Wisconsin State Law Library

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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.


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. 


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. 


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

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