University of Wisconsin–Madison

Locating Wisconsin Briefs

As a follow-up to the recent posting regarding the United States brief collection at the UW Law Library, here is an overview for locating Wisconsin briefs.

Wisconsin Supreme Court briefs date back to 1853.  Due to space limitations, the UW Law Library no longer maintains paper copies of Wisconsin briefs.  Scanned images are supplied by the Wisconsin State Law Library and made available on the UW Law Library's web site.  The Wisconsin brief database currently consists of briefs for published Wisconsin Supreme Court and Court of Appeals cases as well as unpublished Court of Appeals cases from approximately 1992 to 2007 (173 Wis. 2d to 305 Wis. 2d).  When searching this database, simply enter the docket number or the case citation.

Briefs filed on or after July 1, 2009 are available on the Wisconsin Supreme Court and Court of Appeals Case Access website (CCAP).  Another source for recent briefs is the Wisconsin State Law Library.  The State Law Library receives copies of Court of Appeals briefs about two weeks after the case is sent to the district, while Supreme Court briefs arrive about two weeks after they are put on the calendar for Oral Argument.

Briefs for cases decided between 1941-1992 (238 Wis. Reports through 275 and 1 Wis.2d through 172 Wis. 2d) are available in the Law Library's microform collection.  Microfiche reader / printers include a scanning feature for making pdf copies.

Briefs from cases published in the first series of the Wisconsin Reporter are stored off-site at the UW Shelving Facility.  Use the "place request" feature on MadCat for retrieval options and expect 2-3 day turn around time.

The UW Law Library has a solid collection of books to help you write better briefs.  Try running a search in MadCat using the following subject headings: Legal Briefs, Oral Pleading, Appellate Practice or Amici Curiae.  If you prefer browsing, head to the stacks on level 3 south using the call number KF 251.   Some of these titles are also on Reserve at the Circulation Desk.

Submitted by Cheryl O'Connor on February 25, 2010

This article appears in the categories: Law Library

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