WSLL @ Your Service   Aug. 2003
An E-publication of the Wisconsin State Law Library

Supreme Court Appoints State Law Librarian, Deputy Law Librarian

The Library is very pleased to announce the Supreme Court of Wisconsin’s appointment of Jane Colwin as State Law Librarian, and Julie Tessmer as Deputy Law Librarian, effective June 30, 2003. From February 2000 until their new appointments, Jane and Julie had served as Co-State Law Librarians.

Jane joined the State Law Library as government documents librarian in June 1984, and Julie began as a library assistant in 1982. Both have served the library in a number of increasingly responsible positions over the years. As State Law Librarian, Jane oversees the operation of the State Law Library (WSLL), the Dane County Law Library (DCLL), and the Milwaukee Legal Resource Center (MLRC). She is the sixth State Law Librarian to be named since the Supreme Court was granted authority for appointing the position in 1876. As Deputy Law Librarian, Julie assists in annual and long-range planning, coordinates WSLL facilities management, and continues to direct collection management staff and activities for WSLL, DCLL and MLRC, as well as the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals and other judicial branch agencies.

Jane is a familiar face in Wisconsin's legal and library communities. She regularly gives presentations on computerized legal research at both the Wisconsin Judicial College and Wisconsin Judicial Conference, and in collaboration with another librarian she developed and teaches Wisconsin Legal Research in a Nutshell, a course that’s been presented to public, academic, and special librarians across the state. Jane also initiated and teaches classes in the State Law Library’s well-received legal research training program, featuring hands-on instruction in the use of print-based and computerized legal research resources.

Jane is also active in the Wisconsin Court System, and currently chairs a committee to develop and improve web-based resources for the self-represented litigant. The resulting redesigned Self-Help Center debuted on the Court System web site in June 2003. It offers tips on finding legal assistance and information, representing yourself, going to court, and FAQs about the court system in Wisconsin.

Julie’s collection management responsibilities have included moving and shifting several entire book collections, necessitated by library and court relocations over the years. Her expertise in this area has been noted in the library community, where she has given presentations at various meetings and conferences. Julie was also heavily involved the building project for the new State Law Library, which opened in the Risser Justice Center in January 2002. Her countless hours and expert attention to detail were major factors in the project’s success.

WSLL Web -- Elaine Sharp   Tech Tip in Brief -- Heidi Yelk

Solo & Small Firm Practitioners
ABA's Solosez email discussion list now has a website. For online resources aimed at the solo or small firm practitioner, visit or join their discussion list .

U.S Supreme Court: Highlights of 2002-03 term
During the past term the Court ruled on topics such as affirmative action, civil procedure, criminal law and procedure, the 1st, 5th, and 14th amendments, intellectual property, foreign policy, foreign sovereignty, and voting rights. For a brief summary of each case by topic and a link to its full-text opinion, visit the Legal Information Institute's Highlights page.

National Constitution Center
The National Constitution Center opened July 4, 2003 in Philadelphia. If you can't visit in person, take a virtual tour.

Copyright & the Web
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently revised its ruling as to whether linking to a copyrighted photo on a website constitutes copyright infringement... more

Do Not Call Lists
Although Wisconsin's No Call List has been in place since 1/1/03, the national list is just gearing up. Add your phone number to the National Do Not Call Registry now to stop receiving telemarketing calls after 10/1/03. Register for, or read more about, Wisconsin's No Call List.

Looking for statistics or guides on how to use a statistical resource? Visit WSLL's newly-redesigned Statistics page.

Camping & Campground Reservations
To reserve your spot at one of USDA Forest Service and Army Corps of Engineers outdoor recreation facilities, visit ReserveUSA. To reserve a campsite at one of Wisconsin’s state park and forest campgrounds, visit the Dept. of Natural Resources camping page.

Preventing Pop Ups

Preventing pop up ads has just become easier, thanks to the engineers at Google. Google recently released the beta Google Toolbar Version 2.0 which blocks pop-up ads as you browse the Internet. The pop-up blocker feature requires Internet Explorer (IE) 5.5. To get the toolbar, visit the Google Toolbar 2.0 Beta Page and follow the instructions for downloading. Once installed on your computer, the toolbar will reside under the IE address bar. You may customize the toolbar to suit your needs. The pop-up blocker automatically counts the number of ads it blocks and keeps a tally on the toolbar (mine is up to 814).

The only downside to this technology appears to be that it works too well - it blocks all pop-up windows. Some sites use pop-up windows for features such as surveys or password input. Most Internet users need access to these features. You can override Google’s pop-up blocker using one of two methods. Either hold down the Ctrl key as you click the pop-up link, or click the pop-up blocker button on the toolbar to switch to “allow site pop-ups.” This will allow all pop-ups on the website you are visiting.

If you’re not interested in using the Google toolbar, you can still obtain free pop-up ad protection through other means. One is to download the latest version of Netscape which allows pop-up controls through browser settings. Another option is to download free blocking software such as Pop-up Stopper or Pop This.

Send your suggestions for future legal research Tech Tips to the editor.

Learn @ The Law Library Odds 'n' Endings -- Connie Von Der Heide
Here is the fall schedule of WSLL’s popular hands-on legal research classes. All classes are taught by State Law Library Reference staff and meet in the library’s Computer Training Room, equipped with eight student workstations. For course descriptions, registration forms and additional information, please visit our Classes & Tours webpage.

“If they only offered a class about…” Please tell us what additional classes you’d like us to offer! Submit your suggestions to Heidi Yelk , Reference/Electronic Services Librarian.

Wednesday, August 6, 8:30-9:30 a.m.
WSLL Wednesday Topic: Google: Basics and Beyond

Wednesday, September 10, 8:30-9:30 a.m.
WSLL Wednesday Topic: The Wisconsin Court System Website: What’s On It For Me?

Thursday, September 25, 8:30-Noon
Class: Wisconsin Legal Research in a Nutshell

Wednesday, October 1, 8:30-9:30 a.m.
WSLL Wednesday Topic: WSLL Web Tour

Thursday, October 23, 8:30-10:00 a.m.
Class: Internet Tips & Tricks

Wednesday, November 5, 8:30-9:30 a.m.
WSLL Wednesday Topic: Wisconsin Briefs Online

Wednesday, November 19, 8:30 a.m. – Noon
Class: Using Wisconsin Legal Resources on the Internet

Wednesday, December 3, 8:30-9:30 a.m.
WSLL Wednesday Topic: Help! I Need a Law Review Article

Wednesday, January 7, 2004, 8:30-9:30 a.m.
WSLL Wednesday Topic: Using at the State Law Library – How Does It Work?

 SPAM v. spam

What do you get when you cross a Rochester, MN food company that’s sold over 6 billion cans of luncheon meat since 1937, with a Seattle software company that specializes in blocking junk e-mail? A lawsuit, of course. Huh??

About six months ago, the software company Spam Arrest filed papers to trademark its name. The company specializes in blocking junk email, popularly known as spam. Hormel Foods, which manufactures SPAM luncheon meat, sent Spam Arrest a warning, telling them to drop the use of the trademark-protected name. But Spam Arrest refused, saying its use of the word has nothing to do with the luncheon meat. Hormel subsequently filed two legal challenges with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), arguing that it has carefully protected and invested in the brand name SPAM, that use of the name by other companies could potentially harm its business, and that the public could confuse the meat product with the technology company.

The case will be heard by the USPTO’s Trademark Trial and Appeals Board in Washington, D.C. So far no date has been set.

According to the July 1, 2003 Washington Post article reporting this story, (page E1), early Internet users coined the term spam to describe junk e-mail after a skit by the comedy group Monty Python. In the routine, a group of patrons at a restaurant chant the word “spam” in louder and louder volume, drowning out other conversation.

And speaking of food…

Nothing says Summer like a piece of sweet, juicy watermelon. What else does watermelon say? Check out for information about picking the ripest, juiciest watermelon, recipes, carving ideas, watermelon-themed items as well as watermelon history and trivia. You’ll also find resources for children, puzzles, video clips, events calendars for watermelon festivals, production statistics, and weekly tips promoting watermelon as a healthy food. Search the site using keywords, or browse by topic. Limited information about major watermelon varieties is available under "Festivals and Fun." Not too surprisingly, is produced by the National Watermelon Promotion Board. Happy Summer!

Ask a Librarian:  800-322-9755; 608-267-9696 (In Madison);
Library Hours/Locations:  WSLL (WI State Law Library), DCLL (Dane Co. Law Library), MLRC (Milwaukee Legal Resource Center)
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Connie Von Der Heide 608-267-2202 Comments welcome!