Proposed Citation System

Report to Board of Bar Governors
Technology Resource Committee
June 22, 1994


Process in Court System

This section describes both the process by which opinions are currently published, and the present requirements for citation.
Process in Supreme Court
Creation of Opinion
The case is decided and the opinion is written. Nearly all Supreme Court opinions are published. Each opinion contains a notice that it is subject to further editing and modification. The final version will appear in the bound volume of the official reports.
Opinion Distribution
The opinion is given to the Clerk's office the day it is to be released. Currently, there is no central distribution point of electronically formatted Supreme Court opinions, though this is anticipated in the future. Paper copies of the opinions (with some editorial changes by the clerk's office) are sent to the publishers.

Any editorial changes communicated to the clerk's office prior to the issuance of the advance sheets are sent to the publishers. LCP sends laser printer proofs to the clerk's office for review and proofing. Any editing changes required are communicated in writing to LCP. The advance sheets from both LCP & West are reviewed by the court. Any required changes are communicated in writing to the publishers by the clerk's office.

The last advance sheet to be included in a bound volume will contain the close out date for changes. In rare instances last minute changes may be communicated by telephone or fax.

The bound volume goes to print containing the final version of the opinion. Changes after the printing of a bound volume are rare. However, any changes necessary after the publication of the bound volume may be handled by LCP via sticker pages, or by West in any future edition of the volume.

Process in Court of Appeals
The process follows a path similar to that of the Supreme Court opinions, with two additional components: a publication conference and the use of the Supreme Court/Court of Appeals Bulletin Board (SCCA/BB).
Publication Conference
Each opinion includes a recommendation of the panel for the district originating the opinion, regarding publication or non-publication of the opinion. The decision regarding publication/non-publication is made by the Publication Committee at a monthly publication conference where the previous month's opinions are reviewed. On occasion, an opinion may be deferred to the next month.

Decisions made at the Publication Conference are immediately transmitted to the clerk's office. Upon receipt of the publication information, the clerk issues two orders; one listing cases to be published, the other listing cases that will not be published. These orders are immediately put on the SCCA/BB.

Court of Appeals opinions are transmitted electronically from the district offices to the clerk's office several days prior to the release date. Opinions are mailed to the parties from the district offices one day prior to the release date.

On the morning of release, opinions are available in paper copy from the Court of Appeals district office and the clerk's office. The opinion is also available on the electronic bulletin board (SCCA/BB). The publishers and online research services retrieve all Court of Appeals opinions from the SCCA/BB.

Approximately two weeks after the publication conference, the published opinions, with editing changes, are transmitted electronically to the Administrative Assistant to the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals and from there to the clerk's office. These published opinions are marked as final and added to the SCCA/BB, overwriting the earlier released opinion. Using the orders, the publishers and online research services retrieve the final, published opinions from the SCCA/BB.

Requirements for Citations in Wisconsin

SCR 80.02 identifies two official reporters for Wisconsin case law: Callaghan's Official Wisconsin Reports, 2d Series (LCP) and North Western Reporter, 2d Series (West).

Initial citation is to the volume and page number of the Wisconsin Reports and the North Western Reporter. Subsequent citations must include references to the volume and page number of at least one of these publications and shall be internally consistent. Appendix A and B.

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