The logical place for such an archive is in the Clerk's Office. In addition to the master archive within the Clerk's Office, the committee would suggest that a duplicate archive be maintained in the State Law Library. The reason for this is to provide redundancy in the event of disaster, and because the State Law Library as an institution is better able to respond to requests for dissemination from the public.
The archive would have the ability to provide to anyone a set of Wisconsin case law for the cost of copying. It may be possible, at a future date, to allow dial in access to the archive, or Internet access for obtaining copies of opinions. The archive would replace the current BBS maintained for the use of publishers.
Each element of the citation should be separated by a single space. Paragraph numbers should be separated from the sequential case number by a comma. Thus a cite might be:
1996 Wis App 235, 15
Each element would have the following meaning:
Footnotes would be handled as they are now in citations.
Page Numbers Rejected
The Committee considered using the page numbers from the slip opinion rather than paragraph numbers. It rejected doing so. The problems with page numbers are discussed elsewhere in this report, and though using court established page numbering would make the result "vendor neutral", other disadvantages remain. Moreover, because based on a technology (paper printing), page numbers are susceptible to technological changes.
Paragraph numbers are not based on the technology, but on the author's intent. A paragraph indicates what the author intended as a complete thought, and is determined by the author, not the technology. Moreover, because paragraphs are logically related to the author's points and concepts, they work better for pinpoint citations.
¶11 Although American Family did not participate in the litigation, it had previously been named as a defendant because prior to litigation it had made no-fault medical payments in the amount of $5895.75 and had refused to waive its rights to subrogation for that amount.
¶12 The relevant facts are these: On April 11, 1986 Voge was injured in an automobile accident with Anderson. Voge brought suit against Anderson and his automobile liability insurer, Illinois Farmers, and a jury trial commenced on May 21, 1990.
¶13 On July 19, 1990, American Family paid $150,000 to Voge on three UIM policies of $50,000 each. American Family's policy contained an express subrogation clause which read:Our recovery right. If we pay under this policy, we are entitled to all the rights of recovery of the person to whom payment was made against another.
However, American Family then waived any subrogation rights it had to seek reimbursement from Ander and Illinois Farmers.
¶14 Although American Family did not participate in the litigation, it had previously been named as a defendant because prior to litigation it had made no-fault medical payments in the amount of $5895.75 and had refused to waive its rights to subrogation for that amount.
The example uses the paragraph sign, "¶" which is available on most word processing equipment. If it is not available, the abbreviation "par." would be used.[n 6]
4 The opinions are provided to the publishers thorough an electronic bulletin board, or "BBS". A BBS is a facility that one may call with a computer using a modem. Once a connection is established the user's computer can download computer files, read notices, and leave or receive messages. [Return to text]
5 The Committee considered using postal abbreviation codes, i.e. "WI" rather than "Wis", but decided that the change might be more radical than desirable. "WI" would have the virtue of being a form that could be used by any state system. [Return to text]
6 One of the database publishers, Lexis, advised us that their system would not be able to show paragraph numbers until they had completed a program modernization project that is under way. [Return to text]
7 The Committee's intent after considerable discussion was to not sequentially number unpublished opinions as they cannot be cited in Wisconsin and it is administratively convenient not to number them. However, at a late point, one of the editors of the "Blue Book" pointed out that unpublished Wisconsin opinions can be and are cited in other jurisdictions. The comment suggests that we should reconsider numbering them, identifying them by a "U" or other code after the sequential case number, e.g., "123U". The Committee has not had an opportunity to reconsider the issue yet. [Return to text]