Wisconsin State Law Library

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WSLL @ Your Service November 2022

The Wisconsin State Constitution, Now an eBook - Michael Keane

Newly available on Lexis Digital is one of the definitive sources on the history of the Wisconsin Constitution. The Wisconsin State Constitution, a volume of the Oxford Commentaries on State Constitutions, is an important source for persons interested in how interpretation of Wisconsin's 1848 Constitution has evolved since statehood. This work, arranged by article and section of the constitution, discusses at length amendments and court interpretations of each section of the Wisconsin constitution. Discussion of the case law in each section is extensive. The volume also contains a lengthy bibliographic essay, table of cases cited, and a subject index.

Wisconsin Constitution in Lexis Digital

The first edition of this volume, authored in 1997 by Jack Stark, covered the constitution up to the period of publication. This second edition, including work by Steve Miller, carries the history of each section up to 2018.

The standardized format of the Oxford Commentary series facilitates research across different state volumes. The library has the Illinois and Massachusetts editions in print, but other books from the publisher analyze the constitution of every state. 

On the subject of constitutional research, The Wisconsin State Constitution offers this quote from a century old decision by Justice Roujet Marshall of the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Many modern researchers will still find it relevant today.

"Much confusion in public affairs would be prevented by more study of the fundamental law and a better appreciation of what it means and of [the] importance of fidelity thereto. It is as necessary now, if not more so, to the general welfare, both in respect to the people of the present and those who will come after us, as it ever was."
State ex rel Owens v. Donald, 160 Wis. 115 (1915).

Lexis Digital characterizes the volumes of the Oxford Commentary series as "essential reference tools for understanding state constitutional law." We're pleased to offer access to The Wisconsin State Constitution for checkout from our libraries, and online through Lexis Digital. Ask a librarian for help checking out and renewing books, or placing holds on our eBook collection.

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Constitutional Law Display - Abby Hartenbower

To go along with our featured book this month, The Wisconsin State Constitution, our newest library display features books on state constitutions, as well as books by the author, Jack Stark.

The Wisconsin State Constitution includes a forward by Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson and contains chapters on the history of statehood and commentaries on each article. This book is a part of a series of State Constitutional Law books, of which the library has a few other titles including Illinois and Massachusetts. Browse through these books directly from the library display, and check out books for later reading!
In this display:

In addition to the items we have in print, Amy Crowder reviewed online sources you can read with a library card in a recent article: New in HeinOnline: State Constitutions illustrated.


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New Books - Kari Zelinka

Hiring and firing cover

New Revision! Hiring and Firing in Wisconsin, 8th ed., 2022-2023 revision.
Call Number: KFW 2734.5 .E55 B33 2022

Finding and keeping the best employees is an intensive process; however, it is less time consuming than constantly onboarding new employees. If you are a HR professional, a manager, or an attorney representing employees or employers, you'll want to stay up to date on the following topics covered in Hiring and Firing in Wisconsin:

  • What questions can you ask in an interview and what is off limits?
  • What are the legal forms of screening and testing?
  • How to avoid lawsuits on discriminatory hiring and firing
  • When can an employer be held liable for if hiring a dangerous or criminal employee?

The recent update includes changes close to home such as local ordinances prohibiting discrimination based on hair style, sex, physical appearance, and domestic partnership. With five chapters dedicated to hiring and five chapters on termination, you'll learn how to avoid many employment legal challenges. The appendices include an interview question handout from the Department of Workforce Development along with a termination checklist.

Fair Credit Reporting cover

New Edition! Fair Credit Reporting, 10th ed., by Chi Chi Wu and others, 2022.
Call Number: KF 1040 .W8 2022

The 10th edition of Fair Credit Reporting, published by the National Consumer Law Center, has just been published in two volumes. Credit and consumer reporting is important in landlord tenant law with regards to tenant screening agencies, employment law for background checks, and much more. Reporting errors can cause significant problems for consumers in accessing credit, employment, rental properties and insurance.  Volume one contains valuable information on many fronts, including:

  • Who must comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act
  • Limits on accessing consumer reports and acceptable purposes for using them
  • Identity theft rights
  • Security freezes
  • Fraud alerts
  • Identity theft blocks
  • Customer dispute rights as to inaccurate information
  • Consumer reporting agency accuracy requirements and how they apply to landlord tenant law and employment law

The appendices covers FRCA regulations, guidelines, and model forms, as well as a summary of state laws.


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

How do I use Supplements in the new Books Unbound?

A new Books Unbound interface from the State Bar launched in September. These "CLE Books" are typically updated once a year so it's important to check supplements when using books in print or online. Here are two simple methods to check the supplement.

1. Jump directly to the supplement from the title page.

Supplement from the title page

2. Within the text of the book, a hyperlink at the section will alert you that the section has an update. Click on that section hyperlink to go to the supplement.

supplement from the text

The Wisconsin State Law Library provides access to the State Bar's Pinnacle Books in print and online. Visit one of our locations to check out the book or use Books Unbound on a library computer.

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Library News - Carol Hassler

Thanksgiving Closures

All three libraries will be closed on Thursday, November 24th for the upcoming state holiday. The Dane County Law Library will also be closed, along with other Dane County offices, on Friday, November 25th. To ask a question while we are closed, please send an email to wsll.ref@wicourts.gov or leave a voicemail at 608-267-9696.

Hone your business research skills

Featured in October's State Bar of Wisconsin InsideTrack, Carol Hassler shared tips for researching private and public businesses using public records sources. Learn about specialized state databases, and pick up some new strategies for tackling private business research.

Dane County estate planning clinic in November

On November 12th, the Dane County Basic Estate Planning clinic is being held on the Madison College Goodman South campus. This clinic is intended for low-income individuals who need help preparing basic estate planning documents. Appointments are required and can be made by calling 608-204-9642.

Legislative Research at the Library

Space is still available in our November webinar. Registrations will be approved daily by the moderator. Once your registration is approved, you will get an email confirmation with connection information. Please reach out to Abigail Case with questions.

Advanced Wisconsin Legislative History
Wednesday, November 16, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
Location: Live webinar - Register for Advanced Wisconsin Legislative History

Participants will learn about online Wisconsin legislative resources and learn some helpful tips and tricks along the way. This class goes beyond the normal sources for legislative history, focusing on the special steps and sources involved in researching budget bills, legislative council bills, and judicial branch enactments.

Law Programs at WLA

For librarians attending the Wisconsin Library Association's annual conference, Carol Hassler will be presenting or participating in two sessions on legal topics.

Access to Justice and the Public Library
Thursday, November 3, 10 - 11 AM

Libraries are trusted sources of information and help close the justice gap through legal reference services, referrals, and access to technology. Learn how libraries can help improve civil access to justice in Wisconsin. Libraries can identify civil legal issues and help patrons with information about the law, and local or statewide resources. Get an overview of legal aid initiatives and understand how to connect your patrons with organizations serving your community. Panelists include Jeff Brown (State Bar of Wisconsin), Mary Ferwerda (Milwaukee Justice Center), Carol Hassler (Wisconsin State Law Library), and Elizabeth Manriquez (UW Law Library).

Navigating Legal Reference Questions
Thursday, November 3, 4:30 - 5:30 PM

Librarians can be at the front lines of the legal system. Helping users to access legal information and resources can be complicated. Where is the line between research help and giving legal advice? How can you determine which sources are authoritative or up to date? This session gives examples and practical tips, including phrases you can use to manage your users’ expectations. Discover online sources for case law, statutes, and regulations, and understand how the Wisconsin State Law Library’s website and services can be used to optimize your legal reference services.

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November Snapshot

Grandad Bluff

Autumn in La Crosse

A view of Grandad Bluff, from La Crosse River Marsh. The marsh is a natural, riparian wetland spanning more than 1000 acres located centrally in the City of La Crosse. Numerous walking trails allow visitors an up-close view of wildlife and marsh habitat. Grandad Bluff offers the bird's eye view of La Crosse, with more than five miles of hiking trails in the immediate vicinity. This month's snapshot was sent to us by a newsletter reader in La Crosse.

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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