Wisconsin State Law Library

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WSLL @ Your Service June 2011

What's New – Connie Von Der Heide

Upcoming Classes

Registrations are still being accepted for our June and July classes. Additional information and registration forms are available on our Classes page.

Researching Wisconsin Legislative History: Sources and Strategies
Wednesday, June 15, 9 - 11 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 research Wisconsin legislative history; navigate the online Wisconsin legislative drafting files; and learn some time saving tips and tricks along the way.

Books Unbound @ WSLL
Thursday, July 7, 9 - 10 a.m.
Excited about e-books? Come learn about FREE on-site access to Books Unbound at the Wisconsin State Law Library. This class will showcase PINNACLE "Brown Books" and Business Advisor Series from the State Bar of Wisconsin. Get an overview of features, learn advanced search techniques, and get hands-on practice using Books Unbound.

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DCLRC News – Lisa Winkler, DCLRC Librarian

Law Day Book Sale Supports Online Legal Resources

As part of this year's Law Day celebration, members of the Dane County Bar Association and Lisa Winkler, Law Librarian at the Dane County Legal Resource Center (DCLRC), joined forces to hold a very successful 8-hour book sale to help keep online legal research tools available at the DCLRC.

Throughout the month of April Courthouse employees, Madison area legal professionals and the UW Law Library donated books. A "thermometer" chart was posted in the courthouse café so everyone could see the progress toward the lofty goal of collecting 1,800 books by May 2, the date of the sale. Through the generosity of so many donors, it was indeed reached – with a final count of 1,808!

The sale took place in the café seating area, with books priced at $1 and $2 each and some even better deals offered throughout the day. Again, thanks to the support of everyone who came and shopped, a total of $715 was raised - all of which helps defray the subscription fees for the online legal research tools available on DCLRC's public access computers.

Some of the leftover books have been added to the ongoing book sale in the DCLRC, the proceeds of which support pro se services. Others were donated to the Dane County Jails, Juvenile Court Programs, and the local YWCA.

Many thanks go out to everyone who donated and purchased books and helped with setup and teardown. Special thanks and recognition go to Attorney Ruth Westmont, Attorney Dixie Lippitt and District Court Administrator Gail Richardson, whose support and exceptional efforts made this project a success.

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This Just In… – Pete Boll

New Title! Civil War Lawyers: Constitutional Questions, Courtroom Dramas, and the Men Behind Them, by Arthur T. Downey
American Bar Association, 2010
WSLL Call Number: KF 366 .D69 2010

Along with the 175th anniversary of the Wisconsin State Law Library, 2011 also commemorates the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War. Civil War Lawyers is a comprehensive look at the under appreciated role of the law - and of lawyers - during that time. Great Constitutional issues were addressed by the Supreme Court in tense courtrooms where individual lives were at stake. Presidents struggled with the legality of their actions, including questions on habeas corpus and military commissions that still have vital relevance today.

Lawyers dominated public and political life during the first third of American history, and many who were prominent during the Civil War period were not only aware of each other professionally, but they had also tried cases with and against each other before the War. The key members of Lincoln's cabinet were all lawyers, as were Lincoln's key diplomatic appointees.

The book also includes an appendix containing more than 100 biographies of the lawyers of the time, a look at the cases through which they had crossed paths before the War, a detailed timeline of Civil War events, and period photos and editorial cartoons.

New Edition! Real Estate Transactions System, by John L. Horwich, Michael H. Simpson, and Bruce T. Block
5th edition
State Bar of Wisconsin, 2011
WSLL Call Number: KFW 2512 .H641

Updated for the first time since 2009, this helpful resource contains many worksheets, checklists, and sample forms to keep real estate information organized. Each step is accompanied by a narrative description of the tasks that should be performed. Highlights in the fifth edition include:

  • Updated versions of several forms, including WB-42 Amendment to Listing Contract; WB-11 Residential offer to Purchase; Addendum A to Offer to Purchase, and two condominium addendums
  • Revised annotations to the Residential Offer to Purchase reflecting substantive and organizational changes in the form
  • Updated Real Estate Condition Report to reflect the owner's requirement to disclose knowledge of applicable shoreland mitigation plan
  • Revised shoreland development rules applicable to county regulation of unincorporated shoreland areas, which took effect in February 2010
  • Discussion of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published rule that is expected to have far-reaching effects on storm water regulation at construction sites
  • Decisions issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas concerning solid and hazardous waste litigation under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
  • Discussion of 2009 Wisconsin Act 55, known as the Invasive Species Act

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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1836-2011: Celebrating Our History – Amy Crowder

Wisconsin's state library was created by a federal law enacted in 1836. (Fn 1) Over the years, however, numerous pieces of state legislation have also focused on the Library. At his retirement in 1997, Deputy Law Librarian Dennis Austin presented a history of the State Law Library that he had compiled as a parting gift. It includes a "legislative history" listing every Wisconsin act that pertained to the Library. Here are a few highlights:

The position of state librarian was created by 1849 Wis. Ch. 2; the librarian "shall hold his office for one year, unless sooner removed... ". The state librarian was paid a salary of $300, to be drawn quarterly from the state treasury. That salary was later increased in 1854 to $1,000 per year. Thirteen people served as state librarian between 1836 and 1876.

1866 Wis. Ch. 119 distinguished the library's collection as a legal collection, stating "No books shall hereafter be purchased for the state library, except law books of reference and works on political science and statistics". With 1875 Wis. Ch. 251, the state librarian was authorized "to transfer to the state historical society the miscellaneous books in the state library… ".

The Library's "official" name changed to the State Law Library, 1977 WI Act 29, sec. 1393. The name had been unofficially used for years to reflect the law-focus of the library's collection.

We are grateful to Dennis and others who have helped record the history of Wisconsin's oldest library. Thank you all!

Read more about the library's history on our interactive timeline.

WSLL Interactive Timeline

Celebrating 175 years of service

Footnote 1: 5 Stats. 10, sec. 17, April 20, 1836

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Start Here: Selected Resources on Depositions – Heidi Yelk

Following is a selected list of State Law Library resources on the topic of depositions that may be useful for doing further research. Wisconsin-specific titles are preceded by a "W" icon. For assistance in accessing these or other materials, please contact our Reference Desk.


ALI-ABA's practice checklist manual on taking depositions: checklists and advice from the Practical lawyer and the Practical litigator
KF8900 .A45 1995
177 pages, American Law Institute-American Bar Association Committee on Continuing Professional Education, 1995

The art of depositions: powerful techniques to maximize your success, by John C. Cabaniss
Wisconsin TitleKFW2937.A75 A77 2009
76 pages; National Business Institute, 2009 (Seminar manual)

Deposing and examining doctors, by Kim Patrick Hart.
KF8964 .H37 2007
2 vol., loose-leaf; James Publishing, Inc., 2007-

The deposition handbook, by Dennis R. Suplee and Diana S. Donaldson
KF8900 .S87 2002
544 pages; Aspen Law & Business, 2002

Deposition strategy, law, and forms, by Robert Sugarman, Alexander Sann, and Steven Bellman
KF8900 .D4
9 volumes, loose-leaf ; Matthew Bender, 1981-

Effective depositions, by Henry L. Hecht
KF8900 .E35 2010
848 pages; American Bar Association, 2010

The effective deposition: techniques and strategies that work, by David M. Malone, Peter T. Hoffman
KF8900.A5 .M342 2001
321 pages; National Institute for Trial Advocacy, 2001

How to prepare for, take, and use a deposition, by Robert E. Benson, John C. Tredennick, Jr., Steven B. Andersen
KF8900 .B39
1 vol. loose-leaf, James Publishing, 1990-

Pretrial skills: thinking on your feet, by authors by David F. Andres, et. al.
Wisconsin TitleKFW2937.A75
75 pages; National Business Institute, 2006 (Seminar material)

Taking and defending effective depositions, by Lewis W. Beilin, et. al.
Wisconsin TitleKFW2937.A75 T3 2007
114 pages, Lorman Education Services, 2007 (Seminar material)


Audio/Visual Items

Audio CDs

McElhaney's deposition notebook, by James W. McElhaney
KF8900.A7 M25 2003 Media Collection
3 audio CDs, study guide, American Bar Association, 2003

McElhaney on depositions and trial preparation, by James McElhaney
KF8900.A75 M25 2000 Media Collection
3 audio CDs, study guide, American Bar Association, 2000


Depositions in employment litigation: effective techniques for preparing, deposing, and defending key witnesses, by program chairs, Jan Duffy, Herbert E. Gerson
KF8900 .D484 1998 Media Collection
3 DVDs, study guide, American Bar Association, 1998

Preparando su declaración
KF8900 .P84 2008 SPANISH Media Collection
1 DVD, designed to help clients prepare for their deposition, State Bar of Wisconsin, 2008

Preparing for your deposition
KF8900 .P84 2008 Media Collection
1 DVD, designed to help clients prepare for their deposition, State Bar of Wisconsin, 2008

Video depositions: what you don't know can hurt you, by the American Bar Association
KF8900 .V53 1997 Media Collection
1 DVD, study guide, American Bar Association, 1997


Internet Resources

Visit the Wisconsin State Law Library's Legal Topics pages:

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WSLL Recommends…Defense of Drunk Driving Cases

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 with which you might already be familiar and help to expand your legal research toolkit.

Many practitioners may already be familiar with Wisconsin treatises covering driving under the influence. For more detail and sample forms researchers can turn to the general treatise, Defense of Drunk Driving Cases: Criminal & Civil.

The first three volumes of this four-volume set focus on background, up-to-date caselaw and statutes, and scientific and technical information concerning DUI and DWI. Several chapters are devoted to examining chemical and other testing methods in depth, with device-specific information. This treatise is also useful for learning more about medical conditions and driving impairment, liquor liability, physician-patient privilege, and non-chemical evidence.

The final volume in the set is practice-oriented featuring a 50 state survey of DUI laws, sample forms and motions, and guides and sample scripts to adapt for use during trials.

A looseleaf treatise, this title is updated three times per year. A complete table of contents for each volume is available online.

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Odds ‘n' Endings – Carol Hassler

Follow Us on Facebook

Did you know the State Law Library has a Facebook page? We're using it to post recent news and information in a convenient place for our users – in your Facebook news feed! Like us to get updates from the library and for another way to connect with us online. Go to https://www.facebook.com/wilawlibrary

Check out some of our photo albums on Facebook:

Emergency Preparedness – Break Glass in Case of Zombies

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has generated a lot of buzz recently over their Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse guide. Should zombies … or even tornadoes, pandemics, or other natural disasters actually occur, follow the CDC's guide so you'll be ready.

Get A Kit,    Make A Plan, Be Prepared. emergency.cdc.gov

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