Marquette Law School Launches Institutional Repository

The Eckstein Law Library is pleased to announce the formal launch of the Marquette Law Scholarly Commons, which offers free, online access to a growing collection of scholarly work of the Marquette University Law School community. Today, the Scholarly Commons has over 5300 items, including all four student-edited, Marquette law journals as well as articles written by Marquette University Law School faculty published in the Marquette law journals and elsewhere. In the future, look for additional journal articles to be added to these existing collections and for new collections to be announced. Although the full-text documents in the journal and faculty scholarship collections are the heart of the Scholarly Commons, the repository also serves as a gateway to other endeavors of the Law School community. Follow links to read the Faculty Blog or the Marquette Lawyer, learn about programs such as On the Issues with Mike Gousha, and explore faculty working papers and accepted articles in Marquette’s Legal Studies Research Paper Series on SSRN.

This repository grew from a shared vision of Dean Kearney, the Law Librarians, Associate Dean for Research Michael O’Hear and others to provide convenient and global access to the scholarly output of the Marquette University Law School. While preserving the scholarly output of the Law School, the Marquette Law Scholarly Commons also expands the reach of faculty scholarship and Law School journals. Indeed, in the past few weeks the repository had visitors from Australia, Japan, India, Brazil and China, among others.

We encourage you to be a regular visitor to the Marquette Law Scholarly Commons. If interested, you can monitor new items as they are uploaded to the Scholarly Commons by enabling the Marquette Law Scholarly Commons RSS feed in an RSS Reader or setting up personalized email notifications to be sent when content that meets specified search criteria is added. The Marquette Law Scholarly Commons is a service of the Eckstein Law Library.


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State v. Stevens: Reaffirming Blum on No Precedential Value of Overruled Court of Appeals Cases – With a Caveat

Precedent and authority are concepts with which students become familiar early in law school and grow to appreciate even more in practice. Law students learn to look to details such as jurisdiction, court hierarchy, status of a decision as published or unpublished, dates of decisions, and subsequent treatment and build on these foundations to evaluate precedential value and weight of authority. Students and legal researchers in Wisconsin had to rethink some of what had been considered established principles regarding precedent after the Wisconsin Supreme Court announced in Blum that court of appeals decisions that it overruled retained no precedential value absent an express statement that portions of a decision were left intact. Today, the court in State v. Stevens reaffirmed the holding in Blum, but did so with the caveat that courts may have to determine whether an opinion was really intended to overrule all of a decision or only a portion thereof when applying the rule retroactively.

In Blum v. 1st Auto Casualty & Insurance Co., 2010 WI 78, 326 Wis. 2d 729, 786 N.W.2d 78, a decision issued two years ago tomorrow, the Wisconsin Supreme Court held “that when the supreme court overrules a court of appeals decision, the court of appeals decision no longer possesses any precedential value, unless this court expressly states otherwise.”¶ 42. The court discussed several public policy and practical considerations that it deemed would be served by this “bright-line rule nullifying the precedential value of an overruled court of appeals decision.” ¶ 51. The court viewed the rule as one that would help eliminate confusion that had grown regarding precedential value of reversed and overruled opinions and that “clarifies the law for the public as a whole.” ¶ 55.

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Fastcase Now Available to Wisconsin State Bar Members

Members of the Wisconsin State Bar now have access, at no additional cost, to Fastcase, the online legal database described earlier this month. The announcement from the State Bar provides more information about this new member benefit, including instructions for the simple process to access the database. Wisconsin Bar members select “Fastcase” from the drop down menu of the “Legal Research” tab at and log on with their bar member or e-mail address and password for myStateBar. After logging in, members can retrieve a User’s Guide and other help features, perform a simple Fastcase case law search, or select the advanced search feature to open the full Fastcase database.

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