Wisconsin State Law Library

Serving the Wisconsin Supreme Court and State of Wisconsin

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April 6, 2021

Catalog and databases temporarily unavailable after 6 PM

Due to scheduled maintenance, our library catalog and remote databases may be unavailable this evening, starting at 6 p.m. 

Thank you for your patience! Please send an email to wsll.ref@wicourts.gov if you have any questions, and we will respond to your requests the next day. 

April 5, 2021

Civil Jury Instructions Updated for 2021

The Wisconsin Civil Jury Instructions have recently been updated, with a 2021 release approved by the Wisconsin Judicial Conference’s Civil Jury Instructions Committee. The fifty-second supplement to the Civil Jury Instructions updates the publication on legislative actions and judicial decisions through January 21, 2021.

Wisconsin Civil Jury Instructions cover sheet

The update includes revisions of ten existing jury instructions, as well as one new instruction. New to the set is:

The following instructions have been updated:

Earlier this year the Library partnered with the Office of Judicial Education to debut free access to the Wisconsin Jury Instructions on our website. While updated instructions can be downloaded at any time from our website, many readers may wish to keep their print sets up-to-date. Updating an existing set of print instructions works just as it has in prior years.

Download and print the fifty-second release. Blank pages have been inserted to make double sided printing easier. File new and updated instructions, along with the updated table of cases and index in your print set. A complete, printable file of all the current Civil Jury Instructions and finding aids is also available.

For information on the status of the Committee's work, please contact Bryce Pierson at bryce.pierson@wicourts.gov.

March 24, 2021

New Landlord & Tenant Manual

At the State Law Library, we help numerous patrons each week with questions about eviction, landlord entry, repairs, security deposits, and other landlord tenant issues. If you find yourself in this situation even occasionally, check out the new State Bar of Wisconsin PINNACLE publication Wisconsin Landlord & Tenant Manual today. Chances are, it may become a go-to resource on your bookshelf!

The lifecycle of a tenancy is discussed from the beginning - with selecting and screening tenants, and signing a lease. Later concerns are also addressed such as property left behind and collecting on a judgment after a tenancy has ended. Many Wisconsin state court forms, guides, and Wisconsin Legal Blank forms are included. Local ordinances and differences between counties are discussed and how state landlord tenant laws apply in various situations.

Written in plain English, this manual can help landlords, tenants, attorneys, property management employees, and anyone fielding questions from these groups.

Chapters include:
  • Screening and Qualifying Prospective Tenants
  • Rental Documents
  • Earnest Money and Security Deposits
  • Repairs and Maintenance of Rental Premises
  • General Rental Issues
  • Renewal and Termination of Rental Agreements
  • Eviction
  • Legal Proceedings and Recovery of Damages
  • Collections
  • Manufactured Home Community Rentals
Call us at 608-267-9696 or email us at wsll.ref@wicourts.gov to check out a copy of the Wisconsin Landlord & Tenant Manual.

January 26, 2021

Wisconsin Jury Instructions Online

We're happy to announce that the Wisconsin State Law Library is now hosting current Wisconsin Jury Instructions on our website. https://wilawlibrary.gov/jury/

This is a result of a cooperative effort between the University of Wisconsin Law School, the State Law Library, and the Wisconsin Court System's Office of Judicial Education. You can read more in this press release: https://www.wicourts.gov/news/view.jsp?id=1307

All three Jury Instructions committees of the Wisconsin Judicial Conference will continue their standard schedules to develop instructions. New instructions will be published online. The Office of Judicial Education will continue to provide update releases indicating revised or new jury instructions for each set.

Every instruction set on the website includes a table of contents with links to download current instructions. Indexes and tables are also linked from each set. On individual instruction pages (pictured below), get more information about each instruction including a model citation, download links, relevant dates, and related cases and statutes from the case and statutory comparison tables. 

Each instruction set includes an update page, which links to filing releases for recent years.
For those needing to update print sets of instructions, tools are available to help. When an instruction set is updated, a filing release will be created and posted on the set's updates page. Users can use the latest update release to print off new instructions to update their set. In addition, annually-updated printable versions of tables and indexes are linked at the top of each index and table page. A complete, printable copy of each instruction set is linked as a single file from each main instruction page, above the table of contents.

January 8, 2021

January 2021 WSLL @ Your Service

Happy New Year! The January issue of WSLL @ Your Service is now online. Please send comments to the editor, Carol Hassler

In this issue: 

If the library had a word of the year, it would likely be "communication." This word has factored heavily in our work and will continue to be of utmost importance for all of us in 2021. Read more

New Books 
Our two new featured titles this month are Home Business Tax Deductions: Keep What You Earn, and Dignity law: global recognition, cases, and perspectives. Our monthly new book list is also ready to peruse. Read more 

The National Conference of State Legislatures offers a Student Loan Bill Tracking Database which tracks state legislation related to student loan debt across several categories. Search this database for a single state, or across several states. Read more 

Learn about upcoming state holiday closures, plus a new State Bar of Wisconsin InsideTrack article. Read more

New murals brighten the Milwaukee County courthouse walls. Celebrating and representing the diversity of Milwaukee County, these murals feature work from local Milwaukee artists or art collectives. Read more

January 5, 2021

In Memory of Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson

Flags are flying at half staff today to honor former Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson. Justice Abrahamson passed away on December 19, 2020 at the age of 87. 

Justice Abrahamson was the first woman to serve on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, serving on the Court for 43 years. In a recent Wisconsin Court System article, Chief Justice Patience Drake Roggensack said, “During her four decades on the Court, Justice Abrahamson made numerous contributions, both in terms of the law and the administration of the court system. She was well-read, well-traveled, and she brought a lifetime of interesting experiences with her as she served on the bench. The court system and the people of Wisconsin continue to benefit from her work and will do so for years to come.” You can read about Justice Abrahamson’s long career on the Court’s biography page, or in Portraits of Justice

In 2008, she took time to sit for a READ poster promotion during National Library Week. A framed copy of this poster can be found on the second floor of the library. 

We remember her as an avid researcher dedicated to serving Wisconsin, and a strong supporter of the library. The library is working on incorporating donated items from Justice Abrahamson’s extensive book collection into the library collection. A unique bookplate designed for this collection will be inside each cover. (Pictured below.) 

Bookplate for donations from Justice Abrahamson's collection

Justice Abrahamson authored over 1300 opinions during her time on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. You can find them in a Google Scholar author search, or by searching other legal research databases using her name in the judge or author search field.

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