Wisconsin State Law Library

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WSLL @ Your Service   March, 2006
An E-publication of the Wisconsin State Law Library

Learn @ the Law Library -- Connie Von Der Heide   @ Your Service – Heidi Yelk

National Library Week: Sneak Preview

April 2-8 marks the celebration of National Library Week 2006, and once again the Wisconsin State Law Library, Milwaukee Legal Resource Center and Dane County Legal Resource Center are each offering activities and events to educate, inform, and entertain our users.

Wisconsin State Law Library (WSLL), 120 MLK Jr. Blvd., Madison

In honor of Major League Baseball Opening Day (April 2), WSLL is holding the World Series of Legal Research. Step up to the plate and learn more about our library’s resources and services! Earn your very own set of WSLL collector “baseball” cards complete with our “stats.” Improve your legal research batting average by taking our in-library and online quizzes. Join us here in the dugout for a WSLL Web Tour, where you’ll learn more about the many resources available on our website and take a guided tour of the library. (Registration requested; see “Upcoming Classes” below.) And while you’re here, throw a few pitches in our very own bullpen! Don’t worry, we’ve covered all the bases—there’ll be peanuts, popcorn, and some great prizes, too!

Dane County Legal Resource Center (DCLRC), 215 S. Hamilton St., Rm. L1007, Madison

To celebrate our recent move to the new Dane County Courthouse, DCLRC will hold a very special grand re-opening ceremony on Monday, April 3 at 2:00 p.m., complete with ribbon cutting, official proclamation, door prizes and refreshments. Don’t miss this opportunity to visit our brand new space and enjoy a treat! On Tuesday afternoon, attend one or both of our brief information sessions on finding court forms and legal resources. On Wednesday, we’ll lead tours of the entire new courthouse. Thursday features a Legal Research in a Nutshell program from 1-3 p.m., geared especially toward novice researchers and the general public. Stop in anytime during National Library Week to take our trivia quiz, go on a courthouse scavenger hunt, and guess how many worms are in the librarian’s head! (You just have to see that one!) On Friday, door prizes will be awarded and contest winners will be announced. For more information and to register for any of these events, contact the DCLRC at 608-266-6316. Don’t miss it!

Milwaukee Legal Resource Center (MLRC), Courthouse Rm. 307A, 901 N. 9th St., Milwaukee

Lights! Camera! Action! MRLC goes to the movies! We will once again offer our ever-popular National Library Week quiz, daily door prizes, and other fun events. Enter for a chance to win Oriental Theatre movie passes, a subscription to "Entertainment Weekly" magazine, Barnes and Noble gift certificates, and other great prizes!

Additional details will be published in the next issue of WSLL @ Your Service, so stay tuned!

Upcoming Classes

Space is still available in the following spring and summer classes at the State Law Library. Additional information and registration forms are available on our Classes and Tours webpage. Sign up today!

National Library Week WSLL Web Tours
Tuesday April 4, 2006 12:00 –1:00 p.m. (plus optional library tour)
Wednesday April 5, 2006 9:00-10:00 a.m. (plus optional library tour)
Take a guided tour of the information-packed WSLL website. Explore Wisconsin & Federal legal resources, travel around the Legal Topics page and learn to navigate our web catalog and LegalTrac. National Library Week extras include a guided tour of the library and a chance to enter our National Library Week quiz contest and door prize drawing!
FREE Class. 1 CLE credit applied for.

Are You Using Google to Its Full Potential?
Tuesday April 25, 9:00-10:30 a.m.
Most people perform web searches using just one or two words -- are you one of them? This hands-on class will teach you advanced search features that will give you better results. We'll download the Google Toolbar and learn how to use it to your advantage. What if Google doesn't find it--do you give up? Discover why you may need to use more than one search engine, as well as (gasp!) print resources, to round out your research.
Fee: $50.00. 1.5 CLE credits applied for. Registration is limited to 8.

New Class: 25 Legal Tech Tips in 90 Minutes
Wednesday, July 12, 10:00-11:30 a.m.
Mark your calendar for this fast-paced romp through technology tips for the law office. You will learn how to recover fast from a computer crash; discover a free tool to find lost client documents in a flash; see how to keep track of your legal research Web site passwords without post-it notes; learn an easy way to create fill-in legal forms; and more! Plus, bring your computer questions with you and see if you can "Stump the Geek!" Don't miss this class - it might just change your relationship with your computer. The instructor is Art Saffran, technology consultant and former State Bar of Wisconsin IT Director.
Fee: $50.00. Registration is limited to 12.

MLRC Classes

The Milwaukee Legal Resource Center is also taking registrations for their spring legal research classes. You may register in person at the MLRC, or by contacting them at 414-278-4900 or rebecca.knutson@wicourts.gov.

Tax Resources on the Web
Thursday, March 9, 12:15 – 1:15 p.m.
Is tax research giving you headaches? State Law Librarian Jane Colwin will help you unravel the maze of tax-related websites and show you what’s available for free in the way of online forms and assistance from the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, other states' revenue agencies, and the IRS.
FREE Class. 1 CLE credit applied for. Location: Milwaukee County Board Meeting Room 203P, Milwaukee County Courthouse

Westlaw Fundamentals (Beginner)
Wednesday, April 19, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
These classes are so popular, we’re offering another session! Learn how to search state and federal case law, statutes, and more from Westlaw representatives.
FREE Class. 1 CLE credit applied for. Registration limited to 8. Location: MLRC, Milwaukee County Courthouse Room 307A

The Wisconsin Legislature Website
Thursday, May 18, 12:15 – 1:15 p.m.
In this overview of the Legislature's site, Connie Von Der Heide will show you how to track legislative activity, locate bills and acts, and search the Wisconsin Statutes. You'll also learn about the Legislative Notification Service and where to find publications of the various Legislative Service Agencies.
FREE Class. 1 CLE credit applied for. Location: Milwaukee County Board Meeting Room 203P, Milwaukee County Courthouse

This occasional column highlights State Law Library departments and services. We hope it helps you become more familiar with all the ways we work to provide you with excellent service! – Ed.

Electronic Resources @ WSLL
Question: What do the following books have in common?: Ginsburg & Martin on Bankruptcy; Wright & Miller’s Federal Practice and Procedure; the 1946 Arkansas Law Review; and Am Jur Proof of Facts.
Answer: They are all available in electronic format at the State Law Library.

The library subscribes to literally thousands of electronic titles and resources through several online vendors including Loislaw.com, Westlaw.com, Lexis.com (Shepards), HeinOnline, and more. These resources are available on the library’s public computers and accessible to all walk-in customers. This feature article highlights several online services available at the library.


Early last year the library debuted free Westlaw.com, packaged as “WestPack” from Thompson-West. This service is available at four of our public access computers and includes an extensive menu of databases. In addition to law reviews and caselaw, codes and regulations from all federal and state jurisdictions, this subscription includes several treatises and form books. AmJur 2d; Norton Bankruptcy Law and Practice; Causes of Action; AmJur Trials; AmJur Proof of Facts; Employment Discrimination Coordinator; and Fletcher Cyclopedia of the Law of Private Corporations are just some of the secondary sources available. Westlaw.com also includes Key Number Digest searching, which can save hours of time over paper-based digest research.


Speaking of saving time, remember the time-consuming process of Shepardizing in paper? In some cases, one had to consult four or five books before safely saying a case was fully Shepardized. And even then, the most recent citing cases could have been missed. Today, cite-checking is done in seconds with a few keystrokes. To offer all of our patrons the ease and currency of online Shepardizing, the library subscribes to Shepards Public Access, a service “slice” from Lexis.com that includes both Shepards and the Lexsee service (aka “Get a Document”). The Get a Document feature displays cases, codes, ALRs and law reviews in full text using a citation search. Customers can print, download, fax or email documents. Shepards Public Access is available at all of our public computers.

HeinOnline – Law Reviews of all Ages

Traditionally, online services have been associated with providing the most up-to-date information. However, the HeinOnline service from William S. Hein & Co. capitalizes on historical information. Normally, obtaining a law review from 1962 or a Federal Register notice from 1950 would require a trip to the stacks and maybe even a dive into the microfiche cabinet. HeinOnline has changed all that. Available on all of our public computers, HeinOnline provides access to keyword searchable, scanned images of law reviews, the Federal Register, U.S. Attorney General Opinions, U.S. Statutes at Large, U.S. Reports, and a host of other sources including “Legal Classics” such as Felix S. Cohen’s Handbook of Federal Indian Law (1942), and Immanuel Kant’s The Philosophy of Law (1887). Law reviews are the main focus of HeinOnline, with full text access to over 1000 titles dating back, in most cases, to the inception of the publication. Recent law review articles are added as they become available.

LegalTrac – Index of Law Reviews

LegalTrac is another law review resource, but it’s used mainly as a tool to identify and locate law review articles. Unlike the full text offerings of HeinOnline, LegalTrac consists of bibliographic citations to law reviews, with a few full text articles here and there. Coverage dates from 1980 forward and indexes over 800 law review titles. Why search LegalTrac when you could use Westlaw.com or HeinOnline to get right to full text law review articles? One reason is controlled vocabulary. Keyword searching in Westlaw.com can yield many, many false hits and may cause you to miss important, relevant articles. The controlled vocabulary used to compile the LegalTrac index provides a more precise search and helps to ensure that you find all pertinent articles. LegalTrac is available on all of our public access computers, and our library cardholders can also access it over the Internet.


Loislaw.com started as a CD-ROM service and has now taken on a cyber presence. The library provides access to both CD-ROM and web-based services on all of our public computers. While both formats provide very similar offerings--including full text searching of case law, codes and regulations--there are a few differences worth noting. Full text Wisconsin Jury Instructions (Civil, Criminal and Children’s) are only available on the CD-ROM service. However, the web-based service provides access to the Aspen Bankruptcy Library, including Ginsberg & Martin on Bankruptcy, Bankruptcy Litigation and Practice, and Bankruptcy Litigation Manual. Both CD-ROM and web-based services provide full text access to most Wisconsin State Bar CLE titles. So remember: if the CLE book you need is not available, you can still access it at the library by using Loislaw.com.

Wait--there’s more!

The services above provide broad coverage of case law, codes, law reviews, regulations and secondary sources useful for legal research. The library also subscribes to several more specialized databases. The League of Wisconsin Municipalities CD-ROM is great for researching Wisconsin municipal law. LLMC Digital, from the Law Library Microform Consortium, contains exact-page images of many historical government publications. And the BNA Human Resources Library provides practical advice for real-world employment issues.

Where Do I Begin?

Given the many online services available at our library, many patrons are unsure where to look first. Here’s a tip: If you need a law review article, try a title search using the library’s new federated “Full Text Electronic Journals” list, found under the Special Collections section of our Catalog page. This tool tells you which online service has the particular law review you seek. And it includes dates of coverage, so you won’t waste time trying to find the 1946 Arkansas Law Review on Westlaw.com when it’s only available through HeinOnline. And anytime you’re not sure where to find what you need, please contact our Reference Desk for assistance.

For a listing of all the library’s electronic resources, please visit our E-Resources page.

This Just In... -- Pete Boll Odds 'n' Endings -- Elaine Sharp

This month’s featured titles include:

NEW TITLE! Foreclosures: Defenses, Workouts, and Mortgage Servicing / John Rao and Odette Williamson. National Consumer Law Center, 2005
Call Number KF 697.F6 R36 2005

Resulting from a split of the title Repossessions and Foreclosures 5th ed., 2002, this new title in the National Consumer Law Center’s Debtor Rights Library details legal rights, tactics, and informal approaches to saving homes from seizure. Expanded and updated information includes:

  • How to negotiate pre-foreclosure workout agreements and current workout options with Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, HUD, VA, and RHS
  • Foreclosure litigation, including power of sale, due on sale, and substantive and procedural defenses
  • Special rights to stop foreclosure of FHA, VA, and RHS mortgages
  • Using bankruptcy to prevent foreclosure, including the 2005 amendments
  • Special chapter on mobile home foreclosures

The accompanying CD-ROM features useful information, forms, and summaries such as:

  • FHA mortgages: statutes, rules, HUD letters, and the HUD handbook
  • VA mortgages: statutes, rules, and VA handbooks
  • Counseling forms and sample qualified written requests
  • Over 100 pleadings re: foreclosure defense, predatory loans, excessive fees, yield spread premiums, TIL rescission, HOEPA, and bankruptcy.
  • Summaries of state foreclosure, condominium, and tax abatement laws
  • Credit math programs to perform rebate and other calculations

NEW EDITION! Wisconsin Guide to Citation, 6th edition
State Bar of Wisconsin, 2005
Call Number: Reference KFW 2475 .W57 2005

Updated for the first time since 2001, the Wisconsin Guide to Citation is a practical resource for Wisconsin attorneys, support staff, law clerks, and other legal professionals. In addition to Wisconsin legal citing authorities (including the public domain citation format), the Guide also shows how to cite to federal opinions, statutes and regulations, as well as some common secondary authorities including American Law Reports, Restatements, and law review articles. This new edition incorporates updated citation rules and formats from The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, 18 th ed. (2005).

Check our library catalog for availability of these or other materials you may need. For additional assistance, please contact our Reference Desk.


Our reference staff answers numerous questions on a variety of topics. Here's just one example of a frequently asked question:

Q. Is there a resource that summarizes which civil rights are lost by persons convicted of a felony?

A. The Wisconsin Dept. of Correction's "Application for Executive Clemency" lists rights lost, rights regained upon sentence completion, and rights regained only through a pardon. ( see I. 6-8)

Wisconsin Statutes that may be of interest include:

There may be additional Wisconsin Statutes that discuss loss of civil rights or other issues related to persons convicted of a felony.

The Wisconsin Lawyer article "To Forgive, Divine: The Governor's Pardoning Power" (Feb. 2005) discusses restoration of civil rights and related topics such as pardons.

In addition, the U.S. Dept. of Justice has published two titles that summarize effects of felony convictions on one’s civil rights. Civil Disabilities of Convicted Felons: A State-By-State Survey (1996) and Federal Statutes Imposing Collateral Consequences Upon Conviction (2000) . Although both titles are dated, each provides citations that may be used to verify that the information is still current. Our Federal Law and State Law pages will also guide you to resources for current federal and state laws.

Notables for March

1 - 1838. Madison’s first school opened. More

1 - 1961. President John F. Kennedy issued Executive Order #10924 which established the Peace Corps as a new agency within the Dept. of State. (Access Executive Orders)

4 - 1933. In his inaugural address, Franklin Delano Roosevelt outlined the "New Deal" and told Americans that "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself." More

9 - 1841. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled "that the African slaves who seized control of the Amistad slave ship had been illegally forced into slavery, and thus are free under American law." More View opinion 40 U.S. 518 (1841) on Cornell's Legal Information Institute or Findlaw

10 - 1876. Alexander Graham Bell transmitted the first successful phone message when he said to his assistant, "Mr. Watson, come here, I want you." More

11 - 1839. "... the Territorial Legislature passed an act that officially recognized Dane County.…" More

16 - 1909. A force of U.S. Special Agents became known as the "Bureau of Investigation". More about FBI history

20 - 1985. Libby Riddles became the first woman to win the 1,150-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska. And Iditarod XXXIV begins March 4!

22 - 1877. Laws of Wisconsin Chapter 300 amended the Laws of 1861 to provide that "... no person shall be denied a license [to practice law] ... on account of sex." (Approved Mar. 8; Published Mar. 22.) Consequently, Lavinia Goodell, denied permission in 1875 to practice before the Wisconsin Supreme Court, reapplied in 1879 and became the first woman admitted to the Wisconsin bar. More

Ask a Librarian:  800-322-9755; 608-267-9696 (In Madison); wsll.ref@wicourts.gov
Library Hours/Locations:  WSLL (WI State Law Library), DCLRC (Dane Co. Legal Resource Center), MLRC (Milwaukee Legal Resource Center)
Visit Our Website: http://wilawlibrary.gov

Editor: Connie Von Der Heide 608-267-2202 Comments welcome!