Wisconsin State Law Library

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What’s New – Connie Von Der Heide

Hilary HahnNew Volunteer @ WSLL

WSLL is very pleased to have a volunteer working with us for the next several months.  Hilary Hahn, a full-time student in the UW-Madison School of Library and Information Studies, is lending a hand with processing Wisconsin Briefs one morning per week. 

Welcome, Hilary!

Economic Stimulus Checks – A Heads Up

According to the IRS:  "Under the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, more than 130 million American households will receive economic stimulus payments beginning in May. The only way to get one this year is to file a federal tax return for 2007. This filing requirement also applies to some people who do not normally file, including many low-income people and recipients of Social Security, certain benefits received from the Department of Veterans Affairs and certain Railroad Retirement benefits."
For more information, see the IRS web page “Stimulus Payments: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions.

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This Just In… – Pete Boll

This month’s featured titles include:

New! The Lawyer's Guide to Buying, Selling, Merging, and Closing a Law Practice, edited by Sarina Butler
American Bar Association, 2007
Call Number KF 315 .L38 2007

This new title, published by the ABA, is a good source to learn about important considerations for any attorney thinking of buying, selling, merging or closing a law practice.

Issues to consider throughout the process include:

  • The advantages of buying and selling a law practice
  • The ethical aspects of acquiring a law practice
  • Valuation of a law firm
  • Tax consequences of "retiring" a partner's interest in a law firm taxed as a partnership
  • Merging law firms
  • Selling a niche practice
  • Business responsibilities in closing a law practice
  • The ethical aspects of winding down a law practice
  • File preservation
  • Ending client and employee relationships

New Edition Wisconsin Trial Practice, 2nd edition, by Michael O. Bohren et al.
State Bar of Wisconsin, 2007
Call Number KFW 2938 .W571

Updated for the first time since 2004, this 2nd edition has been revised to reflect updates in statutory and case law, and it discusses changes in courtroom practices created by new technology.  Judicial commentary has also been revised and expanded.  Highlights include:

  • New terminology created by the court to describe juror bias
  • The WI Court of Appeals’ 2005 ruling that a challenge to the trial court’s competency cannot be waived even though the issue was not raised at trial court
  • The Seventh Circuit’s discussion of the extent to which an objection must accurately address the defect in the question
  • The WI Court of Appeals’ 2007 discussion on the use of section 806.07(1)(h) to rescind a default judgment rendered against a defendant for failure to answer
  • The WI Supreme Court’s holding that all final judgments and orders must state that they are final for purposes of appeal (Wambolt v. West Bend Mutual Insurance Co.)
  • More examples of improper closing arguments


New Titles RSS FeedSee our latest New Titles list for more new arrivals.

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Click To It! Legal Research at Your Fingertips – Carol Hassler

In previous articles, we explained how to access electronic journals through the WSLL catalog and our website.  With our newly redesigned catalog, finding journals and law reviews from your home, office, or anywhere else is easier than ever.

Finding a journal is easy:

  1. Search for the name of a journal, newspaper, or law review.
    Search for a Journal Title

  2. When the record displays, look for the phrase “This title is available electronically via:” and click on the link.  Enter your library card number to access the resource.
    Title is available electronically

  3. To return to the catalog, use the convenient “Return to Catalog” button at the top of the page. Return to catalog

Instant Article Access

To locate an article, simply follow the steps above to search for the title of the journal, law review, or newspaper in our catalog.  Check the date to make sure you can access your article online. Different coverage may be available from each resource that provides article access.


Once in the journal, browse to or search for your article.


Find Classic Law Books

You can now search HeinOnline’s Legal Classics directly from our catalog!

To find a Legal Classics title:

  1. Perform a catalog search.  Search by author or title.
    Search HeinOnline

  2. When the record displays, look for the link that says “Read this electronic book – Hein Online”. Enter your library card number to access the resource.
    Read Electronic Book

  3. Use HeinOnline’s tools to browse, read, or print the book.

Accessing resources may require a library card.  If you’re eligible for a library card, please visit any of our three libraries to obtain one. If you’re unable to stop in, contact the Wisconsin State Law Library to request a card by mail. For more information, please visit our Circulation page.

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The Story of a Great Classic – Amy Crowder

The Story of a Great Court, written by Chief Justice John B. Winslow and published in 1912, is an historical account of the early years of the Wisconsin Supreme Court and the justices who sat on its bench.   While this book is a wonderful resource on the legal history of this state, it has been out of print for many years.  WSLL owns a few copies and others are occasionally listed for sale on used book websites, but it wasn’t until HeinOnline added the title to its Legal Classics Library that this “legal classic” became widely available.

HeinOnline’s Legal Classics Library “offers more than 1,200 works from some of the greatest legal minds in history.”  For example, you can gather quotes from Blackstone’s Commentaries, or read works by Roscoe Pound, Joseph Story, John Wigmore, or Benjamin Cardozo, to name just a few.   In addition, the Legal Classics Library includes “rare items that are found in only a handful of libraries around the world.”

The Wisconsin State Law Library subscribes to HeinOnline and offers it free as a service to our users.  Authorized WSLL library cardholders can access it from any Internet-equipped device.  Simply enter your name and library card number as prompted.  If you aren’t able to access HeinOnline remotely, visit the Wisconsin State Law Library, Milwaukee Legal Resource Center, or the Dane County Legal Resource Center, where it’s available on all public computer workstations. 

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Tech Tip in Brief – Heidi Yelk

“I Guess I Should Have Known That…” - A Variety of Quick Tech Tips

As a creature of habit, I tend to do things the same old way everyday.  As a result, every once in a while, I’ll come across a different way to do something and I’ll have one of those “I guess I should have known that” moments.  Here’s a short list of tech tips that may (or may not) be news to you.

  • Use right mouse click to spell check.  Did you know that when you right-mouse click on a misspelled word in Microsoft Word, you get a list of correctly spelled words to choose from? I often use the right-mouse click to find synonyms but only recently realized the spell check feature.  When you have only one or two red-underlined misspelled words in your Word document, it’s much easier to fix them on the fly instead of using the regular spell checker.
  • Use keystrokes to quickly get to the bottom of a drop down menu.  As residents of Wisconsin, we’re all used to being (almost) last in the alphabet. We have to sit through 48 states before our Miss America contestant gets on the stage.  It’s the same with those drop down menus that ask for your state.  Rather than using the mouse to open the drop down and then scroll all the way to the bottom to find Wisconsin, you can simply hit the W key three times to quickly jump down to Wisconsin.
  • Use the Ctrl key to allow a pop-up window.  Pop-up blockers are great, but sometimes we really do want to see what’s in that pop-up window.  A quick way to override the blocker is to hold down the Ctrl key while clicking the link that’s causing the pop-up window.
  • Windows KeyTo quickly lock your workstation (on an XP Windows machine), hold down the “Windows key” and the L key.  The Windows key is in the bottom row, between the Ctrl key and the Alt key. You can also use the Windows key and the M key together to quickly minimize all windows on your desktop.

Do you have a quick tech tip to share?  Email it to the editor.

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Odds ‘n’ Endings – Julie Tessmer

St. Patrick's DaySt. Patrick’s Day is March 17th – usually!  This year presents a dilemma for Catholics because, for the first time since 1940, the holiday falls during Holy Week, the sacred seven days preceding Easter.  Because of the overlap, liturgical rules dictate that no Mass in honor of the saint can be celebrated on Monday, March 17, according to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Consequently, many communities have moved their holiday observances up a few days.  For more information, check out this Associated Press article found on CNN.com. 

March Notables

March is National Women’s History Month. The 2008 theme is Women’s Art: Women’s Vision.

3 – The National Education Association wants you to “Grab Your Hat and Read with a Cat” on Read Across America Day.   Dr. Seuss’s famous feline character is turning 50 years old.

6 – World Book Day

9 – Daylight Saving Time begins. Access the Official U.S. Time to make certain you set your clock correctly.

20 – First Day of Spring.  For those of you who remember when Spring always began on March 21, see this article that explains the change. 

31 – Cesar Chavez Day, celebrating the life and work of the Mexican American labor activist and leader of the United Farm Workers. His Foundation’s Website encourages people keep his legacy alive by volunteering in their communities. The Library of Congress’s America’s Library website includes stories about Chavez’s work.

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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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