Wisconsin State Law Library

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WSLL @ Your Service November 2011

What's New – Connie Von Der Heide

Library Holiday Closings

The Wisconsin State Law Library and Milwaukee and Dane County Legal Resource Centers will be closed on Thursday, November 24 in observance of the Thanksgiving state holiday. On Friday, November 25 WSLL and MLRC will be open regular hours, but DCLRC will be closed.

Upcoming Classes

There's still time to register for our November 3 Advanced Westlaw and November 9 Wisconsin Briefs Online legal research classes. Complete descriptions and registration information are available on our Classes page.

Lucy Kelly Lucy Kelly, MLRC

MLRC Staff News

Lucy Kelly joined the staff at the Milwaukee Legal Resource Center on September 17th. She will be with us for six months, filling in for Jennifer Grieve who leaves in 2 weeks for Army boot camp and Officer Candidate School. Lucy is currently enrolled in the Master's degree program at the UW-Milwaukee School of Information Science. She also works at the Marquette University's Eckstein Law Library, holds a paralegal certificate, and is a classically-trained violinist. Welcome, Lucy, and best wishes, Jennifer!

DCLRC Staff News

DCLRC bids a fond farewell to Kristin Garvey, part time library associate since 2008, and welcomes Bob Lopez as the new library associate. Bob is combining this position with his work at WSLL as a part time shelver and circulation assistant.

Lisa Winkler, Librarian, has been invited to serve on the Dane County Bar Association's Courthouse Committee. Serving as the liaison between the judiciary and the bar, the Courthouse Committee sponsors social programs to maintain bench/bar collegiality, and it sponsors educational programs emphasizing courthouse functions in order to promote public awareness of the legal system.

Librarians Speak Out

Last month, Interim State Law Librarian Julie Tessmer spoke to members of the Paralegal Association of Wisconsin about her experiences working in the Iraqi court system as a Legalman in the U.S. Navy Reserves. She'll present her program again this month at a meeting of the Madison Area Paralegal Association.

Connie Von Der Heide, Director of Reference & Outreach Services, presented Researching Wisconsin Legislative History to staff at the Wis. Dept. of Employee Trust Funds on October 27, and on November 1 she'll present State Law Library Resources and Services for Attorneys at the Jefferson County Bar Association's monthly meeting.

If your legal organization is interested in hosting a State Law Library legal research class or other presentation, please contact us at 608-266-1600, 800-322-9755, or wsll.ref@wicourts.gov.

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This Just In… – Pete Boll

Updated! Employment in Wisconsin: A Guide to Employment Laws, Regulations, and Practices, Release number 28, September 2011, by Maynard G. Sautter
3rd ed. LexisNexis, 2011
Call Number KFW 2734.S28 E43

This second of two releases for 2011 further updates this compact one volume looseleaf treatise on Wisconsin employment law. Highlights include:

  • Wisconsin's Family Medical Leave Act has been amended to nullify the City of Milwaukee's paid sick leave ordinance and bar other municipalities from enacting family and medical leave rules that differ from state standards.
  • In Secretary of Labor v. AKM LLC, OSHRC No. 06-1990 (Mar. 11, 2011), the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission ruled that an employer's ongoing failure to keep required records of employee injuries and illnesses constitutes a continuing violation of the OSHA that can generate penalties for up to five years after the initial violation.
  • The National Labor Relations Board has proposed a rule that would require every employer subject to the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) to post an 11-by-17-inch poster informing employees of their rights under the NLRA and to distribute the notice electronically if the employer customarily communicates with employees by such means. 75 Fed. Reg. 80410

New Title! American Bar Association's Legal Guide to Video Game Development, edited by Ross Dannenberg
ABA, 2011
Call Number KF 3024.C6 A94 2011

In 2009 video game sales generated over $10 billion in revenue, easily surpassing the movie industry's $9 billion take. This new guide will assist the practitioner or entrepreneur in navigating the legal aspects of video game production. Included is helpful information on:

  • Patents, copyrights, and trademarks
  • Children's Online Privacy Protection Act
  • Business and finance issues
  • Game publishing
  • Risk and insurance
  • Licensing and open source material
  • Intellectual property agreements
  • End-User License Agreements and terms of use

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 State Law Library Trivia

Each month during this anniversary year we've published an article sharing our history. Now is your chance to put what you've learned to the test and play Wisconsin State Law Library Trivia! Click on each question to see the answer.

Name the three cities in which the State (Law) Library has been located.
Burlington (at the time, part of the Territory of Wisconsin; now located in Iowa), Belmont, and Madison.

Over the course of its 175 years, how many people have led the library?

What year did the library's name officially change to the Wisconsin State Law Library?
1977 (with the enactment of 1977 Laws of Wisconsin Ch. 29, sec. 1393)

Name another Madison area institution celebrating its 175th anniversary this year.
Dane County, Wisconsin

How much money was appropriated to create the State (Law) Library in 1836?

Which Wisconsin Supreme Court justice organized a brigade to save the library's books during the 1904 State Capitol fire?
Justice R.D. Marshall

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Click To It: New Legislative Document Database – Carol Hassler

In September of this year, the legislature unveiled a new site for accessing statutes and other legislative documents.

Browsing the Statutes

To get into the new statutes database, simply go to the Statutes homepage and click on "The Wisconsin Statutes & Annotations."

Below the scope note for the statutes, you can browse to a chapter of the statutes using the table of contents. Clicking on a statute section will pull up the text of the statute, in line with the rest of the chapter. Section headings are bolded for easy reference.

New Statutes Site

In the middle of reading a statute section, the table of contents can be accessed without leaving the section. Clicking on "View tree" in the upper right opens the contents frame on the left.

View Tree

Linking and other tools

Clicking any statute section or subsection opens up additional tools and linking options to the left of the statute text. These tool links are also known as "reference lines."

Reference lines

The blue arrow provides quick jump links to parent sections of that particular statute. Clicking on the magnifying glass or red link provides a menu to permanent links and references to more details. Right clicking on the red link allows you to quickly copy a permanent link to the statute section without using the menu.

For more information, consult the tips from the Help link from the upper right of the statutes.

Search tips

Search options have been simplified. There is now a single search box on the Statutes homepage, in which both statute numbers and search terms can be entered. When searching statute numbers, typing "ch" or "chapter" preceding a chapter number will deliver the most relevant results (e.g. "ch 169").

To see only search results from a single chapter, click on the number of hits.

Search results

The blue box to the right of the search results can be used to expand the search beyond the statutes, or restrict the search to a different section of the database. Clicking "Remove filter" will remove any search restrictions and allow the choice of a new database.

Search filters

Links to historical material

History and cross references still follow immediately after each statute section. A recent WisBlawg post provides excellent coverage of finding and using these references.


Some viewing preferences can be saved using the "Preferences" link in the upper right. Preferences include viewing documents in PDF format whenever possible, displaying reference lines automatically, and sorting search results numerically, rather than by term relevancy.

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Tech Tip in Brief – Heidi Yelk

Bill Time, Get Paid

All attorneys know the importance of keeping and billing their time. For small or solo firms, the business side of practicing law can eat up a lot of time. Computer programs can help.

The American Bar Association maintains a useful, up-to-date chart of billing software options appropriate for solo or small firms.

Of course, billing software is not cheap, and solo practitioners may not be ready to jump into another software investment. Several low-cost or free options geared towards non-legal professionals might be worth looking at. Laura Spencer, a writer for Freelancefolder.com has compiled a list of Ten Terrific Apps to Help You Keep Track of Your Time.Another Time Tracking list is available from Web Tips Magazine.

Many of the above options can be used for as little as $10-$15.00 per month. There are also free options with scaled down offerings, such as Cashboard, which allows you to track up to two projects on a free account. This review from Bruce Kroese of Fearless Money provides a good overview of the product with pros and cons. Tick, reviewed here by Dickie Adams, also offers a limited free package.

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WSLL Recommends: Causes of Action

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.

Causes of ActionEach volume of Causes of Action, 2d, published by West, comprehensively dissects the elements of a cause of action by subject. Of particular value to the practicing attorney, it then explains how these elements can be proved or defended against.

Each entry contains coverage of the critical elements of a case, practice tips, sample complaint forms, research cross-references, plaintiff and defendant checklists, an overview of the substantive law, and primary law citations arranged by jurisdiction. This consistent organization allows the user to quickly navigate to sections about a particular question or point of substantive and procedural law. Together these features provide valuable guidance for how to successfully prepare a case for trial.

A few notable entries include:

  • Consumer protection
  • Copyright infringement
  • Creditors and debtors claims
  • Defamation and slander
  • Family law
  • Fraud
  • Housing
  • Internet defamation
  • Motor vehicles
  • Personal injury
  • Physician and medical claims
  • Trusts

Causes of Action, also known as Shepard's Causes of Action, is available in print at the Wisconsin State Law Library, and is available through Public Access Westlaw at the Wisconsin State Law Library, Dane County Legal Resource Center, and Milwaukee Legal Resource Center.

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Odds 'n' Endings – Julie Tessmer

AAA predicts 42.2 million Americans will be traveling on Thanksgiving Day. If you'll be among them, you might enjoy this article on mobile apps to ease your trip.

The 2011-2012 Wisconsin Blue Book has been published online and in print. Now in its 90th edition, this "almanac" of state government premiered in 1853. The feature article is Progressivism Triumphant: The 1911 Wisconsin Legislature.

Notables for November

1st - Marks the day two major pieces of Wisconsin legislation take effect:

11th - Each November we recognize the service and sacrifices of our veterans. The Wisconsin Veterans Museum is hosting a number of events, exhibitions and collections. More Veterans Day information is provided by the United States Department of Veterans of Affairs.

24th - Thanksgiving Day. WSLL, MLRC and DCLRC are closed. DCLRC will also be closed on Friday, November 25th.

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