Wisconsin State Law Library

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WSLL @ Your Service November 2010

What's New – Connie Von Der Heide

MLRC Relocates

Effective November 5, the Milwaukee Legal Resource Center is in a new location within the Courthouse: Room G10-1, on the ground floor near the cafeteria and across the hall from the Civil Division of the Clerk of Courts office. MLRC's hours, phone and fax numbers remain the same.

Holiday Closings

The Wisconsin State Law Library will be closed Thursday, November 25 for Thanksgiving, and Friday, November 26 for a Wisconsin Supreme Court & Court of Appeals designated furlough day. In December, the library will be closed on the 24th for Christmas Eve and the 31st for New Year's Eve. It will be open for business on Monday, December 27 and Monday, January 3.

County holiday and furlough closing dates may vary. If you plan to visit the Milwaukee or Dane County Legal Resource Center near Thanksgiving or Christmas, you might wish to call ahead.

Library Staff Attend LLAW Institute

On October 8, the Law Librarians Association of Wisconsin held a day-long educational institute, "Strength of Change," at the Marquette University Law School in Milwaukee. Law librarians from Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota and beyond met in Eckstein Hall, the law school's brand new facility. Keynote speaker Bob Berring, Walter Perry Johnson Professor of Law at the University of California - Berkeley, addressed the changing landscape of the legal research industry. Attendees also heard remarks and engaged in discussion on emerging theories of legal research education; the future of legal publishing; preparing job-ready attorneys; IT department and library partnerships; library documentation strategies; differing generations and work styles; and librarian career development and advancement tools.

Those attending from the State Law Library were Jane Colwin, State Law Librarian; Amy Crowder, Director of Web & Bibliographic Services; Lynne Gehrke, Milwaukee Legal Resource Center Librarian; Angela Humiston, Wisconsin Collections Librarian; Julie Tessmer, Deputy Law Librarian; Connie Von Der Heide, Director of Reference & Outreach Services; and Lisa Winkler, Dane County Legal Resource Center Librarian.

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This Just In… – Pete Boll

New Edition! Civil RICO: A Definitive Guide, by Gregory P. Joseph
3rd edition
American Bar Association, 2010
Call Number: KF 9375 .J67 2010

Updated for the first time since 2000, this third edition is designed to provide a concise and readable analysis of the major legal issues arising in civil actions litigated under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, 18 U.S.C.§§ 1961-68. Attention is focused on opinions of the United States Supreme Court and federal courts of appeals. The goals of the book are to identify the relevant issues; facilitate clarity in the analysis and resolution of RICO disputes by identifying those questions that are settled and segregating those that are not; and address practical problems posed by the lingering uncertainty of outcome-determinative legal standards.

Updated! Family Law Casenotes and Quotes, by Thomas A. Bailey and Laura Lau
September 2010 update
State Bar of Wisconsin, 2010
Call Number: KFW 2494 .B341

Family Law Casenotes and Quotes covers Wisconsin family law cases published since the Divorce Reform Act of 1977. Each casenote provides:

  • The case's name and full citation, including subsequent history
  • The name of the trial court judge and the county in which the case was heard
  • The name of the appellate judge who wrote the decision
  • A concise statement of the case's relevant facts, including procedural aspects
  • The case's important quotations and pinpoint citations for those quotations
  • Bolded subject terms highlighting the case's most important topics

Beginning with 97 Wis. 2d, the casenotes are organized chronologically by the volume and page number of the cases as they are found in the Wisconsin case reporters.

This latest update includes one revised and five new casenotes addressing issues such as maintenance, child support, and modification of physical placement, contempt, and property division. In addition, the index and tables have been updated to incorporate these new and revised casenotes.

A unique feature of the book is the table of judges, which allows the reader to identify cases decided by a specific trial court or appellate judge.

New Titles RSS Feed
See our latest New Titles list for a list of new books and other resources.

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

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Tech Tip in Brief – Heidi Yelk

Web tools worth checking out

LeechBlock 0.5

Are you spending too much time on Facebook, Twitter, Hulu, etc.? These sites often affect productivity and take time from your day. LeechBlock 0.5 is a tool designed to save you from yourself. This Firefox add on allows you to create customized time frames for accessing websites. Users can choose up to six sites and specify the time of day or amount of time that can be spent on each one. LeechBlock is a free add-on but is only available for the Firefox browser.

For more information, see the creator's documentation and FAQs for a review and download link, see CNet.

Converting PDF to Word

The blog Digital Inspiration recently posted "The Best Web-based OCR Services," a list of free or low cost web-based software for converting PDF documents to OCR text documents. (OCR = Optical Character Recognition.) This article includes a helpful comparison chart for easy reference.

I was able to test all of these services and would give OCR Terminal the highest marks among the free products. It provides excellent accuracy and formatting retention. For quick conversion of short passages, Online OCR performs well, and it doesn't require any registration. My testing indicates that the underlying nature of the original PDF document can greatly affect the software's ability to convert it.

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WSLL Recommends

This monthly column highlights a legal research tool, in print and/or electronic format, that is not freely available on the internet. We hope it will increase your knowledge of sources you might already be already familiar with, and help to expand your legal research toolkit.

Wisconsin Crimes: Elements, Definitions and Penalties, published by the UW Law School's Continuing Legal Education of Wisconsin, is based on the Wisconsin Jury Instructions-Criminal and contains summaries of the elements of the vast majority of crimes set forth in the Criminal Code of Wisconsin, plus selected criminal traffic offenses and some non-Criminal Code offenses. Almost all crimes for which there are published jury instructions are included, along with a few for which there are no standard instructions. Each summary brings together the Wisconsin Statutes, jury instructions and elements of the crime, along with the penalty for such crime.

A circulating copy of the latest (2009) edition is available at each of our 3 libraries. WSLL also has a non-circulating copy.

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Odds 'n' Endings – Carol Hassler

Elections Division website

The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (GAB) - Elections Division's web information has moved to the GAB's new website. While the old website for the Election Division is still available, all current information can now be found at: http://gab.wi.gov/

We've updated all the GAB-Elections Division links found on our Politics & Elections and other legal topic pages. Be sure to update your own bookmarks or favorites as well!

Keeping up with state agency news

The State of Wisconsin website maintains a list of state agency websites that post news, events, and press releases online. I discovered resources both new and familiar here, including:

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