Historical/Environmental Consultants

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HRLís Professional Services for the Legal Community:

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Legal issues often require a historianís ability to reconstruct the past. Accordingly, HRL is pleased to offer to law firms and their clients a variety of valuable services that facilitate this need. Our services include the following:


Policy history has been described as "the study of the origin, implementation and consequences of decision-making of both government and private institutions." And, with minor exceptions, legislative history can be similarly defined. Much of the activity that occurs in the legal arena is directly attributable to legislation passed and policies developed. HRL scholars can help you deal with legislative and policy issues by:

  • Developing historical contexts that will help you understand the societal parameters that influenced various laws and policies.

  • Determining and analyzing specific legislative intentions behind the development of laws and policies.

  • Documenting the changing needs of society as they apply to the legal challenges of "antiquated" laws and policies.



    An evolving and increasing awareness of our environment and its deteriorating condition has led to much litigation that focuses on the historical uses and ownership of land. HRL scholars are experienced researchers that can:

  • Prepare chronologies, narratives and special reports that identify and track over time the owners and uses of real property, as well as describe the industrial processes that may have occurred there.

  • Compile corporate histories by obtaining an synthesizing documents that explain interlocking directorships and corporate mergersĖwork that could help identify parties today that might be responsible for pollution of the past.



    Many of the issues with which the legal community must deal are affected by a stateís, regionís or companyís historical evolution. Specifically, no event has ever occurred, nor has any decision (even case law precedents) ever been rendered, in a vacuum. All things happen in a historical context. Accordingly, HRL scholars can:

  • Prepare concise histories and historical contexts within which events, places or decisions can be understood and evaluated.

  • Identify historical facts and patterns that might affect regulatory or anti-trust cases.

  • Develop and prepare Wisconsin company (or law firm) histories.



    Our nationís natural resources are an increasingly valuable commodity. Indeed, issues associated with water, minerals and timber, for example, and their prudent use, are frequently litigated. In the course of such legal considerations, thorough and well-prepared histories that track and describe resource use and management over time can be invaluable tools. In this respect, experienced HRL scholars will:

  • Assist in planning and policy evaluation, as well as in litigation, by documenting, describing and analyzing the history of natural resource sue.

  • Prepare related educational materials for presentation in court and to government agencies and tribal council staffs.



    Historical research, as it pertains to legal issues and litigation associated with the regionís many Indian Nations, can involve any of the HRL services already described. However, Indian-related litigation can also require research in a variety of specialized sources. HRL Scholars can:

  • Assist in treaty-rights legislation and litigation by collecting and analyzing records from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, National Archives, Wisconsin State Archives and Native American sources.