers, social services agencies and others are sharing their experiences, and challenges, in providing or finding civil legal assistance for low income people in Wisconsin. In her remarks, Lisa described the services and access to legal research materials DCLRC provides for self-represented litigants, who comprise more than 70% of its 20,000 users each year.

Upcoming Classes

WSLL's fall hands-on legal research classes are filling up, so register today. Class descriptions and links to the registration form are available on our Classes page.

Westlaw at WSLL
Tuesday, Oct. 16, 10:00-11:00 a.m.

Finding Wisconsin Public Records
Tuesday, Oct. 23, 9:30-11:30 a.m.

Wisconsin Briefs Online
Wednesday, Nov. 14, 9:00-10:00 a.m.

Have Program, Will Travel

Is your local bar association seeking an informative presentation for an upcoming meeting? The State Law Library would be pleased to present a program describing the services and materials it provides for practicing attorneys and demonstrating the legal research tools available on and through the Library's web site. Past programs have been approved for CLE credit. For more information and to schedule this program for your organization, contact Connie Von Der Heide, Director of Reference & Outreach Services, at (608) 267-2202, (800) 322-9755 or Connie.VonDerHeide@wicourts.gov.

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WSLL WiFi Upgrade – Heidi Yelk

Free WiFi at the Wisconsin State Law LibraryOn September 17 our wireless hardware was upgraded to provide better service to our WiFi users. We now offer more reliable access for more devices, such as iPads, Android phones, Nooks and Kindles. We've also switched from a daily-changing WiFi password to one that changes monthly. Bookmarks containing the password of the month are distributed at the Circulation Desk.

As always, access to our network is free to anyone in the library using their own wireless device, and it offers seamless access to some of the library's premium electronic legal research tools: LLMC Digital, HeinOnline, and LegalTrac. Users who prefer a wired network connection may sign out an Ethernet cable from the Circulation Desk.

Image courtesy of Open Clip Art

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This Just In… – Pete Boll

New Title! Plea Bargaining, 3rd edition, by G. Nicholas Herman.
Juris Publishing, 2012.
WSLL Call Number: KF 9654 .H38 2012

Recognizing the dominance of plea bargains over trials in the criminal justice system, the U.S. Supreme Court in Missouri v. Frye voted 5-4 to extend Sixth Amendment protections to the plea process and held that defendants can sue their lawyers for ineffective assistance if they mishandle plea offers. Effective plea bargaining is both an art and a science, for the prosecution and the defense. Plea Bargaining 3rd edition outlines the nature, types, and goals of plea bargaining and discusses in detail a wide variety of styles and strategies. The author, both a practicing attorney with extensive litigation experience and an adjunct law school professor, offers extensive analysis of plea bargaining in the federal courts, the process of negotiating with the U.S. Attorney under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, and the plea policies of the Department of Justice contained in the United States Attorney's Manual and the Principles of Federal Prosecution. Other pertinent standards and rules, including the ABA Standards for Criminal Justice, National District Attorneys Association Prosecution Standards and the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, are also discussed.

New Edition! What's It Worth? A Guide to Current Personal Injury Awards and Settlements. 2012 edition.
LexisNexis, 2012.
WSLL Call Number: KF 1257 .W67

This handy one-volume guide summarizes real personal injury awards and settlements in the most popular U.S. jurisdictions for the past 3 years, including the names of all attorneys and experts involved – thereby helping plaintiffs determine the value of their case and aiding the defense in estimating the extent of their client's potential exposure. Its 28 chapters address specific types of injuries, from abdominal to wrist, as well as wrongful death cases. Each chapter is divided, as applicable, into four sections: settlements, adequate verdicts, inadequate verdicts, and excessive verdicts. The detailed summaries, arranged by jurisdiction, provide the following information:

  • Jurisdiction
  • The injury producing event
  • Case name, citation, and attorneys
  • The principal injury or injuries
  • Physical description of the injured party or decedent and number of dependents, occupation, and earnings
  • General and special damages, structured settlements, effect of injury, hospitalizations, contributory or comparative negligence, and derivative claims

New Titles RSS Feed
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.

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Tech Tip in Brief – Heidi Yelk

Wisconsin Law Archive's Coverage Goes Deeper

The Wisconsin State Legislature website offers a wealth of both current and historical information. In particular, their Wisconsin Law Archive is a page we frequently use ourselves and suggest to others. Among the materials available there are Wisconsin Statutes dating back to the 1969-70 biennium, and Wisconsin Acts (aka session laws) currently shown as dating back to 1957-58. My colleague Pete Boll attended a recent presentation by Lauren Jackson, a Legislative Analyst with the Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau, in which she explained that although the earliest-displayed Acts date is 1957-58, the site now includes them going back to the 1949-50 biennium.

To access the earlier ones, click on a link to Acts for any other biennium, and then simply change the year in the URL (web page address). For example, to view acts from the 1951-52 session:

Access acts from 1949 to 1956 with this quick URL-altering trick

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Start Here: A Guide to Employment Law – Amy Crowder

Start Here Guides

Agricultural Animal Law
Credit / Debt
Employment Law
Estate Planning
Foreclosure Guide
Landlord / Tenant
Library Services
Product Liability
Tax Law

At some point in our lives most of us are either an employee or employer, and so we're almost all affected by employment laws. Whether it be hours of work, wages, overtime, medical leave, benefits, arbitration, or safety and labor standards, employers and employees alike need to be cognizant of both federal and state laws that impact our working environments and experiences.

The Wisconsin State Law Library's collection of employment and labor related materials can help you with your research. This Start Here guide focuses on comprehensive works that cover a variety of employment law matters and address state and federal law, making them excellent places to start. Future editions of our Start Here series will focus on sources that treat specific issues within employment law.


Employment Coordinator
KF3315 .E46
10 volumes; published by Research Institute of America (updated monthly)

Start Here guides from the Wisconsin State Law Library

Employment Guide
KF3455 .E46
1 volume; published by BNA (updated monthly)

Employment in Wisconsin: a Guide to Employment Laws, Regulations and Practice
Wisconsin TitleKFW2734.S28 E43
1 volume; published by Lexis (updated semiannually)

Employment Law
KF3455 .E468 2009
2 volumes; published by West (updated periodically)

Employment Law in a Nutshell
KF3455 .Z9 C68 2009
567 pages; published by West (2009)

Employment Law Manual for Wisconsin Employers
Wisconsin TitleKFW2734 .W5 E46
2 volumes; published by Krukowski & Costello (updated annually)

Labor Law Reports
KF3464.A6 E4
Multiple volumes; published by CCH (updated bimonthly)

Labor Law Reporter
KF3315 .L32
Multiple volumes; published by CCH (updated bimonthly)

Labor Relations Reporter
Multiple volumes; published by BNA (updated weekly)

Wisconsin Employment Law
Wisconsin TitleKFW2734 .W574
3 volumes; 4th edition; published by State Bar of Wisconsin (updated annually)

Internet Resources

Visit the Wisconsin State Law Library's Legal Topics Page on Employment Law and related topics for a growing list of internet resources.

For assistance with finding these materials or with identifying good sources of information for other practice areas and law related topics, please contact our reference staff.

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WSLL Recommends: The Law of Premises Liability

Our latest recommended title is The Law of Premises Liability, by Glen Weissenberger and Barbara B. McFarland.

Law of Premises Liability

This treatise addresses personal injury actions brought by entrants against owners or occupiers of land. Previously published as a hardbound volume with a paperbound annual supplement, it is now in looseleaf format with several updates ("releases") published each year. As such, it remains one of the most complete and up-to-date resources available on the law of premises liability.

Individual chapters cover:

  • Liability to trespassers, licensees or invitees for unintended harms
  • Public employees and recreational entrants
  • The Slip-and-fall case
  • Liability for other-than-negligent torts
  • Landlord and tenant
  • Suits against government: federal, state, municipal, and public housing authorities
  • Liability for harm caused by criminal acts of third persons
  • Liability of dramshop (bar or saloon) owners, social hosts and others for harm caused by intoxicated persons

Though this treatise discusses the latest case law from all 50 states, it does not provide a way to pinpoint the discussion of any particular state's cases or to determine which opinions of any given state court are discussed. Therefore, researchers interested in Wisconsin law might also want to consult titles such as Wisconsin Safe-Place Law, Premises Liability: Preparation and Trial of a Difficult Case in Wisconsin; and Elements of an Action (Wisconsin Practice Series, vol. 14).

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Odds 'n' Endings – Carol Hassler

Congress.gov: a new site for federal legislative research

The Library of Congress recently launched a new website for legislative information: Congress.gov. This site will eventually replace the Thomas website. Just like Thomas, Congress.gov can be used for federal bill tracking and legislative history research. The site also provides Congressional profiles and the ability to search across several years of legislation quickly – back to the 93rd congress. Congress.gov is also optimized for easy access on many different devices, including tablets and smartphones.

Because Congress.gov is still in beta development, new features will be added over the next year. Upcoming changes will include incorporating the Congressional Record into the site. Follow their Twitter account @THOMASdotgov to keep up with legislation and congressional news and tweet your feedback using the hashtag #Congressdotgov.


October Notables

October 1, 1890 – Yosemite National Park established

Yosemite Valley set aside as "reserved forest land" for the Yosemite National Park, a place beloved by conservationist John Muir. Muir got his start in botany here, raised on a farm near Portage, Wisconsin and educated at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

October 13, 1884 – Prime Meridian established

We've all probably occupied multiple time zones more than once in our life. But nothing compares to straddling the Prime Meridian at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich. When I was there several years ago not only was there a physical line for souvenir photos, but there was also a green laser which arced through the sky, tracing the Prime Meridian where it cut through the busy city below.

October 31, 2012 – Happy Halloween!

Last year we wrote a post about an October reading event: All Hallows Read. We highlighted some scary books from our donated legal fiction collection, Prose and Cons. We also focused on some spooky law review articles. Catch up on last year's features with our post: Library Highlights: All Hallows Reading at the Law Library.

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