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WSLL @ Your Service November 2018


Researching verdicts and settlements

Trial decisions and settlements can be difficult to find. Circuit court decisions aren't compiled in reporters, like the Wisconsin Reports. Instead, we turn to other resources to find jury verdicts and settlements for a variety of case types. The sources in this article are available for use in our library. Ask a librarian for help using them, or to request emailed copies.

Personal injury books

What's it Worth?
Call number: KF 1257 .W67 2018
Library coverage 1990-Current

What's it Worth covers personal injury damage awards, from severed pinkie fingers to wrongful death, for popular jurisdictions in the United States in the past three years. The book is useful in determining the value of a plaintiff's case or for use by a defense attorney in estimating the extent of a client's potential exposure. It is organized by type of injury and subdivided into the following categories:

  • Adequate, inadequate, or excessive on appeal
  • Location of court
  • Settlement or jury verdict

Each entry contains the award amount, location, judge, attorneys, specific injury and a brief synopsis of the event. Other pertinent information, such as a breakdown of general and special damages, structured settlements, hospitalizations, and contributory or comparative negligence is included as well. If you are looking to put a monetary value on a personal injury case, this is a good resource to consult first.

Wisconsin Law Journal
Coverage: 2009-Current

The Verdicts and Settlements (V&S) database on the Wisconsin Law Journal website is available to newspaper subscribers, and we have access to it at the library. It includes user-submitted reports of jury verdicts or settlements from 2009.

Search by several factors, including type of action, value range or amount, party names, and injuries. Each reported case includes a brief summary, value, date, type of action, case details, and a list of special damages. The circuit court case number is included, for researchers who may wish to request additional information from the court. Ask a librarian for help researching Verdicts & Settlements from the Wisconsin Law Journal.

InsideTrack: West's Jury Verdicts, Bench Decisions, Settlements, and Arbitration Awards

Verdict award information for selected Wisconsin civil jury trials, bench trials, settlements, and arbitrations is provided to State Bar of Wisconsin members, in alliance with the publisher Thomson Reuters/West.

Thomson Reuters/West attorney-editors highlight select cases semi-monthly in InsideTrack, an online publication from the State Bar. One case is chosen as the "case of month" and featured in its entirety in InsideTrack. Other featured cases may be requested free of charge by Bar members via email.

Visit http://www.westsjuryverdicts.com/WisBar/ for more information. Other state bar associations have alliances with Thomson Reuters/West as well; visit http://www.westsjuryverdicts.com/

The National Jury Verdict Review & Analysis
Call number: KF 1256 .A15 N2
Library coverage: 1985-Current

This is a monthly review of state and Federal civil jury verdicts with editorial analysis and commentary, published by Jury Verdict Review Publications. The main categories covered include medical malpractice, motor vehicle negligence and premises liability. Additional topics vary by month but can include contractor's negligence, dog attacks, school liability, toxic torts, and wrongful termination.

Personal Injury Valuation Handbooks and Case Evaluation Manual
Call number: KF1256 .A8 P47
Library coverage: Current

The set contains close to 100 different studies of personal jury cases broken down by the type of injury. The case studies are from both State and Federal jurisdictions and contain detailed statistical analysis along with settlement distributions and probability ranges for awards. Studies include wrongful death, multiple vehicle accidents, libel/slander, back and neck strains, and ear and eye injuries. This Thomson Reuters set is updated on a rotating basis three times a year.

Verdicts, Settlements & Tactics
Call number: KF 1256 .A15 V57
Library coverage: 1981-Current

This personal injury reporter features detailed case summaries, grouped together by type of case, such as "orthopedics" in "medical liability" or "household products" under "products liability." Issued in a monthly journal format, this set includes case summaries which range from one to several pages long. Each summary includes the injury, result, witnesses, attorneys, and basic case information.

Every issue includes an index to topics and jurisdictions covered, and prints a list of expert witnesses. Consult the annual index as well, which is organized by topic, case name, and jurisdiction. Issues from volume eight onwards are keyword searchable in Westlaw as well.

Westlaw Jury Verdicts & Settlements
Library coverage: 1984-Current

Wisconsin Jury Verdicts and Settlements can be searched on the library's patron access Westlaw service. This database includes jury verdicts, settlements, and arbitration reports from both state and federal trial courts in Wisconsin.

Each entry includes a brief summary of the action, the names of attorneys and expert witnesses, type of liability and injury, and specific information on the award.  In some cases, related documents are included, such as the full text of complaints, motions, briefs, proposed jury instructions, pretrial reports and verdict forms.

Westlaw filtering tools can help focus your research. Users can filter by topic (product liability, real property, employment law, etc.) and jurisdiction (state or federal court) and narrow by award range.

Law of Damages in Wisconsin
Call Number: KFW 2490 .D3 L47
Library coverage: Current and prior editions

This book set is a basic resource for any attorney pursuing civil litigation in Wisconsin that may involve assessing damages. Published by the State Bar of Wisconsin, this set details Wisconsin precedent in the areas of personal or bodily injury, property loss, and deprivation of rights, as well as practice and procedure guidelines.

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New Books - Kari Zelinka

New Book! Recusal and Disqualification of Judges: For Cause Motions, Peremptory Challenges and Appeals, by Richard E. Flamm
Call Number: KF 8861 .F583 2018

This is a companion volume to Flamm's treatise on Judicial Disqualification, which is also in our collection. Each book has a stand-alone index and table of cases. Recusal and Disqualification of Judges contains information on the procedural aspects of making and deciding recusal and disqualification of judges in federal court and a state by state comparison of the law on disqualification. 

Features include:

  • Peremptory and voluntary disqualification
  • Timeliness and legal sufficiency of disqualification motions
  • Burden of proof on disqualification
  • Factors that militate against disqualification
  • Express and implied waiver of the right to challenge a judge
  • Tactically motivated disqualification motions
  • Post-disqualification procedural issues
  • Appeals, writs and the appellate standard of review

New Book! Nolo's Essential Guide to Child Custody & Support, 4th edition, by Emily Doskow
Call Number: KF 547 D67 2017

If you are divorcing with children, it's in everyone's best interest to work out a parenting plan that avoids battles in the future. Doskow covers types of divorces, support agreements, physical and legal custody of children, and court processes. If you do run into conflict down the road, Doskow includes information on changing court orders. In the appendix you will find state child support calculators and state custody, support and relocation laws.


  • How negotiation and mediation can keep costs down and improve future communication with your ex
  • State by state child support guidelines
  • How judges make custody decisions
  • How to enforce and change custody and support orders
  • How court trials work
  • What military families need to know
  • When you need a lawyer and how to work with one

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

Traffic counts at your fingertips


State and local governments collect and manage so much data (often behind the scenes). One such treasure trove is traffic counts at the street level. Traffic counts are used by transportation experts in state and local government but they can also be useful for planning business locations or simply identifying the busiest sections of town.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation maintains an interactive map, "Roadrunner" that provides annual average daily traffic counts (known as AADT) for points across Wisconsin. A quick look-up can show you preliminary data for the current year and a count from a previous year. In addition, historical traffic counts back to the year 2000 are available by contacting the department.

For more detailed street level counts, review the local city or village website for possible statistics. For example, this traffic flow map from the City of Madison shows average weekday traffic for streets on the isthmus. The City of Appleton posts their data from 1990-2017.

For very technical datasets, including maps and pavement conditions check out this information from the State Cartographer's office.

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Library news – Carol Hassler

Welcome new staff!

Please join us in welcoming new library associates Jenna Marquardt, Alexis Pederson, and Melissa Sylla to the Milwaukee County Law Library.

New MCLL staff

Jenna joins the MCLL with customer service experience helping patrons at Impact 2-1-1 and the Better Business Bureau. Jenna is also working towards completing her Bachelor of Science degree in English and Communications at UW-Milwaukee.

Alexis comes to us with customer service experience from working in a variety of fields. Alexis also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from UW-Milwaukee.

Melissa joins the MCLL after working in public and academic libraries for the past four years. Melissa holds a Master's in Library and Information Science from UW-Milwaukee. Melissa also holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from UW-Whitewater.

Secure access to our website

Earlier this year we began offering a secure version of our website through the URL https://wilawlibrary.gov. Visiting a website through a secure protocol like https encrypts your connection and enhances your privacy online.

In January we'll begin directing all of our website visitors to the secure version of our website. If you normally find us through search engines, then you already may be using our secure site. If you've bookmarked our website, you'll be automatically directed to our secure site beginning in 2019. But you have the option of updating your bookmarks now. Direct any questions to the Webmaster, Carol Hassler.

Last chance for 2018 CLE classes

November is your last chance for free CLE classes from our libraries for 2018. Get registration details and more information on our Classes page. Is there a class you'd like to take from us in 2019? Check our list of classes, or send new class requests to Michael Keane.

Thursday, November 1, Noon - 1 p.m.
Location: Meeting Room 1 at the Central Library, 814 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee

Legal research often involves using more than just legal resources. When you need background information from newspapers or magazines, you need BadgerLink This class will show you how to use BadgerLink's databases to search thousands of magazines and journals, and hundreds of newspapers, full text and all for free.

Introduction to Westlaw
Tuesday, November 20, Noon - 1 p.m.
Location: David T. Prosser Jr. Library training room

Learn how to best utilize Westlaw in this course by: Finding Specific Cases, Statutes and Regulations by citation; Learning how to quickly find and search specific resource; Learning about plain language searching on Westlaw; Utilizing result list filtering to narrow your search results; Exploring document features, including new "Copy with Reference"; Learning about new Westlaw history; Reviewing the basics of the Westlaw Citator - KeyCite

librarian and visitor

Serving Veterans

Veterans Day is observed on November 11th, a day to honor America's veterans and thank them for their service to our country. We encourage researchers of veterans' legal issues to explore our Veterans and Military Law legal topic pages. We also link to legal assistance resources for active military, veterans, and their families on these pages. Do you have a question? Ask us!

While Veterans Day is a national holiday, it is not a Wisconsin state holiday, so we will be open the following Monday, November 12.

Commander Charles Westerhaus stopped by the Wisconsin State Law Library recently for a tour of the space. When he retires this upcoming summer after 23 years in the Navy, he plans to use the G.I. Bill to attend a law school in the area. Librarian Jaime Healy-Plotkin pointed out the benefits of our library, its great location in Madison, and our resources for students and as well as seasoned attorneys.

Holiday Closures

All three library locations will be closed on Thanksgiving - Thursday, November 22nd. The Dane County Law Library and the Milwaukee County Law Library will remain closed on Friday, November 23rd. The David T. Prosser Jr. State Law Library will be open on Friday, November 23rd.

All three libraries will be open Monday, November 12th, which is the observed date for Veterans' Day.

Call the Reference Desk at 608-267-9696 and leave a voicemail, or Ask a Librarian online while we are closed. We will respond to you the next business day.

Holiday Open House

Please join us for our annual Holiday Open House on Wednesday, December 12 from 3:00-4:30 p.m. in the reading room of the David T. Prosser Jr. State Law Library. Enjoy refreshments while you mingle with staff and other library users, or just grab a snack to go!

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November Snapshot

Palazza di Giustizia

Hall of Justice in Rome
Photo by Julie Tessmer

The Palazza di Giustizia houses the Italian Supreme Court of Cassation and the Judicial Public Library, and was built between 1888 and 1910. Julie Tessmer visited the historic site while in Italy in October.

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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