June 20, 2018 – It is the reference that’s still going strong after more than 40 years.
It is the book that continues to focus on procedure yet doesn’t omit vital substantive information.
The Wisconsin Attorney’s Desk Reference from State Bar of Wisconsin PINNACLE® an easy-to-use guide for quick answers or an introduction to 11 practice areas and 35 topics. Inside, you find:
Recently redesigned, the Desk Reference is now even easier to use.
How is it easier to use? Citations to statutes, cases, and other authorities now follow the related text (instead of appearing in adjacent columns, a format that sometimes led to confusion).
Don’t worry – other time-tested elements remain. Each chapter opens with an introductory section that gives the scope of the chapter and suggests additional resources, and a condensed chapter outline – a mini-table of contents – precedes most introductory sections.
Highlights on Dozens of Subjects are Easy to Find and Digest
It’s easy to skim the summary presentation of subjects in Desk Reference’s 35-plus chapters for legal developments, especially if you must stay up to date on areas outside your primary practice focus.
For example, if you are uncertain if time limits for certain kinds of actions have changed, check the Statutes of Limitation chapter, written by Peter Young and Jesse Blocher. You’ll see that civil rights actions in state courts are now subject to a three-year statute of limitation – after the Wisconsin Legislature enacted 2017 Wis. Act 235, which also changed other litigation-related time limits and amended discovery rules.
Wondering about the effect of the 2017 federal tax reform act on maintenance payments in divorces? Consult the Divorce and Actions Affecting the Family chapter, written by Kathleen R. Avoles and Kyle R. Schaffer. There you’ll learn about the changed treatment of deductibility of maintenance payments, effective for divorces finalized after Dec. 31, 2018.
Keep Current with Up-to-date, Long-standing Topics
The first edition of the Desk Reference, published in 1986, was a joint project of the General Practice Section (now the Solo/Small Firm & General Practice Section) and the State Bar of Wisconsin.
The section’s directors selected the original topics based on its view of general practitioners’ needs.
In fact, three of the section’s board members who helped shape the book in its original iteration are still authors in 2018:
Richard L. Binder, Settlement and Subrogation;
Robert J. Misey, Foreclosing a Mortgage and Foreclosing a Land Contract; and
Lawrence Alan Towers, Lemon Law Litigation.
These practice areas, like all others in the Desk Reference, have evolved over the decades.
Binder’s chapter, now with co-author Kyle Borkenhagen, includes discussion of the increasing involvement of insurers and governmental agencies in paying for health care and reimbursing for other types of injuries (see, e.g., the discussion of purposes of subrogation and Dufour v. Progressive Classic Insurance Co.).
Misey’s chapter, now with his son as co-author and his grandson as assistant, covers recent changes to the statute on abandoned properties (Wis. Stat. § 846.102).
Towers’ chapter includes information on the creation of new lemon law provisions in 2014 (Wisconsin’s first lemon law took effect in 1986, the same year the Desk Reference was created).
New, Cutting-edge Topics
Among the authors new to the project for the 2018 edition is Jennifer Amundsen, whose chapter topic, Animal Law, was far from mainstream when the book was conceived in the 1980s.
Reflecting the increasing importance of animals as companions and property, the chapter was added to the book in the early 2000s. Among developments reported in the most recent edition are:
a 2017 decision from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, where the court held that Congress’ use of the word “terrorism” in the title of the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act does not violate substantive due process.;
another federal court opinion discussing the relisting of wolves as an endangered species in the Western Great Lakes region; and
an Alaskan statute providing that courts of that state may provide for an animal’s ownership or joint ownership in divorce and post judgment proceedings.
How to Order
Wisconsin Attorney’s Desk Reference is available in both print and online via Books UnBound®, the State Bar’s interactive online library. The print book costs $149 for members and $179 for nonmembers. Electronic forms from the book are available online to print book owners and to Books UnBound subscribers.
Subscribers to the State Bar’s automatic supplementation service will receive future updates at a discount off the regular price. Annual subscriptions to Books UnBound start at $159 per title (single-user price, call for full-library and law-firm pricing).
For more information or to place an order, visit WisBar’s Marketplace, or call the State Bar at (800) 728-7788 or (608) 257-3838.