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

What's New   This Just In... -- Pete Boll

National Library Week Wrapup -- Connie Von Der Heide

Thanks to everyone who participated in our “World Series of Legal Research” activities during last month’s National Library Week celebration. As you can see from the pictures, some of the week’s highlights were our staff “tailgate” lunch, and the pitching bullpen! Aly Rieser, Marquette University Law School student, won the Quiz Contest and received a set of four Madison Mallards tickets. Daily door prize winners were Andre Campbell; Jaime Makowan, MATC paralegal student; Deb Brescoll, Supreme Court Management Services; Robert Nagel, attorney; and Jane Ann Morris. In the Supreme Court Staff prize drawing, Rita Lord, Clerk’s Office, won a set of four Madison Mallards tickets. Other prizes were won by Mary Beth Collins, Law Clerk; Justice Ann Walsh Bradley; and Carrie Janto, Linda O’Dell and Annette Smith, all with the Clerk’s Office. Heidi Yelk, Reference/Electronic Services Librarian, won the library staff drawing for a set of four Madison Mallards tickets, and Jane Colwin, State Law Librarian, won our staff quiz contest. Congratulations, everyone!

Many thanks to the Madison Mallards for their generous donation of tickets, and to Lexis-Nexis, Loislaw and Thomson-West for donating additional prizes and giveaways.

    Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson throws a pitch during the
National Library Week court staff party

     WSLL staffers Amy Crowder, Pete Boll, Julie Tessmer and Tammy Keller donned baseball attire and enjoyed the staff tailgate lunch.

Spanish Language Court Forms Available -- Amy Crowder

The Director of State Courts Office recently introduced sixteen Spanish language circuit court forms on the court system's website. The forms were selected by a subcommittee composed of members of the court system’s Interpreter Committee and Records Management Committee, to help meet the growing need for Spanish language court forms.

The forms incorporate both English and Spanish, using a combination of check boxes and free-text areas. It is important to note that, according to Wisconsin Supreme Court Rule 70.155, "The answers to free-text questions must be written in English."

The purpose of the forms is to make it easier for interpreters to translate the information for court users who have limited English proficiency. Each form contains a disclaimer in both Spanish and English, which states the "form does not replace the need for an interpreter, any colloquies mandated by law, or the responsibility of court and counsel to ensure that persons with limited English proficiency fully comprehend their rights and obligations." There are currently 33 certified Spanish-language court interpreters in Wisconsin.

According to Attorney Carmel Capati, Manager of the Court Interpreter Program, there are plans for additional circuit court forms to be translated. The committee hopes to have several juvenile and CHIPS forms translated into Spanish and to translate forms into Hmong.

Comments or suggestions about these or any circuit court forms may be emailed to Terri Borrud. For questions related to the Court Interpreter Program, contact Attorney Carmel Capati by email or phone (608) 266-8635.

This month’s featured titles include:

NEW TITLE! Wisconsin Politics and Government: America's Laboratory of Democracy / by James K. Conant. University of Nebraska Press, 2006.
Call Number: KFW2801.5 .C6 2006

Throughout the twentieth century, Wisconsin won national visibility and praise for its role as a “laboratory of democracy” within the American federal system. In Wisconsin Politics and Government, the author traces the development of the state and its Progressive heritage from the early territorial experience to contemporary times. Conant includes a discussion of the four major periods of institutional and policy innovation that occurred in Wisconsin during the twentieth century as well as an examination of the state’s constitution, legislature, office of the governor, courts, political parties and elections, interest groups, social welfare policy, local governments, state-local relations, and current and emerging issues.

NEW EDITION! Bankruptcy Courts and Procedures, 3rd edition, by Pamela Everett Nollkamper. James Publishing, 2005.
Call Number: KF 1524.E93 B23

Both new and seasoned veteran legal practitioners will find Bankruptcy Courts and Procedures useful for all bankruptcy matters. The 3rd edition explains the filing requirements for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, and it incorporates the numerous changes to the bankruptcy laws brought about by the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA). Other new and updated information includes:

  • New chapters on needs-based bankruptcy and cross-border insolvency
  • 40 new forms reflecting the BAPCPA of 2005, including:
    • Certification and Disclosure of Bankruptcy Preparer
    • Statements of Monthly Income for Chapters 7, 11, and 13
    • List of Creditors
    • Involuntary Bankruptcy Petition and Summons
    • Notice of Appeal
  • Revised bankruptcy court directory, with contact information for judges, clerks, and bankruptcy administrators and trustees
  • The Forms Oriented Guide provides:
    • A national filing directory with names, addresses, phone numbers, and filing requirements for every U.S. jurisdiction
    • More than 140 sample forms, checklists, petitions, schedules, and timetables
    • A listing of courts utilizing computerized telephone information, PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) and VCIS (Voice Case Information System of the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts)
    • And much more.

NEW EDITION! The Sourcebook to Public Record Information: The Comprehensive Guide to County, State, and Federal Public Records Sources, 7th edition, edited by Peter J. Weber and Michael Sankey. BRB Publications, 2006.
Call Number: Reference KF 195.P92 S68 2006

Revised and updated for 2006, the Sourcebook provides information necessary to efficiently access public record information sources nationwide. It’s especially useful for people doing legal research, pre-employment screening, background investigation, locating people and assets, skip tracing, and genealogy. The over 20,000 government agency profiles contain information on where their records are kept, what’s available online, and searching tips.

Comprehensive national coverage includes:

  • County Locators, including Courts and Recorders’ Offices
  • State Agencies and Licensing Boards
  • Federal Courts

New content in this edition:

  • More direct telephone and fax numbers for contacting agencies and offices
  • Information on copying fees, both self service and by court personnel
  • Clarification on Court Certification Fees, and whether copying costs are included.

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 @ Your Service – Connie Von Der Heide

Storage and Transfer of Large Files

Here at the law library we frequently transfer large electronic files to document delivery customers. Often these files are documents from our extensive collection of Supreme Court and Court of Appeals briefs. But, from time to time, we encounter a customer who cannot receive large files via email. Some email administrators or Internet Service Providers limit the size of acceptable attachments.

The solution: online services that temporarily store documents on their servers. There are dozens of free services on the web that allow users to upload files and make them available for later pick up. Maximum size limits vary. While some services allow free transfers up to 2 gigabytes, the average maximum is around 50 megabytes. Generally, these sites require no registration.

Here’s how it works: A user goes to the service’s website; enters the email address of the person they want to send the file to; and uploads the file from their computer to the service’s website via the browse feature. The service then either produces a URL for the file which can be shared with others, and/or sends an email to the recipient containing a web-enabled (i.e. clickable) URL and directions on how to access the file on the Internet. Depending on the service, the file may be saved on the remote server for up to 30 days – the average is seven days.

A recent post on the Creative Guy blog lists 50 sites that offer free file storage and transfer. I’ve tried several of them and found You Send It to be one of the easiest to use. Many of the services also offer fee-based accounts, should you need to transfer extremely large files.

Reader Feedback

We received some excellent feedback on last month’s tech tip column regarding printing webpages. Peg Branson, an education consultant with the Department of Public Instruction, has found another way to cope with “right margin cut off.” Branson writes that she uses Internet Explorer and is able to avoid the right margin cut off by simply resizing the document through printer specifications. Depending on how your computer is set up, you may find the resizing tool under your printer’s Layout>Advanced or Preferences>Effects tabs.

Branson writes, “I reduce the size from 100% to about 85% and everything fits on the page. This method takes a bit of clicking but is, I think, easier than cutting and pasting to Word and includes the webpage information. I look forward to a new version of Internet Explorer that will offer a “shrink to fit” option!”

Please send suggestions for future Tech Tips to the editor.


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!

After Hours Service for Attorneys

We know it’s sometimes difficult for attorneys to get to the library during our regular hours of 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. Monday - Friday. That’s when many of you need to meet with clients and conduct other business. And if your practice is located some distance from Madison, it may be doubly difficult to get here. The solution? After Hours Service for Attorneys

The Wisconsin State Law Library’s After Hours Service is available to any attorney licensed to practice in this state. Subscribers to the service may use the library from 7 to 8 a.m. and 5 to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. When combined with the library’s regular hours, this service provides 95 hours of access per week.

When using the library after hours, you have access to the library’s comprehensive collection of print and microform materials, and also to our public computer stations. These stations provide access to a plethora of electronic research tools: the library’s online catalog and website; LegalTrac index of citations to law review and journal articles; HeinOnline full text database of law review and journal articles, Federal Register and more; Shepard's; Loislaw; Westlaw; and the Internet. Prefer to use your own laptop so you can also do wordprocessing? Simply plug into any of the electrical outlets and network data jacks conveniently located throughout the library. (Cat5 cable required; the library does not have wireless access at this time.) You can also make photocopies and check out library materials after hours.

After Hours Service is offered on a calendar year subscription basis. Each attorney must maintain his or her own individual subscription. The cost for 2006 is $80.00, which includes a key fob for convenient entry into the library. Wisconsin state government attorneys who have programmable state building access cards may be eligible for a slightly reduced introductory subscription rate; please inquire.

To begin a new After Hours Service subscription, complete this application form. If you already subscribe and would like to renew for 2006, use this renewal form. Send the form and a check or money order payable to Wisconsin State Law Library, to:

After Hours Service
Wisconsin State Law Library
P.O. Box 7881
Madison, WI 53707-7881

Please note that applications for new subscriptions take at least one business day to process. Attorneys submitting applications on a Friday may not be able to start using the service until the following Monday evening. In addition, each new subscriber must come to the library during regular hours to receive the key fob and go through a brief After Hours Service orientation.

For more information about the After Hours Service, see our After Hours Service webpage or contact Tammy Keller, Program Assistant, at 608-261-7553, 800-322-9755, or tammy.keller@wicourts.gov

Odds 'n' Endings -- Julie Tessmer

May 15 is National Chocolate Chip Day. Did you know that chocolate chips were invented accidentally? In 1930, Ruth Wakefield was making chocolate cookies at the Toll House Inn in Whitman, Massachusetts. When she ran out of baking chocolate, Ruth broke a bar of semi-sweet chocolate into little pieces and added them to the dough. When the cookies were baked, the chocolate hadn't melted. Instead there were little chips of chocolate throughout the cookie. Ruth was soon selling chocolate chip cookies. For a variety of recipes using chocolate chips, visit this Chocolate Chip Cookies website. (source: April 2006 issue of The Library Connection, published by Eastern Shores Library System)

More Notables for May

May 6, 1947 - Southeastern Wisconsin is rattled by an earthquake. For a seismic hazard map of Wisconsin and more about earthquake history in the state, visit the U.S. Geological Survey Earthquake Hazards Program.

May 8, 1891 - Arthur J. Altmeyer, known as “The Father of Social Security” was born in DePere. The Wisconsin Historical Society, through its Topics in Wisconsin History, has published “Social Security: the Wisconsin Connection.” For current information on Social Security, see this listing of resources from our Legal Topics webpage.

May 11, 1858 - Our neighbors to the west in Minnesota entered the Union as the 32nd state. Remember to use our State Law webpage when you are looking for court opinions, codes and directories for other states.

May 23, 1911 - The New York Public Library was dedicated. When it opened to the public the following day, 40,000 people walked by the now world famous library lions, Patience and Fortitude.

May 25, 1861 - President Abraham Lincoln, in an effort “suppress the insurrection existing in the United States” suspended the writ of habeas corpus. The U.S. Constitution, Art I, Sec. 9 states, “The privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it." The Library of Congress, through its American Memory portal, has collected and made available over 20,000 papers of Abraham Lincoln.

Reader Feedback

In our April Odds & Endings column, which highlighted notable events in baseball history, the April 15 Jackie Robinson Day item stated that in 1947 Robinson became the first African American to play major league baseball. Hon. John Zodrow, municipal judge for the City of Cudahy and one of our regular readers, pointed out to us that this is not quite correct. Robinson was the first African American to play major league baseball in the 20th century, and is generally considered to be the one to have broken that sport’s color barrier. However, other African Americans did come before him, including Moses Floyd Walker in 1884, and William Edward White, who according to some sources played one game for the Providence Greys in 1879. On further research we also found this Baseball Almanac listing of Black Famous Baseball Firsts, which indicates that Bud Fowler was the first known professional black player on an integrated team, having played in the Lynn (IA) exhibition games in 1878. We thank Judge Zodrow for bringing this to our attention.

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!