On Thursday, September 14, 2023, Harbor is hosting the third annual Legal Information + Knowledge Services Conference (LINKS)— a full day of virtual thought leadership content especially curated for law firm information professionals.  Register and see full agenda HERE.

The conference is dedicated to exploring emerging issues, trends, and best practices to advance the legal information services function within your organization. While we’re still finalizing the agenda, here are a few highlights:

And, of course, timely topics such as:

Register at this LINK

The Dewey B Strategic blog has partnered with Harbor to bring you the latest Start/Stop survey. Please respond to the anonymous Survey here . The survey will close on Wednesday August 29th. Many thanks.

This survey is intended to  gather feedback on both products and projects which you started or stopped during the past year. For 2023 I have added new questions related to the emergence of generative AI.

Please take a few minutes to respond to the survey at this link. 

The results will be summarized and posted on my blog in late September.

A presentation focused on the survey results will be featured at Harbor’s third annual Legal Information + Knowledge Services Conference (LINKS) on Thursday, September 14, 2023. Proceeds from LINKS ticket sales will cover technology costs for the event and a donation to the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) George A. Strait Minority Scholarship & Fellowship fund.

LexisNexis Legal & Regulatory  has released the results of its International Legal Generative AI Survey. The survey asked 7,950 lawyers, law students, and consumers across the U.S., U.K., Canada, and France about their overall awareness, its anticipated impact on the practice of law, use of generative AI, and expectations of adoption.

“Our survey confirms what we hear from customers all over the world every day, that they are excited about the potential of generative AI to help improve their productivity, efficiency, and overall business and practice of law,” said Mike Walsh, CEO of LexisNexis Legal & Professional. “Customer-driven innovation is core to the approach we take with product development, and LexisNexis is excited that our Lexis+ AI platform safely and securely provides critical generative AI tools to help legal professionals excel in their jobs.”

It is clear from the survey that relatively few lawyers have used Generative AI and I have to assume that even fewer have used it for their actual legal work. The market has become painfully aware of the “hallucinated cases” that can be generated using open source GPT Chat for legal research. Lexis Nexis will soon launch Lexis+ AI. All of its competitors (Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg Law, Wolters Kluwer, vLex) are laser focused on developing or launching Generative AI products that can not only drive efficiency but also address lawyers legitimate concerns regarding the ethics and security of these products.

Continue Reading LexisNexis International Legal Generative AI Survey – In House Counsel  Expectations Will Drive Law Firm Adoption

The American Arbitration Association (AAA®), the global leader in arbitration and mediation services and data analytics, announced that Steve Errick will join their international division, the International Centre for Dispute Resolution® (ICDR®), as Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer.

Steve has been a highly visible presence at legal tech conferences such as Legal Week, AALL and ILTA in his former roles virtually very legal publishing company. More recently he was Chief Global Content Officer at vLex , where he led global content teams, managed service partners, and led the Fastcase and vLex data and content integration efforts. Previously, he was Chief Operating Officer at Fastcase, Inc., where he successfully launched a number of publications and product lines, resulting in substantial revenue growth. At LexisNexis, Steve oversaw the Legal Research Information Division as Vice President and Managing Director, where he led the development of a large portfolio of legal research tools. He also held executive positions at Wolters Kluwer and Thomson Reuters. Steve previously served as a member of the AAA’s Board of Directors.

“Steve’s leadership, relationships, and expertise in the legal market generally and the legal tech market specifically will fast-track our strategy implementation,” said Bridget M. McCormack, President and CEO of the American Arbitration Association. “Steve puts innovative ideas into service and drives growth.”

Steve in his own words

“In joining AAA, it reminds me of the roles I served at LexisNexis with then CEO Bob Romeo (now CEO of Anaqua), and most recently my role with Ed Walters at Fastcase.  Two “all in” CEO’s who added just enough external talent to reinforce their visions, but the focus was all about developing the talent within and daring to make decisions to best serve the program, the team and the clients.  

Brigitte too is one of those “all in” CEO’s and my role is to similarly add momentum in putting the program, team and AAA clients first, especially as every firm, business and peer chases and harnesses new technologies without losing focus on its core mission.   I’ve always been drawn to being a part of a program in transition where if you get it right, you have the chance to be part of something special that will stand the test of time and the AAA is one of those mission driven organizations where the Board, CEO and team all serve the mission and move as one.”

Good luck Steve. You will be missed!

Thomson Reuters has released its Future of Professionals Report. The research was conducted during the months of May and June 2023 via an online survey. More than 1,200 professionals from the legal, tax and accounting, and risk professions employed by corporations, firms, and government agencies completed the survey.

“We are at a unique moment where we have the opportunity to realize the benefits of human intelligence, thinking and collaboration differently, while using the potential of AI to overcome some of professionals biggest pain points.” said Steve Hasker, president and CEO, Thomson Reuters. “Through the application of AI to perform more mundane tasks, professionals have the unique opportunity to address human capital issues such as job satisfaction, well-being, and work-life balance. This will in turn unlock time for professionals to focus on complex work that adds value to their client’s needs.”

View of video of CEO Steve Hasker speaking about the Future of Legal Professionals at this Link.

One interesting feature of this study is a use of sentiment analysis for measuring and representing the impact of AI. Here is an expample


• Optimism for productivity: 45% of professionals pin their biggest AI aspirations on improved productivity, expecting benefits for their talent, customers, and environment.

Continue Reading Thomson Reuters Releases Report on Impact of AI of Future of Legal Professionals.

I reached out to Dan O’Day, Co-Founder and CEO of ECFX (which automates the delivery of both federal and state court filings) to get his reaction of the Eastern District of North Carolina’s Standing Order 3. Here is his response as well as a “fact sheet” from the company addressing issues raised in the order.

O’Day personally believes that the this is a step in the wrong direction for the Courts. “The real issue has been triggered by documents made accessible by the courts that are incorrectly published and sealed after the fact.  The courts have become aware that other some of the automation tools available and made popular for the convenience they offer lawyers, also publish these instantly so they can be accessed immediately by people who are not on the service list. The courts cannot control them like they could in the past.  The reality is the courts need to take responsibility for this – however since they are literally the judge of such matters they push the burden out to the lawyers.

The order does not apply to ECFX for the following reasons:

  • We don’t store attorney credentials for PACER accounts.  Sealed documents must still be downloaded manually by those with access to the credentials. ECFX does not download sealed documents from PACER.
  • Unlike other vendors mentioned, ECFX is not added as an additional recipient on the CM/ECF account.
  • Unlike other vendors mentioned in the order, we do no resell or republish case documents and case information that we obtain. 

In addition to the above:

  • All documents are encrypted in transit and at rest by ECFX.
  • Client can enable SSO so we only have access to the your ECFX site via SSO set up by the law firm and cannot access case documents and case information except via the SSO login. 
  • ECFX and our clients have a broad and mutual NDAs in place.
  • ECFX does background checks on all employees and trains them in the proper handling of confidential information.
  • ECFX has been through an Information Security review by each of our clients that elect to vet our security before licensing the product.

Anyone who has had to manage the internal redistribution and filing of daily docket updates from dozens of courts for hundreds of cases in a large law firm, celebrated on the day that automated docket management tools from companies such as PacerPro and ECFX hit the market. Yet, today a federal judge issued a stunning order which could impact lawyers ability to benefit from these tools. Is this another case of blaming technology when the real problem is human error? The scenario highlighted in the order is deals with – someone failing to designate documents as “under seal” and which results in the documents being automatically distributed… then sealed after the fact. That problem does not arise from the workflow platform, but maybe from a lawyer or a clerk failing to “check a box.”

The order specifically mentions PacerPro, DocketBird, CourtDrive and RECAP. The order does not mention the company ECFX. I am in the process of requesting responses to the order from these companies.

Richard E. Meyers II, Chief United States District Judge North Carolina, issued a Standing Order today which orders lawyers to stop using these services. Here is a copy of the order

This survey is intended to  gather feedback on both products and projects which you started or stopped during the past year. I had added additional questions related to the emergence of generative AI.

Please take a few minutes to respond to the survey at this link. The results will be summarized and posted here in late September.

In addition,  Dewey B Strategic blog has partnered with HBR Consulting to create the latest Start/Stop survey.   I will be joining with an Kris Martin from HBR to present and discuss the results of the Start Stop Survey combined with insights from  HBR’s BLISS survey.

This presentation will be featured at HBR’s third annual Legal Information + Knowledge Services Conference (LINKS) on Thursday, September 14, 2023. Proceeds from LINKS ticket sales will cover technology costs for the event and a donation to the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) George A. Strait Minority Scholarship & Fellowship fund.

In less than six months, two of the remaining independent and reasonably priced legal research providers Fastcase and Casetext have been acquired or are in the process of being acquired.

Fastcase, which itself had acquired the analytics platform Docket Alarm has been absorbed into vLex, an interesting and innovative European start-up, which has been making some inroads into the US legal market over the past decade. Since its launch in 1999, Fastcase had acquired the largest subscriber base in the US legal market.  The combined vLex /Fastcase company will also have the world’s largest law firm subscriber base and resources containing more than one billion legal documents from more than 100 countries.

Casetext, which brought its own Silicon Valley brand of visionary innovation to legal research is in the process of being acquired by Thomson Reuters for the spectacular sum of $650 million.

Mergers are not new to the legal/publishing technology space. Since law librarians have been navigating these mergers for decades, I was inspired to survey, collect and analyze the insights of my librarian and knowledge management colleagues.

From the survey responses, I have extracted both data and anecdotes which can provide some insights and cautionary warnings for both company executives and customers.

The Survey

I gave information professionals the opportunity to provide feedback on legal information mergers in a survey which was open from July 11th to July 18th. Eighty-six law librarians/knowledge professionals responded to an open-ended question asking them to name mergers with successful outcomes. Although the majority were in private firms (84%), there were also responses from academic (10%) and government law librarians (6%).

Librarians have long memories, and I was delighted to be reminded of dozens of deals. Over 40 company and product acquisitions both large and small covering the past 30 years were noted by the respondents. However, the most recent digital resource acquisitions dominated the survey responses. Read the full post on Legal TechHub.

Today LexisNexis is announcing that their soon to be launched AI powered solutions will be integrated into Microsoft 365. The product integrations include– Lexis+®, Lexis ® Connect, Lexis ® Create, and Lexis ® Create Plugin with Microsoft 365 Copilot. Both companies are committed to providing legal professionals with “intelligent, AI-powered tools, enhanced capabilities, and more efficient, guided workflow experiences”  inside the suite of Microsoft products where they currently work: Microsoft Outlook, Word, and Teams.  Back in May Lexis announced two AI initiatives a commercial preview and the AI Insider Program as well as plans for incorporating generative AI into their product. Lexis announced its commitment to launching GPT enabled solutions with the Microsoft Azure Open AI Service which has already been rolled out to customers via Lexis+.

I recall Lexis as having a long history of integrations with Microsoft products. According to Jeff Pfeifer, LexisNexis Chief Product Officer Canada, UK and USA. “The company began working closely with Microsoft in the 1990s when we acquired the Jurisoft product line. These products were among the first legal market tools that delivered bespoke formatting tools integrated with Word. These solutions later evolved to become Lexis for Microsoft Office and later still, Lexis Create. Lexis Create is our first solution built entirely for the Microsoft 365 platform, a key technology enabler for delivery of generative AI in Word, Outlook and Teams. Our customers can expect integration of generative AI capabilities in Lexis Create in Q3 of this year and in Lexis Connect in Q4.”

Jeff Reihl, CTO of LexisNexis Legal & Professional is quoted in the press release “Microsoft and LexisNexis have a long history of collaboration, and we’re excited about how our Microsoft-integrated products will help improve the lives and work product of legal professionals. Lexis Connect, Create and Copilot truly embody our strategy of creating a fully integrated ecosystem, inserting world-class legal data, content and technologies directly into attorney workflows. To enhance this, we’re incorporating professional-grade generative AI capabilities into our current and future products to elevate legal work and help lawyers be more efficient at their jobs.”

LexisNexis Products Integrated with Microsoft include:

  • Lexis+: Azure OpenAI Service has been rolled out to customers via Lexis+.
Continue Reading LexisNexis Announces Integration with Microsoft 365 Copilot/Generative AI Solutions