Legal Research News and Information with an Emphasis on Wisconsin

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Unlike federal and state law which is widely available, municipal law can be difficult to track down.  In Wisconsin alone, there are 585 municipal (city and village) governments and 1,265 town governments and the availability and amount of information available from each varies greatly.  Fortunately, there is a guide to searching municipal law in the latest InsideTrack from the State Bar of Wisconsin.
The guide, by law librarian, Emily Gellings, covers sources of municipal ordinances, including the excellent
Continue Reading Researching Municipal Ordinances in Wisconsin and Beyond

Those of you who follow federal legislation may be familiar with CRS Reports. The Congressional Research Service is a non-partisan legislative branch agency, housed inside the Library of Congress, that provides comprehensive analysis on issues that may come before Congress.  Although created for Congress, these reports can be tremendously insightful on matters of federal policy to attorneys and others.
But you may not be aware that the Law Library of Congress also prepares research reports on legal
Continue Reading Law Library of Congress Releases Collection of Research Reports Offering Comparative Analysis of Foreign & International Law since the 1940s

Last month, the University of WI Law School hosted a weeklong legal boot camp culminating the National Tribal Trial College’s Certificate in Tribal Court Legal Advocacy.  This free, 6-month, skill-building course empowers laypersons to practice law in Tribal Courts across the United States.

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
The National Trial Tribal College condenses three years of law school into a 20-week online curriculum with students, most of whom are Native women…
Unlike state and federal courts,
Continue Reading National Tribal Trial College Gives Indigenous Advocates the Skills to Work in Tribal Courts

Here is the latest faculty scholarship appearing in the University of Wisconsin Law School Legal Studies Research Papers series found on SSRN.

In a letter dated February 22, 2022, Texas Governor Greg Abbott directed the commissioner of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) “to conduct a prompt and thorough investigation of any reported instances” of what he calls “abusive sex
Continue Reading Recent UW Law Faculty Scholarship: Weaponizing Fear; Colonialism, Foreign Investment and Property Rights Reconsidered; Pathology Logics; and Regulating Social Media in the Free-Speech Ecosystem

This afternoon, I had the pleasure of attending an excellent presentation on The Life Cycle of Scholarship Marketing, jointly presented by the UW Law School External Affairs Office and our Law Library.  The session was cleverly organized around the following themes:

  • Birth and childhood
    • Research and literature review
    • Prepping for discoverability
    • Submissions to journals
  • Teenage years
    • Positioning and posting your newly published work
    • Getting the word out
  • Maturity and growing up
    • Being an expert
    • Sharing the news
  • Golden years

Continue Reading Partnering with other Law School Units to Promote Law Faculty Scholarly Visibility

According to The Verge, a free basic version of Photoshop (image editing tool) is coming soon:
Adobe has started testing a free-to-use version of Photoshop on the web and plans to open the service up to everyone as a way to introduce more users to the app….
Adobe describes the service as “freemium” and eventually plans to gate off some features that will be exclusive to paying subscribers. Enough tools will be freely available to perform what Adobe
Continue Reading Free Basic Photoshop Coming Soon

Christopher Shattuck, Law Practice Assistance Manager at the State Bar of Wisconsin has compiled a useful list of tips for law school grads looking to maximize their experiences as new lawyers.  They are:

  • Do Not Be Afraid to Ask Questions
  • Maximize Your Networking
  • Boost Your Experience by Volunteering
  • Attend to Your Own Wellness
  • Explore Resources for Legal Research

All excellent tips, but I was especially pleased to see that exploring legal research tools made the list.  Shattuck recommends several of
Continue Reading Exploring Legal Research Resources Makes WisBar’s “5 Tips to Excel as a New Lawyer”

Professor James E. JonesUW Law School has named Bernadette Atuahene as the inaugural James E. Jones Chair. The endowed faculty chair honors the late Professor James E. Jones Jr. ’56, who was a trailblazing labor lawyer, civil rights activist, prolific scholar, and committed professor. In 1969, he became the Law School’s first African American faculty member and, in 1973, founded UW Law’s William H. Hastie Teaching Fellowship. The James E. Jones Chair is UW-Madison’s first fully funded chair
Continue Reading UW Law Names Prof. Bernadette Atuahene as Inaugural James E. Jones Chair

Free federal court records are now one step closer:  The federal judiciary’s policymaking body has endorsed a proposal to make federal court records searches via the PACER electronic database free to non-commercial users.  According to a newly released report, the Judicial Conference of the United States has endorsed “making all searches free of charge for all non-commercial users of any future new modernized case management, electronic filing, and public access systems implemented by the judiciary.”

According to Reuters and
Continue Reading Judicial Conference Endorses Making PACER Searching Free to All Non-commercial Users

Twenty-five years after his death, the Wisconsin Law Review has published a long-lost manuscript by Professor J. Willard Hurst, beloved UW Law School professor, renowned scholar, and one of the great originators of modern legal history and law and society scholarship.  It is believed that the work entitled, “Technology and the Law: The Automobile,” was written in the early 1950s as one of several chapters intended as a supplement to his successful book, The Growth of American Law.   
Continue Reading UW Law Publishes Long-Lost “Technology & the Law: The Automobile” Manuscript by J. Willard Hurst, the Father of Modern Legal History

The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently approved an amendment to Supreme Court Rule (SCR) 31.01 (11) to allow tribal courts to appoint attorneys to provide pro bono legal services, and to permit the attorney to claim continuing legal education credits in lieu of monetary payments. Effective April 20, 2022, Wisconsin attorneys who accept appointments from state, federal, and now tribal courts without fee or expectation of a fee for persons of limited means can request CLE credit for their service.
Continue Reading WI Attorneys Can Now Earn CLE Credit for Tribal Court Pro Bono Appointments

Here is the latest faculty scholarship appearing in the University of Wisconsin Law School Legal Studies Research Papers series found on SSRN.

This Article analyzes the rise and persistence of the U.S.-based nature rights movement and its engagement with social movements in the Global South and with Indigenous ideas. The story told here of
Continue Reading Recent UW Law Faculty Scholarship: The Legal Struggle for Rights of Nature in the United States; More

Looking for a blast from the past?  Oldestsearch.com will retrieve Google results in reverse chronological order.  beSpacific notes that “this is useful for many subjects including medical illnesses which return search results back to the 1070’s allowing you to build a more complete perspective on an illness over time.”
Continue Reading Oldestsearch.com Retrieves Google results in Reverse Chronological Order

I recently discovered that Wisconsin Tax Appeals Commission Rulings and Orders are now available in full text on Wisconsin.gov.  The Tax Appeals Commission (TAC) is an independent state agency that was created by the Wisconsin State Legislature to hear and determine disputes between taxpayers and the Wisconsin Department of Revenue and, in some limited instances, the Department of Transportation. The TAC also resolves tax disputes in the areas of individual income, corporate income, county sales tax, cigarette use, homestead
Continue Reading WI Tax Index & Appeals Commission Decisions Available on Wisconsin.gov

In an opinion issued earlier this year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit placed a limitation on the use of content archived by the Internet Archive’s “Wayback Machine” without additional authentication.  The Internet Archive is a nonprofit digital library that seeks to maintain an archive of publicly accessible web pages at various points in time.

Law.com reports on the opinion, Weinhoffer v. Davie Shoring:
The Fifth Circuit reversed, finding that the evidence [a snapshot of
Continue Reading 5th Circuit Limits Use of “Wayback Machine” Archived Content without Additional Authentication