Ravel Logo New_NarrowBack in March I reported on a rumor that Ravel Law would be acquired by LexisNexis.Today LexisNexis and Ravel announced that Ravel Law is in fact being acquired by LexisNexis. Ravel Law was developed by Stamford Law grads Daniel Lewis and Nik Reed and offered a research platform which radically altered the way research results werelogo-lexisnexis delivered and displayed. They later offered a series of innovative analytics tools which provide insights into judicial precedential behavior, courts, motions and law firm litigation trends. Since Lexis acquired another legal analytics company, Lex Machina in November 2015, I was curious to learn why LexisNexis decided to acquire another product offering legal analytics. Today I posed some questions to Ravel Law co-founder Daniel Lewis and LexisNexis VP of product management, Jeff Pfeifer.

I tried to pin down Pfeifer and Lewis on the future of the Ravel Law product in the low cost legal research market. Pfeifer responded by confirming that Lexis Nexis would keep Ravel’s commitment to provide public access to the Harvard Caselaw archive on the Ravel Law platform. The press release however refers to Lexis integrating Ravel technology and designating content as “powered by Ravel Law.”

Continue Reading LexisNexis Acquires Ravel Law: A Tipping Point for Legal Analytics and the Second Wave of Legal KM

Wolters Kluwer must be offering free double espresso shots every morning to their product developers and editors. Do they even sleep these days?  Less than a month ago I wrote a post on the release of their Cybersecurity & Privacy platform … the relaunch of their  International Arbitration platform and their alliance with  IP analytics provider ktMine. Today they are announcing the release of  “Corporate SmartTasks” which follows on their May 18th  launch of a free Federal Regulatory Knowledge Center beta site.

 WKfederalcomparison
The Wolters Kluwer SmartTask Corporate Suite

Continue Reading Wolters Kluwer Leaps to the Head of the Class with “SmartTasks” Customizable Corporate Know-How and Offers a Free Federal Legislative Knowledge Center

Today LexisNexis is releasing a practice guide on federal civil practice TheWagstaffe Group Practice Guide: Federal Civil Procedure Before Trial  that will be available in three formats: print, online in Lexis Advance and eBook. (LexisNexis Digital Library.)  This multimedia guide includes over 150 video clips of two to five minutes in length. This is the first video offering from a legal publishing market that I can recall since the release of Professor Robert Berring’s Commando Legal Research series in 1989.

The LexisAdvance and Digital Library versions will be enhanced with video “mini lectures” by the author James M. Wagstaffe.  Wagstaffeformer co-author of The Rutter Group’s Federal Civil Procedure Before Trial. The press release describes the author as one of the country’s preeminent First Amendment and defamation lawyers. Wagstaffe is also, an adjunct professor in constitutional law and civil procedure at Hastings College of the Law and in Media Law at San Francisco State University and co-founder of Kerr & Wagstaffe LLP.  The press release describes the  videos  as providing “ rich, explanatory tips and practical insights … that enhance and complement the surrounding text in each chapter. “

Continue Reading Treatises Are Not Dead They Are Just Being Transformed: Lexis Launches First Video Practice Guide: Can the Gamified Treatise Be Far Behaind?

Today Ravel is launching Law Firm Analytics which  is putting them squarely into the competitive intelligence and law firm performance based litigation rankings business.

Law Firm Analytics aggregates all of a  firm’s cases  and offers  tracking, searchability, and analysis by practice area, court, judge, time period, and motion. An associate can analyze their firm’s winning cases and also access winning arguments. Firm Analytics also provides a new Ravel framework for integrating with firms’ internal document management systems, and provide results which combine of public and private content in a seamless research experience.

Firm Analytics provides rankings of firms across key variables including practice area, case volume, venue experience, and motion win rates. These leaderboards allow comparisons across substantive performance metrics, a significant innovation to traditional revenue and size rankings. As part of this launch, we are releasing rankings of the top five law firms across employment, securities, antitrust, administrative law, and bankruptcy (more below).

      Understand a firm’s litigation history by case type, venue, motion win rate, and judge
      Rank and compare firms by their case volume and motion win rate across 30+ practice areas and specific venues
      Create custom comparisons and reports using an array of variables

 

Ravel Law Firm Analytics



Knowledge Management
Lewis indicated that one ALM 100 law firm  has integrated Ravel with documents from their DMS. This allows lawyers to simultaneously search both internal and external documents. They are now referring to this as a Knowledge Management Framework with they can develop as a custom solution for law firms.

Law Firms Love Rankings:
Ravel Co-Founder Daniel Lewis points out that success rates in litigation are probably the better measure of a law firm value rather than profits per partner.

Rankings of Firms by Case Volumes Since 2014
Ravel’s data is created by mining millions of federal and state cases, across 30+ practice areas and 400+ top US firms. These rankings are based on activity since 2014.

Employment
Littler Mendelson
Jackson Lewis
Ogletree Deakins
Seyfarth Shaw
Morgan Lewis & Bockius

Securities
Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd
Weil, Gotshal & Manges
Gibson Dunn
Paul, Weiss
Latham & Watkins

Antitrust
Jones Day
Kirkland & Ellis
Latham & Watkins
Skadden
Morgan Lewis & Bockius; Gibson Dunn (tied)

Administrative Law
Gibson Dunn
Perkins Coie
Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer
Jones Day
Sidley Austin

Bankruptcy
Kirkland & Ellis
Locke Lord
Quinn Emanuel
Bryan Cave; Jones Day (tied)
Akin Gump

 Here is the Press Release

We’re excited to introduce Firm Analytics – a first of its kind platform for new competitive intelligence, performance-based firm rankings, and research into firms’ litigation activity.

With Firm Analytics, a firm’s cases are all in one place, with tracking, searchability, and analysis by practice area, court, judge, time
period, and motion. For example, an associate working on an employment law case can now quickly find the employment law cases their firm has handled previously, understand the motions involved and past win rates, and discover the arguments that worked best. Firm Analytics also provides a new Ravel framework for integrating with firms’ internal document management systems, making possible the combination of public and private material for an even more comprehensive and seamless research experience.

In another first, Firm Analytics also provides rankings of firms across key variables including practice area, case volume, venue
experience, and motion win rates. These leaderboards allow comparisons across substantive performance metrics, a significant innovation to traditional revenue and size rankings. As part of this launch, we are releasing rankings of the top five law firms across employment, securities, antitrust, administrative law, and bankruptcy (more below).

Firm Analytics was designed with our customers in mind, to help these firms win new clients, and win more business from existing clients. In addition, it offers in-house counsel unique new data and an unprecedented view into firms’ experience and performance. Its features include:

  • Understand a firm’s litigation history by case type,
    venue, motion win rate, and judge
  • Rank and compare firms by their case volume and motion
    win rate across 30+ practice areas and specific venues
  • Create custom comparisons and reports using an array of
    variables

Powered by our cutting-edge machine learning technology and exclusive caselaw collection from Harvard Law School, Firm Analytics is now our fourth major launch in the past year – following the highly successful introductions of Judge Analytics 2.0, Court Analytics, and Motion Analytics – and represents a new product offering that continues to expand beyond traditional research.

In developing Firm Analytics, we worked closely with our customers and Advisory Board, and we want to thank the members of that board: Jean O’Grady (DLA Piper), Steve Lastres (Debevoise), Marlene Gebauer (Greenberg Traurig), and Patricia Barbone (Hughes Hubbard). These leaders helped us understand the importance of great competitive intelligence and focused us on the highest value features and use cases.

Rankings of Firms by Case Volumes Since 2014
Ravel’s data is created by mining millions of federal and state cases, across 30+ practice areas and 400+ top US firms. These rankings are based on activity since 2014.

Employment
Littler Mendelson
Jackson Lewis
Ogletree Deakins
Seyfarth Shaw
Morgan Lewis & Bockius

Securities
Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd
Weil, Gotshal & Manges
Gibson Dunn
Paul, Weiss
Latham & Watkins

Antitrust
Jones Day
Kirkland & Ellis
Latham & Watkins
Skadden
Morgan Lewis & Bockius; Gibson Dunn (tied)

Administrative Law
Gibson Dunn
Perkins Coie
Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer
Jones Day
Sidley Austin

Bankruptcy
Kirkland & Ellis
Locke Lord
Quinn Emanuel
Bryan Cave; Jones Day (tied)
Akin Gump

Today LexisNexis is releasing a treatise on federal civil practice The Wagstaffe Group Practice Guide: Federal Civil Procedure Before Trial  that will be available in three formats: print, online in Lexis Advance and eBook. (LexisNexis Digital Library.)  This multimedia guide includes over 150 video
clips of two to five minutes in length. This is the first video offering from a legal publishing market that I can recall since the release of Professor Robert
Berring’s Commando Legal Research series in 1989.


The LexisAdvance and Digital Library versions will be enhanced with video “mini lectures” by the author James M. Wagstaffe. Wagstaffe former co-author of The Rutter Group’s Federal Civil Procedure Before Trial. The press release describes the author as one of the country’s preeminent First Amendment and defamation lawyers. Wagstaffe is also, an adjunct professor in constitutional law and civil procedure at Hastings College of the Law and in Media Law at San Francisco State University and co-founder of Kerr & Wagstaffe LLP.  The press release describes the videos as providing “rich, explanatory tips and practical insights … that enhance and complement the surrounding text in each chapter.”

Here are links to two sample clips:

 

Sample Practice Tips/Strategic Points

  • Citizenship Rules for Diversity Strategic Tips for Plaintiff and Defendant Removal
  • Analyzing Personal Jurisdiction – Objective and Strategy for Plaintiffs/Defendants
  • Analyzing Personal Jurisdiction – Strategic Points for Plaintiffs/Defendants
  • Motions to Dismiss Options and Strategies 
  • Motions to Dismiss for Failure  – Strategic Point — Plaintiff/Defendant to State Claim

According to Lexis this product will not compete directly with the iconic Moores Federal Practice. Since this product is more focused on practice efficiency it appears to be positioned more in the LexisNexis Practice Advisor/Thomson Reuters Practical Law space.

Will Video Morph in Video Gaming

Sean Fitzpatrick, Managing Director of North American Research Solutions at LexisNexis is quoted in the press release describes how the product is positioned: “With its release and the addition of embedded video content directly within the legal research tools our customers use most, we’re bringing practical guidance to life. Not only are we providing the smartest and most relevant content to the market, but we are doing so in a manner that addresses the changing needs of our customers.”

I can’t help but think that we already have a generation of lawyer who’s hand itch for a game controller when they hear the word “video.” I think it is time to think outside the traditional treastise. I assume that video is only the beginning. I could see gamification having a place in litigation strategy. As I always say, Lexis has bought so many amazing assets, I can help but mediated on amazing mash-ups. Imagine Professor Wagstaffe illustrating a winning motion strategy and then enhancing it with an interactive comparative outcome chart from Lex Machina.

Access: The Wagstaffe Group Practice Guide: Federal Civil Procedure Before Trial formats: print, online in Lexis Advance and eBook, but will require a separate subscription.

Law firms have begun receiving class action notices inviting them to join a class action alleging that the Pacer (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) system has been overcharging for online access to federal court dockets and documents. In April 2016, The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts which oversees the PACER system was sued by three nonprofits: National Veterans Legal Services Program, the National Consumer Law Center and the Alliance for Justice.  The complaint alleges that the government has violated the E-Government Act of 2002 – which permits the federal judiciary to charge for PACER “only to the extent necessary.” Apparently someone stretched the definition of “necessary” to include flat screen TVs and audio systems. PACER charges 10 cents a page up to $3.00 per court record. In a large law firm with thousands of lawyers PACER fees can exceed hundreds of thousands of dollars per year and over six years – some firms could have paid over $1 million for PACER documents– not exactly “chump change”. It is yet to be determined what percentage of those charges would  considered excessive should the Plaintiffs prevail in this suit.


Not Just for Non Profits
Back in January U.S. District Judge Ellen Huvelle in the District of Columbia granted certification of a class comprised of anyone who paid PACER fees during the six years before April 21, 2016 (but excluding class counsel in this case and federal government entities.) The Pacer Class Action Page is located here.The Class Notice is located here.

The Paradox of PACER.
For research nerds like me the complaint provides an interesting recap of the evolution or PACER. To anyone who uses PACER they will be appalled to hear that there were excess funds that were not applied to improving the PACER system itself –but were redirected to other uses. PACER is a monument to the best technology of the 1980’s. It is a primitive system by 21st Century standards…. and yet it harbors  veins of data which commercial enterprises are mining to use  as the core building blocks of historical and predictive analytics. I welcome the innovators Lex Machina, PacerPro, Ravel Law, Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters, Lexis Nexis, Docket Alarm, Justly come to mind… would be nice if they could donate some 21st Century technology and algorithms to the “mother of all docket systems” so that it can better serve its main constituency — the American public.

Only weeks after receiving the prestigious 2017 New Product Award from the American Association of Law Libraries, CARA is announcing today the release of a new “Brief Finder” feature.

Casetext’s CARA (Case Analysis Research Assistant) launched with the promise of helping lawyers find the most relevant caselaw.  Last August I reviewed CARA in a post: Citation Fingerprint, Celestial Footnotes and Opinion Sourcing: Casetext Launches CARA.

According to press release, the Brief Finder promises to surface the most relevant legal briefs filed in federal courts “by the county’s best law firms… With no extra work, litigators gain unprecedented visibility into how world-class attorneys have argued the same issues they are working on, giving CARA users an extraordinary competitive edge.”

Jake Heller, founder and CEO of Casetext  notes that “Every lawyer knows that the best way to find good arguments is to look to your peers — other great attorneys who have taken on the same issues and researched them thoroughly. But finding the right brief is hard and expensive. CARA Brief Finder makes finding these invaluable resources effortless. The Casetext VP of Legal Research Pablo Arredondo  underscores the editorial effort they put in to selecting briefs from only the largest firms, specialty boutiques and government agencies. “We started with hundreds of thousands of briefs and culled this down to tens of thousands of briefs from highly reputable sources.”

Use Cases. The press release highlights the following use cases:

·       Predicting opposing counsel’s arguments based on what similarly situated litigants have argued. By running drafts through CARA, CARA Brief Finder will surface previously filed briefs that both oppose and support a litigator’s arguments. See how other leading attorneys have approached the same issue you’re tackling right now—within seconds.

·       Making sure litigators don’t leave out any arguments. Review briefs filed by peers in the legal community to ensure you are not missing a key argument and that you’ve articulated those arguments as effectively as possible.
·       Helping litigators draft the most compelling briefs efficiently. Quickly and efficiently assemble the information litigators need to provide best-in-class service to clients.

First Low Cost Provider to Offer Briefs. Although premium services Westlaw, Lexis  and Bloomberg Law have offered a Briefs database for years, Casetext maybe the first low cost provider to offer searchable access to briefs and they are certainly the first to offer  access using an advanced algorithm to determine relevance.

Access Existing CARA subscribers will have access to “Brief Finder” for the duration of their subscription term at no additional charge.  The CARA Brief Finder” will be a separate module which can be added for an additional charge.

I recently had the opportunity to ask Arredondo a few questions about how CARA has evolved over the past year:

How many firms are on board?

We currently have deals with ten large law firms and dozens of smaller firms, in addition to hundreds of solo practitioners.  Casetext attracts over 1 million unique users to our site on a monthly basis.  

What has your growth been like?

Casetext has grown substantially over the last several months in three key ways: (1) we are growing our team, from engineers and data scientists, to account managers, (2) we raised a $12M Series B round of venture funding (the largest round ever by a legal research company) and we are actively deploying those resources to continue to create nnovative, effective products that attorneys can immediately start using in practice, and (3) in a short period of time we have sold subscriptions of our flagship product offering, CARA, to key firms across the country while expanding our presence to 75 law schools across the country. 

We decided early on to make CARA freely available to the courts.  Judges and clerks all over the country, both federal and state, appellate and trial, have started using CARA and we have been very encouraged by the early response.  At a training at one circuit court, the clerks where emphatic that litigants almost invariably overlook relevant case law. 

How has the product evolved?

The early and enthusiastic adoption of CARA by courts and law firms has given us great user feedback, which has guided the evolution of the product. One of the most critical improvements has been combining the power of CARA with keyword queries.  Currently CARA defaults to showing the top fifteen recommendations for the brief as a whole.  Attorneys interested in just one specific issue can easily enhance the search with a keyword query without losing all of the context-specific analysis that CARA provides.  

The other major improvement in the platform is that CARA now returns briefs as well as case law.  Our users are very excited about this and so are we.  Briefs can be one of the most expensive databases to access on traditional platforms.  We get these briefs from PACER; it is important to understand that we never store, much less use, the briefs that
attorneys upload for research.  In order to ensure quality, we have culled our brief database (which updates regularly) down to briefs filed by leading law firms, boutiques, non-profits and government agencies.  You can filter the briefs by jurisdiction or use narrow-by-keyword.


Last year, I met Arredondo when he approached me in a meeting room at the AALL Conference in Chicago and asked me to see a brief demo of CARA. This year Arredondo reports that Casetext will have a booth in the Exhibit Hall at the AALL conference in Austin this July. Congratulations to Heller and Arredondo and all the folks at Casetext on the AALL award and the Brief Finder launch.  I am reminded of an advertising slogan from the 70’s: “You’ve come a long way baby.”
Here is a link to the  the Press Release on the CARA Brief Finder.

For seven years the PLLIP Summit has been a major  event that enables law librarians and legal information professionals spend a rare day immersed with colleagues in a fast paced learning environment to help them optimize support  for the evolving needs of lawyers and law firms. This year’s program focuses on: Navigating the Critical Nexus of Knowledge and Legal Technology. As in past years the agenda includes an inspiring line up of legal innovation thought leaders:

Professor Gabriel Teninbaum, of Suffolk University Law School where he is  Director of Suffolk Law’s Institute on Law Practice Technology and Innovation. He teaches courses such as “Lawyering in the age of smart machines.”

 Professor Daniel Katz  of Chicago Kent Law School is a leading proponent of applying analytics to the law and legal profession. His bio describes him as “a scientist, technologist and law professor who applies an innovative polytechnic approach to teaching law. ” Both his scholarship and teaching integrate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.  He is the Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer of LexPredict (a Legal Analytics company).

V. Mary Abraham, Law Firm Consultant extraordinaire. Since 2013 she has been a member of the faculty of Columbia University’s Master of Science in Information and Knowledge Strategy where she teaches collaboration, facilitation, social capital, innovation, and knowledge sharing. Mary is also famous for her Above and Beyond KM Blog.

There will also be a a panel of innovative information professionals. The Librarian Speaks: Promoting a Technology Agenda – will feature Margaret Bartlett, Information Resources
Librarian @ Locke Lord; Mark Gediman, Director of Research Services @Best Best  & Krieger; Gina Lynch, Director of Knowledge Management and Business Intelligence @ Paul Weiss; Nancy Rine, Director of Research Services & Conflicts @ Fried Frank.

Registration information listed under Pre-conference workshops here. 

The full summit agenda is included below.

 

2017 Summit Agenda

Navigating the Critical Nexus of Knowledge and Legal TechnologySaturday, July 15, 2017, 8:30 am – 4 pmHilton Austin – Austin, TX

Friday July 14, 2017
Opening Reception 6:30 – 9:00 pm
Bloomberg BNA is once again our generous sponsor for the PLLIP Summit Opening Reception on Friday, July 14 from 6:30 – 9:00 pm at a location to be announced soon. Stay tuned to this page for updates.
As in past years, there will be a separate page for RSVP for this can’t miss event.
Saturday July 15, 2017
7:00-8:30 am – Registration and continental breakfastgenerously sponsored by LEXISNEXIS
8:30-8:40 am – Welcome remarks: Alicia Pappas and Jeremy Sullivan, 2017 Summit Co-chairs
8:40-9:25 am-  Keynote AddressProfessor Gabriel Teninbaum, Suffolk University Law School – generously sponsored by WOLTERS KLUWER
Professor Gabriel Teninbaum will explore the legal innovation landscape and describe how that is impacting (and will impact) law librarians. Hear how large and small law firms are incorporating technology, responding to client demands and feedback, and how AI and other technologies and trends continue to impact the competitive legal landscape.  Delve into the roles of librarians in innovation, efficiency initiatives, and development of potential new revenue streams.

9:30-10:05 am –  Q&A w/ Professor Teninbaum

10:05-10:20 am – Morning Break

10:20-11:50 am –  Can Librarians Help Legal Organizations Become More Data Driven? – Professor Daniel Katz, Chicago-Kent College of Law
Data science is a growing field within the legal industry. As organizations within the legal industry attempt to become more data driven, the skills held by law librarians are well suited to help law firms, corporate legal departments, courts and non-profits craft and execute a legal data strategy. After some introductory comments, the session will begin with a hands-on session where teams will help draft a legal data strategy in response to a specific vignette. After working through the specific scenario, Professor Katz will conclude with a general discussion of how to bootstrap a data strategy within your organization using a blend of experts, crowd-sourcing and algorithms.

11:50-1:15 Lunchgenerously sponsored by THOMSON REUTERS

1:15-2:30 pm – The Librarian Speaks: Promoting a Technology Agenda – Panel session featuring Margaret Bartlett, Information Resources Librarian @ Locke Lord; Mark Gediman, Director of Research Services @ Best Best  & Krieger; Gina Lynch, Director of Knowledge Management and Business Intelligence @ Paul Weiss; Nancy Rine, Director of Research Services & Conflicts @ Fried Frank

A moderated panel of your peers will share real life examples of how they work with the IT department to achieve and promote an agenda that leverages technology and knowledge to further the goals of the organization.

2:30-2:45 pm – Afternoon Break

2:45-4:00 pm – Surviving – and Thriving – in a Period of Change, V. Mary Abraham, Columbia University
Are you a Change Guerilla or Guru? Guerillas work tactically to shape change from the middle. Gurus work strategically to lead change. Both approaches are useful (and sometimes necessary) when your law firm is undergoing change. In this interactive session we will explore key methods used by change guerillas and gurus that can enable you to survive and even thrive in the midst of change.

4:00 pm –  Closing remarks

 

The members of the Columbia Law Revue –   these law students are not only smart, but they are also clever  and some of them sing like Broadway headliners. Maybe we should invite them to perform at the American Association of Law Libraries Conference this summer.   This is the best legal research video since Craig Runde and Bill Lindberg produced the dancing Westlaw Reporters video back in the 1980’s. The  Westlaw Story video parodies music and scenes from the  Leonard Bernstein hit play Westside Story… it is  loaded with barbs about vendor booty to incentivize product adoption by law students but  also offers some honest critiques on the stengths and shortcomings of Lexis, Westlaw and Bloomberg Law. (All I can say is that it is a good thing that Mike Bloomberg is no longer mayor of NYC where Columbia is located — on the upper West Side.)

Thank you, thank you, thank you Columbia Law Revue!