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

The WSLL Media Collection -- Amy Crowder

In response to user requests for more legal practice materials in audio and video formats, the Library recently purchased over 60 new multimedia titles. These new additions, along with over 230 media format titles already in the library collection, are now shelved together near the current periodical shelves. This newly arranged Media Collection contains substantive legal materials in DVD, CD, video and audiocassette formats. While this new arrangement allows for easy browsing, all titles are also searchable in the Library Catalog. Remember the Media Collection the next time you want an audio or video overview of a legal subject, or when you just need something to listen to during that long car trip.

Missed a CLE seminar? The Media Collection contains many of the latest State Bar of Wisconsin seminars on audiocassette, as well as American Bar Association CLE programs in both audio and video formats. CLE titles recently added to the Media Collection include Basic Step-By-Step Estate Planning; GAL Training; Handling a Basic Divorce; McElhaney's Deposition Notebook; and Making the Oral Argument. Check out these and other legal seminar materials to learn on your own time and at your own pace.

The Library recently purchased a new television with a combination DVD/VHS player, on which library users may view library videos and DVD’s or their own legal materials. The TV is located in User Workroom no. 1 on the 2nd floor. Stop at the Circulation Desk to sign out the room key.

Multimedia items may also be borrowed for one week, the same as most other library materials. And remember, if you’re a Wisconsin-licensed attorney and can’t come to the library, for a nominal fee you may borrow materials through our Circulation By Mail service. Just search the Library Catalog, select the materials you want, call our toll-free number and we’ll mail your selections to you. Most materials borrowed by mail have a 3-week loan period.

Several staff members spent many hours on the Media Collection project, but special thanks go to one person in particular. Rachel Holtan, whose desk was at times completely surrounded by cartloads of media titles, tirelessly scraped off the old call number labels and retyped and affixed new ones. She then placed the items into individual cases and arranged them in the new Media Collection area. Rachel, you deserve a standing ovation! (But we won’t make you do an encore!)


Prose & Cons Videos Also Relocated

In addition to arranging the new Media Collection, we've relocated the Prose & Cons feature film videos and DVDs into new display racks near the Media Collection. The Prose & Cons Collection is comprised of legal fiction relating to courts and the criminal justice system and is supported solely by donations. Books in this collection remain on shelves near the Rare Book Room on 3rd floor. The next time you want some light legal viewing, pick up a selection in our Prose & Cons Collection. And please remember to donate your gently used books, tapes, and videos.

This Just In... -- Pete Boll   Tech Tip in Brief -- Heidi Yelk

This month’s column features just a few of the 60 new titles in our Media Collection.

NEW ON DVD! Advanced Cross-Examination Techniques / by Larry Pozner and Roger Dodd. LexisNexis, 2004
Call Number KF 8920.P68 A3 2004

This DVD illustrates many of the techniques described in the best selling book Cross-Examination: Science and Techniques, 2 nd edition. Key factors to successful cross-examinations, such as voice inflection, word emphasis, body language, and facial expressions are visually demonstrated. The DVD also features scene selection, seminar materials, and a PowerPoint presentation. Pozner and Dodd also provide valuable information on the important considerations of a successful cross-examination, often times the turning point in a trial. These considerations include:

  • The 4 Principles of Cross-examination
  • The Only 3 Rules of Cross-examination
  • The Chapter Method
  • Database Investigation of Witnesses, Jurors, and Experts
  • Page Preparation
  • Cross-examination Sequences
  • Loops, Multi Loops, and Spontaneous Loops
  • Controlling the Runaway Witness, and more.

NEW ON AUDIO CD! 171 Ways to Improve Your Discovery Techniques: A Treasury of Ideas from Leaders in the Section of Labor and Employment Law / American Bar Association, 2003
Call Number KF 8900 .W25 2003

This 3 CD set, compiled by the CLE committee of the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law, gives practical ways to improve discovery techniques as suggested by a group of experienced employment lawyers from across the country. The committee contends that a good discovery plan is the key to winning cases while a poor discovery plan can throw an entire case off course. Discovery topics include:

  • Informal Discovery and Investigation
  • Declarations and Affidavits
  • Documents and Requests for Production
  • Interrogatories and Requests for Admissions
  • Medical Exams and Medical Records
  • Depositions
  • Preparing the Plaintiff for the Deposition
  • Deposing the Plaintiff
  • Deposing Defense Witnesses
  • Rule 30(b)(6) Depositions
  • Documents at Deposition
  • Video Depositions
  • After-Acquired Evidence
  • Planning Discovery
  • Dealing with the Obstructive Opponent
  • Losing a Case in Discovery: Mistakes to Avoid

NEW ON AUDIO-TAPE! Build Your Practice: Basic Step-by-Step Estate Planning State Bar of Wisconsin, CLE Seminars, 2005
Call Number KFW 2540 .B25 2005

One of the latest titles in the State Bar’s popular Build Your Practice series, this 4 cassette seminar provides an introduction to the fundamentals of estate planning, including the most effective methods to draft wills, use trusts, and manage tax liabilities. Topics include:

  • Advance Health Care Directives
  • Marital Property Agreements
  • Powers of Attorney
  • Drafting a Basic Will
  • Types of trusts and Their Unique Functions
  • Taxation of Estates and Trusts
  • Avoiding Guardianships
  • Ethical issues Unique to the Estate Planning Practice

Check our library catalog for availability of these or other materials you may need. For additional assistance, please contact our Reference Desk.

Foreign File Formats: How to Handle Incompatible Files

File formats abound on computers and the Internet. Familiar formats such as .doc and .wpd (Microsoft Word document and WordPerfect document) are often easy to open and work with. Other formats, such as .max and .ppt (Paperport and PowerPoint) are seen less frequently and may be difficult to open without a compatible program. How do you deal with an unfamiliar file format? What do you do when you don’t have the correct application to open the file?

File format differences often occur when people from different organizations exchange documents via email. One firm uses Word, the other uses WordPerfect. The problem also surfaces between home and office. You have Microsoft Word at work but Microsoft Works at home. There are several effective strategies for dealing with “foreign” file formats.

Use Save As… When using a word processing program such as Word, you have the option of saving the file in many different file formats. If you know the Word document you are creating will be sent to a computer that does not have Microsoft Word, save the file in a different format. On the FILE menu, choose “save as” and change the file type in the pull down menu labeled “Save as type.” Your choices include Rich Text Format, Works, WordPerfect, Text Only, and much more. A file saved in Rich Text Format is compatible with most word processing programs.

Take a Guess… If you are the recipient of a file and you are not sure which program will open it, try to determine the type of document (word processed document, spreadsheet) and then use the appropriate program on your computer. With email attachments, it may help to first save the file to your computer (right mouse click on the attachment and choose “save as”), then open the application and browse to the saved attachment using the program’s File menu and Open option. WARNING: Before opening or saving any file, be sure to run a virus check! Quite often, current versions of Microsoft Word or WordPerfect will automatically open and convert files created in other word processing programs. For a list of common file extensions, see this page from the University of Louisiana. For a more extensive list, see this ace.net file format collection.

Use a (FREE) Viewer… Not all computers have programs such as Excel or PowerPoint. If yours does not, you can still view files created in Excel (.xls) or PowerPoint (.ppt) You simply need to download a free viewer, which will allow you to open and view the file but not make changes to it. To download a free viewer, see Microsoft’s File Converters and Viewers page.

Using the Library’s CD-ROM Collection

Speaking of file formats, the library’s media collection includes a host of CD-ROMs that utilize a variety of programs and file formats. How do you know your computer has what it takes to use these CD-ROMs?

First, check the CD-ROM container. Most CD-ROMs have “System Requirements” printed on the jacket. These requirements usually include operating system specifications, RAM and hard drive space. The programs needed to run the CD-ROM may also be listed.

Then, check your computer. On a Windows PC, the operating system information can be found in the “About Windows” dialogue box. One way to locate this is to right mouse click on the Start button and choose Open. Under the “Help” pull down menu, click on “About Windows.”

To find RAM information, again using a Windows PC, right mouse click on the “My Computer” desktop icon and choose Properties. Information under the General tab should show the amount of RAM. To view available hard drive space, open “My Computer” again and click on the C drive. The left side of the window should show a pie chart and indicate the amount of available space.

You may also need to verify whether you have the programs necessary to view the files on the CD-ROM. If a program listed on a CD-ROM is not in your Programs Menu (go to Start Þ Programs to see the list), you may have to download it from the Internet. Many of our CD-ROMs use free programs such as Adobe Acrobat Reader and QuickTime. For download links, see this free plug-in list maintained by North Harris College.

If the CD-ROM still won’t work, you might need to contact a technical support specialist, usually available through your computer vendor.

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

Odds 'n' Endings -- Julie Tessmer

Remember the Eight Track tape? Although it had a short commercial life, it paved the way for the portable listening devices in use today. The technology that led to the development of the eight track tape started in the labs of William Powell Lear, who dropped the project to concentrate on building the Learjet. For more on the history of the Eight Track tape see this recording-history.org page.

Here are descriptions of the different formats you’ll find in our Media Collection:

Tape cassettes date back over 100 years. Valdemar Poulsen developed the magnetic sound recording tape in the 1890s.

CD-ROM stands for Compact Disc - Read Only Memory. CD-ROMs can hold 650MB of data or 681,984,000 bytes. This translates to 250,000 pages of text or 20,000 medium-resolution images. In comparison, a 3.5 inch diskette holds about 1.44 MB of data. Remember when that was considered a lot?!

VHS is an acronym for Video Home System, a format introduced by JVC in 1976 to compete with Sony's Betamax format, introduced a year earlier. Betamax has of course gone the way of the Eight Track tape.

DVD stands for Digital Video Disc. This format was first introduced in U.S. markets in 1997.

Notables for September

OCLC, the worldwide library cooperative, recently announced the addition of the one-billionth library holding to its WorldCat database. The holding was added to the title “The Monkees: The Day-by-Day Story of the 1960’s Pop Sensation.”

September is Library Card Sign-Up Month, an annual event sponsored by the American Library Association.

2 - On this date in 1789, Congress enacted a law creating the Treasury Department, the second oldest department in the Federal Government.

5 - Labor Day was declared a U.S. national holiday by Congress in 1894.

17 - The members of the1787 Constitutional Convention signed the final draft of the Constitution.

30 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the Hoover Dam in 1935. Read the story of Hoover Dam.

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!