November 6, 2014

Water Law in Wisconsin

My colleague, Jenny Zook, has written a great piece on Water Law in Wisconsin for the latest Inside Track from the State Bar of Wisconsin.

Here's the abstract:

The Great Lakes Region, at about 20 percent the world's surface fresh water, stands to play an important role in the world's global water market. Jenny Zook suggests this future demand for water is an opportunity for lawyers to effect policy and help safeguard Wisconsin's natural resource. Here are some resources to get you started.

October 31, 2014

Kris Turner Wins WLA Rising Star Award

The UW Law Library is happy to announce that Kris Turner, our Reference and Technology Services Librarian, has been selected by the Wisconsin Library Association's New Member Round Table as the recipient of its 2014 Rising Star Award.

Kris jointed the library staff in 2012. He has become a skilled guide for students, faculty and staff through the wide range of changes that have taken place in the technologies of legal research. He currently is involved in re-designing the Law Library website, developing an in-house repository for faculty scholarship, and re-thinking how technology can be used to better market library resources and services. Kris regularly authors postings for the library's website as well as reviews of books on aspects of law librarianship. He has become an expert on legal apps and has been interviewed by U.S. News and World Report and the Wisconsin Law Journal on this topic.

Kris serves as the Chair-Elect of the Association of Wisconsin Special Libraries as well as the secretary of the Law Librarians Association of Wisconsin. He has been invited to give presentations at numerous professional meetings, including meetings of the Wisconsin Library Association, the Law Librarians Association of Wisconsin, the American Association of Law Libraries, and the UW Madison campus libraries.

We are delighted to see Kris's professional accomplishments recognized by librarians across the state. Please join us in congratulating Kris on this well-deserved honor!

October 21, 2014

Will Including an Abstract and Table of Contents in your Law Review Article Increase Citations to It?

There is an interesting article on SSRN about whether including an abstract and/or table of contents in your law review article can have an impact on your scholarly influence.

The authors observed that "on average both abstracts and tables of contents associate with large increases in scholarly influence. Compared to articles that use neither document element, articles that include just an abstract are cited on average roughly 50% more, and articles that include just a table of contents roughly 30% more. Including both document elements corresponds to the largest increase in citation, over 70%."

Here is the article:
Should Your Law Review Article Have an Abstract and Table of Contents?
Lee Petherbridge & Christopher A. Cotropia

September 19, 2014

WI Voters to Consider Constitutional Amendment relating to Transportation Fund

On November 4th, Wisconsin voters will decide whether to adopt a constitutional amendment relating to a transportation fund and a department of transportation.

From the Brief prepared by the Legislative Reference Bureau:

Currently, the revenues generated by use of the state transportation system may be deposited into any fund as provided by law. This proposed constitutional amendment, proposed to the 2011 legislature on first consideration, requires that such revenues be deposited into a transportation fund, and requires the legislature to create such a fund and a department of transportation.

Why is this amendment being proposed? Here's an excerpt from the Attorney General's Explanatory Statement as it appears in the LRB Brief:


At times, the Legislature has transferred moneys initially deposited into the transportation fund to programs with non-transportation-related purposes. Such transfers have typically been to general revenue funds, which are used for state programs such as education, health care, and shared revenue. The Wisconsin Supreme Court has suggested that these transfers are permissible under current law.

In essence, the proposed amendment would change the Wisconsin Constitution to require that revenues generated by specified uses of the state transportation system be deposited into a transportation fund and expended only for transportation-related purposes.

September 3, 2014

The US Code gets a slight reorganization


Starting on September 1st, the US Code added a new Title. Sections concerning the voting and elections that were previously found in titles 2 and 42 are now being moved to a new Title 52. The idea behind the addition is to both simplify the existing sections of 2 and 42 and make a more coherent Title that pertains only to voting and elections.

For online versions of the code, you can now cite Title 52. For print editions, the change will take effect with the publication of supplement II of the 2012 edition.

For more background on the change and resources to check on during the transition, visit the USC webpage that discusses the update in more depth.

June 26, 2014

New features on Congress.Gov

As Thomas.gov continues to evolve into Congress.Gov, more features are being added. Recently, In Custodia Legis, the Law Library of Congress Blog, announced some of most recent bells and whistles that were added:

*You can now search for presidential nominations back to 1981.

*Congress.Gov also allows you to create an account so you can save customized searches and other bookmarks on the site.

*Possibly most importantly, the About Section has been expanded to be more user-friendly and transparent.

Check out Congress.Gov here and read the original In Custodia Legis post on the updates here. Happy Searching!

June 25, 2014

Article: Is Confidentiality Really Forever -- Even If the Client Dies or Ceases to Exist?

A recent article available on SSRN examines the question, "Is Confidentiality Really Forever -- Even If the Client Dies or Ceases to Exist?"

Here's the abstract:

The law firm of Lizzie Borden's lead attorney continues to maintain her client files in a confidential manner. In contrast, the trove of notes kept by another attorney on the defense team were discovered by his grandson, who willed the client materials to the local Massachusetts historical society, making them generally accessible some 100 years after the murder trial.

Which is the right result? Does client confidentiality live forever? What if the client is an entity rather than an individual? Should there be some point in time -- 50 or 100 years -- when this right to confidentiality expires? Who will enforce the privilege once all the participants are dead? These questions have important implications for attorneys, law firms, and corporate entities. But they are also questions of importance to librarians whose libraries might be given papers that were protected by the attorney-client privilege, represented work product, or were the subject of an attorney's ethical obligation to protect the confidentiality of client matters.

This short essay raises these questions and considers the legal, policy, and practical issues involved. Several approaches are outlined and briefly evaluated.


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