Wisconsin State Law Library

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WSLL @ Your Service November 2020

New FAQs in Legal Topics - Carol Hassler

The Wisconsin State Law Library has been a gateway to online legal research for twenty years. During that time, our website has grown from simple information about the library to over 400 topical research pages. Our latest updates to our legal topic pages include new FAQs, an emphasis on finding legal forms, and updated book and article lists from our print and online collections. We'll be adding new page updates every month!

New Municipal Courts page

Municipal court cases may involve traffic, parking, and other ordinance offenses. There are over 200 municipal courts in Wisconsin. On our new page, Wisconsin Municipal Courts, find your local Wisconsin municipal court's website and forms.

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Archiving COVID-19 Materials - Jaime Healy-Plotkin

As government websites change over time, older information is removed from pages. When reports and other publications are not published in print, they can be lost for future use. Digital archiving projects work to preserve online-only information for future researchers.

From the start of the coronavirus crisis, state librarians have gathered and added state documents related to COVID-19 to the Wisconsin Digital Archives, a database of state government publications and reports available to all. The Wisconsin Response to COVID-19 Collection includes reports and pages from several Wisconsin state agencies.

Resources gathered by the Wisconsin Court System on its COVID-19 page have been crawled by the Wisconsin Historical Society's Archive-It tool and added to the Wisconsin Response to COVID-19 Collection. It will be saved for future generations to research government documents related to this current crisis. The archived web page is available at https://archive-it.org/collections/13756.

In addition to state websites, reports are also directly archived and added to the collection. Researchers can find the Chief Justice's Wisconsin Courts COVID-19 Task Force : final report in the Wisconsin Digital Archives, and the State Law Library's catalog.

Find more information on the coronavirus pandemic, track the Coronavirus Infections subject in our catalog or ask a librarian for help with your research.

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New Books - Kari Zelinka

New Edition! Wisconsin Governmental Claims and Immunities Handbook, 4th ed by Corey F. Finkelmeyer and others, 2020
Call Number: KFW 2599 .G6 W57 2020

If you are a government attorney or handling a claim against a governmental entity, get your hands on Wisconsin Governmental Claims and Immunities Handbook today. This book compiles all relevant federal and state governmental immunity statutes. It will help you brush up on the notice requirements for filing suit against the state and give you a refresher on the difference between absolute immunity and qualified immunity.

General topics include:

  • Absolute and qualified immunity
  • Discretionary immunity for Wisconsin municipalities and their employees
  • Recreational immunities
  • Notice procedures
  • Claims against state employees
  • Federal tort claims act

Updates to the 4th edition include:

  • The Wisconsin Supreme Court discussion and its analysis method for determining whether a person or an entity is an “agent” of the owner for purposes of applying the recreational immunities statute.
  • The Wisconsin Supreme Court analysis of the distinction between discretionary immunity and ministerial immunity in a case involving a child's drowning during a day camp activity.

New Edition! Search and Seizure: a Treatise on the Fourth Amendment, 6th ed, by Wayne R. LaFave, 2020
Call Number: KF 9630 .L34 S4 2020

If you reach for Search and Seizure on a regular basis, you'll be excited to know a full revision has recently been made to this set. LaFave provides in depth analysis of the Fourth Amendment with case law examples for practically every situation. In this sixth edition, new cases are discussed and outdated case law has been removed. Some updated Supreme Court and appellate decisions include warrantless blood tests, electronic and cell phone searches, traffic stops, and vehicle searches.

Topics include:

  • Exclusionary rule and related remedies
  • Protected areas and interests
  • Probable cause
  • Stop and frisk
  • Inspections
  • Entry and search of premises
  • Regulatory searches
  • Consent searches
  • Administration of the exclusionary rule

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

Govinfo.gov - award-winning website for Federal law

As librarians, we are constantly asked for laws and information across a broad range of Wisconsin legal topics. However, requests for federal law have greatly increased in the last six months. The CARES Act, Paycheck Protection, and Families First are just a few pieces of major legislation that have put the spotlight on federal government sources.

When it comes to websites for federal law, govinfo.gov is one of the very best - for both content and usability. Govinfo.gov, run by the Government Printing Office (GPO), provides smooth access to a several collections, including the US Code, Presidential Papers, Congressional Serial Set, Public and Private Laws, Congressional Record, Federal Register, CFR, and more.

There's so much to like about this website, it would be impossible to put into a short article! Instead, here are three reasons to turn to govinfo.gov the next time you need federal law.

Ease of use & browsability
From the landing page, it's easy to quickly find your way to commonly used sources - US Code, Supreme Court opinions, and CFR. There's a "trending" section for quick access to hot topics, such as coronavirus relief.

The search box on the main page accepts keyword and boolean operators and advanced field searching. After running a quick query, you can narrow the results by the type of document you are seeking. For example, a quick search for "habeas corpus" can be refined by date and collection type to easily narrow the scope of your search.

Most information is available in PDF or Text (HTML) format. Economic indicators are available in XLS format as well. Next to the format choices on govinfo.gov, users will also see a "details" button. Details include various attributes of the document. For example, public laws include the full title, statutes at large references, US Code sections, and legislative history notes. See P.L. 116-131 for an example.

With so many great features, it's no surprise that the GPO recently won a 2020 Government Experience Award for its work on govinfo.gov. Try it next time you need federal law.

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Library News - Carol Hassler

Thanksgiving closures

Our three libraries will be closed and not answering phone calls or emails on Thursday, November 26 for Thanksgiving holiday. We wish all of our readers a happy and safe holiday!

November webinars

Sign up for our next webinar, offered on Wednesday, November 18th from noon - 1 p.m.

Dockets throughout the U.S.
Presented by: Beverly Butula
Wednesday, November 18, Noon - 1 p.m.
Location: Webinar - Register now!

We are familiar with and rely heavily on the Wisconsin's Consolidated Court Automation Program when locating dockets. However, our practice often moves beyond this jurisdiction. This program will explore some of the systems found in other states, where to look to understand what other jurisdictions offer in terms of dockets, and navigate websites beyond PACER for federally filed dockets.
Registration is limited to 100. 1 CLE credit applied for. Register now

Westlaw is also offering free webinars this month. State Law Library users are welcome to attend these CLE offerings however, the content of these webinars is not reflective of the library's subscription.

Enhance your legal research efficiency with Westlaw Edge
Thursday, November 5, 1:30-2:30 PM - Register now!
Monday, November 16, 12:00-1:00 PM - Register now!

In this course, new and experienced Westlaw users will learn to research on Westlaw Edge, understanding the most direct method to finding their legal answer. The techniques discussed will help the researcher glean valuable insights about judges and opposing counsel. This course also covers User Experience Improvements added to Westlaw Edge to assist legal researchers work even faster and more efficiently.
1 CLE credit applied for

Public Records
Tuesday, November 10, 1:30-2:30 PM - Register now!
Friday, November 20, 12:00-1:00 PM - Register now!

The purpose of this seminar is to teach attorneys the available resources and search techniques to help them locate people and businesses, identify and assess risk, understand critical connections and how to gather information on clients, experts, companies, assets, liens and other filings that relate to civil and criminal actions.
1 CLE credit applied for

Webinar updates

The State Law Library has been providing webinars over Zoom since the spring, offering CLE classes and online learning to hundreds of participants. Have you signed up for or taken one of our recent webinars? We'd love to hear what you liked, and where we can improve your experience in the future. Please take a couple of minutes to fill out our brief survey, and let us know what you think!

Take Our Webinar Survey

Librarians reach out

Last month, State Law Librarian Amy Crowder published an article in the State Bar of Wisconsin's InsideTrack on essential research sources for real estate law. If you missed it, you can still read Legal Research 101: Where to Find Real Estate Resources! Ask a librarian for help checking out any of the books listed in her research guide.

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November Snapshot

Photo by Carol Hassler

A library's collection is constantly updated. In addition to new books, legal materials are kept current by looseleaf pages or supplements inserted into the back of books. These are just some of the updates that your library receives every week!

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

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