Wisconsin State Law Library

Serving the Wisconsin Supreme Court and State of Wisconsin

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WSLL @ Your Service   April 2004
An E-publication of the Wisconsin State Law Library

What's new -- Amy Crowder   Learn @ The Law Library

Guest Instructor at WSLL
Carol Bannen, Director of Information Resources at Reinhart, Boerner, Van Deuren S.C., in Milwaukee, was a guest instructor for the library’s recent computer class, Mining for Company Nuggets: Locating Corporate Information on the Internet. Carol demonstrated efficient methods for locating company background information, financial data, litigation history and more. Afterwards, several attendees said the 90-minute class was packed with useful information. Carol has also written an article appearing in the March issue ofWisconsin Lawyer, entitled Researching Individuals on the Internet. Thank you, Carol!

The Wisconsin Digital Library Conference
On March 24th, Elaine Sharp, Technical Services Librarian, and Amy Crowder, Web Resources Librarian, attended The Wisconsin Digital Library Conference: Bringing the Pieces Together. It featured several speakers from both established and new digitization projects, including the Mountain West Digital Library in Utah, the Colorado Digital Library , the Minnesota Digital Library Coalition, a collaboration between Marathon and Lincoln Counties in Wisconsin, and the University of Wisconsin Digital Collection.

The conference provided guidance on how to create a consortium, set and meet goals/objectives, the importance of standards and interoperability, developing a framework for digitization projects, and locating funding. The speakers stressed the importance of bringing together varied organizations, for example governmental bodies, museums, public radio stations, libraries, private collectors, genealogists, historical societies, and school districts. Cooperation and willingness amongst interested parties was a key theme throughout the day.

Based upon the other states' examples, conference attendees hope to bring the Wisconsin pieces together and create a one-stop access point to Wisconsin digital materials. Thoughts on how to move forward were elicited from the audience and a starting course of action was decided. Sally Drew, Director of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s Reference and Loan Library, volunteered to organize a planning committee and representatives of the Wisconsin Historical Society volunteered to identify organizations that might wish to participate.

Celebrate With Us!
Help us celebrate National Library Week April 19-23! We’re planning some fun activities, both online and in the library. Mark your calendar and check our website that week!


Upcoming Classes
On May 5 we’ll present Using Wisconsin Briefs Online and on June 2 join guest instructor Pete Cannon, Senior Legislative Analyst with the Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau, for a look at online legislative history research. A complete schedule of classes through early August, with registration information, is available on our Classes & Tours page.

Legal Research Tip o’ the Month
Q: Where can I locate Wisconsin Court of Appeals and Supreme Court opinions on the web?

A: Both the Wisconsin Court System and State Bar of Wisconsin websites provide free access to Supreme Court opinions dating from September 1995 and Court of Appeals opinions dating from June 1995. Opinions are available the day of release. Links to both sites appear on our Wisconsin Law page under Supreme Court and Court of Appeals. You can access opinions by docket number, party name or date. Keyword searching is also available.

If the only information you have is a Wisconsin Reports or North Western Reporter cite, and the opinion was issued mid-1995 or later, use the WSCCA.i database to access it. Enter the citation in the appropriate search boxes, and when the case summary displays, click on the History tab in the upper right corner. Find and click on the Supreme Court and/or Court of Appeals “Opinion” entry, and a “View Opinion” link will display in the shaded area below.

Lexisone.com provides free access to the latest 5 years’ worth of Wisconsin caselaw (currently back to 1998) and offers both credit card and subscription access to deeper databases. Westlaw offers similar credit card payment and subscription options, and Loislaw offers subscription access, a free trial and, at an additional cost, online access to many State Bar of Wisconsin CLE titles. The Wisconsin State Law Library and the Milwaukee and Dane County Legal Resource Centers provide free onsite access to Loislaw, and also to Shepard’s Public Access, which allows case retrieval by citation and options for printing, faxing or emailing the results. Users pay only for any printouts made.

The State Law Library also has print copies of all opinions issued by the Wisconsin Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, as well as other states’ appellate courts and the federal courts. Library users may make photocopies onsite, or we can send copies through our document delivery service. Our reference staff can also perform customized searches using the caselaw databases of LexisNexis and Westlaw. For more information on these services, see our Document Delivery webpage or contact our Reference Desk.

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

Poverty Guidelines
The 2004 guidelines were published in the February 13, 2004 issue of Federal Register (69 F.R. 7335). Present and past guidelines are available online.

"Trouble Ahead: Wisconsin's New Domestic Abuse Laws"
This Feb. 2004 Wisconsin Lawyer article discusses the expanded coverage of restraining orders and other domestic abuse-related changes made by 2001 Wis. Act 109. Read the article.

For links to addtional information and laws about domestic abuse, visit our Domestic Abuse page.

Medline Plus has created an index to hundreds of health-related topics. Each health topic has applicable subtopics which may include: Latest News, General/Overviews, Coping, Diagnosis/Symptoms, Prevention/Screening, Treatment, Alternative Therapy, Directories, Law and Policy, Organizations, Statistics, Research, etc. View All Health Topics index.

Medline Plus has also developed over 165 Interactive Health Tutorials. Visit tutorials.

Legal Topics A-Z
Our Legal Topics Index now contains links to over 250 topics., ranging from the expected (Bankruptcy, Contracts, Gaming, Insurance, Labor Law, Public Records, Search & Seizure, Social Security ) to the perhaps unexpected (Children Home Alone, Funerals, Home Ownership, Legislative Histories, Quotations, Statistics, Vital Records). Beneath the A-Z list you will find an annotated section, Additional Resources For Locating Topical Information. Browse list of topics.

Looking For a Summer Camp?
The American Camping Association's Finding a Camp webpage provides numerous ways of locating a camp for your family or child. You may search or browse by a particular activity, special need, cultural focus, organization affiliation, location, etc. Information is provided on topics such as selecting the right camp, preparing children for camp, dealing with homesickness, etc.

Three Simple Steps to Computer Security
The home computer is quickly becoming a focal point in many households; some have as many computers as television sets, and it’s not uncommon to hear people mention their home network. The availability of high speed and high tech features such as cable modems and wireless networking has turned many computer users into reluctant network administrators. What steps should computer users take to protect their home computers?

1. Update software on a regular basis. Hackers are always finding holes in operating systems and software. Manufacturers are continually releasing patches to plug those holes. Keep up to date with security fixes by visiting sites such as Microsoft’s Security and Privacy Homepage. See their article “Updating your Microsoft Software”. See also Mac’s OS X update page.

2. Install and update antivirus software. Many new computers come with antivirus software but it’s up to you to continue the subscription and establish an updating schedule. For a recent review on antivirus software options see PC World’s “Extra Suite Virus and Spam Protection” For free alternatives, see “Free Antivirus – Finally Ready for Primetime,” also from PC World.

3. Install a firewall. Firewalls are a must if you use an Internet connection that is always on, such as DSL or cable. See “Ultimate Network Security: Everything You Need to Know About Selecting and Installing a Firewall for Your PC or Network”.

For more information about security on your home computer or home network see CERT Coordination Center’s Home Network Security and Home Computer Security. See also How to Protect Your Home PC by Indiana University and Simple Steps to Protect Your PC by McAfee Security.

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


Odds 'n' Endings -- Connie Von Der Heide

Report it…All of it! In IRS Publication 525, Taxable and Nontaxable Income, the following item appears on page 28, under Other Income: “Illegal income, such as stolen or embezzled funds, must be included in your income on line 21 of Form 1040, or on Schedule C or Schedule C–EZ (Form 1040) if from your self-employment activity.”

Easter Sunday is April 11 this year, but next year it’s March 27, and in 2006 it’s April 16. The dates of Passover also change from year to year. Have you ever wondered why, or how the dates are determined? Find the answers at these U.S. Naval Observatory webpages for Easter and Passover.

On April 19, 1967, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr - aka "The Beatles" - signed a partnership deed agreeing that the group would continue for a (further) period of ten years. When The Beatles split up three years later, Paul applied to have the partnership terminated and a receiver appointed. Read a legal analysis of Paul McCartney’s 1970 lawsuit against John, George and Ringo.
(Source: “The Paper Chase” legal news service of JURIST)

Notables for April

April 2 International Children’s Book Day, celebrated annually since 1967, on or around Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday

April 15 Income Tax Day. Still need help with your return? Visit 1040 Central.

April 18-24 National Library Week, Administrative Professionals Week, and National TV Turnoff Week. Need a good book to replace your TV time? Remember our Prose and Cons Collection!

April 21 Administrative Professionals Day

April 22 International Special Librarians Day

April 26-30 Dane County Law Week 2004. Listings of events in Madison are available in the the April issue of DCLRC Docket and in the User Services section of the DCLRC website.


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

Connie Von Der Heide 608-267-2202 Comments welcome!