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  • Inside Track
    December 02, 2015

    Looking for a Family Law Case Citation? Find It Quickly With Newly-Revised Family Law Casenotes and Quotes

    If you’re looking for that perfect case to support your family law client’s position, look in Family Law Casenotes and Quotes from State Bar of Wisconsin PINNACLE®, newly updated to include the latest cases on child support, property division, maintenance, and more.

    Dec. 2, 2015 – No matter where you start, you’ll end up with the cases you need in PINNACLE’s Family Law Casenotes and Quotes – newly revised in 2015. The book’s authors – longtime family-law attorney Thomas A. Bailey and circuit court commissioner Laura Lau – have compiled quotations from the most significant family-law appellate opinions over the past 35 years.

    But the book is more than a compilation. It’s an organized and accessible arsenal for advocates.

    Target your research in an exclusive database of family-law cases

    Each case begins with a concise, author-drafted summary, and the key quotations are accompanied by bolded subject terms (e.g., “Property Division – Fifty-Fifty Presumption” and “Maintenance – Limited Term”). The topical headings are consolidated into an index for speedy reference.

    Here are a few examples of questions you might have, and how you can find answers with the book’s time-saving tools:

    1. Say you remember a recent opinion but forgot to save it
      Suppose you vaguely remember an opinion, decided in the past two or three years, that involved a parent moving from Wisconsin to Illinois and requesting a change in physical placement. You want to see whether those facts resemble your client’s situation.

      Go to the Index to Casenotes in Family Law Casenotes and Quotes and find the main-level index entry for “Modification of Physical Placement.” Scan the dozen or so subheadings, along with related citations, including one or two cases from the past two years. And there it is: Shulka v. Sikraji, 2014 WI App 113, 358 Wis. 2d 639, 856 N.W.2d 617 (review denied). Locate the casenote in the “Volume 358” section of the book, and you see right away that the summary of the case describes a mother who moved to Illinois. You’ve found the case you wanted.

    2. Or suppose you’re looking for case law on an unfamiliar topic
      Perhaps you represent a client in a child-support dispute. Your client has left his employment as a physician, and his income has significantly declined. His former spouse accuses him of shirking by not taking a higher-paying job. You’re aware of the concept of shirking, but you’re not sure what standard the courts apply to such cases.

      Go to the book’s Index to Casenotes. Find the main-level heading for “Shirking.” Again you find more than a dozen subheadings. Some cases have multiple entries. One is Chen v. Warner, 2005 WI 55, 280 Wis. 2d 344, 695 N.W.2d 758. Turn to the “Volume 280” section of the book, and there you find a casenote for that case. Several paragraphs in the casenote are tagged with the phrase “Shirking – Reasonableness,” and you learn that “reasonableness” is the essential standard. If you go back to the Index, you’ll find additional cases under the same “Shirking – Reasonableness” heading, and there you find more judicial statements on this topic.

    3. Find opinions that a specific judge has written
      You’ve won a case in the circuit court, and the opposing party has appealed. You wonder whether a specific appellate judge has decided cases on similar issues. Turn to your book’s “Table of Judges,” which identifies the cases each specific circuit court and appellate judge has written. You’ll see, for example, that Justice Rebecca Bradley decided a family law case in the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, before she was appointed to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. That case, newly added to the November 2015 update to Family Law Casenotes & Quotes, was Smith v. Lambouths, No. 2015AP220 (Wis. Ct. App. Oct. 6, 2015) (publication not recommended).

    Order your copy of this trusted resource today

    Family Law Casenotes and Quotes, now in its fifth edition, is available both in print and online via Books UnBound®, the State Bar’s interactive online library. Print and Books UnBound editions are $149 for members and $189 for nonmembers.

    Subscribers to the State Bar’s automatic supplementation service will receive future updates at a discount off the regular price. Current full-library subscribers to Books UnBound automatically receive these updates.

    For more information or to place an order, call the State Bar at (800) 728-7788 or (608) 257-3838.

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