Legal Research News and Information with an Emphasis on Wisconsin

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If you’re a Badgerlink user, take note that the URL has changed to https://badgerlink.dpi.wi.gov.  The old URLs badgerlink.net and badgerlink.org no longer work.
If you’re not a Badgerlink user, what are you waiting for?  Badgerlink is a collection of amazing resources available for free to all state residents via Wisconsin’s libraries through funding from the DPI.  Badgerlink databases contain over 11,000 periodical titles and over 700 newspapers (including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and many Wisconsin
Continue Reading URL Change for Badgerlink, a Collection of Subscription Databases available to All Wisconsinites

Legal blogs and law firm websites can be great sources of legal insight and current awareness, especially on local issues.  However, this content is easy to miss if you’re not a subscriber.  Fortunately, there are a couple of useful tools to help you find this content:

Continue Reading Searching Legal Blogs & Law Firm Websites

On the latest episode of the WI Law in Action podcast from the UW Law Library, host Kris Turner interviews Professor S. Lisa Washington, the 2021-22 William H. Hastie Fellow at the University of Wisconsin Law School. Prof. Washington previously worked as a public defender in New York City, defending clients in family court. She also supervised students in the family court defense clinic at the Cardozo School of Law. Her article, “Survived and Coerced: Epistemic Injustice
Continue Reading WI Law In Action Podcast: S. Lisa Washington on Epistemic Injustice in the Family Regulation System

As a legal historian, I’m a big fan of Hein’s Session Law Library which contains the session laws of all 50 U.S. states as well as Canada, Australia, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, and the D.C. Register. All states are current within 60 days of the printed publication, and all states are available back to inception.  This database was instrumental to my research on sex trafficking in Wisconsin in the late 19th century.

The availability of this database was a
Continue Reading Hein Completes Indexing of WI Sessions Laws from Inception (1836-2019)

Yesterday, the Free Law Project announced the release of a new, first-of-its-kind database of federal judicial financial records:
The Ethics in Government Act was passed in 1978 in the aftermath of the Watergate Scandal and mandated the filing of these disclosures. From then until now, there has never been a database like the one we are announcing today.
Our financial disclosure database is a collection of over 250,000 pages of financial records drawn from over 26,000 tiff and PDF
Continue Reading New Database of Federal Judicial Financial Disclosures Reveals Conflicts of Interest

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

  • Gerrylaundering by Robert Yablon, UW Law School
    This Article introduces the concept of “gerrylaundering” to describe mapmakers’ efforts to lock-in their favorable position by preserving key elements of the existing map. Gerrylaundering and gerrymandering both serve anti-competitive ends, but they do so through different means. Unlike gerrymandering, gerrylaundering requires no conspicuous cracking and packing of disfavored

Continue Reading Recent UW Law Faculty Scholarship: Gerrylaundering, Indian Legal History, Injustice in the Child Welfare System, and the Development of Comparative Sociology of Law and Critical Legal Studies

If you’re a legal practitioner or scholar, you’re almost certainly familiar with The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation.  But you may not have heard of the ALWD Guide to Legal Citation. ALWD, from the Association of Legal Writing Directors, is designed to complement the Bluebook.  Whenever I have a  legal citation question that the Bluebook can’t answer, I turn to ALWD.

ALWD recently released a new 7th edition.  The CRIV Blog offers some insights from
Continue Reading Newly Updated ALWD Guide to Legal Citation Complements, Illuminates the Bluebook

Earlier today, the Law & Society Association has issued a statement on U.S. News’ decision not to proceed with its proposal to add a measure of “scholarly impact” to its law school rankings.  LSA is pleased that the measure will not proceed.
The Law & Society Association was concerned with the implications for our members, many of whom write books, book chapters and peer-reviewed articles that appear in and are frequently cited in publications other than law reviews. For
Continue Reading LSA Statement on US News’ Rejection of Scholarly Impact Metric

So many interesting articles, so little time to read them.  Enter FreeTTS, a free online tool that creates an audio version of any text as a downloadable MP3 file so I can listen as I go about my day – on my commute, walking the dogs, doing the dishes, etc.
It’s very easy to use.  Just copy the text you want to convert, then paste it into the text box on the FreeTTS home page.  Select the language
Continue Reading Convert Text to Speech & Download as MP3 with FreeTTS

From the Wisconsin State Law Library:
The Wisconsin Criminal Jury Instructions have recently been updated, with a 2021 release approved by the Wisconsin Judicial Conference’s Criminal Jury Instructions Committee. The fifty-ninth supplement to the Criminal Jury Instructions updates the publication on legislative actions and judicial decisions through August 2021.

The update includes revisions of twenty-nine existing jury instructions, as well as five new instructions:

Continue Reading 2021 Release of the WI Criminal Jury Instructions Now Available

If you’re an art enthusiast, a history buff, or simply a lover of Madison, head to the Goodman South Branch of the Madison Public Library this Thursday, Sept 9th from 6-7:30 for a talk by Doug Haynes, local artist, and creator of the State Street Adult Coloring Book.
This coloring book depicts a central intersection in Madison, Wisconsin from multiple points of view.  All the art was created between November 2020 to May 2021.  In that short
Continue Reading State Street Adult Coloring Book Captures Life on UW Campus, Downtown Madison, 2020-21

In response to the rising need for eviction defense, the University of Wisconsin Law School is launching a new Eviction Defense Clinic this fall.  This new clinic will join five other civil, anti-poverty clinical programs (listed below) as part of the University of Wisconsin Law School’s Economic Justice Institute (EJI).  The funding for the program comes as part of federal emergency rental assistance funding.
From UW Law News:
“Through the existing work we do in EJI, we have
Continue Reading In Response to Rising Need, UW Law School Launches New Eviction Defense Clinic

The University of Wisconsin Law School is thrilled to welcome two new faculty members:
Nate Atkinson is an assistant professor whose research focuses on the fields of corporate misconduct, contract law, and social choice theory. As an economist, Atkinson applies quantitative analysis to the study of the law. Atkinson’s current research projects include examining how prosecutors’ concerns for collateral consequences affect their assessments of corporate penalties; estimating corporations’ profits from violating environmental laws; the behavioral effects of efforts clauses in
Continue Reading Two Law Scholars Join UW Law Faculty: Nate Atkinson (Business Law) & Stephanie Holmes Didwania (Criminal Justice)

HeinOnline recently introduced a new feature called PathFinder that offers more robust subject searching.  PathFinder is a multi-level subject taxonomy in which broad research concepts are divided into increasingly granular levels.  Both text and graphical interfaces are available as shown below.

PathFinder is available as a search option from the HenOnline Law Journal Library page or in the advanced search form.  PathFinder subjects appear in the search results, on document pages, as well as on author profile pages.
Continue Reading HeinOnline Enhances Subject Searching with New PathFinder – But Still Has a Few Bumps

Have you ever been puzzled by the results from a Google search?  Found yourself wondering how Google connected those results to the words you typed, especially if you didn’t get exactly what you were expecting to find?  Fortunately, the newly enhanced About This Result panel offers some contextual insight into your search results.

To view the About this Result panel, click on the three dots next to most Google search results as shown below.  This will open a new
Continue Reading Google’s “About This Result” Panel Offers Insight into your Search Results

After raising numerous concerns from the legal academic community, Brian Leiter reports that U.S. News has decided not to produce its own scholarly impact ranking.  Chief among these concerns is that the exclusion of interdisciplinary scholarship and books in the ranking would create an incomplete representation of law faculty scholarly impact, skewing especially heavily against schools with strong interdisciplinary scholarship.
Other concerns included encouraging an overemphasis on scholarship to the detriment of instruction, undervaluing the academic contributions of junior and
Continue Reading Responding to US News’ Decision Not to Create Scholarly Impact Ranking – Law Librarians Still Play a Key Role in Maximizing Scholarly Visibility