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WSLL @ Your Service April 2014


What's New - Carol Hassler

Staff News

Gavin Tullis

WI Briefs Assistant, Gavin Tullis

We are excited to announce the promotion of Heidi Yelk to Director of Reference Services. Heidi has been a valuable asset to the library for over 14 years, beginning our training program and managing our electronic database services for library and court users. Heidi honed her legal reference expertise in private law firms, the Federal court system, and the Wisconsin State Law Library for nearly 20 years. Congratulations, Heidi!

WSLL is pleased to introduce our new Wisconsin Briefs assistant and circulation staff, Gavin Tullis. Gavin graduated from the UW-Madison with a degree in the History of Science. Welcome, Gavin!

State Law Librarian Journeys to Latvia

State Law Librarian Julie Tessmer performed her annual military duty this spring in Riga, Latvia. Legalman Master Chief Petty Officer Tessmer gave presentations on Maritime Interdiction Operations and Counter Piracy at the National Defense Institute. The class was composed of Naval Officers from Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. She toured part of Old Town while in Riga and is pictured here (below right) in Kronvalda Park.

Julie Tessmer in Latvia

Celebrate Law Day @ Your Libraries

Celebrate Law Day on May 1st with the following events:

Presented by the Dane County Bar Association, don't miss Law Day at the Dane County Courthouse. Events include mock trials, tours, and free legal consultations with volunteer attorneys in the Dane County Legal Resource Center.

Take a 15 minute break to attend a short Google Hangout on HeinOnline. At 10 a.m. get an overview of which Federal agency materials are available through this database. At noon learn quick tips to get the most out of the advanced search. Visit our Google+ page for the link to watch each Hangout live and catch up on the archived videos at our YouTube channel.

Upcoming Classes

Space is still available for our three free April CLE classes. In Madison learn about WestlawNext and the Wisconsin State Law Library website. A new class on Litigation Research with WestlawNext is offered in Milwaukee. Learn more and register on our Classes page.

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Celebrate Spring During National Library Week

After a long, cold winter many of us are ready for spring. We invite you to celebrate the oncoming growing season during our National Library Week celebration from April 14-18th.

Grow Your Legal Research

This year we are offering two of our CLE legal research classes for free. If you can't make either class, check out last year's Google Hangout web tour on YouTube for a quick overview of our website. WestlawNext is available on our public computers and WSLL's wifi network. Stop by to try it out!

Party on the Green

Join us for our Open House on Tuesday, April 15th from 3-4:30 p.m. Enjoy light refreshments and show off your golf skills in our basic and advanced challenge courses! Check our National Library Week page for full event details and printable springtime crafts, and our Facebook page for photos.

National Library Week from the WI State Law Library

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This Just In... - Pete Boll

New Edition! Appellate Practice and Procedure in Wisconsin, 6th Edition, by Michael S. Heffernan.
State Bar of Wisconsin, 2014
WSLL Call Number: KFW 2955 .W34 A646

Updated for the first time since the 2012 supplement, this single volume standard on appellate practice in Wisconsin includes new information on the following:

  • A 2013 opinion in which the Wisconsin Court of Appeals reiterated the rule that, while appellants are limited to the same arguments they made in the circuit court, respondents are not.
  • A 2013 case in which the Wisconsin Supreme Court provided guidance on whether and how a party might refer to a presentence investigation report in an appellate brief.
  • The Wisconsin Court of Appeals' consideration, in 2012, of a petition for a supervisory writ, raising the question whether an appeal was an adequate and available remedy when the petitioner had obtained a stay of entry of the final judgment pending the disposition of the petition in the court of appeals.
  • An increase in the per-page rate recoverable as costs in an appeal
  • Revised appendices including the "Standards of Appellate Review" prepared by the Honorable Richard Brown, Chief Judge of the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, and updated Sample Forms appendix prepared by Diane Fremgen, Clerk of the Wisconsin Supreme Court and Court of Appeals.

New Title! Wikipedia Encyclopedia, 1st English edition, by Sidd Finch, editor.
Pollo Fria Publicaciones, 2014
WSLL Call Number: REF AFD 4114

The State Law Library is pleased to announce an important new addition to our reference collection. Over the past decade Wikipedia has risen to the top as the most popular, comprehensive, crowd-edited general reference resource available.

Through a grant from the Print Preservation Society we've been able to obtain Volumes
1 -1000 of the 1st English print edition of the Wikipedia encyclopedia. First published in the Spanish language by Pollo Fria in 2011, Wikipedia's more than 4.5 million articles are now available in English at the State Law Library. When the Internet finally reaches its capacity our set of Wikipedia volumes will still be here for any patron researching in legal forms or other law sources.

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

Federal Docket watching - with or without a PACER account

It's well known that the Federal Court's PACER system (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) provides docket searching at a minimal cost. A party name search generally costs about ten cents. A look at the docket sheet will run you ten cents (minimum) to $2.40 (maximum charge per document view) which is not bad if you run occasional searches.

But what if you are monitoring a case or watching for the first filing? That daily check of PACER may start to add up. Here are two alternative options - one low cost and one free.

The free option is PACER's RSS feed. You do not need a PACER account to monitor a court's RSS feed. The PACER Court Links page lists all PACER courts. Any court with the "RSS" symbol after its name provides an RSS feed.

RSS symbol example

Click on the RSS symbol to see the recent entries on that court's docket. Generally the last 24 hours are displayed, updated in real time. The RSS feed includes the case number and name, a brief indication of the type of document, and the docket number entry for that document.

RSS feed from Pacer

View the RSS feed on the Internet (pictured above) or subscribe to the feed using an RSS reader.

PACER RSS feeds are like a news ticker for federal litigation. The RSS feed shows the real time recent filings in a given court. However, you cannot conduct a party name search, access full text documents, or see older entries.

Should you wish to see the entire docket sheet or access a particular document, click on the case name from the RSS feed, sign in to PACER, run the docket search, and download the full text document. If you don't have a PACER account, the State Law Library can provide the document via our Order a Document service.

A low cost option for watching a federal docket on PACER requires a PACER account. This option is more of a "user tip" for those monitoring a case. A docket report on PACER may include a few hundred docket entries, spanning 20-30 pages. If you download the entire docket sheet every time you check a case, you could end up spending a lot of your PACER budget on information you already have. If you check the case daily or weekly, you should be familiar with how many docket entries have already been made. To avoid excess charges, start the document search with the last known docket entry:

search tips

This search will produce a docket sheet from documents 112 forward. This allows you to discover the most recent filings without paying for the entire docket sheet.

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WSLL Recommends: Estate, Tax and Personal Financial Planning

A tax and financial planning treatise with broad scope, Estate, Tax and Personal Financial Planning (West) is a 5 volume set to help plan and understand the tax implications of estates during life and after death. This set by Attorney Edward Koren focuses on wills, trusts, and asset transfers. These areas are further enhanced with detailed information about business, property, family law, investments, and more. Estate, Tax, and Personal Financial Planning

Most chapters include sample forms and practice guides to help researchers apply the principles covered. Detailed contents and indices can be downloaded and searched from the ThomsonReuters product page. The books are divided into four main categories with chapters set apart in color-coded tabs:

1. Compensation and assets planning The basics: practice essentials, general planning for business owners, ranchers, farmers, and the highly compensated, plus an overview of insurance, retirement plans, and other investments.

2. Planning for the family unit Estate management and gift giving to family and charitable organizations. Discusses tax considerations when a separation or divorce may occur and estate planning for unmarried individuals. Includes model tax return filing agreements.

3. Estate planning during life In-depth analysis of gift giving, plus preparing wills, trusts, and insurance instruments. Covers transfer taxes and testamentary transfers to surviving spouses. A chapter on Planning when death is imminent is a summary toolkit for those with little time to make long-term asset plans that also achieve optimal tax results.

4. Planning after death Detailed guidance for filing taxes on an estate and dealing with distributions from estates and trusts. Tax forms with sample data, when and where to file, asset valuation, disclaimers, and liquidating an estate are all included here. A final chapter on audits and appeals rounds this out.

Estate, Tax and Personal Financial Planning includes detailed tables of Federal and state laws and cases with cross-references to sections from the books. These, paired with indices to the text and forms provide quick access into the set. The fifth volume holds 5 years of tax and estate planning articles and includes its own index.

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