Wisconsin State Law Library

Serving the Wisconsin Supreme Court and State of Wisconsin

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Welcome State Bar Conventioneers

If you'll be in Madison for the State Bar of Wisconsin's annual convention May 7-9, we invite you to visit the Wisconsin State Law Library. The library is located at 120 MLK, Jr. Blvd., just one short block from the Monona Terrace Convention Center. Hours are 8-5 M-F. We look forward to your visit!

What’s New – Connie Von Der Heide

National Library Week Celebrations
The Wisconsin State Law Library (WSLL) and Milwaukee Legal Resource Center (MLRC) each held several special events and activities April 14-18 in celebration of National Library Week, an annual observance sponsored by the American Library Association and observed by libraries of all types across the country. 

At WSLL, using their self-chosen theme “Get Ahead of the Pack @ WSLL” staff transformed the library into a combination of jungle and African wilderness, complete with “wild animals,” tiki torches and safari tours. A special National Library Week webpage featured a self-guided Photo Safari highlighting several different collections in the library: Wisconsin Briefs, audiovisual materials, American Law Reports (ALR), and tax and labor materials. Book displays in the library featured materials published by the State Bar of Wisconsin and National Business Institute, and library staff presented classes on using the library’s LegalTrac and HeinOnline journal databases.
Additional highlights included a staff appreciation potluck lunch, and the annual Supreme Court Staff “coffee break” featuring food, games and prizes.  Judy Killian, Supreme Court Clerk’s Office and Sonja Schade, Supreme Court Commissioners Office, took first and second place respectively in the “Pin the Banana on the Monkey” contest.  Susi Stephens, Supreme Court Clerk’s Office, was a winner in the  “Track an Animal” contest.  To enter, she used clues to find a stuffed animal (zebra) hidden in the library stacks. Other “Track an Animal” winners during the week included library patrons Jane Morris and Louise Jellings. 
Courthouse employees, judges, attorneys and the general public all took part in the festivities at the MLRC.  Their self-chosen theme, “One World One Dream” reflected the spirit of unity, friendship and harmony embodied in the upcoming Summer Olympics in Beijing. Three contests were held for prizes such as a CD player, Westlaw products, stuffed animals, Barnes & Noble gift certificates and more! The contests sought to familiarize people with the MLRC and its resources, as well as challenge participants with “brain buster” Westlaw research questions.  

A torch relay was held in which participants visited foreign countries right in the MLRC.  Eight locations were selected from the actual Olympic torchbearer route, and participants learned about different cities and countries the Olympic torch will visit. Both the Beijing and past Olympics were featured in the “Question of the Day” contest. Participants came into the MLRC daily to get the question and win a pin, so they could enter the prize drawing held at the end of the week.

MLRC’s Westlaw representative taught 4 classes in the Resource Center for anyone interested in advancing their legal research skills. Because these classes were at capacity, another one has been scheduled for Thursday, May 15th. Contact the MLRC to register.

To wrap up their festivities, a Fan Painting or Chinese Dragon Making class was held on Friday, and some beautiful creations were made. Kathy Nelson and Dana Gutzke were the grand prize winners for their beautiful designs.

MLRC staff would like to thank all those who participated in these activities with such enthusiasm, reminding everyone involved what a vital resource the library is to all those around them.


Chief Justice Abrahamson Featured in Poster, Bookmarks

During National Library Week, WSLL unveiled a new READ poster and READ bookmarks featuring Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson.  Produced by WSLL staff using American Library Association (ALA) graphics software, both pieces were modeled after ALA’s long-running series of celebrity posters to promote reading.  WSLL is very pleased to have the new poster and bookmarks on display in the library, and we sincerely thank Chief Justice Abrahamson for graciously agreeing to be photographed for these pieces. 

READ PosterREAD Poster


Upcoming Classes & Tours

There are still seats available in these upcoming WSLL legal research classes.  For more details and registration information, please visit our Classes & Tours webpage, and register today!

Wisconsin Briefs Online
Wednesday, May 14, 2008, 9:00-10:00 a.m.
Streamline your search for briefs!  This class covers Wisconsin Briefs available on the Internet.  Learn how to access Wisconsin Briefs on the UW Law Library's website, and gain a basic understanding of how to best use WSCCA in your search for Wisconsin Briefs.
FREE Class. 1 CLE credit applied for. Registration is limited to 8. Print registration form

New Class  Researching Wisconsin Legislative History: Sources & Strategies
Thursday, June 12, 2008, 9:00-10:30 a.m.
“I need the legislative history of a Wisconsin statute. Where do I start? What do I do?”  Get answers to these questions and more during this hands-on class.  Participants will look at the primary resources used to compile a legislative history, navigate the online Wisconsin legislative drafting files, and learn some timesaving tips and tricks along the way.
Fee:  $50   1.5 CLE credits applied for.  Registration limited to 8.  Print registration form


Summer Library Orientations

WSLL’s annual round of summer library orientations will take place in late May and early June. These free, one-hour sessions offer information about using the library’s resources and services, and a guided tour of the physical library as well as some of our electronic research tools.  Anyone may register, and law school students serving as summer associates and interns are especially encouraged to attend.  For dates, times and registration forms, please visit our Classes & Tours webpage.


Library Borrower Updates

This is also the time of year when we focus on updating our ever-growing database of library borrowers.  If it’s been a while since you last used your library card, or if you don’t yet have a card, please stop in, email or phone the Circulation Desk with your current contact information.  To determine whether you’re eligible for a library card, please see our Circulation Services webpage.

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This Just In… – Pete Boll

This month’s featured titles include:

New! 101 Practice Series: Breaking Down the Basics, by the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division
American Bar Association, 2008
KF 297 .A76 2008

Aimed at new lawyers, this guide examines the fundamental aspects of law practice. Written primarily by young lawyers, this publication features practical insights from the new attorney perspective through a collection of one-three page professional development articles.

Titles include:

  • Working Efficiently With Your Assistant
  • How to Break Bad News to Your Client
  • Taking Your First Deposition
  • Arguing Your First Motion
  • Commanding Respect in Mediation as a Young Attorney
  • Responding to the Middle-of-the-Night Call from an Arrested Acquaintance

Updated! Guide To Wisconsin Employment Discrimination, by Rose Ann Wasserman
State Bar of Wisconsin, 2008 supplement
KFW 2734.5.D5 W37 2004

This guide is useful for both attorneys and human resources professionals who deal with employment law, practices, and policies. The 2008 updated guide addresses issues such as:

  • The 2007 Wisconsin Supreme Court discussion of the use of “clemency and forbearance” as a method of accommodating a disability (Stoughton Trailers Inc. v. LIRC, 2007 WI 105, 303 Wis. 2d 514, 735 N.W. 2d 477)
  • The Wisconsin Supreme Court decision that held that even though a company was not an employer, it was an “other person” within the meaning of WI Statute 111.321 and thus liable for acts of discrimination under the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act (Estate of Szleszinski v. LIRC, 2005 WI APP 229, 287 Wis. 2d 775, 706 N.W. 2d 345)


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

For assistance in accessing these or other resources, please contact our Reference Desk.

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Tech Tip in Brief – Heidi Yelk

Where’s my toolbar?

Users of  Wisconsin’s Legislative Reference Bureau website know that this site contains extremely useful, well written documents on dozens of topics.  I use this site on a weekly basis, but I was frustrated recently when I noticed that some Adobe documents found on this site open in my Acrobat Reader without the Acrobat toolbar. 

For example, see the Budget Brief on the Milwaukee School Choice Voucher Program, or Renovation of Lambeau Field, or this explanation of Legislative Voting Records.  The small size of the documents immediately had me searching for a way to enlarge them.  Normally, I would head for the Adobe Acrobat toolbar to quickly re-size the document to a larger percentage.  But the toolbar was missing.  I also wanted to find a way to save the document, but the navigation panel on the left provided no easy “save” options.   I was lost.  Luckily, there’s an easy solution: the F8 key. 
In Adobe Acrobat reader, the F8 key allows you to toggle between hiding and displaying the Acrobat toolbar.  If you ever find yourself without the toolbar, a single keystroke (F8) will bring it back. 
Speaking of the Adobe Acrobat toolbar, you may wish to take some time to customize the toolbar to your liking.  With the toolbar displayed, place your mouse anywhere in the toolbar area and right click. Then drag down to “more tools.”  This will bring up a window which will allow you to check or uncheck the features you want displayed on your Adobe Acrobat Reader toolbar.   Some of the features are only available if you have rights to edit the document, but many others are available for all documents.  Some helpful additions to your toolbar might be the first page / last page buttons, allowing you to quickly jump to the first or last page of the document; and the email send button, allowing for easy emailing of pdf documents.


NetLingo Word of the Day
In June of 2005, this column featured NetLingo as a great site to use for deciphering abbreviations and acronyms used in text messaging.  NetLingo now has a “Word of the Day” service that emails a new “Internet” word every day.  This is a fun and easy way to keep up with trends and lingo on the web.

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Odds ‘N’ Endings – Carol Hassler

Spring is (finally) here!  Exulting over the recent warm weather, I have the outdoors on the brain.  In honor of our dash for summer, here are some WSLL resources that cater to creeping out of the house:


May Notables

May 1 – 2008 marks the 50th anniversary of Law Day, an annual "day of national dedication to the principle of government under law" first proclaimed by President Dwight Eisenhower.  Sponsored by the American Bar Association’s Division for Public Education, Law Day 2008 explores the meaning of the Rule of Law, fostering public understanding through discussion of its role in a free society.

May 13 – Jailhouse Rock begins filming on May 13, 1957.  In their electronic reading room, the Federal Bureau of Investigation includes information on Elvis Presley.  From a rather amusing memo, we learn that Presley wasn’t recommended to meet J. Edgar Hoover due to Presley’s “wearing his hair down to his shoulders and indulg[ing] in the wearing of all sorts of exotic dress.”

May 23 – Milwaukee and Mississippi Railroad reaches Madison in 1854, connecting Milwaukee and Madison and whittling the journey down to a mere seven hours.  (Taken from Wisconsin History's This Day in History)

May 27 – Explorers Louis Joliet and Father Jacques Marquette reach what is now Green Bay, WI in late May of 1673.  After briefly commenting on the perceived tides of the lake, they set their sights on Wisconsin and beyond – the Mississippi.  (Taken from Wisconsin History's Topic Feature)

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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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