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WSLL @ Your Service   Mar. 2005
An E-publication of the Wisconsin State Law Library

This Just In... -- Pete Boll   Learn @ The Law Library -- Connie Von Der Heide

This month’s featured titles include:

NEW! The Winning Brief: 100 Tips for Persuasive Briefing in Trial and Appellate Courts, 2nd edition / Bryan A. Garner. Oxford University Press, 2004
Call Number KF 251 .G37 2004

Bryan Garner, editor of Black’s Law Dictionary, has put together 100 tips for writing clear, concise, and persuasive legal briefs. Some tips deal with major issues (eg., #8: Frame the deep issues at the outset, so that you meet the 90-second test); others are minor (#49: Strike pursuant to from your vocabulary). Thorough explanations and practical examples are given for each tip. Especially helpful are examples of a paragraph written without heeding Garner’s tips and the same paragraph using his tips. The author contends that using his tips will produce sentences and paragraphs that are more concise and easier to understand.

NEW EDITION! Cross-Examination: Science and Techniques, 2nd edition / Larry S. Pozner & Roger J. Dodd. LexisNexis, 2004
Call Number KF8920 .P68 2004

Since the publication of the first edition in 1993, trials and juries have changed substantially. Evolving admissibility standards and the Internet age pose new challenges for the cross-examiner. In analyzing thousands of new trial experiences, Pozner and Dodd present attorneys with efficient techniques to confront these challenges and ultimately develop new cross-examination skills critical to trial success. In this new Second Edition, the authors:

  • Demonstrate how opponents' objections can be the springboard for deeper and broader cross-examinations.
  • Show how cross-examination can be sequenced to teach the theory of the case in the best way, and to literally expand the rules of admissibility.
  • Explain how "loops" (the practice of incorporating and repeating key phrases and terms in successive questions to the witness) are used to rename witnesses and exhibits.
  • Describe the use of "double loops" to discredit opposing expert witnesses.

Upcoming Hands-On Classes

There are still a few spaces available in our April 20 class, Internet Tips & Tricks. If you’d like some useful tips and “tricks of the trade” for maximizing your web research time and skills, this class is for you. Learn the difference between search engines and directories, and how to use them to locate information quickly. Discover the secrets of the "invisible web." Track Wisconsin appellate dockets. Utilize free legal research sites. Save time and money, and let someone else do the work for you by using resources such as the State Law Library's web site as an Internet "legal yellow pages."

Summer and fall classes have now been scheduled! Topics include using Wisconsin Briefs Online, Conquering the Invisible Web, Using LegalTrac and HeinOnline to find online law reviews, Using the Internet for Background Checks and Public Records Research, and All About Blogs.

Complete information and registration forms for all of these classes are on our Classes & Tours webpage. Sign up today!

Research Tip o’ the Month: More WI Statutes Now Available Online

The Revisor of Statutes Bureau has just added several more years of older WI Statutes to its website. It is now possible to search and view editions going back to 1979-80. Many editions are available in both Folio and PDF formats; some are in just one format or the other. I contacted Bruce Hoesly, Deputy Revisor and Assistant Revisor of Statutes, who said the Bureau is currently scanning editions back to 1969-70 and plans to add those to the web in the next few months. Wisconsin Acts are already available back to 1969. To access these and many other online Wisconsin legal resources, use our Wisconsin Law & Government page.
Tech Tip in Brief -- Heidi Yelk Odds 'n' Endings -- Elaine Sharp

PowerPoint Pack and Go

Sometimes the hardest thing about giving a presentation is making sure the technology works. If you use PowerPoint for your presentations and often need to give those presentations on someone else’s computer, you may be interested in using PowerPoint’s Pack and Go Wizard feature.

This feature packs and compresses your entire slide show. If you are saving your show to the A:\ drive, you may need to use more than one floppy disc. The Wizard will walk you through the entire process and even offer to pack the Microsoft PowerPoint Viewer. This viewer can be critical if the computer you are using to present your slideshow does not have PowerPoint. To use Pack and Go, click on the file menu and choose “Pack and Go” from the drop down list.

When you arrive to give your presentation, you will need to “unpack” the slideshow by accessing your disc(s) and then clicking on the file labeled “Pngsetup.” This will unzip the file and copy it to a local or network drive. It’s a good idea to run through the pack and unpack process a few times on your own computer so you know what to expect.

Is the Floppy History?

Speaking of A:\ drives and floppy discs…. many computers sold today do not come with floppy drives. Writable CD and DVD drives are much more common. However, they don’t come with the ease of use afforded by the A:\ drive / floppy combination. A more promising alternative is the USB Flash drive (AKA thumb drive, pen drive, pocket drive, jump drive, etc.)

These small, portable, re-writable devices plug in to your computer’s USB port and serve as an additional drive for storage. Their capacity well surpasses that of the floppy disc. Users can purchase flash drives in a variety of shapes, colors, and capacity sizes. Approximately 50 million of these drives were sold last year. Strangely enough, there’s a USB Flash Drive Alliance to promote these devices. See their webpage for more information.

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


Did you know? "If you eat a meal in a Wisconsin restaurant today and want margarine instead of butter, you may have to ask for it—Wisconsin law forbids the substitution of margarine for butter in a public eating place. If you are a student, patient, or inmate in a state institution, you will be served butter with your meals unless a doctor says margarine is necessary for your health. When you shop for margarine in a Wisconsin supermarket, you must buy a whole pound colored a prescribed shade of yellow and labeled in letters of a specific size.…" For the complete story, read The "Oleo Wars": Wisconsin's Fight over the Demon Spread.

March is...

... National Women's History Month. This year's theme is Women Change America. Previous honorees include U.S. Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sandra Day O'Connor, Madison's Ada Deer (Indian Rights activist), as well as various educators, athletes, artists, scientists and activists. View list.

Notables for March

1 - In 1872 President Ulysses S. Grant signed the bill that established the Yellowstone region as our first national park. Source. Visit Yellowstone online.

4 - U.S. Constitution went into effect the first Wednesday of March in 1789. Source

6 - In 1857 the U.S. Supreme Court handed down their landmark Dred Scott Decision. For links to more information, visit the Dred Scott section of our Historic Documents page.

13-19 - Sunshine Week. Gov. Jim Doyle will support observance of this "...national effort to focus public attention on open government issues." See this Wisconsin News Association Bulletin.

20-26 - National Poison Prevention Week. "The President is requested to issue each year a proclamation designating the third week in March as National Poison Prevention Week..." 36 USC 130

26 - In 1790 an Act was passed providing the first rules for granting U.S. citizenship. More

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!