Wisconsin State Law Library

Serving the Wisconsin Supreme Court and State of Wisconsin

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What’s New – Connie Von Der Heide

Upcoming Classes

Registrations are now being taken for the following legal research classes here at WSLL.  Details and registration forms are available on our Classes & Tours webpage. Class sizes are limited, so sign up today!

Using Westlaw at the State Law Library
Wednesday, August 6, 2008,  9:00-10:00 a.m.

Come learn about FREE Westlaw available at the Wisconsin State Law Library! This class will showcase WestPac, a Westlaw service offered on the library’s public access computers. This service includes free searching of state and federal primary law - cases, statutes, codes and legislation. Library patrons also have access to KeyCite, online forms and treatises, such as McQuillin: The Law of Municipal Corporations, Norton Bankruptcy Law and Practice 2d, Fletcher Cyclopedia of the Law of Private Corporations, and much more. This class will offer useful tips on effective searching in both Boolean and Natural Language modes.
FREE Class.  1 CLE credit applied for. Registration is limited to 8. Print registration form

Finding Wisconsin Public Records
Tuesday, September 23, 2008,  9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Want to learn more efficient ways to find records of individuals and businesses? This information packed class will help you find Wisconsin public records from a variety of government agency resources.  Learn timesaving tips on searching for criminal records, state and local court records, business entity records, liens, foreclosures and real estate records, and more.   Sign up today to become a more effective searcher.
Fee: $125.00.  3 CLE credits applied for.  Registration limited to 8. Print registration form

Using the Wisconsin Court System Website
Wednesday, October 8, 2008,  9:00-10:00 a.m.

Need some help finding the information you need on the Wisconsin Court System's website? Learn how to efficiently access Circuit Court records, find mandatory forms, search Supreme Court and Court of Appeals opinions, and check the status of appellate cases. You’ll also explore additional resources such as the Self-Help Center, court administrative office pages, and RSS feeds.  Join us for a tour of this useful website.
FREE Class.  1 CLE credit applied for.  Registration is limited to 8. Print registration form


Librarian Saves the Day - and a PC?

A Wisconsin Supreme Court opinion issued in early July has proven to be a bit difficult to locate online.  Our Reference staff has helped several customers with it over the past few weeks.  Here’s one librarian’s story:

I've received two calls about the Walgreens case today.   Both callers were unable to locate the case on the Court System's website.  I asked the first caller how he’d been searching for it: by party name, Walgreens.  I duplicated his search and came up with the same result: nothing.  However, when I did a search for all opinions released within the last week, I discovered the problem. The actual name of the case is Walgreen Co. v. City of Madison - there’s no “s” in Walgreen.    One of the callers said I saved him from throwing his computer out the window!

That caller was no doubt exaggerating just a bit, but it goes to show that even savvy computer researchers still need librarians!

A Recent Reader Comment

I’m emailing to ask you to remove my name from your newsletter list since I am retiring from my position at [UW-Eau Claire] McIntyre Library. I also want to take this opportunity to tell you that your newsletter has been a splendid resource for me, always offering something to enhance my knowledge of legal reference sources.  Accolades for the wonderful WI State Law Library website as well.  I can’t even estimate how many times I have used it as my resource-of-first-resort when answering law-related questions. It is invaluable to many of us scattered across the great state of Wisconsin and I have introduced many colleagues to it, as well as general library users. My sincere appreciation to you and your staff.

Best wishes,
Leslie Foster

Thank you, Leslie!   We sincerely appreciate receiving comments about the newsletter, and suggestions for how we can make it even more useful to you, our readers. If you’d like to comment or submit a suggestion, please contact the editor

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This Just In… – Pete Boll

This month’s featured titles include:

New Title! Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges by Antonin Scalia, and Bryan A. Garner.
Thomson West Publishing, 2008
Call Number: KF 8870 .S28 2008

“Judges can be persuaded only when three conditions are met:

  1. They must have a clear idea of what you’re asking the court to do.
  2. They must be assured that it’s within the court’s power to do it.
  3. After hearing the reasons for doing what you are asking, and the reasons for doing other things or doing nothing at all, they must conclude that what you’re asking is best - both in your case and in cases that will follow.”

So begins the introduction to this collaborative work by U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia and Bryan Garner, a well known legal writer on the topics of advocacy and the effective use of the English language. Since the law began, persuasion has been one of the key skills for attorneys to develop. In this new book Scalia and Garner examine the broad topics of legal persuasion including legal reasoning, briefing, and oral argument. Each topic is further broken down into several detailed sections giving advice on specific techniques to maximize persuasive arguments. Even those outside the legal profession will find this book useful in understanding effective persuasion.

Updated! Bankruptcy Litigation and Practice: A Practioner’s Guide by Thomas J. Salerno, Jordan A. Kroop.
4th ed.
2008-1 supplement  
Wolters Kluwer Law & Business, 2007
Call Number: KF 1527.S25 B231

This title serves as the comprehensive reference on bankruptcy litigation topics for legal practitioners in all specialties.
For the generalist and commercial law practitioner, it clarifies basic Bankruptcy Code issues and practical features of bankruptcy litigation including consumer bankruptcies, business and corporate reorganizations, liquidations and personal debt restructuring.  For the bankruptcy professional, it provides a source for reliable forms, recent case law, and statutory amendments relating to all major bankruptcy topics including automatic stay; preferences; dischargeability; executory contracts; the Chapter 11 confirmation process; Chapter 13 individual debt restructurings; rights and obligations of secured and unsecured creditors; and appellate procedures.

Highlights of the 2008-1 Supplement include:

  • The Southern District Bankruptcy Court of New York’s adoption of a six-pronged “totality of circumstances” test to determine when a petition should be dismissed under Bankruptcy Code § 707(a) for the debtor’s failure to satisfy the credit counseling requirement in §109(h)(3). In re Nichols, 362 B.R. 88 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. 2007)
  • Discussion of several cases on the “earmarking” defense to a preference action, which arises when a third party lends or otherwise advances.

New Titles RSS Feed
See our latest New Titles list for the complete list of 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

Taking Notes in High Tech

Most workplaces have come a long way on the road to going “paperless.”  However, it’s still commonplace to see note takers using pen and paper at meetings.  For this reason, I was intrigued when I saw an advertisement for the Pulse “smartpen” from Livescribe.  

This pen is equipped with a camera, microphone and speakers.  As the note taker scribbles notes, the pen records audio of the meeting and synchronizes the writing and sound.  Later, when the note taker needs clarification of something he wrote, he taps the pen on his notes and the pen plays back the audio from that portion of the meeting.  The system requires special “microdot” paper that, according to the developer, will be sold at the same cost as regular notebook paper.  It can also be printed at no extra cost. In addition, notes can be transferred to a Windows PC.  

To learn more about the Pulse smartpen, read these reviews from PC World and PC Magazine, and watch David Pogue's video review from the New York Times.   

Have a Tech Tip question or suggestion? Submit it to the editor.

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Odds ‘n’ Endings – Amy Crowder
Wisconsin State Law Library: A View out the Window

Need a vacation?   With the days of summer waning and the kids almost ready to go back to school, it may be time to take one.  “More than one-third (35%) of employed U.S. adults are most likely to find summer (June, July, and August) to be the most convenient and least stressful time of year to take their vacations.”  That’s according to Expedia.com, a travel resource website which conducts an annual International Vacation Deprivation Survey.  

Over the eight years in which they’ve conducted such surveys, Expedia.com has found that “the U.S. has long held the dismaying distinction of being the country with the worst vacationing habits.”   According to the 2008 survey:

  • The average employed American will earn 14 vacation days per year.  
  • One-third (31%) of employed U.S. adults usually do not take all their vacation time.
  • On average, employed U.S. adults leave 3 vacation days per year on the table.
  • Possible barriers to taking vacation days:  need to schedule vacation time in advance (12%); getting money back for unused vacation days (11%); work is life and it’s too hard to get away (9%).
  • Yet, nearly two in five employed U.S. adults (39%) reported feeling better about their job and feeling more productive upon returning from vacation.

No vacation plans, but want to escape?   Enjoy the sun and views of Lake Mendota in the air conditioned comfort of the State Law Library.

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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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