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WSLL @ Your Service September 2018

Six sources we love (Part one)

September is Library Card Signup Month. To mark it, we want to share with you some great databases and sources that you can access for free with your library card.

library card

  1. Fifty state law surveys
    Available in HeinOnline, 2015, 2008, 2005
    Browse topics with easy to download, customizable charts and references to state laws and code. Also available in print as Richard Leiter's National Survey of State Laws, this collection is perfectly adapted to online viewing. HeinOnline includes the last three editions, allowing you to compare laws as they existed in 2005, 2008, and 2015.
  2. Wisconsin Assembly journals
    Available in LLMC Digital, 1854-1981
    Are you stuck on a legislative history question? Search the full text of Senate and Assembly journals. Journals include roll call, motions, votes, statements, and speeches on bills from each chamber. Older volumes may also include letters, committee reports, and financial records.
  3. American Indian law collection
    Available in HeinOnline
    Includes treaties, tribal codes, constitutions, federal statutes and regulations, federal case law, and more. Includes decisions from agencies like the Bureau of Indian Appeals, Bureau of Land Management, and Bureau of Indian Affairs. Read the Tribal Law Journal for analysis of laws and issues pertaining to American Indians.
  4. Blackstone's
    Available in LLMC Digital
    Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England is a classic legal text which summarizes English common law and is viewed as a foundational source for our own legal system. Those familiar with Blackstone's know that there are several editions and related books. Now available in the Special focus collections, find Yale's Blackstone Collection, which easily organizes commentaries and related titles by date and edition.
  5. Pre-statehood legal materials
    Available in HeinOnline
    Based on the book by the same title, this collection features an easy-to-use map to navigate between state research guides. Each state features a detailed summary of history, including lists of territories and related federal laws. Research guides include vital book and article sources for researching state constitutional law, and the judicial, legislative, and executive branches.
  6. Wisconsin Law Review
    Available in HeinOnline and Index to Legal Periodicals
    Read and download full text articles from the Wisconsin Law Review, going all the way back to 1938. Sign up for title alerts in HeinOnline to get instant updates in your email when a new issue is available.

Watch our blog this month for in-depth articles showcasing these resources and giving helpful search tips. Don't miss part two in next month's newsletter!

Use your library card to access databases such as HeinOnline from your office, request items using interlibrary loan, and borrow library materials at one of the libraries. Signing up for a card is easy - fill out our online form or give us a call at 608-266-1600.

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Websites benefit from constant improvement and upgrades. We'd like your help improving our website. The two surveys linked below study how our website is organized. The information we gather will help us make decisions about how best to present information to our website users.

Link Organization Survey Menu Survey

Thank you for participating!

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Grand juries - Carol Hassler

To mark Juror Appreciation Month, we're focusing on a lesser-known aspect of jury service in Wisconsin: grand juries. The grand jury is rooted in history and the use of these can be traced back hundreds of years. In Wisconsin, aspects of grand jury practice are codified in the statutes, and discussion of issues unique to grand juries can be found in general practice books and articles.



WI Statutes: s. 968.40 - 968.53 Grand Jury

Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure: The Grand Jury


Grand jury and John Doe proceedings in Wisconsin, Wisconsin Briefs 15-7, Legislative Reference Bureau, March 2015

William M. Coffey; Alan E. Richards, The Grand Jury in Wisconsin, 58 Marq. L. Rev. 517, 554 (1975)

Samuel Dash, The Indicting Grand Jury: A Critical Stage, 10 Am. Crim. L. Rev. 807, 828 (1972)

Herbert Jacob, Judicial Insulation - Elections, Direct Participation, and Public Attention to the Courts in Wisconsin, 1966 Wis. L. Rev. 801, 819 (1966)


"Grand jury / John Doe proceedings" Wisconsin Judicial Benchbooks: Criminal. Section CR48
KFW 2915 .W5 J85

"Grand jury, John Doe, and inquest proceedings" Criminal Practice and Procedure, Wisconsin Practice Series, sections 9:1-9:7
KFW 2930 .W661

Corpus juris secundum, Grand Juries sections 88 et seq.
KF 154 .C62

Federal grand juries: the law in a nutshell
Congressional Research Service

Federal grand jury practice and procedure, by Paul S. Diamond
KF 9642 .D53 2012

Grand jury law and practice
West, updated 2017-2018
KF 9642 .G73

Handbook for Federal Grand Jurors
Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts


Grand jury (Eastern District of Wisconsin Court)

Jury Trials (Wisconsin State Law Library)

Jury / Jurors Legal Topic page (Wisconsin State Law Library)


Image credit: from Pixabay

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New books - Kari Zelinka

New Book! U.S. Citizenship and Naturalization Handbook, 2017-2018 edition, by Daniel Levy
Call Number:  KF 4710 Z9 N38 2017-2018

This handbook will lead you through the steps from filing an application through admission to citizenship. This book was written by Daniel Levy and updated by Charles Roth. Daniel Levy was a civil rights attorney, immigrant's rights advocate and recipient of the National Immigration Project's Carol King Award in 2001 and the American Immigration Lawyers Association Edith Lowenstein Memorial Award.  He was a member of the legal team in several landmark immigration victories. In this text he shares his expertise with all practitioners.

Topics covered include:

  • Procedures for naturalization
  • Requirements and bars to naturalization including court and administrative case citations
  • Model for applications
  • USCIS forms dealing with naturalization and guidance on how to complete and file the forms with USCIS
  • Naturalization requirements for members of the armed forces

New Book! Firearms Law Deskbook, by Stephen P. Halbrook
Call Number: KF 3941 H348 2017-2018

If you are looking for federal, state, and local gun control laws all in one place, check out the Firearms Law Deskbook. In addition to a discussion of laws, this book also compiles court decisions and agency regulations. The appendix contains summaries of all laws for all fifty states.

Chapters include:

  • Right to bear arms
  • Gun Control Act:  Federal regulation
  • Licensees, records and BATF Inspections
  • Forfeitures, attorney's fees, regulations and preemption
  • Gun Control Act: interstate commerce
  • National Firearms Act
  • Entrapment and due process
  • Assault weapon prohibitions
  • Exportation of firearms

new book shelf
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 - Heidi Yelk

Converting Cell Phone Video


Cell phone video is ubiquitous these days. However, viewing a cell phone video on a Windows PC can be problematic. Unless your network is running the most current version of Windows Media Player, you will not be able to play most cell phone video with Media Player. 

There's an easy online solution. Online-convert.com is a free service that will convert video to many formats. It also converts images, documents, audio files and more. Because it's web-based, there's no need to download and install a program on your computer. Select the format you want to convert to and then upload the file. In my test, converting a short 3GP file to WMV was easy and fast.

If you prefer to use software on your computer, there are several similar programs available for free download. For more options, see "30 Free Video Converter Programs and Online Services" by Tim Fisher.

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Library News - Carol Hassler

Several CLE-credit classes are scheduled for fall at our Madison and Milwaukee locations. Check our classes page for more information about each class, including how to register. Here's what's coming up for September and October:



All classes are located in the David T. Prosser Jr. Library training room.

Advanced Westlaw
Tuesday, September 18, Noon - 1 p.m.
Learn how to best utilize Westlaw in this course. Includes advanced and field searching, annotations, Key Numbers, and more.

Introduction to Legislative History
Wednesday, September 26, Noon - 1 p.m.
Participants will look at the primary resources used to research Wisconsin legislative history and learn about the online legislative drafting files.

New Features in Westlaw
Tuesday, October 16, Noon - 1 p.m.
An update for attorneys on Westlaw, showcasing new tools, features and content available.

Legislative History - Advanced
Wednesday, October 24, Noon - 1 p.m.
This course deals with budget bills, legislative council bills, and legislation created by Supreme Court order.


All classes are located in Meeting Room 1 at the Central Library, 814 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee

Wisconsin State Legislature Website
Thursday, September 6, Noon - 1 p.m.
Track legislative activity, locate bills and acts, and search the online Wisconsin Statutes.

Advanced Westlaw &
Legal Ethics & Professional Responsibility Research in Westlaw
Thursday, October 4, Noon - 2 p.m.
Register for one or both classes.

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September Snapshot

Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe Memorials and Markers
Photo by Julie Tessmer

The American Association of Law Libraries' annual meeting was held in Baltimore this year. These pictures were taken during a visit to Edgar Allan Poe's gravesite. Clockwise from top:
Original burial site, Full stone for the original burial site, Monument, Relief sculpture on monument

We are accepting snapshots! Do you have a photo highlighting libraries, attractions or points of historical interest? Send your photo the editor at carol.hassler@wicourts.gov to be included in a future issue.

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