Wisconsin State Law Library

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WSLL @ Your Service January 2019


Bloomberg Law Now Available in the Library - Kari Zelinka

Bloomberg Law incorporates Bloomberg's news, company, and financial data with legal research and business intelligence tools aimed at legal professionals. Search across many resources at once with the search bar or narrow your search using the left hand navigation pane. Next time you are in the library, check out Bloomberg Law!

Practice Centers

Information on Bloomberg Law is organized into Practice Centers. You'll find primary and secondary sources in the areas of Antitrust, Banking & Finance, Labor and Employment, Patents & Trade Secrets, Tax, and much more. 

practice centers

Secondary sources

Bloomberg BNA Portfolios, along with hundreds of BNA books can be found in Secondary Sources. Look no further to read the U.S. Income Portfolios; Estates, Gifts and Trusts Portfolios, Corporate Practice Portfolio Series; and many more.


Practitioner Tools

In Practitioner Tools, you'll find Chart Builders. Simply choose a main topic, then the jurisdictions you want to compare, and subtopics to include. With a few clicks, create a chart that compares the data in an easy to read format.

Also under Practitioner Tools, you'll find Practical Guidance. If you are looking for sample documents, this is where to start! Sample letters, policies, agreements, and notices are just a few documents you can choose from. Why start from scratch when you can take a template and tailor it to your project at hand? Save some time and search Practical Guidance before starting a new document.

Litigation Intelligence Center

In the Litigation Intelligence Center you can search court opinions by keyword and narrow your results by state. To find a specific case, use the docket number. If you don't know the exact docket number, search by keyword, party name, or judge and narrow your search by court. Point of Law is a quick way to find case law. Find language important to the court's holding and links to governing statements of law and on-point case law.


Watch our Classes page for upcoming training opportunities on Bloomberg Law.

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Where to Find Will Forms - Michael Keane

We are frequently asked for information about wills. We sell the Wisconsin Legal Blank's Wisconsin Basic Will and Wisconsin Basic Will with Trust fillable forms at our libraries. These forms use the statutory form language found at Wisconsin Statutes sections 853.55 and 853.56.

In addition to statutory wills, a number of sources in the library offer sample will forms and guidance to drafting wills:


Drafting Effective Wills and Trusts, by Jennifer E. Annen
National Business Institute, 2015
KFW 2544 .A75 D72 2015
A detailed guide to drafting a will in Wisconsin. No forms.

Wills and Estate Administration, by Kenneth A. Vercammen
American Bar Association, 2015
KF 750 .V47 2015
A variety of will forms beginning on p. 83; a form for codicils is found on p. 101.

The Basic Wills Handbook: A Guide to the Wisconsin Basic Wills, by Howard S. Erlanger
Center for Public Representation, 1995
KFW 2540 .E74 1995
Step by step guidance for completing the Wisconsin Basic Will form, appropriate for non-attorneys. Chapter VI deals with amendments and codicils.

Quick and Legal Will Book, by Denis Clifford
Nolo, 2017
KF 755 .C55 2017
A basic guide to estate planning. A will form is provided in Appendix B.

Eckhardt's Workbook for Wisconsin Estate Planning, by Susan L. Collins
State Bar of Wisconsin, 2018
KFW 2540 .E35 W66
Basic will form discussed clause by clause with the purpose of each explained. Chapter 4: will without trust; Chapter 5: will with trust.

Page on the Law of Wills, by Jeffrey A. Schoenblum
Lexis/Nexis, 2017
KF 755 .P31 v. 7
Entire volume devoted to will forms of various kinds.

Guide to Wills and Estates
American Bar Association, 2012
KF 750 .Z9 A47 2012
Includes a sample will in Appendix B.

American Jurisprudence Legal Forms 2d
Thomson Reuters
KF 170 .A542 v. 20A
General will forms beginning at s. 266.35;  forms for codicils are found beginning at s. 266.85, and for joint wills at s. 266.20.

Methods of Practice, Wisconsin Practice Series
KFW 2930 .W613
Forms 21-1, 21-2 and 21-3 deal with Wisconsin wills; section 21.111 provides a general form for codicils.

Online Sources

Westlaw Forms
Includes a number of documents relevant to Wisconsin including drafting a will, and the Wisconsin Basic Will with Trust and Wisconsin Basic Will. Available in the David T. Prosser Jr. Library.

Fastcase US Legal Forms
Includes a variety of Wisconsin will and estate planning forms available for purchase. Available in all three libraries.


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New Books - Kari Zelinka

New Book! Legal Upheaval: a Guide to Creativity, Collaboration, and Innovation in Law, by Michele DeStefano
Call Number:  KF 318 .D47 2018

Michelle DeStefano has been on countless interdisciplinary teams on innovation cycles. She has conducted over 100 interviews with law firm partners and general counsels and compiled her research in this book. She outlines the criteria for success in today's legal world: creativity, collaboration, and innovation. 

DeStefano identifies the common gaps in lawyers' skills, behavior, and mindset and then lays out a path to adapt and innovate. If you want to approach work in a new way or need a fresh approach to client relations, this book may be useful. If you are new to the legal field, it may also help you gain insight into what clients desire and expect.

New Book! Water Rights and Environmental Regulation: a Lawyers Guide, edited by Robert H. Abrams and Latravia Smith
Call Number:  KF 5569 .L39 2018

State law governs most allocation of surface waters in the United States. However, reserved rights are created by Federal law. The impact of federal environmental law on the use of water resources is covered in this book.

Water rights in regards to the following topics are discussed:

  • State Law
  • Federal Law
  • Interstate
  • Overlapping Sovereignties: Shared Control of Water, U.S. and Mexico
  • Canadian-U.S. issues
  • Endangered Species Act
  • Migratory Bird Treaty Act
  • National Environmental Policy Act
  • Takings of Property

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


When Scanning is Better than Snapping

Using your phone's camera to snap a photo of a paper document is quick and easy. However, if you need a good quality copy, want to email the image, or mark it up, the phone camera may not be your best tool.

A scanner app can be used to create multiple-page documents. They can remove distortion and shadows that may occur when snapping a photo. Scanner apps can also correct color to brighten up a document. Some also offer a text recognition (OCR) feature. Images taken with a scanning app are generally faster to email. If you're using an iPhone, a scanner feature is built into the Notes app.

For more information on scanning apps see: Best Mobile Scanning Apps of 2018; 6 Best Scanner Apps for iPhone & Android 2018;  and Five Best Mobile Document Scanning Apps.


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Sign Up for After Hours Access - Carol Hassler

after hours

Would you like the convenience of using the State Law Library later in the evening or on weekends? You can by becoming an After Hours subscriber. Subscribe now to enjoy a full year of library access at times convenient for you.

After Hours users can read and check out books, use our public computers and databases - including Westlaw and HeinOnline, make photocopies, and enjoy a quiet space for research and study.

A calendar-year subscription includes access to the library from 7:00 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, and a key fob for convenient entry into the building. New subscribers will gain access from the time they subscribe to the end of the 2019 calendar year. Subscribe now and save!

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Library News - Carol Hassler

Libraries Closed for Holiday

All three library locations will be closed on Monday, January 21st. 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.

A successful open house!

We thank you all for attending this year's winter open house. Attendees enjoyed playing popular board and tabletop games, and sampled a variety of hors d'oeuvres.

headbanz headbanz food

Upcoming classes

Watch our website as new 2019 classes are added. Do you have a class suggestion? Contact Michael Keane with suggestions or requests. Coming up in 2019:

Public Records
Tuesday, February 12, Noon - 1 p.m.
Location: David T. Prosser Jr. Library training room
Learn first hand how to find public records on individuals and businesses in this information packed class. Discover criminal records, state and local court records, business entity records, liens, real estate records, and more. We'll help you find the government agency sources for Wisconsin public records. Register Online

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January Snapshot

The Beacon Breakfast marquee

Beacon & Eggs Breakfast

Julie Tessmer, Heidi Yelk, and Kari Zelinka attended the first annual Beacon & Eggs breakfast to benefit The Beacon. The Beacon is a resource center for individuals who are experiencing homelessness in Madison.

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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