WSLL @ Your Service    April, 2007
An E-publication of the Wisconsin State Law Library

What's New -- Connie Von Der Heide   Learn @ the Law Library – Connie Von Der Heide

National Library Week, April 16-20:
Exploring the Legal Research Universe

National Library Week is observed annually by libraries of all kinds across the country, to promote and celebrate the value libraries add to the lives and livelihoods of those who use them. The Wisconsin State Law Library will hold several activities and events April 16-20 to highlight some of the many ways we support the needs of legal researchers – and to have some fun, too!

Our theme this year is Exploring the Legal Research Universe. To help you navigate that vast universe we’re offering our WSLL Web Tour, a free one-hour guided tour of the many resources available on our website. Immediately following each class, take a brief guided tour of the library itself. WSLL Web Tours begin on Wednesday, April 18 at 9:00 a.m. or Thursday, April 19 at 9:00 a.m. For registration details, see our Classes & Tours webpage. To schedule a guided tour of the library at a different time for your agency or firm, please contact Connie Von Der Heide at 608-267-2202 or by email.

We also invite you to participate in our other National Library Week activities.  Stop in for a cup of fresh, hot coffee each morning, and while you're here be sure to take a look at our "out of this world" displays, created to help you become familiar with some of the library's many resources:  CLE titles, state and federal laws, our public computer workstations - and the latest additions to our Prose & Cons legal fiction collection. As an incentive, anyone who makes a donation to the Prose & Cons Collection during National Library Week will receive a special Thank You gift. We accept new or gently used legal fiction books, audio books, feature films, or cash to purchase items on our Prose & Cons wish list. Donations may be dropped off in person or shipped to the library.

Can’t visit in person? You can still participate in the festivities. Take our National Library Week Quiz and test your knowledge of two universes: legal research tools, and space-related film quotes! Quizzes with all correct answers will be entered into a drawing for some “universally” great prizes. The quiz will be available on our website and distributed by email on April 16.

To learn more about how the Wisconsin State Law Library can help you navigate the universe of legal research successfully, please see this month's Learn @ the Law Library column, and visit the User Services section of our website.

Happy National Library Week!


In departing from the usual content of this column, we offer an opportunity to Learn About the Law Library. Did you know…?

The Wisconsin State Law Library is the oldest library in the state, and recently celebrated its 171st anniversary. For more information, please visit our About Us webpage.

The State Law Library manages the legal resource centers located in the Milwaukee and Dane County Courthouses. For more information, please visit the websites of the Milwaukee Legal Resource Center and the Dane County Legal Resource Center.

Our library catalog not only contains information about materials that are physically available in our three libraries, but it also provides links to many Internet-based resources. Check it out! To learn more about our catalog, see also these Frequently Asked Questions.

The State Law Library Reference Desk takes questions by phone, fax, mail, email and in person. For more information, please visit our Reference Assistance webpage.

The State Law Library provides prompt delivery of articles, documents, books and other materials. For more information, please visit our Document Delivery and Interlibrary Loan webpages.

Judges and attorneys licensed to practice in Wisconsin may borrow books by mail. For more information, please visit our Circulation webpage.

Attorneys can use the library after hours. For information and application forms, please visit our After Hours Service webpage.

Our website provides access to a plethora of sources for researching the laws of Wisconsin, the United States, other states, and many American Indian tribes.

Our Legal Topics A-Z webpage provides access to thousands of resources, categorized into over 400 different topics.

We regularly offer classes for learning to use a variety of legal research tools efficiently and effectively.

April 16-20 is National Library Week, a perfect time to visit or call the library to learn more about how we can help you with your legal research needs, or to thank us for help we’ve provided in the past. We look forward to hearing from you.

This Just In... -- Pete Boll   Tech Tip in Brief -- Heidi Yelk

This month’s featured titles include:

NEW EDITION Just Cause: The Seven Tests, 3rd edition / Adolph M. Koven and Susan L. Smith. (3rd edition revised by Kenneth May.) Bureau of National Affairs, 2006.

Call Number KF 3540 .K68 2006

“No employee shall be disciplined or discharged except for just cause” is one of the shortest, simplest clauses in any contract. But because it cannot be defined absolutely, it is one of the standards that arbitrators find most difficult to understand and apply. Kenneth May brings many years of experience in the arbitration field to this new edition. He has served as editor of Labor Arbitration Reports, contributed to the sixth edition of How Arbitration Works and has also served on the ADR in Labor and Employment Law Committee of the ABA’s Section of Labor and Employment Law. In this new edition May examines the role of the seven tests of just cause in arbitration formulated by Arbitrator Carrol R. Daugherty. The third edition expands coverage to include such emerging areas of the law of just cause such as sexual harassment, work and family issues, disability discrimination, violence in the workplace, and employment arbitration.

NEW TITLE: Youth Cases For Youth Courts: Desktop Guide: A Guide to the typical offenses handled by youth courts. American Bar Association, 2006.

Call Number KF 9780 .Y68 2006

Youth Courts have developed beyond the traditional student government hearings on misconduct in school. Today’s youth courts involve collaborations with judges, law enforcement, court workers, community agencies and organizations, attorneys, and youth from other schools to hear cases from the justice system as well as the school disciplinary system. The purpose of this guide is to assist new youth courts with decision-making in accepting and rejecting cases, and to help existing youth courts increase their caseload by expanding the categories of referrals they accept.

The Guide is divided into three sections. Section 1 provides guidance in the formal and informal process of identifying sources of referrals for youth courts. Section 2 gives basic information about 27 categories of offenses addressed by many youth courts and outlines some of the special issues that should be considered within each offense category. Section 3 describes the restorative justice philosophy of youth courts. Restorative justice emphasizes repairing harm and rebuilding relationships. Dispositions focus on 1) accountability: an awareness of the effects of actions on others and opportunities to repair harm; 2) competency development: building relationships with caring and positive adults or peers; and 3) community protection: increasing skills and community ties so youth will be less likely to harm the community in the future.

[Editor’s Note: Readers interested in youth court might also wish to read this article about Dane County Timebank’s Youth Court, held at the UW Law School. The article appeared in the March 22, 2007 issue of Isthmus, a weekly Madison publication.]

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

Business Email: Do’s and Don’ts

It’s no news that email has become an integral part of doing business. In fact, two studies, one by the META Group (now Gartner) and another by Quocirca Ltd., found that 80 percent of business people consider email critical for communication and 80 percent also prefer email for work-related communication. Email is used so frequently for both business and personal use that many experts have begun to question whether business email hasn’t become too personal. How can business people maintain a sense of formality when using informal communication, such as email? I went searching for an answer and found several experts offering tips on writing a proper business email.

Most experts agree that email sent to external contacts should maintain a sense of formality. Review each email for correct use of grammar, spelling, punctuation and clarity. While it’s considered hip to use creative spellings, emoticons, acronyms and incomplete sentences when chatting with friends, these shortcuts should be avoided in the business email. Capitalize words that are supposed to be capitalized. Acknowledge business emails quickly, either by replying with an answer or sending a response noting when you expect to have an answer.

Krista Berschauer, writing for The Wentchee Business Journal, notes that sending sensitive or confidential information via email is not professional. Sensitive information may be misinterpreted when sent via email, and confidential information can easily be forwarded. A face to face meeting or phone call is more appropriate. Likewise, Berschauer maintains that forwarding email without the author’s permission is bad business practice.

The rules above are easy to follow. A bigger conundrum is how to handle the salutation and closing. “Hi” often seems too casual for a business contact. “Dear” is better but may seem too formal for email. Syndicated columnist Reid Goldsborough recommends “Hello” by itself or followed by the person’s title (Mr. or Ms.) and his or her last name. The New York Times Style section recently printed an entire article discussing the importance of the proper closing for business emails. The article, ‘Yours Truly,’ the E-Variations indicates that opinions differ greatly when it comes to what constitutes the proper sign-off to a business email. One person’s “Best” is another person’s “Get lost.” In response to the article, Gina Trapani, editor of (and fan of the “Best” sign-off) polled her readers for their favorite sign-offs and while no consensus was reached, the comments do make interesting reading.

Finally, Judith Kallos, author of Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Business E-mail Etiquette - Don't Let Your E-mail Habits be a Deal Breaker! weighs in with expert advice in her article “Business Email Basics” found on her webpage,

Reader Comment

Attorney Thomas Zaremba submitted this comment regarding last month’s Tech Tip on the new Windows Vista: “One note: The touted features of the new Vista operating system require very much larger amounts of CPA memory and hard drive space, not to mention independent video board and video board memory, than have been commonly sold on home or business PCs, unless the purchaser bought the ‘ultimate gaming edition’ for about $3000 to $4000. Anyone thinking seriously about Vista needs to read the fine print and look at reviews of the beta version to determine whether they now own (or want to have to buy) the additional horsepower. It is my understanding that Vista may load on the hard drives of ‘lesser-equipped’ computers, but it will not run (or even load into the CPU) some of the features of the software.”

Please send suggestions for future Tech Tips to the editor.



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Library Hours/Locations:  WSLL (WI State Law Library), DCLRC (Dane Co. Legal Resource Center), MLRC (Milwaukee Legal Resource Center)
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Editor: Connie Von Der Heide 608-267-2202 Comments welcome!