Thursday, March 31, 2005

Resources On: TASERS & Stun Devices

UPDATE: The WI Dept of Justice has now issued its report on the use of Electronic Control Weapons. 6/8/2005

Here are several resources that have recently been released regarding TASERS and Stun Devices:

Madison Police Department reports on their policy regarding use of TASERS.
Read the Report

WI Dept of Justice has been scheduled public hearings on the issue of police use of TASERS and other devices. Look here for more information and to find out when the next public hearing will be held.

"The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies has completed a study on the safety and efficacy of stun devices. The report concludes that while increased medical testing should continue, and federal guidelines for manufacturers and end users should be put into place, when used appropriately, stun technology is relatively safe and clearly effective."
Read the Study
Read the Press Release

Madison's Online City Hall

Still in the test phase, the City of Madison has launched an online Legislative Information Center that allows you to search city legislative files, such as resolutions or ordinances. There is a link to streaming video of common council meetings, a calendar, agenda and minutes of committee meetings, and more features coming soon.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Court Interpreter Information

"The Wisconsin Director of State Courts Office has established a long-range program to improve court interpreter services and to create a system for certifying court interpreters. "

There's information about the certification process, orientation, as well as a roster of certified interpreters on the Court System's interpreter's web pages. The information also contains scheduled test dates and more.

New Site for Finding Vital Records Offices

There is a new page from the State Dept of Health and Family Services that lists local vital record-related services (including Clerks of Court). It includes PDF files for the Clerks of Court listing and map, and links to lists of current county fees for marriage licenses and Coroner/ME fees. It also includes lists and maps for Registers of Deeds and Milwaukee and West Allis offices, County Clerks, Clerks of Court and Coroners/MEs.

FYI: I found out from the info on this page that Dane County has the highest fees in the state for obtaining a marriage license.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Two new resources

From Katrina Willis at the Wis. Dept of Commerce, Bureau of Housing:

WIFrontDoorHousing is a free web-based resource database hosted by the State of Wisconsin, Department of Commerce, Bureau of Housing with support from the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority. WIFrontDoorHousing provides a statewide directory of
Wisconsin affordable housing units available for low- to moderate-income households.

WIFrontDoor lists community social services offered throughout Wisconsin including rental assistance, emergency shelter, eviction prevention and similar services.

Fuel Cost Calculator

AAA Fuel Cost Calculator
"Calculate the estimated fuel cost of your trip" based on current gasoline prices. Choose your starting point, destination, make/model/year of vehicle from dropdown menus and click "Calculate." Map on page shows current day's average fuel costs in different regions of the country. From Gary Price's Resource Shelf blog.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

State Laws for Living Wills

From Be Spacific:
"Available as a free feature on today's Wall Street Journal, State Laws for Living Wills - "Rules for living wills, written instructions on the type of care a person would want in the event of a life-threatening medical condition, vary by state. Download the details on living wills and advance directives for your state."
Source: beSpacific - Accurate, focused law and technology news
by Sabrina I. Pacifici 22 March 2005
Copyright ©2002-2005 BeSpacific LLC. All Rights Reserved.

*Info about WI Power of Attorney including links to forms.
*Info about Living Wills including links to forms.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Wis Supreme Court Rules on Miller Park Case

UPDATE 3/24: Also of note on this topic is the recently released study from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, part of the US Dept. of Justice, on Punitive Damage Awards in Large Counties, which "presents findings on civil trials concluded in 2001 in the Nation's 75 largest counties that produced a punitive damage award. Information reported in numerical tables includes the types of civil cases receiving punitive damages, punitive damage award amounts, a comparison of punitive damages in bench and jury trials, and types of litigants in trials with punitive damages." You can read more about it and view the reports at the BJS website.

Thanks to Angela S. at WI State Law Library for noticing this release...

The Miller Park decision was released today, Wischer v. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.
The case is consolidated, 01-0724, 01-1031 & 01-2486.

And from the Capital Times newspaper:
MADISON (AP) - The state Supreme Court on Friday overturned a decision that threw out a punitive damages award to the families of three ironworkers killed when a crane collapsed during the construction of Milwaukee's Miller Park.
But the Supreme Court put off ruling whether the $94 million award was excessive under state law. The justices said there were numerous unresolved issues over the award and they need more evidence to make a decision.
The case was sent back to the appeals court on that issue. Read more about this story...

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Government Info Online

From Neat New Stuff I Found This Week
Copyright, Marylaine Block, 1999-2005.

Government Information Online
"a national pilot project involving more than 30 libraries across the
United States. The site offers live chat schedules with librarians
Monday through Friday, or users may send a question about state or federal
government to a government information librarian and receive an answer
within 48 hours... The pilot runs through Nov. 15, 2005."

Monday, March 07, 2005

Legal Research Tip 13

Welcome to the next issue of the DCLRC E-Newsletter "Legal Research Tips"! You can view back issues of these tips through other posts in this blawg. Enjoy!

Having trouble finding the statutes that govern health and fitness clubs? Specifically looking for information in regards to canceling a membership and/or getting a refund when you move out of the service area?

Refer to Wisconsin Statutes chapter 100, Marketing; Trade Practices. In particular s.100.177, Fitness center and weight reduction center contracts.

You may also wish to read a document from the Wisconsin Dept. of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection on fitness and weight loss centers.

Internet Tip 13

Welcome to the next issue of "Internet Tips"! There are three sections to this email: a beginner's tip, an advanced tip, and a useful internet link. Enjoy!

Beginner's Tip: How do I get my Taskbar back?
*Move the mouse to the bottom of the screen until the mouse cursor looks like you're about to resize something.
*Stretch the Taskbar up, so that it is visible.
*To do this with the keyboard, type Ctrl-ESC, Alt-Space, S, and then use the Up Arrow to resize the taskbar.

Advanced Tip: The Annoying Paperclip
I don't have to tell you how annoying that stupid little animated paperclip character is that pops up in Microsoft Office 2000 and Office XP, preventing mouse clicks until it's closed. Clippy (and all the other stupid little characters) are very easy to kill:
*Double-click the Add/Remove Programs icon in Control Panel.
*Locate Microsoft Office 2000 or Microsoft Office XP in the list of installed programs, and double-click it (in Windows Me/2000/XP, highlight it and click Change).
*When the setup window appears, click Add or Remove Features.
*For Office 2000, click the plus sign [+] next to Office Tools, and click the box next to Office Assistant; for Office XP, it's in the Office Shared Features category.
*From the menu that appers, choose Not Available.
*Click Update Now when you're done. That's it! None of those annoying characters will ever bother you again!

Useful Internet Link: The tips above came from a handy site called Access the site to find answers and tips to make computing less of a pain.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Gradual Digitization of Courtrooms

UPDATE 3/31: Read this post on Tom Mighell's Inter Alia blog about the use of wireless technology in court.

From last October's post on the ACSBlog: The Blog of the American Constitution Society:
"Over the past couple of decades, computer technology has progressed from being the playthings of geeks to the necessities of neophytes. Despite this rapid-fire growth, our judiciary system has remained somewhat sheltered from the effects of the digital age. Courts around the country -- and indeed, around the world -- are slowly incorporating the technology into courtroom proceedings." Read more ...

With Dane County's new courthouse set to open early next year, court participants and staff will see a change in how technology is incorporated into local court proceedings. The new courthouse will feature substantially new technology features that are not available in the current courtrooms.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Military Law Info

From Jim Calloway's Law Practice Tips Blog: "Hat's off to the ABA General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Section for their recent GPSolo Magazine focusing on military law. It is all online. Some of the many articles include Preparing Clients for Deployment, Lawyers and the Call-Up, Military Family Law: Thirteen Common Questions, Collecting From Personnel Called to Active Duty, An Attorney’s Guide to Veterans’ Rights and Benefits, an article on the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act and many more. "

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Dane Co Juvenile Court Resource Booklet

The new Dane County Juvenile Court Resource Booklet is available for purchase from the Legal Resource Center for $2.00. The booklet covers delinquency, TPR, adoption, CHIPS and JIPS, as well as FAQ's, reading lists, and useful web links.

Free Credit Reports Now Available

From WisBlawg: Beginning March 1st, Wisconsinites can request a free copy of their credit report once every twelve months. Read more...

Deciding to Sue in Federal v. State Court

From JURIST Paper Chase Blog:
"The Supreme Court Monday granted certiorari to a case raising the question of when plaintiffs can sue in federal court, as opposed to state court. The question has lately sparked an important political debate, as plaintiffs often prefer to pursue claims in state courts, where payouts are larger for class-action lawsuits. " Read more...