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January 20, 2011

Monitor WI Legislation & Regulations

Interested in keeping tabs on proposed legislation or regulations in your area of law? The State of Wisconsin offers free services for monitoring both legislation and administrative regulations.

The Wisconsin Legislative Notification System allows anyone the opportunity to follow legislation by receiving daily or weekly emails for specific legislative activities. You can choose items by Proposal, Committee, Author or Subject and can select the activities for which you would like to receive notifications.

The Administrative Rules Home Page allows you to monitor and participate in the rulemaking process. At this site, you can search for rules, view the status of current rulemaking, view documents associated with rulemaking, submit and view comments on rules and subscribe to receive notification of rulemaking.

WI Briefs Database Unavailable this Saturday AM

The UW Law Library hosts a collection of Wisconsin Briefs from Nov 1992 to July 2009.

Note that the database will be unavailable for several hours between 8:00 and noon this Saturday, January 22nd as we migrate it to a new server. We apologize for the inconvenience.

January 19, 2011

Estate Planning for Digital Assets

The current issue of InsideTrack from the State Bar of Wisconsin has a useful video on estate planning for digital assets.

Description: After death, will family members know how and where to access sentimental online family photos or other heirlooms? What about online bank, credit card, investment, and social media accounts? In this video, Nate Dosch and Joe Boucher talk about the importance of estate planning for digital assets.

2009-10 Print Wisconsin Statutes Now Available

From WisBar Inside Track:

The 2009-10 Wisconsin Statutes and Annotations are available in hardcover and softcover versions.

The hardcover book costs $72 plus $7 for shipping; the softcover book costs $58 plus $6 for shipping. Please add applicable tax. Unless exempt by law, all sales are subject to 5 percent state sales tax and, where applicable, 0.5 percent county sales tax and 0.1 percent stadium tax. Prepayment is required for all orders.

To order, send check or money order to the Wisconsin Department of Administration, Document Sales and Distribution Section, 202 S. Thornton Ave., Madison, WI 53707-3037. Payments should be made payable to WI Department of Administration.

Place credit card orders, VISA or MasterCard, by calling (800) 362-7253 or (608) 264-9419.

For more information, call (608) 266-3358.

January 18, 2011

Milwaukee Jutice Center Offers Help to Low-income Self-represented Litigants

The Milwaukee Justice Center, a service of the Milwaukee Bar Association and the Marquette University Law School, offers assistance to low-income self-represented litigants through court-based self-help desks and legal resources.

Legal advice is not provided, but extensive guides with links to legal forms help users navigate issues such as divorce, child custody, child support, landlord/tenant disputes, name changes, or small claims in the Milwaukee County's court system.

Volunteer staff are also available in Room G9 of the Milwaukee County Courthouse, and free, walk-in legal clinics are offered (see web site for hours)

Source: Now @ MPL

Now Search Opinions from Specific Courts with Google Scholar

As you may already know, Google Scholar offers an excellent collection of free federal and state case law for the following years of coverage.

Sup. Ct. pre 1776?
Fed. Circ. Cts. 1924?
Fed. District Cts. varies
States vary (most mid 1950s?)

Using the advanced search page, you've always been able to limit your search to a particular state, but now users may limit to specific courts and jurisdictions. You can even mix and match your selections.
Source: Robert Ambrogi's LawSites

January 5, 2011

WI Legislative Leadership & Committee Appointments

The State Bar of Wisconsin has compiled a handy list of legislative leadership and committee appointments for both the Senate and Assembly.

A full list of 2011-12 Senate and Assembly members is available from the Wheeler Report.

January 3, 2011

Archive of State Documents

The Wisconsin Digital Archives is a collection of state publications in PDF format from about 2000 to the present.

The documents made available through the Wisconsin Document Depository Program whose purpose is to preserve and make available a record of major state government program and to assure the availability of state publications for use by the public throughout Wisconsin now and in the future.

City and County Ordinances Online

City or county ordinances used to be very difficult to find, but more and more local governments are putting their laws online making access much easier. The Wisconsin State Law Library has compiled a very complete list of links for Wisconsin Ordinances and Codes.

For other states, see the Local Laws entry in Zimmerman's Research Guide, with links to ordinances on Municode.com, eCode360 and Ordinance.com.

Is It Protected By Copyright?

Unsure whether a work is protected under copyright or is available in the public domain?

Check out the nifty slider in which tells you the copyright status by year and whether permission is needed. The slider is published by Michael Brewer & the ALA Office for Information Technology Policy

Cornell University offers more detail in its table, Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States. It is organized by Type of Work and Copyright Term.

Hat tip to my colleague Nancy Paul and Luther College.