Wisconsin State Law Library

Serving the Wisconsin Supreme Court and State of Wisconsin

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December 14, 2018

Bill of Rights Day on December 15

On December 15, 1791, the first ten amendments to the Constitution were ratified. Mark this anniversary with the U.S. Courts' short video on the Separation of Powers.

According to their website, "Court Shorts: Separation of Powers is being released in conjunction with Bill of Rights Day, Dec. 15, the day in 1791 that the first 10 amendments to the Constitution were ratified. As the video illustrates, all three branches play a role in preserving constitutional liberties."



Learn more about the video, and the Court Shorts educational series, with the U.S. Court's blog post on Judges: Separation of Powers Protects Bill of Rights.

December 4, 2018

WSLL @ Your Service December 2018

The December issue of WSLL @ Your Service is now online. Your comments are welcome! Please direct them to the editor, Carol Hassler.

In this issue: 

Join us for our Winter Open House

On Wednesday, December 12, take a break from your day to head over to our open house at the David T. Prosser Jr. Library. From 3:00 to 4:30, enjoy sweet and savory refreshments in the relaxing atmosphere of our reading room. Read more

What's new in online research

Digital collections are an integral part of our services to you and we're happy to report several updates. Read more


New books

This month's featured new books are Long-Term Care: How to Plan & Pay for it and Bankruptcy Issues for State Trial Court Judges. Be sure to check out the complete December new book list for all our new titles. Read more

Tech tip

HeinOnline has introduced new search syntax options for searching the law journal library. Searching for terms within the same sentence, paragraph, or segment is now possible with proximity operators. Read more

Library news

Conference updates, After Hours registration, and classes for 2019. Read more



December snapshot

Enjoy a little light during these shorter days! Our reading room and service desks are decorated with lit displays of silver baubles and pine cones. Read more


Read the full newsletter at: http://wilawlibrary.gov/newsletter/1812.html

November 26, 2018

Join us for our Winter Open House

Please join us for our Winter Open House on Wednesday, December 12! 
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Please join Wisconsin State Law Library staff for card & tabletop games* and light appetizers.
*Exploding Kittens, Euchre, Uno, Connect Four, Jenga, Blink, Coup & more

Wednesday, December 12
3:00-4:30 p.m.
Reading Room
David T Prosser Jr State Law Library
120 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd

November 23, 2018

Use the library after hours

Would you like the convenience of using the State Law Library later in the evening or on weekends? You can - by becoming an After Hours subscriber. Subscribe now to enjoy a full year of library access at times convenient for you.


After Hours users can read and check out books, use our public computers and databases - including Westlaw and HeinOnline, make photocopies, and enjoy a quiet space for research and study.

A calendar-year subscription includes access to the library from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, and a key fob for convenient entry into the building. New subscribers will gain access from the time they subscribe to the end of the 2018 calendar year. Subscribe now and save!

November 19, 2018

Libraries closed for holiday

All three library locations will be closed on Thanksgiving - Thursday, November 22nd.

The Dane County Law Library and the Milwaukee County Law Library will remain closed on Friday, November 23rd. The David T. Prosser Jr. State Law Library will be open on Friday, November 23rd.

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Call the Reference Desk at 608-267-9696 and leave a voicemail, or Ask a Librarian online while we are closed. We will respond to you the next business day.

November 6, 2018

CBD Oil and Industrial Hemp (Update)

The sale and possession of CBD oil is a frequent question we get at the library. We've included several sources below to help you with your research.
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Wisconsin sources

The WI Dept. of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection has information on the industrial hemp program on their Wisconsin DATCP Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program website. This page includes FAQs and other information.

Wisconsin statute 961.38 discusses cannabidiol. Read Wisconsin Legislative Council Act Memo: Possession of Cannabidoil (CBD) which affected possession and distribution of CBD and the act memo for 2017 Wisconsin Act 100 which relates to industrial hemp.

Wisconsin statute index listings for "hemp" and "cannabidiol":
The Wisconsin Controlled Substances Board administers sections of chapter 961 of the Wisconsin Statutes.

Federal Sources

The US Department of Agriculture has a page on industrial hemp, which discusses section 7606 of the 2014 Farm Bill. Information on the pending 2018 Farm Bill, H.R. 2 can be found online.

Other Sources

November 2, 2018

Vote on November 6

Tuesday, November 6th is the midterm election. If you're not registered yet then you can do so at the polls (or head to your municipal clerk's office before the end of the day today - Friday, November 2). All voters must provide a Proof of Residence document when registering to vote in-person in the clerk’s office, or at the polls on Election Day.

In-person absentee voting days and hours depends on your city, village, or town. Check your municipal clerk's office for information on absentee voting days and hours. In-person absentee voting may extend through November 4.

Most voters are required to show an acceptable photo ID. Learn more about what's accepted here: https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/PhotoIDRequired

See your ballot, find your polling place, and check your voter registration status at https://myvote.wi.gov.

November 1, 2018

WSLL @ Your Service November 2018

The November issue of WSLL @ Your Service is now online. Your comments are welcome! Please direct them to the editor, Carol Hassler.

In this issue:

 Researching verdicts and settlements

Trial decisions and settlements can be difficult to find. The sources for verdicts and settlements in this article are available for use in our library. Read more






State and local governments collect and manage so much data (often behind the scenes). One such treasure trove is traffic counts at the street level. Read more



We have a full list of news to share, including new staff in Milwaukee, classes, holidays, and our open house. Read more



The Palazza di Giustizia houses the Italian Supreme Court of Cassation and the Judicial Public Library. Read more

October 1, 2018

WSLL @ Your Service October 2018

The October issue of WSLL @ Your Service is now online. Your comments are welcome! Please direct them to the editor, Carol Hassler.

Six sources we love (Part 2)
We share more of our favorite research sources you can access with your library card. Read more

New books

Tech tip
We’re always on the lookout for free and useful technology tools. We review ilovepdf.com, which we recently began using in the library. Read more

Local government research guide
We've compiled sources in our library and online for researching municipal law questions. Read more

Library news
This issue includes staff news, September blog posts, and your last chance to sign up for fall classes! Read more

October snapshot
The "Golden Bucky" was spotted in September during the Wisconsin Ironman competition in Madison. Read more

September 25, 2018

Financial preparation and natural disasters

Natural disasters crop up unexpectedly, and create financial burdens in their wake. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently released a dedicated guide for individuals preparing, recovering, or rebuilding after disasters and emergencies.
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This guide focuses on managing your finances during or after an emergency. It features articles and links to guides on topics like foreclosure relief, FEMA financial aid, flood insurance, and more.

Learn how to plan your finances and save money for emergencies that may arise in the future.

If you're dealing with the aftermath of a natural disaster read about how to prevent fraud. This page also includes tips for working with contractors and insurance companies.

September 24, 2018

Wisconsin Legislative journals

Assembly and Senate journals can provide insight into past legislatures, as well as open a wonderful window to Wisconsin's history.

The David T. Prosser Jr. Library - our main library - has the journals in microfiche from 1848-1995 and print journals from 1836-1927. The Wisconsin State Law Library also provide easy online access from 1854-1981 to all of our library cardholders through LLMC Digital.

LLMC Digital allows you to search the full text of Senate and Assembly journals, as well as browse through them by year and volume. The journals include roll call data, motions, votes, statements, and speeches on bills from each chamber.

Older volumes may also include letters, committee reports, and financial records. Speeches and presentations preserved in the journals provide valuable insight into Wisconsin's past, such as this excerpt from the 1849 Senate Journal. In this report from the State Library committee, F. A. Sprague makes the case for the addition of a law library to the State Library collection and services. This law library would later become the State Law Library.


"A Law Library, containing the best elementary works not only upon the Common Law of England upon which our statutes are based, but also treatises upon the civil law, in the opinion of your committee, is a matter of very great importance to the State of Wisconsin. It would afford most important facilities to practitioners in our Supreme Court - it would be of great convenience to our Supreme Court Judges; and from these considerations it is evident that it would assist materially in the enlightened dispensation of justice..."
Our library has Wisconsin Legislative journals in the following formats. Ask a librarian for help!

Online
LLMC 1854-1981
Legislature website 1981 to current session
HathiTrust & Google (some)

David T. Prosser Jr. Library
Microfiche 1848- 1995*
Paper in Compact Storage 1836-1927
*1836-1847 in paper only

September 18, 2018

Job posting: Library Associate (Milwaukee)

The Milwaukee County Law Library (MCLL) located in the Milwaukee County Courthouse is seeking candidates for a Library Associate Limited Term Employment (LTE) position. The MCLL is a branch of the Wisconsin State Law Library.

This position is approximately 24 hours a week between the hours of 8:00 AM and 4:30 PM, 8 hour shifts on selected week days. 40 total hours during a two-week pay period. Hourly wage is $14.70/hour.

Duties include assisting library users in person and on the phone, processing new materials, filing and shelving library materials, assisting with maintenance of the judges' print collections, and maintaining equipment and supplies.

Highly qualified candidates will have excellent customer service skills, cash handling experience, be able to work independently, manage and complete projects on time, and be able to follow directions.

This would be a great position for someone interested in a library or legal career. Enrollment in a library program is preferred.

To be considered, submit a cover letter and resume by e-mail clearly stating your qualifications and week days available to Jennifer.Waite@wicourts.gov. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. No phone calls please.

The Wisconsin Court System is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified applicants who request them.

September 17, 2018

Welcome new lawyers!

This month new attorneys are being admitted to the Wisconsin State Bar. Welcome new lawyers! We can help you check out library materials, log in to legal research databases, and help you with other legal research questions.

Here's what you can do with a Wisconsin State Law Library card: 

Check out library books and videos at our 3 libraries in Madison & Milwaukee or by mail. Delivery by mail is available to residents outside of Dane and Milwaukee counties.

Renew books at wilawlibrary.gov/renew or call 608-266-1600. Items can be renewed once. Return at any of our 3 libraries in Madison & Milwaukee or by mail.

Log in to read full text articles and primary law in HeinOnline, Index to Legal Periodicals, & more. (Only cardholders in firms with fewer than 25 attorneys may log in to HeinOnline.)

Get cases & forms emailed to you, KeyCite & Shepard's reports, and copies from library-use-only items. Ask us for help borrowing items from other libraries.

Visit the library on your schedule with our After Hours subscription access. Sign up to use the library before we open, after we close, and on weekends and holidays.

Read our newsletter and blog on our website and follow us on online for community and timely updates on Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn.

Save time with fifty state surveys of laws

Fifty state surveys of laws are great resources for getting a quick overview of the differences and similarities between state laws on particular topics. The library has two online resources, as well as print sources, that can be useful for quick fifty state survey research.

Sources

Available in HeinOnline, 2015, 2008, 2005

Browse topics with easy to download, customizable charts and references to state laws and code. Also available in print as Richard Leiter's National Survey of State Laws, this collection is perfectly adapted to online viewing. HeinOnline includes the last three editions, allowing you to compare laws as they existed in 2005, 2008, and 2015. A summary of each topic is available, but a little bit hidden. Look for the "show more" link above the topic's table to read the summary.

You can log into HeinOnline with a Wisconsin State Law Library card.

Westlaw's 50 State Survey
Search regulatory and statutory 50 state surveys on Westlaw

50 State Surveys provides access to state and federal statutes and regulations, covering topics of law such as garnishment, attachment and judgment execution requirements, durable powers of attorney, cancellation and nonrenewal of insurance policies and premiums, and many others. More than just a listing of laws and regulations, Westlaw also includes some summary analysis for several of its topics.

Westlaw is available to library users within all of our three libraries.

Charts, tables, and links 

HeinOnline provides quick-to-browse charts of each topic for all 50 states, but there is little customization that can be done, other than filtering states you don't wish to see. In Westlaw, detailed information is in a table in the PDF version linked at the top of the page. Otherwise the related statutes for each state are linked from the main page, but little summary is provided.

HeinOnline list of topics

Searching

While there is some topical overlap between HeinOnline and Westlaw's 50 state surveys, there are unique topics to both sources so it's a good idea to check both when looking for a survey. Both sources give you the option to browse through topics to see what subtopics are included.

Both HeinOnline and Westlaw are keyword searchable. Westlaw is easier to search within broad topic areas, although both have that capability to some extent.
Search one or both databases in Westlaw
Do you need help using these sources? Ask a librarian if you have questions, or if these resources don't cover the topic you're researching.

September 5, 2018

WSLL at Your Service: September 2018

The September issue of WSLL @ Your Service is now online. As always, your comments are welcome. Please direct them to the editor, Carol Hassler.

In this issue:

Six sources we love (Part one)

September is Library Card Signup Month. To mark it, we want to share with you some great databases and sources that you can access for free with your library card. Read more

Help us improve our website

We'd like your help improving our website. Take our surveys! Read more

Grand juries

To mark Juror Appreciation Month, we're focusing on a lesser-known aspect of jury service in Wisconsin: grand juries. Read more

New books

Our featured new titles this month are U.S. Citizenship and Naturalization Handbook and Firearms Law Deskbook. Don't miss our monthly new book list as well! Read more

Tech tip

Cell phone video is ubiquitous these days. However, viewing a cell phone video on a Windows PC can be problematic. This month's tip helps you convert those videos. Read more

Library news

Several CLE-credit classes are scheduled for fall at our Madison and Milwaukee locations. Read more

September snapshot

Photos of Edgar Allan Poe memorials, taken while in Baltimore for the American Association of Law Libraries conference. Read more

August 28, 2018

Libraries Closed: Monday September 3

The David T. Prosser Jr. Law Library, Milwaukee County Law Library, and Dane County Law Library will be closed on Monday, September 3 for the Labor Day state holiday. We will respond to questions and requests on Tuesday, September 4. 

To ask a question while we are closed, call us at 608-267-9696 or Ask a Librarian online.

August 23, 2018

Job posting: Library Assistant - Afternoon

The Wisconsin State Law Library is searching for a Library Assistant-Afternoon, 22.5 hours per week. Qualified applicants must be available to work all hours for Monday through Friday 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.


Duties include: staffing the circulation desk, filing looseleaf services, shelving, moving and shifting book collections and loaded book carts, creating invoices, issuing library cards, and other collection maintenance activities.

Skills include: excellent professional and friendly customer service skills in person and on the phone, working well independently and in pairs and teams, working in the circulation system and other computer tasks, cash handling, ability to follow written directions and to do multiple tasks with a high degree of accuracy and attention to detail.

Pay is $11.00/hour.

Location: The Wisconsin State Law Library is located on a bus line, just off the Capitol Square at 120 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Madison.

To apply, please submit a cover letter and resume to elspeth.gordon@wicourts.gov which must include your hours available to work. Or send to: Human Resources, 110 East Main Street Suite 430, Madison, WI 53703-3356 or FAX to (608) 261-8293. Failure to follow these procedures may result in your disqualification. The Wisconsin Court System will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified applicants when requested. For additional information on the court system visit our website at www.wicourts.gov.

August 15, 2018

Help us improve our website

Websites benefit from constant improvement and upgrades. We'd like your help improving our website. The two surveys linked below study how our website is organized. The information we gather will help us make decisions about how best to present information to our website users.



Thank you for participating!

August 2, 2018

WSLL @ Your Service August 2018


The August issue of WSLL @ Your Service is now online. As always, your comments are welcome. Please direct them to the editor, Carol Hassler.

In this issue:

DataUsing WisConomy to find county profiles

Find local labor market, business, and population data for Wisconsin on the WisConomy website. Read more


new booksNew Books

Our featured new resources this month are Crafting Effective Settlement Agreements: a Guidebook for Attorneys and Mediators and Litigating Sexual Harassment & Sex Discrimination Cases. Check our new book list for more new titles. Read more

googleTech Tip

One way to avoid seeing most ads is to install a blocker extension or add-on to your web browser. Read more


library surveyHelp us improve our website

We'd like your help improving our website. Take our surveys! Read more



speakerLibrary news

Library closures. There are also still seats available in our Madison location's August class, Introduction to Westlaw. Read more


guitartownAugust Snapshot

Did you know you can see several Bucky statutes near our Madison libraries? Bucky on Parade is a local art event featuring 85 individually decorated Bucky Badger statutes throughout Dane County. Read more

Read the full newsletter at: http://wilawlibrary.gov/newsletter/1808.html

Job posting: Library Assistant - Afternoon

The Wisconsin State Law Library is searching for a Library Assistant-Afternoon, 22.5 hours per week. Qualified applicants must be available to work Monday through Friday 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Duties include: staffing the circulation desk, filing looseleaf services, shelving, moving and shifting book collections and loaded book carts, creating invoices, issuing library cards, and other collection maintenance activities.

Skills include: excellent professional and friendly customer service skills in person and on the phone, working well independently and in pairs and teams, working in the circulation system and other computer tasks, cash handling, ability to follow written directions and to do multiple tasks with a high degree of accuracy and attention to detail.

Pay is $11.00/hour.

Location: The Wisconsin State Law Library is located on a bus line, just off the Capitol Square at 120 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Madison.

To apply, please submit a cover letter and resume to elspeth.gordon@wicourts.gov which must include your hours available to work.

July 9, 2018

Using alerts to keep up with new journals

HeinOnline is a favorite of many of our cardholders due to its large collection of full text journal articles. To make reading articles online even easier, HeinOnline offers a journal alert service, which will email you every time the journals you select have added a new issue. The emails include a summary of the table of contents of the latest issue added to HeinOnline.


Watch HeinOnline's training video (below) for a quick tutorial. You'll need to create your own myHein account in order to get automatic email updates when a new issue has been added to HeinOnline. Creating your own HeinOnline account (which is done AFTER you log in with your library card) is easy!


Follow these steps to set up a MyHein account and create your first journal alert

  1. Log in to HeinOnline with your library card (see our tutorial).
  2. Library computer users are logged in automatically – no card required
  3. Choose the "MyHein" link at the top
  4. Select the "Create an Account" link from the menu
  5. Make up a username, password, and fill in the rest of your information, including the email address to which you would like alerts sent.
  6. Now that you've created a MyHein account, follow these steps from HeinOnline to create and manage your journal alerts.
  7. To manage your MyHein account in the future, first login to HeinOnline using your library card number, then login to your individual MyHein account.

Embargo periods

Some journal publishers include embargo periods for their publications in HeinOnline. While the journal articles may be indexed (a summary and other information is searchable), the full text won't be available for a set period of time. When you are setting up a journal alert, you can check whether there is an embargo period, and how long it is, by checking the information link for the journal. Learn how to check a journal's publishing information in HeinOnline's quick guide.

Ask a librarian

We know that keeping up with the features in research databases can be difficult. Ask a librarian if you need help using HeinOnline, or learning more about the features you can use with a myHein account.

July 2, 2018

WSLL @ Your Service July 2018

The July issue of WSLL @ Your Service is now online. As always, your comments are welcome. Please direct them to the editor, Carol Hassler.

In this issue:

Researching Municipal Boundaries
The State of Wisconsin preserves legal documents on the evolution of municipal boundaries. Most of these documents are found in the Municipal Data System. Read more


New Books

Our featured new resources this month are How to Draft Bills Clients Rush to Pay and Law of Asylum in the United States. Check our new book list for more new titles. Read more


Tech Tip

One way to avoid seeing most ads is to install a blocker extension or add-on to your web browser. Read more


Library News

Upcoming library events and news. Read more


July Snapshot

Did you know you can see several Bucky statutes near our Madison libraries? Bucky on Parade is a local art event featuring 85 individually decorated Bucky Badger statutes throughout Dane County. Read more

June 29, 2018

Time for (some) fireworks!

As the Fourth of July approaches, the Wisconsin Attorney General's office has released their annual reminder about fireworks laws

Wisconsin Statute 167.10 addresses the regulation of fireworks in Wisconsin and lists various firework-related devices that aren't regulated, such as sparklers or toy snakes. Anyone looking for a concise summary of fireworks laws should look at the WI Dept. of Justice's summary of Wisconsin Fireworks Law (2014), which is geared towards law enforcement. This guide includes a list of items that are generally legal in Wisconsin without a permit, as well as those that are illegal without a permit throughout Wisconsin.

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It's important to note that further restrictions and enforcement rest with local authorities, so be sure to check local ordinances. Permits are generally issued by local authorities (i.e. the mayor or person designated by the mayor). The press release also covers examples of laws and practices you might see for local fireworks regulation.

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