Wisconsin State Law Library

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WSLL @ Your Service December 2022

Restatements of the Law - Amy Crowder

The American Law Institute (ALI) is an independent organization comprised of eminent judges, lawyers, and law professors whose scholarly work aims to clarify, modernize, and improve the law. One of the Institute's works is Restatements of the Law. Restatements provide clear analysis of common law and its statutory elements or variations. According to ALI, "They reflect the law as it presently stands or might appropriately be stated by the court." Each volume of the Restatements lists reporters, advisors, and participants in the Members Consultative Group. The Foreword within the volume often provides a brief synopsis and purpose of ALI's work on that topic.

Restatements cover a number of topics including contracts, property, torts, trusts, conflict of laws, judgments, and more. Before the adoption of a Restatement, members will consider a series of drafts (preliminary, council, tentative, and proposed final) over the course of several years. See How does an ALI Project become ALI's official position? for an explanation of this process. Although Restatements are not a primary source of law or binding authority, courts generally consider Restatements persuasive authority due to the prestige of the American Law Institute and the exhaustive drafting process. Restatements of the Law are highly cited within case law.

Restatements are published in a series, i.e. 1st, 2d, 3d, 4th. Parallel tables found towards the end of a restatement volume show corresponding section numbers between the current and prior series. An Appendix accompanies each restatement series and lists annotated case law citing that Restatement. A Table of Statutes and cross-references to American Law Reports (ALRs) are also available.

The State Law Library provides access to Restatements of the Law through the following sources.


HeinOnline provides access to complete current and prior series of Restatements. Hein also provides Preliminary, Council, and Tentative Drafts of each Restatement. According to Hein, drafts are not included in the database "until six months following the completion of a project, when they are made available by ALI for archival purposes only." Select the American Law Institute Library from the list of databases within HeinOnline and then choose Restatements & Principles of Law. To search specific sections, use the Restatement Section Locator tool. Read How to Search for Restatements in the American Law Institute Library to learn search strategies.

Restatements of the law on HeinOnline


Westlaw provides current and prior series of Restatements. Updates are semiannual in June and October of each year. The State Law Library subscribes to Westlaw and makes it available to our library visitors at no charge. You may access Westlaw on the patron computers at the State Law Library. Once logged in to Westlaw, select All Content, Secondary Sources, and Restatements & Principles of the Law. You can browse the table of contents or search by keyword.


Lexis provides current Restatements and select prior series and drafts. The State Law Library subscribes to Lexis and makes it available to our library visitors at no charge. You may access Lexis on the patron computers at the State Law Library. Once logged in to Lexis, select Secondary Materials and then Restatements. You can browse the table of contents or search by keyword.

Print Collection

If you prefer to use the Restatements in print, the State Law Library provides a complete and current collection. The print Restatements are updated by annual pocket parts which contain summaries of court opinions that have cited the provisions of that volume. Pocket parts that have grown too large to be housed within the volume are separately published as softbound cumulative annual supplements. Interim case citations are issued twice a year and update the pocket parts and supplements.

Ask a Reference Librarian

If you need a specific Restatement section or help with your research, contact one of our reference librarians for help.

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New Books - Kari Zelinka

Hate crimes law book cover

New Update! Hate Crimes Law, by Zachary Wolfe, 2022-2023 edition
Call Number: KF 9345 .Z9 H379 2022-2023

In this updated edition of Hate Crimes Law, you'll find analysis of federal and state statutes enacted to punish or increase the punishment for bias-motivated crimes. New federal legislation including the COVID-19 Hate Crimes act is discussed, aiming to improve Department of Justice and local law enforcement options. Elements of proof and potential areas for constitutional challenges are covered as well. The appendices include the FBI hate crime data collection guidelines and training manual, selections from the sentencing guidelines manual, a sample MOU between education and law enforcement, and more.

Topics include: 

  • Bias-motivated violence or property destruction
  • Bias-motivated intimidation and harassment
  • Location specific considerations (housing, schools, workplace)
  • Civil Rights
  • Religion

Parenting agreement book cover

New Edition! Building a Parenting Agreement that Works: Child Custody Agreements Step by Step by Mimi Lee, 10th edition, 2022
Call Number: KF 547 .L97 2022

Learn how to avoid lengthy custody battles in court by following the advice in Building a Parenting Agreement that Works. In the journey from parenting together to parenting separately, there are many decisions to be made along the way, from a placement schedule to extracurriculars, vacations, schools, childcare, religious training, and much more. The 10th edition contains a checklist of issues to consider and a fill-in-the-blank parenting agreement.

Topics include:

  • Advantages of parent-negotiated agreements
  • Basic elements (living arrangements, holidays, medical care, insurance, education, etc.)
  • More parenting issues (childcare, vacations, religious training)
  • Special challenges (moving, military service, pandemics and other emergencies)
  • Child support, alimony, and jointly held property
  • Mediation (what mediators do and don't do, choosing a mediator, etc.)
  • State and federal laws affecting child custody


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

Wisconsin Statutes and Codes - Advance Search Features

They say the best things in life are free. That notion rings true for the Wisconsin State Legislature's collection of statutes and administrative code. When it comes to content, functionality, and authenticity, in my book the legislature's website is better than any fee-based database. However, even power users may be underutilizing the helpful Advanced Search page. This page offers time-saving shortcuts, starting with how to get to the Advanced Search page.

Find the advanced search quickly by simply selecting the "search" button when there is nothing in the search box.  (The search box is located at the upper right corner of the Legislature's site)

Search everything box

This will land you on the Advanced Search page for statutes, among other things. There are many useful shortcuts on this page but my favorite are the quick links to search statutes by "chapter group," "chapter" or "section." This is an efficient method of targeting your search on a group of related codes or keyword searching an isolated chapter.

Search statutes by chapter

The Administrative Code has its own Advanced Search page. From the Advanced Search Page, click on the link "More Advanced Administrative Code and Register." Like the Statutes page, this page also allows targeted search by agency, chapter group, chapter and section.

Another great option is deep searching into the administrative code archive. The archive search is not necessarily a substitute for tracing back a code section but it does allow quick access to prior administrative code, using keyword searching.

These two Advanced Search pages offer numerous additional routes into the statutes and administrative code. It's worth the time to review these options.

Finally, an important tip to anyone searching the legislature's website: always use quotation marks around statute and administrative code numbers - even if it's not a phrase. "313.01" returns more accurate results than the search 313.01.

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Library News - Carol Hassler

State Bar of Wisconsin Legal Innovator Award

Carol Hassler, Access Services Librarian, along with Bryce Pierson with the Office of Judicial Education, are proud to receive a 2022 Legal Innovator Award from the State Bar of Wisconsin. This was awarded in recognition of the work done to host the Wisconsin Jury Instructions online at the library's website, wilawlibrary.gov/jury. Wisconsin Jury Instructions serve as models, checklists or minimum standards to assist judges and lawyers in providing instructions to jurors who must reach verdicts during trials.

The jury instructions project was completed in 2021 and replaced what had been a paid, subscription-based service of the UW Law School. The move to a free, online format was conducted in cooperation with the law school and the Director of State Courts Office through the State Law Library and Office of Judicial Education.

Nate Anderson

New Reference & Electronic Services Librarian

The library welcomes Nate Anderson (pictured) as the new Reference & Electronic Services Librarian at the State Law Library. Nate has over 30 years of experience in a variety of libraries, including the Washington State Law Library, where he was a liaison to the Court of Appeals. He graduated from Grinnell College in Iowa and attended UW-Madison for graduate work in Library Science and South Asian Studies. Nate also attended Pune University in India earning a certificate in Maharashtrian Language and Culture. Welcome, Nate!

December/January State Holidays

All three libraries will be closed on Monday, December 26, 2022 and Monday, January 2, 2023 for designated state holidays. While we are closed, please send questions to wsll.ref@wicourts.gov or leave a voicemail at 608-267-9696. We will get back to you when we reopen.

Library at Wisconsin Library Association Annual Conference

Carol Hassler, Access Services Librarian, attended the Wisconsin Library Association's annual conference and presented for two panels. The first, a one hour panel discussion on access to justice and public libraries, featured Hassler along with Jeff Brown (State Bar of Wisconsin), Elizabeth Manriquez (University of Wisconsin-Madison Law Library), and developed with Mary Ferwerda (Milwaukee Justice Center). The panel was highly attended, and fostered additional community discussion about how public libraries can help library users connect with civil legal aid services throughout Wisconsin. The second presentation centered on how librarians can navigate the sometimes thorny terrain of legal reference.

Carol Hassler with Elizabeth Manriquez, recently developed a series of short videos to teach librarians about legal reference and civil legal aid programs. These videos debuted online at the WVLS library system's Digital Bytes YouTube channel, and are now also available on the Wisconsin State Law Library's YouTube channel.

Library Services Promoted at the Wisconsin Judicial Conference

Amy Crowder, State Law Librarian, and Heidi Yelk, Deputy Law Librarian, attended this year's Judicial Conference in November. It was a great opportunity to share the services the State Law Library provides judges throughout the state.

Judicial Conference display

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December Snapshot

Light through pine trees photo by Michelle G Godwin

Light through the Pines
Photo by Michelle G. Godwin

An early November sunset lights up the wooded trails at the Holy Wisdom Monastery and North Mendota Wildlife Area, in Middleton, Wisconsin. The trails feature wooded canopies, restored tallgrass prairie, and the beginning of a restored oak savanna.

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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