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

What's New -- Connie Von Der Heide   This Just In... -- Pete Boll

National Library Week

National Library Week activities take place April 3 through 7. To kick off the week, be sure to attend the Dane County Legal Resource Center’s Grand Re-Opening celebration on Monday, April 3 at 2:00 p.m. The DCLRC is now located in Room L1007, on the lower level of the Dane County Courthouse. For more information about all of their National Library Week activities, please see the April issue of DCLRC Docket.

Here at WSLL, we’ve got a great lineup of activities for you during our National Library Week World Series of Legal Research.

On Tuesday, April 4 at Noon or Wednesday, April 5 at 9:00 a.m., come and join us in the “dugout” for a WSLL Web Tour. This free one-hour class provides an overview of the many resources available on the State Law Library website. Be sure to attend so that the next time you’re up to bat on a legal research project, you can cover the bases with ease. There will be prize drawings for participants, and an optional tour of the library will follow each class. To register, please visit our Classes & Tours webpage.

Visit the library anytime that week to throw a few pitches in our bullpen, and enter our daily door prize drawings. And be sure to take our World Series of Legal Research quiz, where you’ll “run the bases” to learn about legal resources. See if you can hit a grand slam! Quiz forms will be available at the Circulation Desk all week. If you’re too far away to visit the library, you can enter our online quiz instead. Need a little incentive? Correctly answered quizzes will be entered in a drawing for tickets to a Madison Mallards game!

If you’re in the Milwaukee area, be sure to visit the Milwaukee Legal Resource Center during National Library Week, when MLRC Goes to the Movies. Contests, drawings, and some great prizes await you!

Happy National Library Week, and we look forward to your participation!

New Self-Help Family Law Website Now Available

Last month the Wisconsin Court System unveiled a new self-help family law website designed for use by people representing themselves in court. The website takes users through an online interview which results in a completed set of the necessary forms to start a court action for divorce or legal separation. Blank versions of the new plain-English forms are also available in both PDF and fillable Word formats. All of the forms are for actions related to legal separation and divorce. In some counties, as many as 70 percent of family cases involve at least one party who is representing him or herself.

Each circuit (i.e. county) court is also providing a Basic Guide to Divorce or Legal Separation, which lists the basic steps for getting divorce or legal separation; describes important court related offices and services; explains legal issues to consider; and provides a step by step procedural checklist specific to that court. Many circuit courts have already added their forms and manual to the website; all are to be available there by the end of April.

For more information about this new and developing website, please read this Wisconsin Court System press release.



Happy Birthday WSLL!

On April 20, 2006, the Wisconsin State Law Library marks its 170th year. An Act of Congress dated April 20, 1836, created the Territory of Wisconsin. The sixteenth and final section of that Act appropriated funds for a library to support the needs of the fledgling government. For more of the library’s history, please visit our About Us page

This month’s featured titles include:

NEW TITLE! Practical Jury Dynamics: From One Juror’s Trial Perceptions To The Group’s Decision-Making Process / J. D. Sunwolf. LexisNexis, 2004.
Call Number: KF 8972 .S85 2004

“The jury trial is the apotheosis of the amateur. Why should anyone think that 12 persons brought in from the street, selected in various ways for their lack of general ability, should have any special capacity for deciding the controversies between persons?” (1966 Harvard Law School Dean’s Report)

So begins Practical Jury Dynamics, in which the author attempts to describe how juries and their decisions are influenced by the societal and cultural customs, beliefs, and experiences of individual jurors. This entertaining delve into the anthropology of juries will fascinate trial lawyers and anyone interested in the study of juries.

Topics of note include:

  • The Bio-Physiology of a Juror’s Brain
    • Cognitive busyness
    • Juror listening errors
    • Memory stress
  • The Social Psychology of a Juror’s Perception
    • Ten sources of evidence-anxiety for jurors
    • Toxic court words
  • The Effects of Group Dynamics on a Juror’s Vote
    • Geography of seating positions
    • Deadlock phobia
    • Five o’clock verdicts
  • Trial Culture
    • Enculturation: how jurors get sucked into a strange system
    • Twenty stressful realities of a juror’s experience

UDATED! Doing Business On The Internet: Forms and Analysis / Julian S. Millstein, Jeffrey D. Neuburger, and Jeffrey P. Weingart. Law Journal Press, 2005.
Call Number: KF 390.5.C6 M5

Now updated for 2006, Doing Business on the Internet serves as a hands-on guide to the law of Internet commerce. Millstein et al provide practical legal guidance needed to do business online. Helpful information ranges from registering and protecting domain names to contracting for Internet and website services, to patent, trademark and copyright issues. The authors also include information on licensing of Internet content; enforceability of online contracts; domestic and foreign tax treatment of Internet transactions; international obligations involved in doing business online; patentability of business methods; precedents in trademark infringement; drafting a privacy policy; and other important areas. The accompanying CD-ROM contains all the forms discussed in the text.

Highlights from the 2006 release include:

  • Discussion of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studios, Inc. v. Grokster, LLC, which has significant implications for copyright owners and makers and distributors of Internet file sharing technology
  • Information on the Family Entertainment and Copyright Act which addresses piracy over file-sharing networks by creating new criminal penalties for using camcorders to record movies in theaters
  • Expanded discussion of spyware legislation
  • Approval of .jobs, .travel, and .eu domains
  • Discussion among federal agencies of the framework for electronic records management, including retention, preservation, and destruction of e-mail

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

Tech Tip in Brief -- Heidi Yelk Odds 'n' Endings -- Julie Tessmer

Shrink to Fit for Webpages, or How to Avoid the Right Margin Cutoff

Q: Printing from webpages should be easy, but lately I’ve been struggling with a problem I call, for lack of a better term, the right margin cutoff. This occurs when the page I am viewing looks normal on the screen, but when I print it, the last few characters of each line are missing, leaving incomplete words and phrases all the way down the right side of the page. Wasted paper and frustration ensue, usually in proportion to the size of the document. What can be done?

A: The most obvious solution is to comb the webpage for a “printer friendly” or “print this page” link. Many news outlets offer this option. It formats the text to fit an 8 1/2 x 11 page while also stripping away the banner ads and other unrelated content. But not all webpages have this feature.

Your next option might be to copy and paste the text from the webpage into a word processing program. And yet another option is to change the page setup to print using landscape, rather than portrait, orientation. But these last two solutions are really just workarounds that leave something to be desired.

There is something easier: “Shrink to Fit” for webpages. Several “alternative” web browsers, including Firefox and Netscape, currently offer this feature. As the name implies, text on webpages is scaled to fit the 8 1/2 x 11 page, completely eliminating the right margin cutoff. By accessing the “print preview” option in Firefox, users can easily control printing options and ensure that no text will be cut off the page.

This is an easy solution to a pesky problem, but it’s not yet available to the vast majority who use Internet Explorer. The good news is that the next version of IE (IE7) is currently in beta testing for Windows XP systems, and it will include Shrink to Fit printing as well as many other changes, presumably spurred by the success of Firefox.

Please send suggestions for future Tech Tips to the editor.


Baseball and the Law

It’s not always home runs and no hitters that make the morning headlines. Over the years, baseball has also been in the news for some not-so-positive reasons.

One of the biggest scandals in baseball centered around the 1919 World Series. Eight players from the Chicago White Sox were accused of throwing the series against the Cincinnati Reds, earning themselves the nickname “Black Sox.” For an extensive history, including a photo gallery of the infamous scandal, see the Chicago Historical Society’s Black Sox website.

Illegal betting was also the downfall of the legendary Pete Rose. After an all-star career spanning 3 decades, Rose agreed to leave baseball amidst accusations that he made illegal bets while playing for and managing the Cincinnati Reds. Although Rose holds many records and titles, the fact that he accepted a lifetime suspension will prevent him from ever being inducted into the Hall of Fame. For more, see this ESPN webpage.

The great Barry Bonds made history in 2001 by hitting a record 73 home runs in a single season. As number 73 soared into the stands on that Oct. 7, two men--Alex Popov and Patrick Hayashi--went after it. Popov got his glove on it, but after a struggle it was Hayashi who claimed the record-setting ball. The men took their battle from right field into the courtroom. San Francisco Superior Court Judge Kevin McCarthy ruled that the baseball, valued at 1 million dollars, was to be sold and the proceeds split between the two men. For more see this ESPN story.

Baseball Notables for April

2 - End of the 1994 baseball strike. The labor dispute between players and owners lasted 232 days, starting August 12, 1994 and ending April 2, 1995. 920 games were canceled including the World Series.

3 - 2006 Brewers Home Opener

8 - On this day in 1974, Hank Aaron hit his 715th career home run, breaking the record long held by Babe Ruth.

14 - Pete Rose was born in 1941.

15 - Jackie Robinson Day. In 1947, Robinson became the first African American to play major league baseball. In 2004, Major League Baseball designated April 15th as a day for all teams to recognize and celebrate the Brooklyn Dodgers great.

18 - Yankee Stadium's Birthday (1923)

23 - Home Run Day, which celebrates Hank Aaron's first-ever home run, hit in 1954.

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!