Wisconsin State Law Library

Serving the Wisconsin Supreme Court and State of Wisconsin

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WSLL @ Your Service November 2014

What's New - Lisa Winkler

Holiday Closings


The Wisconsin State Law Library (WSLL) as well as the Milwaukee and Dane County Legal Resource Centers will be closed Thursday, November 27 in observance of the Thanksgiving Day state holiday. On Friday, November 28, the Dane County Legal Resource Center will remain closed but WSLL and MLRC will be open regular hours.

To submit a question or request while the libraries are closed, you may call the State Law Library Reference Desk at (608) 267-9696 or use the Ask a Librarian online form. We will respond as soon as possible on November 28.

For library locations and hours, please visit our Locations page.

Pro Bono Reception

On Tuesday, October 21, 2014, State Law Librarian Julie Tessmer and Outreach Services Librarian Lisa Winkler attended the UW-Madison Law School's annual Pro Bono Reception. This event celebrates the UW Law School's Pro Bono Program, which gives students the opportunity to provide legal services to the most underserved members of our community while working directly with attorneys. Students who dedicated a certain number of hours receive distinction at graduation, gain invaluable practical experience, and learn the value of pro bono service.

start here guides

State Bar of Wisconsin's Annual Real Estate Update

In early October State Law Librarian Julie Tessmer spoke at the State Bar of Wisconsin's Annual Real Estate Update. Julie presented on relevant resources and services available at the State Law Library, Milwaukee Legal Resource Center, and Dane County Legal Resource Center. Of special interest to many of the attendees were our Start Here handouts which are topical guides to WSLL's print collection. Julie also encouraged attorneys to sign up for a free library card.

Webcast replays of this seminar are scheduled for November 4 and 19. See the State Bar's website for registration information.

Please contact us for more information if you would like someone from the library to speak to your group or organization.

Upcoming Classes

CLE in Wisconsin

Autumn is nearly over but there is still time to register for one of four upcoming CLE classes in Madison and Milwaukee.

Come in for an overview of the primary resources used for finding the legislative history of a statute and tips for navigating online drafting files by attending Researching Wisconsin Legislative History. (Madison - November 11) (2 CLE credits applied for)

Wisconsin Administrative Law & Legislative History Research will be presented by Leslie Behroozi, co-author of Wisconsin Legal Research and Adjunct Professor of Law at Marquette University. Learn how to find relevant laws, enabling legislation, agency decisions, and more. (Milwaukee - November 18) (1 CLE credit applied for)

You have two opportunities to catch Wisconsin Briefs Online. Attend the session in person at the State Law Library (Madison - December 3) or stay in and join us for a webinar session (December 10) (1 CLE credit applied for).

Classes fill up quickly so register now to reserve your seat. Check our Classes page for more information. Better yet, bookmark that page so you can check back with us frequently as new CLE classes are added throughout the year.

Don't-Miss-This in December

Our annual Winter Holiday Open House will be held on Thursday, December 18, from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. in the Reading Room. We invite you to stop by for refreshments and a lot of holiday cheer. More details to follow. Mark your calendars now!

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Welcome to the Redesigned wilawlibrary.gov - Carol Hassler

In October we revealed a new website design, the first major update to our website's look since 2009. The new look includes an updated home page and flexible pages that can adapt to both mobile devices and desktop displays.

mobile website snapshot

Though the overall design has changed, returning visitors can check under the same menu items in the navigation bar to find the pages they need. No links have been changed, so there is no need to update bookmarks or other links to our website. Watch the video at the end of this article to take a quick tour of the new design and be sure to check out our new page on finding Wisconsin court records.


Mobile use of our website has tripled in the last four years. Last month over a quarter of our website visitors arrived on a mobile device like a smartphone or tablet. The new site is based on a popular framework that expands or contracts the page depending on the size of screen a visitor uses. Buttons for getting to popular services or submitting forms are bigger to better accommodate users with touch-screen devices.

Redesigned Home Page

We updated our home page to provide faster access to popular pages and library services. A search box on the home page offers suggestions from our index of over 400 legal topics. Simply start typing keywords to see a list of matching topic pages. Click on the term in the pop-up menu to jump directly to the relevant Legal Topic page.

Our Ask a Librarian service, document request form, library card application, and book renewal are featured prominently on the home page for quick access. Visitors wishing to do more in depth research can use the cluster of research links in the lower left to search our catalog or databases and find state and local laws, cases, and forms.

Comments Welcome

Please ask a librarian if you have any questions about the new site. You can contact the webmaster with comments or questions as well.

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This Just In - Pete Boll

Updated! Prosecutorial Misconduct, 4th ed., 2014 supplement, by Joseph Lawless.
LexisNexis, 2008
WSLL Call Number: KF 9640 .L38

This one volume 4th edition provides strategies for defense attorneys to help them maintain the integrity of the criminal process and achieve due process for their clients. Lawless covers a wide range of topics from abuse of the grand jury and discovery process to plea negotiations, agreements, and pretrial strategy. Highlights of the 2014 supplement include prosecutorial abuses in opening and closing arguments to include the "invited response" doctrine and corrective instructions, attacking the defendant, and prosecutor's personal opinion.

New Title! Lifestyle Analysis In Divorce Cases: Investigating Spending and Finding Hidden Income and Assets, by Tracy Coenen.
American Bar Association, 2014
WSLL Call Number: KF 535 .C64 2014

In a divorce action a lifestyle analysis is the process of tabulating and analyzing the income and expenses of the parties. This is used to determine the standard of living of the parties, which will influence important support calculations and perhaps property division. It may also uncover hidden sources of income or assets. Because attorneys, judges, and juries often lack an accounting background, author Tracy Coenen discusses these subjects in a manner that is logical and easy to understand. Topics include defining and calculating income, preparing for the lifestyle analysis, discovery and documents, analyzing historical spending, locating hidden assets, business lifestyle analysis, and reporting and testifying.

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

Convert Text Messages to Email

Texting is a wildly popular form of communication, with some users reporting a preference for text messages over voice communication. Young adults send or receive an average of 87 texts per day.

iPhone 5 image

Many of these messages are likely mundane and disposable: appointment reminders, traffic updates, grocery lists. But other messages may be more important. Some mark special milestones, relay essential information, or bring a smile to your face. Messages of significance may require a back-up plan. Converting text messages to email makes it easier to keep an archive of your communications.

Here are several "how to" guides from experts:

Android Phones

Mashable's 8 Apps to Save and Back Up Texts on Android
How-to-Geek's How To Backup Your Text Messages to Your Gmail Account
You Asked: Backing up SMS messages in Android

iPhone (iOS7)

Total Recall: How to Back Up All the Text Messages on Your iPhone
Quick guide: Backing up iOS 7 iPhone text messages
You Asked: Backing up iPhone SMS messages

Also consult your service provider for information on text message backup. Most major carriers address this issue on their website.

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WSLL Recommends: Deposing and Examining Doctors

Deposing and Examining Doctors, by Kim Patrick Hart, is a 2 volume guide published by James Publishing. The set gives attorneys clear cut advice, techniques, and tools for effectively deposing even the toughest medical specialists.

Deposing and examining doctors
The set is broken down into 8 medical specialties:
  • Chiropractors
  • Neurologists
  • Orthopedists
  • Neurosurgeons
  • Physiatrists
  • Neuropsychologists
  • Dentists and oral surgeons
  • Plastic surgeons
Each chapter has pattern questions, outlines, and samples of redirect examinations. Especially helpful is a separate chapter of color illustrations of common injuries and conditions in each field of specialty. The illustrations are usable for exhibits and are included in a CD along with the forms for each chapter. The next time you are preparing to take medical testimony consider checking this valuable guide for a quick refresher before starting your depositions.

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Odds 'n' Endings - Lisa Winkler

Toys for Tots Donations Now Accepted

Toys for Tots logo

WSLL now has a donation box for the United States Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. Founded in1947, Toys for Tots has grown into a nationally recognized initiative. Local Reserve Centers, authorized delegations, and countless volunteers work together to deliver a message of hope during the holiday season. Toys are distributed to less fortunate children in the community where they were collected, and this is the third year that the State Law Library has served as a donation site.

New and unwrapped toys (for children up to age 12) may be dropped off between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, until December 5. WSLL is located in the Risser Justice Center in downtown Madison. Enter the building at 120 MLK Jr. Blvd next to Milio's sandwich shop. The box is stationed by the library's main entryway on the second floor.

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Image sources: Pies | Smartphone | Toys for Tots

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