Wisconsin State Law Library

Serving the Wisconsin Supreme Court and State of Wisconsin

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The Wisconsin State Law Library staff cordially invites you to our annual Winter Holiday Open House on Tuesday, December 4, 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. in the Library Reading Room. Please join us for light refreshments, and test your skills in our "Snowman Olympics!"

Libraries Closed for Upcoming Holidays

WSLL, MLRC and DCLRC will be closed on December 24, 25, 31 and January 1. We wish you all Happy Holidays!

What's New - Connie Von Der Heide

WSLL, DCLRC staff present legal research programs

Lisa Winkler and Connie Von Der Heide

Lisa Winkler, Branch Librarian at the Dane County Legal Resource Center, and Connie Von Der Heide, Director of Reference & Outreach Services at the Wisconsin State Law Library, recently presented “Legal Research in a Nutshell” at the DeForest Area Public Library.

During the 2-hour program they provided library patrons with basic information about finding laws created by Wisconsin’s legislative, executive, and judicial branches, and secondary sources such as case finding tools, legal forms, and other explanatory materials. To learn how your library or agency can host this program, contact Lisa Winkler at 608-266-6316.

Jane Colwin, State Law Librarian, and Connie Von Der Heide traveled to Milwaukee Public Library on October 30 to present “Legal Reference in a Nutshell” to 30 reference staff from the Central and Neighborhood libraries. The 3-hour class focused on finding and using online Wisconsin legal and government information and selected legal research databases, and offered tips for assisting the public in finding legal information. For information about hosting this program at your library or library system, contact Connie Von Der Heide at 608-266-1600 or 800-322-9755. 

WSLL Serves as Filming Location for Movie Scene

CSI North Pole Movie ShootMatt Sloan and Aaron Yonda of Blame Society Productions, the creators of Chad Vader,  recently used the WSLL Rare Book Room area to shoot a scene for their latest project, CSI: North Pole.

The scene involves a librarian (Sloan) who, while working in the stacks, is approached by an elf (Yonda) who accuses him of stealing a present.

Pictured with them are Tona Williams, camera operator, and Justin Sprecher, sound technician. Upon its release the film will be viewable on the Blame Society Productions website.


Upcoming Hands-On Legal Research Classes

Register today for these upcoming hands-on classes offered in the WSLL Training Room. For more information, please visit our Classes & Tours webpage.

Better Browsing with Firefox
Thursday, January 24, 2008, 9:00-10:00 a.m.
Are you looking for a fast, customizable web browser? Come learn what the free Mozilla Firefox browser can do for you. This class will explore Firefox's use of the latest web technologies like RSS, tabbed browsing, pop-up blockers, scam protection, and more. Learn more about Firefox add-ons, which provide unique tools to broaden web browsing capabilities and allow you to customize your browser just the way you like it.
FREE Class. Registration is limited to 8. Print registration form.

Using LegalTrac and HeinOnline to Locate Law Reviews Online
Wednesday, February 13, 2008, 9:00-10:00 a.m.
The number of full text law review and journal articles available electronically continues to increase exponentially, making it more convenient than ever to find what you need.  Come and learn how to access and use LegalTrac and HeinOnline, two databases available through WSLL that can enhance your law journal research.
FREE Class. 1 CLE credit applied for. Registration is limited to 8. Print registration form.

Tax Resources On The Web
Wednesday, March 5, 2008, 9:00-10:00 a.m.
Tax research giving you headaches?  Come spend an hour unraveling the maze of tax-related websites.  See what’s available for free in the way of forms and tax help for Wisconsin, other states and the IRS.  Jane Colwin, a tax librarian in a former life, will lead you in a hands-on tour. 
FREE Class.  1 CLE credit applied for. Registration is limited to 8. Print registration form.

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This Just In – Pete Boll

This month’s featured titles include:

New Edition: Compendium of Client Protection Rules, 2007 ed. from the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility. 
American Bar Association, 2007
Call Number KF 314.C45 C66 2007

Since 1969, the ABA Standing Committee on Client Protection has actively promoted the establishment, maintenance, and improvement of lawyers’ funds for client protection for the benefit of the public and the profession.

In 1981, the ABA House of Delegates approved the Model Rules for Clients’ Securities Funds. Revised in 1989, the model rules were renamed Model Rules for Lawyers’ Funds for Client Protection. Since then every U.S. jurisdiction has established a fund to compensate claims for financial loss caused by attorney dishonesty.

The revised 2007 edition of the Compendium includes:

  • Model Rules for Lawyers' Funds for Client Protection
  • Model Rules for Trust Account Overdraft Notification
  • Model Rule on Financial Recordkeeping
  • Model Rule for Random Audit of Lawyer Trust Accounts
  • Model Rule for Payee Notification
  • Model Rules for Fee Arbitration
  • Model Rules for Mediation of Client-Lawyer Disputes
  • Guidelines for the Adoption of a Definition of the Practice of Law
  • Model Court Rule on Insurance Disclosure
  • Model Court Rule on Provision of Legal Services Following Determination of Major Disaster

Updated: Marital Property Law in Wisconsin, 3rd edition, 2007 Supplement, by Keith A. Christiansen, et. al. 
State Bar of Wisconsin, 2004
Call Number KFW 2497 .M373

In 1984 Wisconsin became the ninth community property state in the U.S. when it enacted the Wisconsin Marital Property Act. In response, the first edition of Marital Property Law in Wisconsin was published.

Now in its 3rd edition and updated for 2007, this book provides analysis of issues related to community property law and is intended to be a working tool for persons seeking information about Wisconsin’s community property law.

Highlights of the 2007 supplement include discussions of:

  • The creation of WI Statute 705.20(4) and amendment of WI Stats. 867.046(2) and 854.23(1), reversing key elements of the holding of the Wisconsin Supreme Court in Maciolek v. City of Milwaukee Employes’ Retirement System Annuity & Pension Board, 2006 WI 10, 288 Wis. 2d 62, 709 N.W.2d 360.
Liebzeit v. Universal Mortgage Corp. (in re Larson), 346 B.R. 486 (Bankr E.D. Wis. 2006), determining whether a bankruptcy trustee could set aside the perfection of a mortgage on a homestead that the husband alone had granted while married.

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Tech Tip in Brief – Heidi Yelk

Are You Ready for Digital TV?

After what seems like years of planning (and deadlines that have come and gone), the federal government is finally ready to say good-bye to analog TV.  Public Law 109-171, passed in 2006 sets Feb. 17, 2009 as the conversion date to digital feeds.  After that date, broadcasting will no longer be done using analog signals.

What does this mean for you?  Not much if you subscribe to cable or satellite -  your viewing will likely not be affected.  But it means a lot if you rely on over-the-air network channels and own an older television set incapable of receiving DTV.  After the Feb. 17, 2009 deadline, your analog TV will no longer pick up signals -- unless you purchase a special converter for your TV.  Converters are expected to cost approximately $60.00.  To offset this cost, the federal government is offering a coupon program for consumers, starting in January 2008. It is hoped that the $40.00 coupons will help consumers make the switch from analog to digital.  To learn about the coupon program see the Digital Television Transition and Public Safety Website

Although change is sometimes hard, over-the-air viewers of DTV are likely to be pleasantly surprised.  DTV allows television stations to deliver several programs simultaneously.  Instead of broadcasting one show on one channel, a single station can broadcast three or four shows on several channels, giving consumers more choices in free TV.  To learn more about DTV, see the  FCC’s Digital Television website.

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Learn @ the Law Library – Connie Von Der Heide

Finding Historical Wisconsin Administrative Code Provisions

The Wisconsin Administrative Code is the compilation of regulations promulgated by each state agency in order to carry out their statutory duties in a fair and uniform fashion.  The Admin Code, as it’s popularly called, has been maintained by the Revisor of Statutes Bureau for many years.  As a result of legislative action the Revisor’s Bureau office will close at the end of December 2007, and its duties will be assumed by the Wis. Legislative Reference Bureau.

The Admin Code is arranged alphabetically by department name, from Accounting Examining Board (Accy) through [Dept. of] Workforce Development (DWD). Chapters and sections are cited by an abbreviated form of the department name plus a chapter or section number; for example, Chapter DWD 40 or section ATCP 134.06.   Print copies of the 18-volume Admin Code are available for use in many libraries including WSLL, MLRC and DCLRC, and it’s also available on the web.  (Note: only the print format is considered official.)

The printed Admin Code is updated monthly by removing and inserting pages according to supplied instructions. Using the NXT (searchable) version of the online Admin Code, you can access PDF versions of those same inserted and removed pages, dating back to March 2001. 

As an example, say you’re looking for an old version of section NR 64.09, relating to all-terrain vehicle safety certification programs. Two items in that section were repealed in April 2002, and you’d like to see what those were. Go to the online Admin Code, locate that section, and view the “History” note at the end. You’ll see a link to [Administrative] Register, April 2002, no. 556.  Click the link to display that Register issue, and scroll down till you see the section called “Instructions for Inserting New Material Into the Code.”  There you’ll find two links for NR 64: “Removed Chapters” and “Inserted Chapters.”  Click the “Removed” link (on the left) to access PDF images of the pages that were removed in April 2002, which contain the previous language of section NR 64.09.

Using those same Admin Code “History” notes, you can also access the full text of Clearinghouse Rules (CR’s) dating back to July 2001. Or, If you already know the CR number, you can use the Final Rule Orders link on the Admin Code homepage to access CR’s back to March 1996.

For additional information about finding online historical Admin Code material, go to the  Admin Code homepage and click “Finding Administrative Code Histories and Archived Administrative Codes and Rule Orders.”

What if the historical Admin Code material you need pre-dates what’s online?  The Wisconsin State Law Library maintains a complete print collection of Wisconsin Administrative Code replaced pages dating back to the 1950’s, and we have selected historical state regulations dating back even earlier. We can help you navigate through these materials here at the library, or we can supply copies through our Document Delivery Service. Visit or contact our Reference Desk for assistance.

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Odds & Endings – Julie Tessmer

Question: I searched the WSLL catalog and found...fairytales!?

Answer: Yes, indeed!  You came across some of the lighter side of our collection, The Legal Guide to Mother Goose and West’s Group’s Wolf v. Pig (i.e. “The Three Little Pigs”). Both titles examine classic tales from a lawyer’s perspective. These titles are located in our donation-based Prose and Cons collection.

Question: I’m writing a speech and need a humorous anecdote. Can you help?

Answer: Check out Legal Anecdotes, Wit and Rejoinder compiled by Law Librarian Edward J. Bander. Call number K 183 .B36 2007.

Here’s an excerpt: “One day when [U.S. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell] Holmes was 87, a newspaperman, seeking copy, decided to walk round the Capitol Square and ask passers-by if they had heard of Justice Holmes. A mechanic in overall was sitting on a bench reading the sports page. The reporter strolled up. ‘Holmes!’ the mechanic said. ‘Oh sure! He’s the young judge on the Supreme Court that’s always disagreeing with the old guys.’” (p. 83)

For similar titles, search by subjects Humor or Anecdotes in the library catalog.

Notables for December

4th -- WSLL Holiday Open House 3:00-4:30 p.m. in the Library Reading Room. Please join us!

11th -- In 1868, Kate Hamilton Pier was born in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. On June 22, 1887, Kate, along with her mother, graduated from the U.W. Law School. After graduating, she began her practice with her mother and father at the Pier Law Office in Fond du Lac. By 1891, when the two youngest Pier daughters, Caroline and Harriet, graduated from law school, every member of the family was a lawyer. In 1889, Kate Hamilton Pier won her first victory in the Wisconsin Supreme Court, becoming the first woman to argue in front of that body. Sources: Wisconsin State Historical Society and State Bar of Wisconsin

22nd -- Winter Solstice

24th & 25th -- Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. WSLL, MLRC & DCLRC closed

Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 -- New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. WSLL, MLRC & DCLRC closed

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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!


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