Category Archives: Courts

Hear Ye, OYEZ to cover State Supreme Courts

OYEZ, the website long known for its coverage of the U.S. Supreme Court, plans to expand access to the proceedings of State Supreme Courts.
Through a grant from the Open Government project sponsored by the Knight Foundation, the OYEZ Project will enlarge its free online archive of transcripts, audio recordings, news and analysis of court proceedings and decisions.
The plan is to begin with five states: California, Florida, Illinois, New York and Texas and grow from there.
This expansion is in keeping with OYEZ’s longstanding mission of promoting transparency and open government.
Another article about OYEZ’s planned expansion may be viewed on the National Law Journal website.
Post by Eric Taylor, UW Law Library

Checklist for Filing Appellate Briefs in Wisconsin

According to the latest InsideTrack, the Appellate Practice Section of the State Bar of Wisconsin has created an Appellate Brief Filing Checklist outlining requirements to help lawyers during the brief-writing process.
The first part is a checklist with boxes permitting practitioners literally to check off the items as they are included in a brief, and the second part is an accompanying outline to explain the checklist.
Hat tip to my colleague, Bill Ebbott.

WI Sup Ct Recommends No Change to Rule Allowing Citation of Unpublished Appeals Court Opinions

From WisBar’s InsideTrack:

A state rule of appellate procedure that allows attorneys to cite unpublished Wisconsin Court of Appeals opinions as persuasive authority will continue unchanged, the Wisconsin Supreme Court recently concluded….
Under Wis. Stat. section 809.23(3)(b), only unpublished opinions issued on or after July 1, 2009, which are authored by a member of a three-judge panel or by a single judge under section 752.31(2), may be cited….
Because an unpublished opinion cited for its persuasive value is not precedent, it is not considered binding, and a court need not distinguish or otherwise discuss an unpublished opinion. No party has a duty to research or cite unpublished opinions under the rule….
But according to the Hon. Richard Brown, chief judge for the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, more unpublished opinions are being cited, at least in District II. He estimates that one in every 20 appellate briefs contains citation and discussion of unpublished decisions, which is a lot considering the number of cases handled by appeals court judges annually.
“Not only that, when reading the circuit court record in our cases, we see that unpublished opinions are being cited to the trial courts,” Chief Judge Brown said. “Whether an unpublished opinion is ‘persuasive’ is literally a case-by-case determination.”

Today in Wisconsin History – 1877, Passage of WI Law Prohibiting Denial of Admission to the Bar on the Basis of Gender

Today’s On This Day in Wisconsin History features the passage of a bill in the Wisconsin Legislature prohibiting denial of admission to the bar on the basis of gender.
Here’s more from the State Historical Society:

R. Lavinia Goodell was the first woman admitted to the Wisconsin State Bar in 1897. Goodell had first applied in 1875, but was denied because it was believed that women were not suited to practice law. According to Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Edward G. Ryan, “Nature has tempered woman as little for the juridicial conflicts of the court room, as for the physical conflicts of the battle field.”
Goodell then worked with the legislature to pass and defend enabling legislation. After the legislature passed it, she reapplied for admission to practice before the Wisconsin Supreme Court and her petition was granted on June 18, 1879, with Judge Ryan dissenting.

If you’re interested in learning more about Goodell, see her biography entitled, Strong-minded woman : the story of Lavinia Goodell, Wisconsin’s first female lawyer. Note that it is written for young readers.

Mobile App for PACER Access Free for Limited Time

FedCtRecords is a iPhone/iPad app which allows registered PACER users to search and retrieve documents. It is free for a limited time.
According to the support page, you can:
* Search Attorney and Party names within a District Court.
* Add Attorney information to the Contacts Application.
* Save multiple cases for quick retrieval.
* View Party and Attorney information.
* View Case Summary information.
* View Deadline and Hearings summary information.
* View Docket summary information.
* View and Email Docket Filings in pdf format.
Note that this application is for case searching only – it cannot be used to file documents.
Hat tip to LexScripta

PACER Case Locator now Mobile Friendly

The Federal Judiciary has launched a new mobile web version of the PACER Case Locator. There is nothing to install – mobile visitors to PACER Case Locator will simply be redirected to pcl.uscourts.gov/searchmobile.
The PACER Case Locator allows searching for court records in all district, bankruptcy, and appellate courts. The Mobile PACER Case Locator is accessible using Apple devices, such as iPads, as well as Android devices version 2.2 or higher.
See the full PACER announcement for more. Hat tip to Legal Research Plus.

PACER Training Site Available

The Federal Judiciary has launched a new PACER training site where current and future users can learn how to use PACER. You don’t have to register, and there is no charge for accessing this training area.
The site includes data from real cases filed in the New York Western District Court between 1/1/2007 and 7/1/2007 so users can get a feel for the type of case data and documents available through PACER.

Wisconsin Court System Redesigns Website

The Wisconsin court system has recently redesigned its Web site.
According to the press release, “in addition to a new graphical presentation, the new Web site helps guides visitors with better organized tabs and drop-down menus…”
The press release describes two new features on the home page:

  • The “quick links” tab leads visitors to each court system department;
  • the “How do I?” section helps guide visitors most directly to the area of the site they need, whether it’s to pay a fine or find a courthouse.

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