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April 25, 2018

The Coogan Act

The following information on The Coogan Act was included as part of our library displays during National Library Week as we celebrated "The Art of Law."

Jackie Coogan did not have a typical childhood. Discovered by Charlie Chaplin in 1921, he co-starred with Chaplin in one of the film legend’s best known features, “The Kid.”

The role launched a film career that made him, arguably, the first truly marketable child film star. Appearing in about 35 silent features, he earned an estimated $2 million to $4 million. Decades later, he was incredulous when asked if his childhood had differed from that of a normal boy. “Normal boy?” he exclaimed. “How would I know what a normal boy would do?....Other boys went to see Babe Ruth. Babe Ruth came to see me.”
image source
When he turned 21, Coogan was informed that he had no right to the fortune he had amassed as a child – California law provided that “the services and earnings of [a] child” were the property of his parents. Coogan sued.

His lawsuit was marginally successful. He won a settlement against his parents, but the money seemed to have disappeared. His efforts, by his own account, netted $35,000.

Coogan’s movie career stalled. He believed his stepfather Arthur Bernstein, who was related to a number of film executives, had engineered a studio blackball against him.

He joined the Army during World War II, serving with distinction as a glider pilot. Coogan resumed his acting career after the war, primarily on stage and television, appearing in numerous productions and many different TV series. He is probably best remembered today for his role as Uncle Fester in the 1960s comedy series, The Addams Family. Coogan retired from acting in 1975, and died in 1984.

Public indignation over Coogan’s plight led to legislation in the State of California to protect child actors and other minors who may sign lucrative employment contracts.

Known as the Coogan Act, Chapter 637, Laws of 1939 required any court approving the contract of a minor child to include a provision setting up a trust fund for the child, to include “such portion of the net earnings of the minor, not exceeding one-half thereof, as the court may deem just and proper.”

The act gave the superior court jurisdiction over the trust, with the power of termination or amendment. A number of other states have enacted similar laws to protect child actors; such laws are generally known as “Coogan Acts.”

April 24, 2018

Law Day in Dane County

Celebrate Law Day with the Dane County Bar Association (DCBA) and the Dane County Law Library on Tuesday, May 1st. The theme for this year is “Separation of powers: framework for freedom.” 

Tour the Supreme Court in the morning and then attend CLE programs at the Dane County Courthouse. (CLE programs are free to the public and DCBA members.)

Free legal consultations for self-represented individuals are offered in the Dane County Law Library from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Assistance will be provided in English and Spanish.

April 20, 2018

U.S. v. Paramount

The following information on U.S. v Paramount was included as part of our library displays during National Library Week as we celebrated "The Art of Law." 

The Sherman Anti-Trust Act was one of the most notable federal laws of the 19th Century: "Every contract, combination in the form of a trust or otherwise, or conspiracy in restraint of trade or commerce among the several states, or with foreign nations, in hereby declared to be illegal." This law resulted in a fundamental restructuring of motion pictures.

image source
The motion picture industry had avoided anti-trust actions for decades. From 1915, it had been the subject of periodic attention from the Unites States Justice Department.

Major studios flirted with "vertical monopoly," a control of the commercial process from beginning to end. Studios cultivated a web of contract practices and ownership combinations that placed a strangle-hold on the motion picture exhibition business.

In 1938, the Roosevelt Administration brought charges. The studios successfully negotiated a consent decree that suspended litigation in 1940. The Justice Department renewed the charges in 1944. In 1946, a federal court under Judge Augustus Hand ruled for the government, ordering the institution of a competitive bidding process for the right to exhibit major studio productions. The government appealed, seeking an order of divestment. In 1948, the Supreme Court, in a 7-1 decision written by Justice William O. Douglas, threw out the bidding scheme as involving the judiciary too intimately in business management and remanded the case to the district court to find another remedy. With its bidding scheme rejected, the district court began the process of seeking the best way to compel divestment.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) resolved the case. The FCC adopted a policy that applicants for television broadcasting licenses must be free from any taint of monopolistic tendencies. Several of the major studio defendants in the Paramount case were eager to enter television broadcasting. In order to present "clean hands" with their applications for TV licensing, these defendants dropped all opposition to Justice Department demands and quickly divested themselves of their movie theater holdings. 

Deprived of a certain market for their films, studios cut back substantially on the number of features they produced; at the same time, television cut in to the average American's movie attendance. 

There is still some debate over whether or not the case of U.S. v. Paramount was a success as an anti-trust action, but it resulted in changes in the motion picture industry.

Timeline

1938: The Roosevelt Administration brought charges

1940: A consent decree suspended litigation

1944: The Justice Department renewed the charges

1946: Judge Augustus Hand ruled for the government, ordering the creation of a competitive bidding process for the right to exhibit major studio productions. The government appealed, seeking an order of divestment

1948: The Supreme Court threw out the bidding scheme and remanded the case to the district court

An All Star Cast

WILLIAM O. DOUGLAS Wrote the majority opinion for the US Supreme Court. Longest serving justice in the history of the Supreme Court.

AUGUSTUS HAND Presiding judge at the district level; cousin to the famed judge/philosopher Learned Hand.

TOM C. CLARK Attorney General, argued the case for the United States. Later justice of the US Supreme Court. Father of Ramsey Clark, Attorney General in the Johnson Administration.

JAMES F. BYRNES Counsel for 20th Century Fox. Former US Senator from South Carolina; former Supreme Court Justice; former Director of the Office of War Mobilization; Secretary of State in the Truman Administration.

JOHN W. DAVIS Counsel for Loews, Inc. (MGM), argued the case for the defendants. Democratic nominee for President of the US, 1924.

WILLIAM J. “WILD BILL” DONOVAN Counsel for Radio-Keith-Orpheum Corp. (RKO) Director of wartime Office of Strategic Services, considered the "father of the CIA."

April 12, 2018

Doty Street Closure April 18-22

Doty St. is scheduled to be closed from April 18-22 for construction work between Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd and Pinckney St. Doty St. will remain open with two way access from Martin Luther King Jr Blvd to the entrance of the Block 89 parking garage.

Keep up with construction updates on the City of Madison Judge Doyle Garage construction page.


April 9, 2018

Celebrate National Library Week at our Open House

Join us at our open house on April 10th. Enjoy refreshments, get a personalized READ bookmark, and take a tour of historical art in our library at 1 and 2 p.m. We're looking forward to seeing you!

Tuesday, April 10 from 1 - 3 p.m.
Art tours at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.

Reading Room
David T. Prosser Jr. Library
120 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd



Free CLE classes this week

Don't miss our two free classes this week: 

Wisconsin Court System Website
Tuesday, April 10, Noon - 1 p.m.
Location: David T. Prosser Jr. Library training room
Navigate the Court System's website and find the information you need. Learn how to access Circuit Court records, find mandatory forms, search Supreme Court and Court of Appeals opinions, and check appellate case status. Explore additional resources such as the Self Help Center and court administrative office pages.
FREE. 1 CLE credit. Registration is limited to 8. Register Online | Print Registration Form
Introduction to Lexis Advance
Wednesday, April 11, Noon - 1 p.m.
Location: David T. Prosser Jr. Library training room
Get to Know the Lexis Advance platform; formulate search queries; find primary and secondary sources; Shepardize; review delivery options and more.
FREE. 1 CLE credit. Registration is limited to 8. Register Online | Print Registration Form

April 2, 2018

WSLL @ Your Service April 2018

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

ALTTEXT Lexis Advance at the David T. Prosser Jr. Library

This year we added access Lexis Advance to computers at the David T. Prosser Jr. Library. Read more

ALTTEXT Celebrate National Library Week

The Wisconsin State Law Library invites you to celebrate National Library Week with us from April 9-13. Read more

ALTTEXT Start Here: Arts & Entertainment Law

Entertainers and artists enrich our lives but must also grapple with an array of legal issues. Gain insight into the varied facets of art and entertainment law with the featured titles in our latest Start Here guide. Read more

ALTTEXT New Books

Stay informed about the latest additions to our collection by following our monthly New Book list. Read more

ALTTEXT Tech Tip

There's an easy way to display two screens at the same time within your browser. Read more

ALTTEXT Library News

We ask for donations of Annual Town Lawyers Conference materials, give updates about presentations and classes, and tell our readers about our improved wireless internet. Read more

ALTTEXT April Snapshot

It's a hardship, but somebody has to taste test this recipe before our National Library Week open house on April 10. Read more

March 26, 2018

National Library Week 2018

The Wisconsin State Law Library invites you to celebrate National Library Week with us from April 9-13.


Open House

Join us at our open house on April 10th. Enjoy refreshments, get a personalized READ bookmark, and take a tour of historical art in our library at 1 and 2 p.m. We're looking forward to seeing you!

Tuesday, April 10 from 1 - 3 p.m.
Art tours at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.

Reading Room
David T. Prosser Jr. Library

Art Tours

Tours are offered Tuesday, April 10 through Thursday, April 12 at 1 p.m. Each tour will stop at several pieces of art and photography throughout the library and discuss the historical significance of the pieces. 

CLE Classes

Two free CLE-credit classes are offered during the week. Register ahead of time to reserve your spot. 

Wisconsin Court System Website
Tuesday, April 10, Noon - 1 p.m.
Location: David T. Prosser Jr. Library training room
Navigate the Court System's website and find the information you need. Learn how to access Circuit Court records, find mandatory forms, search Supreme Court and Court of Appeals opinions, and check appellate case status. Explore additional resources such as the Self Help Center and court administrative office pages.
FREE. 1 CLE credit. Registration is limited to 8. Register Online | Print Registration Form
Introduction to Lexis Advance
Wednesday, April 11, Noon - 1 p.m.
Location: David T. Prosser Jr. Library training room
Get to Know the Lexis Advance platform; formulate search queries; find primary and secondary sources; Shepardize; review delivery options and more.
FREE. 1 CLE credit. Registration is limited to 8. Register Online | Print Registration Form

We look forward to seeing you soon! 

March 19, 2018

New Building Procedures Affect State Law Library Users

Beginning today, the Risser Justice Center has a new procedure which will affect users who need to travel to the second floor using the elevator.

Visitors to the David T. Prosser Jr. State Law Library who wish to use the elevator will ask at the security guard's desk in the downstairs lobby to be escorted up to the second floor. Users who need to travel back to the first floor can ask at the Library's Circulation Desk for the elevator to be called.

Visitors can use the stairway leading up to the main library entrance without an escort.

Please let us know if you have questions or comments about this procedure.

March 8, 2018

Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft

Consumer agency websites are great places to start when you're trying to defend yourself against theft, or you need to learn more about steps to take once your identity has been stolen. Here are some essential resources:
Identity Theft.gov
The Federal Trade Commission's one stop website for reporting and recovering from identity theft. This website creates recovery checklists and also provides form letters which may be used to communicate with businesses.
Wisconsin Bureau of Consumer Protection
Works with Wisconsin residents to educate and help recover from identity theft. This agency operates a consumer hotline which can be reached at DATCPHotline@Wisconsin.gov or 800-422-7128. Several resources for businesses and consumers can be downloaded from this website.
Consumer Protection Law in a Nutshell
This nutshell guide covers credit card fraud and identity theft, as well as other consumer issues that you or a client may face. Check this book out.
Effectively Represent Your Client Before the IRS
In recent years the IRS has rejected or suspended millions of dollars worth of tax returns that were suspected to be fraudulent. Learn more about working with the IRS with this book's chapter on resolving identity theft. Check this book out.
Identity Theft Legal Topic
Our Identity Theft legal topic page links to these resources and more and helps you to locate relevant agencies and guides, as well as laws which protect victims of identity theft.
Identity theft isn't something you plan to happen to you, but there is a lot you can do to prevent or minimize your risk. Whether you're setting up preventative measures or recovering from identity theft, it's always a good idea to brush up on the basic threats and strategies to overcome them.

March 7, 2018

Landlord Tenant Law

We frequently get questions about landlord / tenant law. The main resources on our website are legal topics pages on Landlord/Tenant law and Small Claims. Our legal topics pages provide links to resources and forms that may help answer basic questions about the law.

Here are some common types of questions and the websites we often use to answer them.

Eviction

Many people have questions about eviction procedures, or understanding the different types of notices.

An eviction notice chart from the Milwaukee Justice Center provides a clean and easy-to-read format for understanding what type of notice must be given for each type of lease, and violation.

We also often refer users to the Tenant Resource Center's eviction page. It can be a bit difficult to read because of the way it color codes its guide based off of recent law changes. However, it discusses some aspects of eviction in detail and links to the Wisconsin Statutes and Administrative Code in each section. Information about the different types of notices begins about a quarter of the way down the page under "Types of Notices." This page also discusses how the landlord may deliver notices and how tenants may respond to the notice. 

Forms

We resell residential lease and eviction notice forms that are created by the Wisconsin Legal Blank company. Users can purchase copies from us (see: Forms for sale) but these forms can also be bought online from Wisconsin Legal Blank. Sometimes forms like residential leases or eviction notice forms can also be bought from your local office supply store. 

Milwaukee County has 5, 14, and 28 day eviction notices for their residents on their website. 

Complaints

Different agencies may be involved depending on the type of complaint. For general consumer complaints, contact the WI Bureau of Consumer Protection to file a Landlord/Tenant Complaint

Fair Housing (housing discrimination) complaints are handled by the WI Equal Rights Division, or by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on the federal level. See HUD's page on fair housing for more information on their complaint procedure.


March 6, 2018

National Consumer Law Center Digital Library

The National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) digital library includes twenty consumer law treatises which analyze the law and provide sample pleadings on a variety of consumer topics. This consumer law collection focuses on four major areas: debtor rights, credit and banking, consumer litigation, and deception and warranties. The Library subscribes to the entire collection digitally and visitors can search all twenty titles easily from a library computer.

Browsing the library is a quick way to get into the books. Choose the "My Treatises" link near the top to see a list of all the books in our subscription. Select the title of a book to get into the contents of the book. Browse chapters, keyword search the book, or scan the index to jump to the section you need. Email or print sections to reference later using the buttons at the top of the page.


Indexes are Time Savers

Every book has an index which is very useful for jumping straight to the section you need. There's also an index for the entire collection, under a link near the top called "Quick Reference." The Quick Reference is an index to all the topics analyzed in the entire NCLC treatise collection. Jump down to the section you need and get a direct link to the chapter and section which discusses it.

Specialized Searches

Like most power searchers, I love having a lot of search tools at my disposal. The NCLC Digital Library includes the usual search modifiers. Use quotes around words to search for a phrase. Keywords without quotes search for both terms appearing within subsections.

Use a minus symbol before a word to exclude it from search results and "or" between words to search for either term.

Finally, NCLC allows you to use term proximity searching, which I like to describe as creating your own relevancy searches. Like HeinOnline's proximity search, put two words in quotes and use ~ plus the number of words apart you want those terms to be. For example, "verbal warranty" ~10 searches for the words "verbal" and "warranty" within 10 words of each other. Proximity searching is a great way to narrow down search results to sections that are likely to discuss your issue.


Learn more about this collection in our March newsletter article: National Consumer Law Center's Searchable Library.

March 5, 2018

National Consumer Protection Week

This week we are posting research tips and information on consumer topics to mark National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW). The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) spearheads NCPW activities and provides more information on their website: National Consumer Protection Week, March 4-10, 2018. Attend a series of Facebook Live chats on consumer-oriented topics and keep up on their blog.

Consumer issues affect millions of people each year. Recently, the FTC released their 2017 summary of top consumer complaints. The top three categories included debt collection, identity theft (such as credit card or tax return fraud), and impostor scams.

Did you know that we have a number of print and online resources to help you research consumer law? Start with our legal topic page on Consumer Complaints to help you quickly find agency or assistance contacts. Our legal topics index provides quick access to a number of resources on debt collection, identity theft, fraud, and other issues. Email or call our library for help researching your consumer issue.

Thanks for joining us this week for quick, informative posts about consumer law. Tomorrow, get advanced search tips for the National Consumer Law Center's Digital Library, which is available to our library visitors.


March 1, 2018

WSLL @ Your Service March 2018

The March 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:

tax management portfolios Tax Law Updates, Featuring Tax Management Portfolios

Curious about the 2017 tax legislation? We compile articles and updates from the Tax Management Portfolios set. Read more

NCLC logo National Consumer Law Center's Searchable Library

The National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) publishes twenty consumer law treatises which analyze the law and provide sample pleadings on a variety of consumer topics. Read more

new books New Books

Forces of Change: Events That Led to the Development of the Green Bay Fire Department 1836-1895 and Indian Child Welfare Act Judicial Benchbook are our two featured titles this month. As always, don't miss our new book list. Read more

onelook.com screenshot Tech Tip

Onelook.com is a dictionary website that has stood the test of time. It has been around for over 20 years and just "one look" will show you why. Read more

National Library Week banner segment Library News

Save the date for our April 10th open house, and learn about spring CLE classes and a free webinar on providing legal reference services. Read more

lake photo March Snapshot

Pictured: downtown Madison, Monona Terrace, and cracking ice on Lake Monona. Read more


February 28, 2018

New Flier for Self-Represented Litigants

Self-represented litigants often need more information than front-line staff can provide. Librarians at the Wisconsin State Law Library help by providing access to legal information and assisting litigants with locating organizations which provide legal services.

The Library is making it easier to refer people to our services with our public service desk handout. Our new half sheet flier gives a brief description of the type of help we can provide along with essential contact information. The handout can be printed in black and white or color, and can be cut in half for easy distribution at public service desks, such as Clerk of Court service windows.

The fliers can be downloaded or printed from our website in grayscale or color.

Part of the Wisconsin State Law Library’s mission is to facilitate equal access to the law by providing access to trusted sources. Over half of our research requests originate from the general public, who need information on a wide range of topics. Use this handout for a quick and easy referral to the Library’s services.

February 20, 2018

60 Tips, Sites, and Apps in 60 Minutes

On March 1st, attend 60 Tips, Sites, and Apps in 60 Minutes, a rapid fire presentation of search tips, websites, and apps of interest to the legal researcher. Presented by Beverly Butula from Davis & Kuelthau, this session focuses on introducing attendees to resources that will assist both their online efficiency and day-to-day production.

This free CLE-credit class is offered by the Milwaukee County Law Library and will be held on March 1st from noon to 1:00 p.m. in Meeting Room 1 at the Central Library, 814 W. Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee.




February 19, 2018

Advanced Westlaw class canceled

Tuesday's Advanced Westlaw class has been canceled due to poor travel conditions.

This class will be offered again on Tuesday, May 15 from noon - 1 p.m. Learn more and register on our Classes page.

February 15, 2018

Vote in the Spring Primary

The next statewide election is on Tuesday, February 20th. Check My Vote Wisconsin to see if you're registered to vote, find your polling place, and look at a sample ballot.

The statewide ballot item is for Justice of the Supreme Court. Two other judicial primaries are also running in Columbia and Manitowoc counties.

Learn more about who's on the ballot for the February 20 primary and the upcoming election on April 3 on the Wisconsin Election Commission's Spring 2018 Election page.


February 1, 2018

WSLL @ Your Service: February 2018

The February 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:

chart 2017 Year in Review

Our librarians are information providers, educators, research experts, and collectors. Learn about how we helped you this year! Read more

chart Milwaukee County Law Library Year in Review

We update you on staffing changes, new services, classes, and our work with legal clinics. Read more

chart Dane County Law Library Year in Review

We update you on our work with legal clinics and our 2017 programs. Read more

new books New Books

Stand Up to the IRS
and Wisconsin and the Shaping of American Law are our two featured titles this month. As always, don't miss our new book list. Read more

tax guide Start Here: A Guide to Tax Law Research

Just in time for tax season, download our updated tax law guide today! Read more

capitol Library News

Learn about new library staff and free CLE classes in February. Read more

books February Snapshot

Book spine poetry is the art of stacking books to convey an idea that is usually entirely unrelated to the books' contents. Read more

January 29, 2018

Real Estate Transfer Class in Milwaukee

On Thursday, February 1 the Milwaukee County Law Library will offer a free CLE class on Filing an Electronic Real Estate Transfer on the Department of Revenue's Website.

Time: Thursday, February 1, Noon - 1 p.m.
Location: Milwaukee Public Library - Central branch, 814 W. Wisconsin Ave
In addition to a transfer document, the Wisconsin Department of Revenue now requires electronic submission of the real estate transfer return pursuant to Section 77.22(2) of the Wisconsin Statutes. Whether you are a private citizen or an attorney, this course will show you how to successfully maneuver through the Department of Revenue's website for a real estate transfer involving owner-occupied property.
Registration is suggested through the Milwaukee Public Library and space is limited. Call 414-286-3011 to register. These are demonstration classes.

January 16, 2018

Thanks for a successful donation drive!

This winter you donated to our open house donation drive benefiting The Beacon. Thanks to your generosity, we have collected 60 hats, scarves, and pairs of gloves and socks!


January 12, 2018

Libraries Closed on Martin Luther King Jr. Day

The State Law Library, and Milwaukee and Dane County Law Libraries will be closed on Monday, January 15th for the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.

To send a question to the Wisconsin State Law Library while we are closed, you may call us at 608-267-9696 or Ask a Librarian online.

We will respond to questions and requests on Tuesday, January 16th.

January 10, 2018

Sign up for Introduction to Westlaw

There is still space available in Introduction to Westlaw, a free CLE class offered on Tuesday, January 16 from noon to 1 p.m. You can register online to save your spot. 

Introduction to Westlaw
Tuesday, January 16, Noon - 1 p.m.
Location: David T. Prosser Jr. Library training room
Learn how to best utilize Westlaw in this course by: Finding Specific Cases, Statutes and Regulations by citation; Learning how to quickly find and search specific resource; Learning about plain language searching on Westlaw; Utilizing result list filtering to narrow your search results; Exploring document features, including new "Copy with Reference"; Learning about new Westlaw history; Reviewing the basics of the Westlaw Citator - KeyCite
FREE. 1 CLE credit. Registration is limited to 8. 
Register for this class today and check out our schedule of classes for 2018 on our website.

January 4, 2018

WSLL @ Your Service January 2018

The January 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:

start here guide Start Here: Briefs and Opinion Writing

Our libraries have several resources which can help you hone your writing or prepare briefs and opinions. Read more


new books New Books

Legal Writing in Context and Legal Writing by Design: a Guide to Great Briefs and Memos are our two featured titles this month. As always, don't miss our new book list. Read more


climate map Tech Tip

Lexis Advance is now available at the David T. Prosser Jr. Library! Learn about this service as well as a new climate change tool developed by researchers at the University of Wisconsin. Read more


party photo Library News

Featuring upcoming classes, our winter donation drive which runs until January 12, and last month's party recap. Read more


reading room January Snapshot

Seasonal decorations at the library included flameless candles, fresh greenery, and Capitol cutouts in honor of 2017's Capitol Centennial celebration. Read more



January 2, 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 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. Located on bus line, just off the Capitol Square at 120 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd. To apply, please submit a cover letter and resume to elspeth.gordon@wicourts.gov which must include your hours available to work.



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