Wisconsin State Law Library

Serving the Wisconsin Supreme Court and State of Wisconsin

Skip to content

Website Catalog

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

What's New -- Amy Crowder   WSLL Web -- Elaine Sharp

A Better Way of Searching

Keyword searching has been enhanced in the Library Catalog! Now, even more of the descriptive areas of our catalog records are keyword searchable, such as authors and subject headings. And, as we add new titles to the catalog we’re including table of contents information, which is also keyword searchable.

Two kinds of keyword searching are available. A Basic search allows you to enter one or more words and search the entire catalog. With Advanced searching, you can also set limits up front to search by specific material types, locations or publication years. All of these features work together to give you greater control over your searching and results that are more on point. Use the examples provided on each page as a guide for setting up your search strategy.

The next time you use the catalog, give the new Keyword Search a try. We think you’ll like it! If you have any questions, please contact our Reference Staff for assistance.

New Titles

WSLL has recently acquired several new titles that may be of interest to you. All titles are listed in our online catalog. Check there for availability, and contact our Reference Staff if you are interested in borrowing any of them.

Becoming a Mediator: Your Guide to Career Opportunities by Peter Lovenheim & Emily Doskow. Nolo, 2004.

The Commercial Lease Formbook: Expert Tools for Drafting and Negotiation by Dennis M. Horn, editor. ABA Section of Real Property, Probate, and Trust Law, 2004.

A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting by Kenneth A. Adams. ABA Section of Business Law, 2004.

Risks, Reputations, and Rewards: Contingency Fee Legal Practice in the United States by Herbert M. Kritzer. Stanford University Press, 2004.

Should You Really Be a Lawyer?: the Guide to Smart Career Choices Before, During & After Law School by Deborah Schneider. DecisionBooks, 2005.

Working Together: State and Tribal Court Jurisdiction Under Public Law 280 sponsored by The Wisconsin Tribal Judges' Association. 2004


WSLL Homepage Has a New Look!

We've made some changes to our homepage and we hope you'll find the new look more attractive, more informative and easier to use. For those of you who haven't had a chance to visit in person, we’ve added a photo of the Reading Room so you can now get at least a glimpse of our beautiful library.

The top navigation bar has been shifted left so that Quick Links is now directly above Legal Topics. Quick Links provides one-click access to Wisconsin Statutes, Administrative Code, Circuit Court Records, Ordinances, State Agencies, U.S. Code, Code of Federal Regulations, and more. If you know which resource you need, use Quick Links to get there fast.

The top navigation bar also includes a new selection called E-Resources. E-Resources highlights the subscription resources we provide free of charge to in-Library users. (Please note: Access is free; printouts are 15 cents per page plus tax.) Did you know you can come here and search state and federal court opinions, statutes, administrative codes, Wisconsin CLE books and more, all at no charge? You can also Shepardize citations to caselaw, statutes and other legal writings, search full-text law reviews, and use subject-specific databases--again, free of charge. Several E-Resources, such as LegalTrac and BadgerLink, are also available to qualified remote users. And to give you some how-to help, we’ve included links to user guides where available.

Legal Topics, now in a separate box on the left, provides a subject approach to almost 300 different topics. Each one includes links to law-related information from authoritative organizations, associations and government agencies, and many topics also include a section called "The Law" containing links to related Wisconsin and federal statutes and regulations.

Immediately below Legal Topics you will find the links for our Wisconsin Law, Federal Law, State Law and Tribal Law pages. These are your pathways to free primary law and governmental resources.

On the right side of our homepage, we’ve made a few changes in the User Services box. The Special Collections link still takes you to a complete list, but just below that we now provide direct links to two of the most popular ones, the Briefs (Wisconsin Supreme Court and Court of Appeals) and the Judicial Council Collection.

We hope you’ll take a moment to check out these improvements and let us know what you think!

Learn @ The Law Library -- Connie Von Der Heide   Tech Tip in Brief -- Heidi Yelk

Fall Classes are Nearly Full, Register Today!

Our fall classes are almost full, but you can still get a seat in the December 7 class, Using Wisconsin Legal Resources on the Internet. This half day class focuses entirely on locating and using web-based Wisconsin legal and government information, including statutes, regulations, caselaw and much more. It is appropriate for attorneys, paralegals, and legal assistants, and anyone who wants to improve their Wisconsin legal research skills. CLE credits will be applied for. For more information about this and our spring line-up of classes, and to obtain a registration form, please visit our Classes & Tours webpage.

Legal Research Tip O’ The Month: A Handy List of Legislative History Sources

Appellate court opinions are excellent sources of legislative history in and of themselves, but a recent Wisconsin Supreme Court opinion goes one step further: it includes a list of the sources commonly used in researching Wisconsin legislative history.

In the decision Kalal v. Dane County (02-2490-W, 2004 WI 58, 271 Wis. 2d 633, 681 N.W.2d 110, May 25, 2004) Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson wrote a concurring opinion in which she included a “nonexhaustive list of various forms of ‘history’ that have been and will be helpful in interpreting a statute.” If you’ve been looking for a handy legislative history research checklist, here it is, beginning in paragraph 69.


Annual Computer Security Day

Computer Security Day is November 30th. This annual observation was started in 1988 with a goal to remind computer users to protect their computers and information. If you’ve been avoiding various computer maintenance / security chores, you might consider marking November 30th as a day to tackle your “to do” list. For example:

For more information, see the Association for Computer Security Day.

Quick Tips for Internet Explorer users

  • The backspace button on your key board will take you back to the previous page.
  • To search from your address bar type go, find or ? and then the search terms, click enter or go to search the web.
  • Move your cursor to the Address Bar by pressing Alt-D.
  • Ctrl-D will instantly save a website to your Favorites.
  • Use the Page Down key on your keyboard to move quickly down a webpage.

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

Reader Comments

In the past several months we’ve received many positive comments about the newsletter, and we’d like to share some of them. Thank you all very much for taking the time to send us your feedback, and for your continued interest and support! – Connie Von Der Heide, editor

“These newsletters keep improving and I find them very helpful. Every time I read them, I become aware of a new legal source.” -- Carolyn Jarrett, Wis. Dept. of Health & Family Services

“…I really enjoy receiving the newsletter -- it reaches out more than you may realize. I showed the challenged books information from the September newsletter to my 13 year old, who then spent quite a bit of time checking out the whole WSLL website and the issue of censorship. He printed the list and took it to school the next day to discuss in social studies. We had a good discussion about freedoms, etc. on the home front, too.” – Anonymous, Wisconsin Court System employee

Odds 'n' Endings -- Julie Tessmer

November brings dropping temperatures, leaves to rake and squirrels hurrying to bury nuts. There are 5 species of tree squirrels that live in Wisconsin: gray squirrel, fox squirrel, red squirrel, and two species of flying squirrels. Read more about our furry friends.

Notables for November

November 2: Election Day. The 2000 Presidential election wasn’t the first to have a delayed outcome. The race between Democratic candidate Samuel J.Tilden and Republican candidate Rutherford B. Hayes was not decided until March 2, 1877, which was just three days before the inauguration. The “Compromise of 1877” finally resulted in Hayes being elected president. For details about this and other close races see http://www.infoplease.com/spot/closerace1.html

November 11: Veterans’ Day. On November 11, 1918 the Allies and the Germans signed an Armistice ending World War I. Congress declared November 11th as a legal holiday in 1926 (44 Stat. 1982). A decade later, an Act (52 Stat. 351) designated the holiday be dedicated to the cause of world peace and be celebrated as "Armistice Day. " In 1938, an Act changed the title from “Armistice Day” to “Veterans’ Day.” And finally in 1954, Public Law 380 amended the holiday to be a day to honor American veterans of all wars. For more information on Veterans’ Day see http://www1.va.gov/vetsday/

November 25: Thanksgiving Day. The exact date of the First Thanksgiving is not known, but it is generally thought to have occurred between September 21 and November 9, 1621. The first national celebration of Thanksgiving was declared in 1777 by the Continental Congress. This was not an annual event. The Thanksgiving holiday we celebrate today was declared in 1863. For more interesting Thanksgiving Day trivia see http://americanhistory.about.com/library/blthanksgiving.htm

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!