Wisconsin State Law Library

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WSLL @ Your Service February 2015

What's New - Lisa Winkler

Staff News


Marjorie Watkins-Jordan is the newest Library Associate at the Milwaukee Legal Resource Center. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and an Associate's Degree in Human Services from Milwaukee Area Technical College. Marjorie has a strong background in customer service. She has worked as a Center Coordinator and a Family Advocate at the Social Development Commission. Marjorie is an active volunteer with several organizations and serves on the Executive Board of Granville Interfaith. We are very pleased to have Marjorie on our staff.


Cameron Cook started as the Library Associate at the DCLRC in mid-December. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies with a minor in Russian Studies from Beloit College. Formerly, Cameron worked at the Fitchburg Public Library as a shelver and then as a library assistant. While at Fitchburg PL, she developed a passion for librarianship and public service that inspired her to enroll in the School of Library and Information Studies at UW-Madison. She is a great fit for the DCLRC bringing a strong work ethic and an enthusiasm for helping the public. We are grateful to have Cameron on our team!

Marjorie Watkins-Jordan Cameron Cook
Pictured left: Marjorie Watkins-Jordan. Pictured right: Cameron Cook.

Upcoming Classes

Sign up today for either of our two upcoming classes in February. One is in Milwaukee and other is in Madison.

Filing an Electronic Real Estate Transfer on DOR's Website
Wednesday, February 11, Noon - 1 PM
Location: Milwaukee Public Library, Meeting Room 1
Instructor: Lynne Gehrke, MLRC Librarian

Intermediate WestlawNext
Wednesday, February 25, 10 - 11 AM
Location: State Law Library (Madison)
Instructor: Chris Duncan, Thomson Reuters

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Wisconsin State Law Library Year in Review - Julie Tessmer, State Law Librarian

When I look back on 2014, I think of it as the "Year of the User."

We are always looking for ways to enhance user services, and in 2014 we focused on several projects that improved access for everyone. First, we redesigned our website (see featured article). This fresh new look makes searching easier and is mobile-friendly, helping the more than 500,000 visitors find information faster. We introduced a mobile catalog especially designed for our smartphone users with one search box and quick access to law reviews.

We embraced social media giving users the option of connecting with us via Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn. You no longer have to come to Madison to learn what's new in the library. Our Library Highlights includes timely information about events, CLE classes, relevant case law and legislation along with regular features like WSLL Recommends.

Last year, we closely examined the layout of our physical collection of books. We completed the first major shift of materials since moving to the Risser Justice Center in 2002. The Collection Management staff came up with a long term plan for better browsing and future growth for our Wisconsin, treatise and state materials. To help users easily navigate in the stacks, we produced a new library floor map.

Danni Niles shifting the KFW section
Danni Niles and Gavin Tullis shifting the KFW section

Gavin Tullis shifting the KFW section

We added the Index to Legal Periodicals database giving users a choice between that LegalTrac and HeinOnline for online access to law review and journal articles. For our in-house users, we now have the Wisconsin Jury Instructions, Civil, Criminal and Children available on our seven public access computers in the library.

We were fortunate to bring on some outstanding new staff members in 2014. Lisa Winkler, formerly the DCLRC Branch Librarian, joined the WSLL staff as the Outreach Services Librarian in early October and within a month was the face of the library at the Wisconsin Judicial Conference. Jaime Healy-Plotkin joined the staff in early December. As the Cataloger, she plays a very important role in ensuring access to materials in our collection through our catalog.

I've asked our Branch Librarians, Lynne Gehrke (MLRC) and Bob Lopez (DLCRC) to summarize their accomplishments in separate articles in this issue. As in years past, Lynne and Bob continued to provide high quality library services to the users in Milwaukee and Dane Counties.

I'm very proud of our many accomplishments in 2014 and I'm proud of everyone at WSLL, MLRC, and DCLRC who made those possible. It was the library staff who made 2014 The Year of the User!

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MLRC in Review: New Spaces, New Faces - Lynne Gehrke

MLRC staff
MLRC staff at the September ribbon cutting ceremony

The biggest event of the year was the Milwaukee Legal Resource Center's (MLRC) move to its new location on July 25th. The library is now located in Room G8 of the Milwaukee County Courthouse. The new library is almost twice as large as the "temporary" space we formerly occupied. We have a separate room reserved for attorneys, more shelving to house our increased print materials, and additional seating for all users.

The MLRC collaborated with the Central Milwaukee Public Library to offer free monthly research classes all year long, hosting as many as 35 people at a single class. The Public Library provides the classroom space, distributes notices about upcoming classes, and takes registrations. We provide the instructors. All of the classes are free and qualify for CLE credit.

In addition to operating the Legal Resource Center on the ground floor, MLRC staff maintains all the libraries of the 47 Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judges. Judicial rotation kept us busy in late July and early August with sixteen judges changing courtrooms or calendars. It is our responsibility to ensure they always have the correct materials at hand and we work diligently to never miss the mark.

Notable staff changes occurred in 2014 at the MLRC. While Lucy Kelly has been with the library for several years, three new library associates came on board. Carrie Czarapata and Travis Baptist were hired last spring and Marjorie Watkins-Jordan started in December. Customer service remains the top priority at the MLRC. Our entire staff works together to serve every library user professionally, efficiently, and cheerfully.

The MLRC is looking forward to 2015 and we encourage you to submit suggestions for ways in which we can improve.

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DCLRC in Review: A Year of Big Changes - Bob Lopez

Lawyer roll display Dane County Lawyer Roll on display in the Dane County Legal Resource Center

2014 was an eventful year that brought significant change to the Dane County Legal Resource Center (DCLRC). Over 15,000 visitors came in to use our resources in 2014. We responded to nearly 1,500 additional reference inquiries via email and phone. Our Jail Information Service fielded over 1,600 requests from inmates in the Dane County Jails. As the primary office for Temporary Restraining Order forms in the Dane County Courthouse, we distributed over 1,200 packets to people needing to file for protective orders.

The DCLRC Librarian coordinates volunteers for the Small Claims Assistance Program (SCAP), a weekly clinic where local attorneys and paralegals provide self-represented parties with one-on-one assistance. Last year over 500 people came to SCAP. We also assisted with the Family Law Assistance Center (FLAC), a service that focuses on family law matters. Over 450 people visited FLAC.

The UW Law School and DCLRC worked together to bring more clinics into the Courthouse. Both the Foreclosure Assistance Clinic and the Consumer Law Clinic now meet in the DCLRC. We strive to connect more people seeking help with volunteer attorneys, paralegals, and law school students to improve access to legal information and justice. Read more about legal assistance in the Courthouse.

We also brought other students into the library: 3 interns from the Paralegal Program at Madison College. Cinda Gatica, Kari Acton, and Ashley Caudell contributed thoughtful input and enthusiasm to all of their endeavors. One project in particular would not have been possible without them: compiled statistical data from 10 years of SCAP and FLAC records. This project helps to identify what kinds of needs people have when they visit the clinics and shapes future services.

In October, the DCBA's History and Memorials Committee donated a rare and impressive historical artifact: the "Lawyer Roll" book.

Lastly, after nearly 10 years of service, Reference Librarian Lisa Winkler took a new position as Outreach Services Librarian at the State Law Library. In November, I became the new librarian and in December, Cameron Cook was hired as the new Library Associate. See the Staff News article above for more details.

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Website Design Updates in October - Carol Hassler

In October 2014 we redesigned our website, wilawlibrary.gov. This redesign includes a new look and home page layout. The new website scales down automatically for smaller screen sizes to accommodate 25% of visitors who now arrive at our site on a mobile device like a phone or tablet. (fn1)

The home page includes an interactive search box with suggested terms taken from our Legal Topics index and quick access to popular library services. A tour of the new features is on our YouTube channel.

Now that you have been using our website for a few months we would like to hear your comments and suggestions. Please fill out this 5 question survey to help us improve our online services.

Take the survey now

fn1 158,569 visits from mobile or tablet devices in 2014

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This Just In - Pete Boll

New Edition! ERISA Litigation, 5th edition, by Jayne E. Zanglein and others
Bloomberg BNA, 2014
WSLL Call # KF 3512 .Z36 2014

ERISA Litigation, Fifth Edition provides analysis of the developments in heavily litigated areas such as standard of review, preemption, fiduciary duties, pension plan investments, and retiree welfare benefits, as well as cutting-edge problem areas such as privacy, contingent workers, managed care, and RICO. The Fifth Edition contains three new chapters (Affordable Care Act, Disability Benefits, and Insured Benefits) and major revisions to many other chapters, including chapters on remedies, standard of review, jury trials, standing, enumerated parties, discovery, exhaustion of remedies, COBRA, interference with protected rights, managed care, ESOPs and 401(k) plans, and delinquent contributions. Coverage of new Supreme Court cases includes Windsor (DOMA), Hobby Lobby (contraceptive coverage), McCutchen (equitable remedies), Dukes (class actions), Heimeshoff (statute of limitations), Fifth Third Bancorp (stock drop case), National Federation of Independent Business (PPACA), and Atlantic Marine Construction (forum selection clauses).

New Edition! Criminal Practice Handbook, 4th edition, by Jay Shapiro
LexisNexis, 2014
WSLL Call # KF 9619 .S436 2014

This compact one volume reference is useful for the new lawyer just beginning criminal practice as well as the seasoned professional criminal lawyer. Shapiro follows the progression of a typical criminal case from the initial client interview through trial tactics and finally to post-conviction practice. Also included is an appendix with forms and model motions.

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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WSLL Recommends: Elements of an Action

Elements of an Action is a single, unobtrusive volume in the larger set of green Wisconsin Practice Series books on our shelves. Professor Jay E. Grenig with Marquette University Law School writes this book.

Elements of an action cover

The 2014-2015 edition has seventeen chapters devoted to frequently litigated civil causes of action. Each chapter is broken into a survey of statutory and other elements underpinning the action, statutes of limitations, claims, remedies, and defenses. References to Wisconsin Jury Instructions and jury verdicts are included as well as additional case studies for many chapters. Each action includes example forms and other documents from recent Wisconsin court cases.

Turn to Elements of an Action for a concise resource for any of these areas:

  • Abuse of process
  • Animal actions - damage caused by dog
  • Contract actions - breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and quantum meruit
  • Defamation
  • Emotion distress
  • False imprisonment
  • Insurance - bad faith
  • Legal malpractice
  • Local government tort liability
  • Medical malpractice - negligence
  • Motor vehicles - negligence
  • Nuisance - public nuisance
  • Possession of real property
  • Products liability
  • Safe place
  • Tortious interference with contract
  • Wrongful death

Check out Elements of an Action from one of our libraries today!

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Odds 'n' Endings - Carol Hassler

Our Helping Warm Hearts and Hands hat and mitten drive was a success with around 100 items donated. We delivered five full bags of hats, scarves, and mittens to the Community Action Coalition in January. We would like to thank everybody who visited the library and donated warm clothes this year.

Community Action Coalation

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