Wisconsin State Law Library

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WSLL @ Your Service April 2019


National Library Week

Join us for National Library Week events, from April 8-12, 2019. This year's theme is Libraries = Strong Communities. From providing vital research sources, to helping individuals navigate the courts, we are proud to serve the Court System and the people of Wisconsin.

National Library Week banner

Public Records
Monday, April 8, 11 - Noon
Thursday, April 11, 11 - Noon
Location: David T. Prosser Jr. Library rare book room
Get an overview of the history of Wisconsin's public records law, understand top research sources, and learn where to find public records on individuals and businesses. Discover business entity records, liens, real estate records, and more. We'll help you find online and offline government agency sources for commonly-sought Wisconsin public records.
FREE. 1 CLE credit. Register Online | Print Registration Form

Dig in to Dockets and Court Documents
Monday, April 8, Noon - 1 p.m.
Thursday, April 11, Noon - 1 p.m.
Location: David T. Prosser Jr. Library rare book room
Learn how to research trial court dockets using free and low-cost tools available on the Internet, such as Wisconsin Circuit Court Access and PACER. Then survey powerful databases available free at the library. Learn how to locate verdicts and settlements via Westlaw and discover full text court filings using Westlaw and Bloomberg Law's Litigation Intelligence Center.
FREE. 1 CLE credit. Register Online | Print Registration Form

Watch for blog posts and Facebook updates throughout the week on how we reach out to our Wisconsin community, and how you can use our services and collection.

Do you have a story to tell about using one of our three libraries? Send an email to carol.hassler@wicourts.gov.

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Docket research on Bloomberg Law - Heidi Yelk

Online legal research platform Bloomberg Law is known for strong legal analysis content, like its Tax Practice Center and in-depth secondary sources. But Bloomberg Law is also a great source for docket research, at both the state and federal level. Keyword searching gives Bloomberg Law a slight edge over traditional docket searching you might do on Wisconsin Circuit Court Access.

Three easy steps to docket searching

1) Navigate to the docket search by typing the word "dockets" in the universal search box. Choose Dockets Search.

docket search

2) Choose a court or jurisdiction by typing the name in the COURTS box or selecting from the list. If needed, narrow your choice down to the county level.


3) Add search terms and limiters as needed. The example below demonstrates a keyword search for Wisconsin Statute 346.63 in the Dane County Circuit Court Dockets:

keyword search

Docket searching is one way to discover cases at the trial level or monitor the progress of a case.  Bloomberg Law also includes select, full text federal trial court documents such as complaints and pleadings. A unique "Breaking Complaints" feature is a real-time view of business-related cases filed in key jurisdictions. These personally gathered complaints are often tied to the national or international business news of the day.

The Bloomberg Law database is available for on-site use at the David T. Prosser Jr. Library in Madison.

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New Books - Kari Zelinka

New Edition! Wisconsin Children's Code and Juvenile Justice Code and Related Juvenile Law Statutes and Rules, 2019
Call Number: KFW 2494.5 .A29 W57 2019

If you are working in the juvenile justice system, make sure to review this updated edition of the Wisconsin Children's Code and Juvenile Justice Code. This edition is current through the 2017-18 Wisconsin Statutes, including statutes affected through 2017 Wisconsin Act 370. 

Updates include:

  • Amendments made by juvenile correctional reform legislation passed in 2018
  • Changes in sections of the State Public Defender statutes (from Wisconsin Statutes ch. 977)
  • New crimes against children in the Criminal Code (from Wisconsin Statutes ch. 948)

New Edition! Federal Sentencing Law and Practice, 2019
Call Number:  KF 9685 .H97 2019

Explore the latest developments in white collar crime and the sentencing of organizations and other hot topics in the latest edition of Federal Sentencing Law and Practice. Thousands of cases involving sentencing issues are cited and discussed. This handy reference guide has useful tables, such as the Appellate Review Table of Cases and a table of statutes and rules. The updated edition includes amendments to guidelines as of November 1, 2018. These recent amendments to the guidelines are analyzed and interpreted in detail.

Updates include:

  • Official text of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines
  • Commentary by the U.S. Sentencing Commission
  • Discussion of factors used in determining the guideline range
  • How to calculate sentences
  • Procedures for plea agreements

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.

Correction: We printed that the Wisconsin Children's Code was updated through 2017 Wisconsin Act 271. However, it has now been corrected to read 2017 Wisconsin Act 370. We apologize for the error!


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Tech Tip - Heidi Yelk

Smart phones: Battery Health, Battery Life

How you charge and use your smart phone can have a significant impact on battery life. Why should you care how long the battery lasts?  Replacing a lithium ion battery can be difficult, expensive, and not great for the environment. Here are some tips gathered from numerous technology writers:

phone storage

  1. Charge your smart phone before it displays low battery. "Shallow discharges and recharges are better than full ones." (David Nield, Popular Science) Most experts agree that it's a bad idea to allow the battery to run down to zero.
  2. It's okay to charge your phone overnight. Most experts agree it won't do much harm to charge your phone to 100%. However, if you want to be very protective of your battery, some warn against overnight charging or keeping your phone plugged in after it's fully charged.
  3. Avoid temperature extremes. Don't leave your phone in a hot or cold car. Temperatures between 32 to 95 degrees F are acceptable.
  4. Reduce screen time, lower brightness, and review apps for excess power usage. Naturally, the more you use your phone, the quicker the battery will need recharging. The life of the battery can diminish with each charge. See tips from Lauren Stephen for ways to conserve power.
  5. It's best to use the charger that came with your phone or a reputable brand name charger. Knockoffs may not supply the right voltage.

If you're curious about the health of your smart phone's battery, see these articles from How-To Geek for Android  and Apple devices.


Image by 200 Degrees from Pixabay

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Bar Association Meeting Programs

Julie Robinson

We're ready to speak at your next bar association meeting! Julie T. Robinson, State Law Librarian, will present information about the library's services and the materials which we provide for practicing attorneys. Our traveling program provides friendly, digestible information about legal research with an emphasis on what can be obtained for free or a nominal fee to our users throughout the state. Attendees can apply for CLE credit for this presentation.

We're always excited to talk to people about the services and comprehensive professional collection we offer to our users. Contact Julie to schedule a talk at julie.robinson@wicourts.gov.

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Library News - Carol Hassler

Law Day at our libraries

Law Day 2019 logo

May 1st is Law Day, which is often observed locally as a day of service, recognizing the impact of civil legal aid and access to legal information. This year we welcome you to a one-hour introductory class on researching legislative history. This class will be offered at the David T. Prosser Jr. Library, in the meeting room in the first floor lobby.

Introduction to Legislative History
Wednesday, May 1, Noon - 1 p.m.
Location: Lobby outside the David T. Prosser Jr. Library

I need the legislative history of a Wisconsin statute. Where do I start? What do I do? Participants will look at the primary resources used to research Wisconsin legislative history, learn about the online Wisconsin legislative drafting files, and learn some helpful tips and tricks along the way. This introductory class covers basic research strategies and sources.
Registration is encouraged.

In Milwaukee and Dane counties, watch our blog for legal clinic announcements and other events taking place in the courthouses and local legal communities.

April Classes

Don't miss our upcoming classes for April.

In Milwaukee:

Books Unbound / Fastcase
Thursday, April 4, Noon - 1 p.m.
Learn more on our classes page or register now! Call 414-278-4900 or email mcll.ref@wicourts.gov to register.

In Madison:

Public Records
Monday, April 8, 11 - Noon
Thursday, April 11, 11 - Noon
Learn more on our classes page or register now!

Dig in to Dockets and Court Documents
Monday, April 8, Noon - 1 p.m.
Thursday, April 11, Noon - 1 p.m.
Learn more on our classes page or register now!

Introduction to Westlaw
Tuesday, April 16, Noon - 1 p.m.
Learn more on our classes page or register now!

Librarians reach out

Librarians Jaime Healy-Plotkin and Carol Hassler will be presenting "It's a Trap! How to Avoid Giving Legal Advice in Reference Services" at the Wisconsin Association of Academic Librarians (WAAL) conference on Thursday, April 18th from 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. Will you be attending? Come and ask us your questions! We'd love to see you there.

Staff news

We are very excited to announce that Abby Hartenbower has taken on an additional role in our library of LTE Library Assistant. Abby assists with processing, shelving, mail handling, and number of other tasks to help manage the collections in our libraries and at the Court. She also continues her position working with the Wisconsin Briefs collection.


Image by ABA Division for Public Education

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April Snapshot


In Like a Lion
Photo by Margaret Burich

You don't need to travel up to the Apostle Islands to see this awe-inspiring ice cave, formed outside the window of Margaret's office in Wausau, Wisconsin.

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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