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WSLL @ Your Service   June, 2005
An E-publication of the Wisconsin State Law Library

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

For 411, plz c b lo (or, Deciphering a Text Message from your 12-year-old)

Remember back to your playground days, when it seemed the height of cleverness (and decorum) to say “XYZ, PDQ!” This phrase, of course, was reserved for only one particular embarrassing situation and a kid was lucky if s/he was able to use it once or maybe twice a year.

Today’s kids, however, use slang and clever acronyms on a daily basis. Instant messaging on the Internet and text messaging with cell phones has spawned what seems like a whole new language, one that is often beyond the comprehension of the non-techie and un-cool (i.e. the parents).

Luckily, for the latter, there are Internet sites that decipher these trendy acronyms, such as C-P (cross post), LOL (laughing out loud, lots of luck, lots of love) and IANAL (I am not a lawyer). Netlingo.com is one of the best. Started in 1995 by Erin Jansen, Netlingo.com tracks and compiles lingo used on the Internet. The site also includes definitions and explanations of computer and Internet terms or phrases, such as the “blue screen of death” and “forced coolness.” There is a strong emphasis on IT business terms, such as “contextual-based advertising” and “Internet Protocol Television.” For those interested in the very latest trends in net lingo, the site also offers a free monthly newsletter.

Other resources for Internet slang include whatis.com (heavily geared towards information technology professionals), Webopedia.com, and Wikipedia’s Internet slang page.

Still stumped by that message in the title? It says, “For information, please see below.”

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


Upcoming Classes & Tours

Summer is a great time to visit the State Law Library for a guided tour and orientation to the library’s resources and services. To schedule your law office, agency or organization for a one-hour orientation session, please contact Connie Von Der Heide, 608-267-2202 or connie.vonderheide@wicourts.gov

Spaces are still available in our August through November hands-on legal research classes. Join us on August 10 when guest instructor Bonnie Shucha, UW Law Library, will present Conquering the Invisible Web. Our September 14 class, Using LegalTrac and HeinOnLine, will teach you how to use these two databases to locate law review articles more efficiently. And in October and November we’re offering two more new classes. Using the Internet for Background Checks and Public Records Research is scheduled for October 12, and on November 2 Bonnie Shucha will return to present All about Blogs: Using Blogs for Current Awareness and Communication. For complete class descriptions and registration forms, please visit our Classes & Tours webpage.

Legal Research Tip o’ the Month

Q. Where can I find Wisconsin Jury Instructions on the web?

A. Wisconsin Jury Instructions are commercially published, copyrighted material. Therefore, they are not freely available on the web. They are also not available on Westlaw or Lexis. Jury instructions are available in both print and CD-ROM formats at the Wisconsin State Law Library, Milwaukee Legal Resource Center, Dane County Legal Resource Center, UW Law Library and Marquette Law Library. The Wisconsin State Law Library, UW Law Library and Marquette Law Library also have print copies of older, superseded Wisconsin Jury Instructions on file.

If you would like to obtain copies of selected Wisconsin Jury Instructions through our document delivery service, please contact the Reference Desk.

If you are interested in purchasing a set of Wisconsin Jury Instructions, cost and ordering information is available on the webpage of the publisher, Continuing Legal Education for Wisconsin (CLEW).

This Just In... -- Pete Boll Odds 'n' Endings -- Elaine Sharp

This month’s featured titles include:

NEW! School Violence: From Discipline to Due Process / James C. Hanks, Ed. American Bar Association, 2004
Call Number KF 4159 .S364 2004

Published by the ABA Section of State and Local Government Law, this book is a comprehensive review of major legal issues relating to school violence. It provides important and useful guidance for dealing with these very timely issues. Topics include: student violence and harassment, weapons in schools, searching students in schools, zero tolerance policies, due process for students, threats and threatening communications at school, school liability, and much more.

NEW! Creating Winning Trial Strategies and Graphics / G. Christopher Ritter. American Bar Association, 2004
Call Number KF 8915 .Z9 R58 2004

This book reveals how to create compelling graphics to strengthen a case and make a courtroom presentation more persuasive. This colorful, easy to read guide explains how the rules of evidence apply to trial graphics and what kind of graphics work best, along with the steps for simplifying the case by filtering out what is distracting or unimportant. According to Ritter, graphics are invaluable in clarifying and developing essential themes so jurors can effectively evaluate, retain, and understand complex issues.

UPDATED! Construction Litigation: Representing the Owner. 2nd edition / Robert F. Cushman, Kenneth M. Cushman and Stephen B. Cook. Aspen Publishers, 1998 (2005 supplement)
Call Number KF 902 .B84 C66 1990 / supp. 2005

Part of Aspen Publishing’s Construction Law Library, this book is a comprehensive resource written by nationally recognized construction litigators, who examine each segment of the construction process. The authors describe how owners can best avoid costly and time-consuming litigation and, if necessary, how to best protect themselves if litigation becomes unavoidable.

Highlights of the 2005 supplement include:

  • The importance of clarity in drafting contract provisions, plans, and specifications to avoid change and differing site condition claims
  • The necessity of complying with contract notice and claim presentation requirements as a condition of entitlement to additional compensation for work performed
  • The liability of a lender for construction defects
  • The use of insurance and contractual risk management mechanisms
  • The contractor’s liability for defective construction and the owner’s remedies
  • The liability of various parties for faulty direction of contractors and subcontractors
Check our library catalog for availability of these or other materials you may need. For additional assistance, please contact our Reference Desk.

Have you some books needing repair? This recent Capital Times article about Monona-based Grimm Book Bindery might be of interest: Grimm Fairy Tale: 5th Generation Keeps Book Bindery Humming.

Wondering whether the Wisconsin Lawyer might have an article on your topic? Browse their article index.

Need to park on the Capitol Square? Madison has 27 new parking spots on the Square. To locate additional downtown parking, as well as WSLL, view this map.

June is...

... Dairy Month. See this list of activities happening in various Wisconsin counties throughout the month, and don’t miss Madison's own "Cows on the Concourse" on June 11.

Notables for June

4 - National Trails Day. Spend the day exploring some of Wisconsin's many hiking and biking trails.

5 - World Environment Day. Sponsored annually by the United Nations Environment Programme, this year's theme/slogan is Green Cities: Plan for the Planet! Are you researching an environmental law issue? Find links to related Wisconsin and federal laws in "The Law" section of our Environmental Law page.

12 - In Loving v. Virginia (1967), the U.S. Supreme Court struck down state laws that prohibited interracial marriages. At the time, Virginia was one of 16 states having such laws. Source

13 - The U.S. Supreme Court released its decision in Miranda v. Arizona (1966), which held that police must advise suspects of their rights when taking them into custody. View case abstract and access additional resources including the full opinion, oral argument, etc.

19 - The Statue of Liberty arrived in New York City aboard the French ship Isere in 1885. Source

21 - Lizzie Borden was found innocent of the axe murders of her father and stepmother by a New Bedford, Massachusetts jury in 1893. The published proceedings of her trial are part of the Library's collection of trials. View a partial list of our trial collection or search our library catalog for others.

25 – The first-ever minimum hourly wage was set at $.25 by a federal law, the Fair Labor Standards Act, ch. 676, 52 Stat. 1060 (1938). To see how the minimum wage has changed over time, view this history table. In recent local news, the City of Madison's minimum wage ordinance, which increased the wage to $5.70 for regular employees, was upheld by a Dane County Circuit Court decision.

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!