Wisconsin State Law Library

Serving the Wisconsin Supreme Court and State of Wisconsin

Skip to content

Website Catalog

WSLL @ Your Service January 2014

What's New – Connie Von Der Heide

Upcoming Classes in Milwaukee

The Milwaukee Legal Resource Center is offering two free classes on using WestlawNext, both of which will take place Tuesday, January 21st in Meeting Room 1 at the Milwaukee Public Library's central location, 814 W. Wisconsin Avenue. Sign up for either or both classes, which will cover intermediate research and topical research. For details and registration information, please visit our Classes page.

Libraries Closed for Holiday

WSLL, MLRC and DCLRC will be closed Monday, January 20th in observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. state holiday.

To submit a question to the Wisconsin State Law Library while we are closed, you may call us at 608-267-9696 and leave a voice message, or Ask a Librarian online. We will respond to questions and requests the next business day.

Staff News

At the end of December, the library staff said goodbye to Connie Von Der Heide, Director of Reference and Outreach Services. Connie began her 16-year career at the State Law Library in the fall of 1997. She came to us with over 10 years of professional experience, having worked in both university and public libraries in Texas, Arizona, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Connie wore several hats at WSLL. As the head of Reference she guided, trained and mentored the seven librarians who provide outstanding reference services to judges, attorneys and the public. In her outreach role she led many tours of the library for new attorneys, law clerks, interns, externs and students. She also gave presentations about State Law Library services and materials to groups of state agency staff, librarians, and local bar associations around the state. Connie also edited and regularly contributed to our award winning monthly electronic newsletter, WSLL @ Your Service.

As one of our most experienced and enthusiastic legal research trainers, Connie taught several classes every year, both at the library and offsite. Judges and court staff regularly saw her at Judicial Education seminars and conferences, staffing the library's information table to assist with individual research questions and distribute library cards and occasionally presenting programs on using online legal research tools.

Throughout the years Connie demonstrated her dedication to the library profession by serving on many committees and as an officer in several local, state and national library and law-related organizations.

While we're sad to say goodbye, we're also excited for Connie as she embarks on a new path. She and her brother have assumed ownership and operation of their family's business, Gempeler's Supermarket, located in their hometown of Monticello, Wisconsin.

Connie, we wish you the very best in your new career as a businesswoman, and we'll dearly miss you!

top Up to Top

What's New in WSLL Current Periodicals

In last month's issue we highlighted the move of our complete runs of Marquette Law Review, Wisconsin Bar Bulletin, Wisconsin Law Review and the Wisconsin Lawyer to the Current Periodicals area, adjacent to the Reference Desk. This move freed up some spaces on the "flip up" shelves in Current Periodicals, so we've moved the current issues of the following four journals down from the 3rd floor Periodicals section:

journal covers

For assistance with locating issues of journals or any other library materials, please stop by the Reference Desk.

current periodicals area


top Up to Top

This Just In... – Pete Boll

New Edition! Wisconsin Trial Practice, 3rd Edition by Eric L. Andrews, et al.
State Bar of Wisconsin, 2013.
WSLL Call Number KFW 2938 .W573

Completely revised since the 2011 supplement to the 2nd edition, this one volume treatise is a valuable resource for any Wisconsin litigator. This new edition discusses updates in statutory and case law as well as revises and expands the Judicial Commentary. Updated topics of note include:

  • Clarification of when a lawyer may bring a motion in limine
  • Employers' requirements with respect to employees serving as jurors
  • Whether a member of the judge's family may sit on a jury overseen by that judge
  • How to proceed if a lawyer wishes to refer to a matter of questionable admissibility.
  • Whether a lawyer should be publicly reprimanded for comments made during opening statement
  • Updated tips on how to conduct jury review
New Title! Law of Fundraising, 5th edition by Bruce R. Hopkins and Alicia M. Kirkpatrick.
John Wiley & Sons, 2013.
WSLL Call Number KF 1389.5 .H66 2013

This revised and expanded edition is one of the few resources that focuses in depth on the regulation of charitable fundraising from a federal, state, and sometimes local level perspective. This concise one volume treatise covers:

  • Government regulation of fundraising for charity: origins and current climate
  • Prospective federal regulation of fundraising: proposals and issues
  • Standards of enforcement by watchdog agencies
  • State regulation of fundraising: legal issues
  • States' charitable solicitation acts
  • Internet fundraising
  • Donor-advised funds law
  • International fundraising
  • Anatomy of charitable fundraising
  • Federal regulation of fundraising

Also included are tables of court cases, IRS rulings, and other pronouncements.

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.

top Up to Top

Tech Tip in Brief – Heidi Yelk

I can't get in: A tool to diagnose website problems

Having problems accessing a web service? Can't email? Can't Skype? A quick way to check the status of many popular services is the website downrightnow.com.

Downrightnow tracks and reports the disruption of sites such as PayPal, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and more. With a quick glance at the main page you can determine whether the site you are trying to access may be having issues.

According to its FAQ, Downrightnow primarily uses four methods to gather reports on service disruption: direct reports from users, social media buzz (user reports via Twitter, for example), official announcements from the web service and information from other websites that monitor service outages. Downrightnow estimates that its status system is "generally accurate" but reminds users that it's not foolproof.

top Up to Top

WSLL Recommends: Legal Opinion Letters

Legal opinion letters book coverThis 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.

Most often attorneys communicate professional legal advice through in person or telephone conversations with clients. Sometimes however, an attorney is requested to provide legal advice in a formal written legal opinion. A good place to start for guidance on drafting such an opinion letter is Legal Opinion Letters: A Comprehensive Guide to Opinion Letter Practice. Edited by Attorney M. John Sterba, Jr. and updated annually, this one volume loose-leaf treatise, published by Wolters Kluwer Law & Business, covers virtually all substantive areas of legal opinion practice.

The first two chapters includes an introduction to written opinions and elements to include in a typical opinion letter. Following chapters detail the drafting of legal opinion letters in areas of law such as corporate, commercial and banking transactions, real estate transactions, securities law, tax, intellectual property, bankruptcy and lien opinions, as well as attorneys' letters to auditors.

Sixteen appendices are included, many of which detail various reports issued by the New York TriBar Opinion Committee as related to drafting and issuing opinion letters. Sample opinion letters are also featured in several chapters on the topics listed above.

Search Hint: To find other library sources on opinion letter practice in other areas of the library we suggest a catalog search for the subject heading: Legal Opinion.

top Up to Top

Odds 'n' Endings – by Carol Hassler

Find (Even) Older Wisconsin Acts & Statutes Online

An archive of acts and statutes is available on the Wisconsin Legislature's website. This archive is linked from our Wisconsin Law legal topic page as well as from the Legislative Reference Bureau's statutes page.

The archive of acts includes links for sessions back to the 1957-1958 session. However, there is a trick to see even more years - back to the 1949 session.

If you edit the URL for any year back to 1949, the Acts for those years are available online as well.

  1. For example, take a link for the 1957-1958 acts:
  2. Edit the date in the URL to reflect the first date of a prior session (as far back as 1949). To access the 1951-1952 session's acts, we would type this into the browser:

This trick also works for the Wisconsin Statutes archive back to 1945, at the time of publication.

top Up to Top

Comments Welcome!

Keep Up With Current News