Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S.    is releasing significant enhancements to the Arbitrator Tool and a new Relationship Assessment Tool within Kluwer Arbitration Practice Plus (KAPP).

Locating information on arbitrators and arbitration awards has always been a challenge.  Wolters Kluwer continues to build out their unique international arbitration platform with new content and functionality to provide new transparency and insights in this specialized area of practice.

The new features leverage machine learning and AI to provide lawyers with new insights for selecting and assessment of international arbitrators.

KAPP  which launched in 2019, is an enhancement to  the Kluwer Arbitration platform. The Arbitrator Tool within KAPP will provide data- Continue Reading Wolters Kluwer Launches Data-Driven Insights on International Arbitrators

Fastcase Unveils NextChapter Docs Form Preparation, Client Management Tools, and Workflow Tools for All Practice Areas

Customizable Workflows, Custom Case Fields, No-Code Document Automation, Checklists, and More CRM Tools for Every Lawyer

Columbus, OH and Washington, DC (November 16, 2021) – NextChapter, a Fastcase company and a leading provider of legal software that gives attorneys an intuitive application for preparing, managing, and filing bankruptcy cases, today announced it has expanded its offerings beyond bankruptcy to benefit lawyers and legal professionals in additional practice areas.

Given its proven record of providing a user-friendly and efficient application for bankruptcy lawyers, NextChapter is well-positioned to provide this new capability that can be used by attorneys and legal professionals in every practice area. NextChapter Docs allows all users to create custom documents, checklists, workflows, client intake processes, document automation solutions, and additional CRM tools.

“Since we launched NextChapter Bankruptcy, our clients working in multiple practice areas have asked if we could enable their entire practice to benefit from our software. We listened and focused on how to keep our tools sleek and efficient,” said Mandy Ballinger, Director of Operations at NextChapter. “Our team has been working hard on NextChapter’s expansion into all practice areas. We have built tools and features that help firms of all sizes automate their document preparation and take their workflows one step further by allowing them to integrate that same data into custom client intake, case management, and texting tools. We are excited to continue to grow these products as we partner with subject matter experts to offer forms that will help firms hit the ground running with NextChapter Docs.”

To that end, NextChapter is soon releasing a Forms Exchange, where seasoned attorneys can upload their form templates to the marketplace for other attorneys to purchase for their own use. “Providing access to pre-built forms designed by subject matter experts will be useful for many of the solo and small firm practitioners,” said NextChapter’s first Forms attorney author Carolyn Elefant.

“Partnering with NextChapter on Forms Exchange is an avenue for MyShingle to bring smart solutions for the solo and small firm attorneys who are responsible for managing their law firms as businesses,” said Elefant, Founder of MyShingle, the longest running blog on solo and small firm practice. “In the same way that many solo and small firm attorneys are providing their small business owner clients with a suite of documents designed for small business owner needs, now the attorney-business owner can access a variety of pre-built forms and guidebooks they need to manage operating their firm, from retainers, of counsel arrangements, flat fees, outsourcing, website TOS, client policies, and more, while incorporating ethics requirements.”

Since 2013, NextChapter has helped bankruptcy professionals prepare cases more efficiently by removing double data entry with linear workflows and introducing real-time validation. Now everyone has the tools at their fingertips to build their own custom, automated workflow solution for their practice areas with these new features of NextChapter. Users can easily upload templates or create them from scratch using an intuitive editor, insert merge tags, and create documents with auto-fill fields, thus eliminating the additional data entry step with NextChapter Docs. In addition to forms automation, users can designate unlimited custom fields, develop online client intake forms, manage client texting, send invoices and collect client payments, and create checklists for their preferred processes, and more.

For more information, visit www.nextchapterlegal.com.

About NextChapter

Built by former paralegal and tech entrepreneur, Janine Sickmeyer, NextChapter’s secure, online web application allows attorneys and their staff to prepare bankruptcy cases using automated workflows, integrations, client texting, hearing schedulers, case management tools, firm customizations and more. With the addition of NextChapter Docs, attorneys are now able to apply these document creation and checklist tools to meet the demands of their workload in a variety of practice areas. Founded in 2013, launched in 2016 and acquired in 2019 by Fastcase, NextChapter is based in Columbus, OH. For more information, follow NextChapter on Twitter at @NextChapterBK or visit nextchapterlegal.com.



Today, LexisNexis’ CounselLink will be releasing new data which highlights hourly billing rate discrepancies based on gender and ethnicity. The data comes from more than 20,000 attorney profiles in CounselLink  and analyses hourly billing rates on invoices billed between January 2020 and September 2021. I

I had a call with Kris Satkunis, Director of Strategic Consulting at CounselLink. Satkunis described how law firm billing rates are “a proxy for how much the firm values the attorney’s work or skills” and this obviously has a significant impact  on attorney compensation. An examination of the data indicated that  billing rates are generally the same across gender and ethnic groups at the lowest billing rate levels but then begin to diverge at higher levels. Satkunis concludes that “ethnicity is clearly a factor, with Asian billings rates coming in higher than all other groups and Hispanic/LatinX coming in at the lowest.”

Program Today The data will be discussed at a program sponsored by the Buying Legal Counsel at 11 am EST today. Register at this link.

Here are some sample key findings: Continue Reading LexisNexis CounselLink Data Reveals Law Firm Billing Rate Discrepancies Across Gender and Ethnic Groups

Courtroom Insight which helps law firms jumpstart knowledge management projects aimed at collecting internal intelligence on expert witnesses, judges and arbitrators has just announced a new alliance with Wolters Kluwer. Wolters Kluwer which publishers the premier international arbitration product will allow Kluwer Arbitration subscribers to  integrate content from Courtroom Insight with Wolters Kluwer Arbitration content.

According to the announcement the collaboration “delivers instant access to Wolters Kluwer’s Kluwer Arbitration content, including arbitrator profiles and background on awards, experiences, practices, and decision-making, which allows our users to:

·     Gain greater understanding of the arbitrators that may be involved in disputes

·     Analyze critical information about key arbitrators that could impact the case

·     Develop effective legal strategies based on confirmed research

Courtroom Insight customers will find Kluwer  International Arbitration profiles integrated into their Courtroom Insight research experience.

More information about the enhanced partnership with Wolters Kluwer can be found in a  recent press release. To learn more about the unique expert witness and arbitrator knowledge management solution, please Contact Us.

Today, Law360 Pulse  released its new Social Impact Leaders ranking. The new scorecard evaluates law firms on four key indicators of “socially responsible business practices:” racial and ethnic diversity, gender equality, employee engagement and
pro bono service. Ever since The American Lawyer started ranking law firms in 1985 – “profits per partner” has  remained the dominant metric of law firm  success. If rankings drive change – the Social Impact Leaders report could prove to be an important lever of transformation.
The “How Does Your Firm Measure Up” and “Sizing Up Firms’ Pro Bono Work”  reports are publicly available on the Law360 Pulse website.
Key highlights:
  • Covington & Burling, Orrick, WilmerHale, Morrison & Foerster, and Arnold & Porter are the top 5 firms on the Social Impact

Continue Reading Law360 Pulse Ranks Law Firms on Social Impact Leadership

Today marks the official launch of Wolters Kluwer  Legal & Regulatory US  VitalLaw platform. Last week I posted about the practical impact of this change on law librarians and knowledge managers.  VitalLaw offers a new and expanded version of Cheetah. Customers will benefit from a new dashboard; comprehensive federal and state laws and regulations for all 50 states. Special enhancements of the legislative materials include the effective dates and text of future laws and regulations.  Wolters Kluwer is expanding its primary source content by more than 40% and an interface which will enable a streamlined workflow at the point of need.

“We are committed to developing digital solutions that empower our customers to bring deep impact to their organizations and their clients in this quickly changing environment by leveraging expert analysis, actionable information, and intelligent tools,” said Ken Crutchfield, Vice President and General Manager of Legal Markets at Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S. “With the launch of VitalLaw, our customers will have access to solutions that enrich the entire legal process, enabling faster answers and deeper insights to drive to greater efficiency and better outcomes for their clients.”

Laws & Regs Dashboard

The new Laws & Regs Dashboard will provide customers with more consistent and current updating of laws and regulations.  The flagging and presentation of laws and regulations with future effective dates is particularly important for enabling firms to advise their clients on future statutory and regulatory risks.

VitalLaw Dashboard

Free Content Outside the VitalLaw Paywall

VitalLaw is being offered as a destination site that includes news, thought leadership, and other information such as selected caselaw outside of the subscription paywall. Wolters Kluwer will also transition the delivery of its news stories, including its “Dailies,” to VitalLaw.com.

“Our goal is that VitalLaw will become an important source of information for both subscribers and non-subscribers alike,” Crutchfield added. “In addition to new content and functionality, VitalLaw is reflective of Wolters Kluwer’s mission to invest in solutions that provide value, actionable insights, and greater efficiency to our customers at the point of need.”

VitalLaw Public

Faster Access to World-Class Content

VitalLaw is a direct descendant of Commerce Clearing House which transformed legal research back in the 1910’s by combining the most up-to-date primary content accompanied by expert editorial analysis.  Today the expert analysis covers 38 practice areas, including Capital Markets & Securities, Tax, Labor and Employment, and others.

Workflow and Customer Needs.  Efficiency is a major differentiator when law firms respond to RFPs.   Wolters Kluwer designed VitalLaw  to streamline customer’s research workflow with advanced browsing, searching, and collaboration capabilities. The press release indicated that tasks can be completed in less time. The new dashboard and features automate of routine legal tasks to reduce non-billable hours.

To learn more, visit: https://www.wolterskluwer.com/en/solutions/vitallaw-law-firms


Everyone welcome’s a crystal ball.  The second anniversary of the pandemic lockdowns  is only a few months away. Law firms which had been resisting remote staffing trends adapted to the virtual workplace overnight. The urgency of D&I initiatives moved to the forefront. Entire new subspecialties emerged in legal practice. The Bloomberg Law 2022 Series explores the multiple ongoing impacts of the pandemic across the business and practice of law  impacting: Litigation, Transactions & Contracts, Regulatory & Compliance, and The Future of the Legal Industry. There is something for everyone in the 25 studies included in the series. Topics include Return to office (RTO), diversity and Inclusion, cybersecurity, SPACs, privacy, In-house counsel, COVID. Kristyn Hyland, Director, Analysis, Bloomberg Law is quoted in the press release: “With Bloomberg Law 2022, our analysts provide expert perspectives and insights as they preview what legal professionals can expect in the next 12 months.”

Here is a taste of the specific titles many offer prognostications but others pose challenging questions:

Here is the press release:


Arlington, Va. (November 1, 2021) — Bloomberg Law today announced the availability of its Bloomberg Law 2022 series, its exploration of key issues across four major topic areas – Litigation, Transactions & Contracts, Regulatory & Compliance, and The Future of the Legal Industry – that will shape the legal market in the coming year. The full series, which is issued annually and features 25 articles from Bloomberg Law’s team of legal analysts, is available on a complimentary basis at http://onb-law.com/tXw850GAeS4.

Topic area coverage includes:

  • Litigation: Developments that will shape the course of litigation in 2022 are examined, ranging from Covid-related employment and contractual issues to emerging trends in antitrust cases and bankruptcy filings.   
  • Regulatory & Compliance: Learn how a heightened enforcement environment will impact everything from return-to-office mandates to privacy and tech industry regulation to potential actions by the SEC and Congress on cryptocurrency. 
  • Transactions & Contracts: Take a look at the forces shaping the transactional landscape and key markets of interest, from trends in M&A and IPOs to the nuanced impacts of new data security laws on contract language. 
  • The Future of the Legal Industry: Hot topics such as diversity & inclusion and attorney well-being and the rapidly expanding areas of law such as legal operations and litigation finance are analyzed.

“The changes to the legal market in the past year have been profound and deeply impacted by the ongoing pandemic, the new administration and Congress, and a heightened focus on attorney well-being and diversity & inclusion,” said Kristyn Hyland, Director, Analysis, Bloomberg Law. “With Bloomberg Law 2022, our analysts provide expert perspectives and insights as they preview what legal professionals can expect in the next 12 months.”

About Bloomberg Law

Bloomberg Law combines the latest in legal technology with workflow tools, comprehensive primary and secondary sources, trusted news, expert analysis, and business intelligence Our deep expertise and commitment to innovation provide a competitive edge to help improve attorney productivity and efficiency. Bloomberg Law is the only legal research provider to include continuous enhancements to its platform at no cost to existing subscribers. For more information, visit pro.bloomberglaw.com.

This morning  Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S. emailed a stunning announcement to law library directors around the US. The flagship Cheetah legal research platform was being rebranded as VitalLaw. The change is expected to take place  on Monday November 1st.  The librarian list-servs lit-up with the expected questions and concerns as well as a dash of snark. I understand the potential challenges facing my peers. Every product name is woven into a variety of  research and business taxonomies — think training resources, catalogs,  budgets and  portal pages. And then there are  “passive resistors” like myself who still refer to the Wolters Kluwer products by their original US brand name: CCH. (Commerce Clearing House was acquired by Wolters in 1995). CCH/Wolters Kluwer entered the digital age with  CCH CD-ROMs,  then the CCH Research Network, then Intelliconnect which was phased out and replaced a new platform Cheetah. The Cheetah name as meant to signal the dramatically improved response time compared to Intelliconnect. I wrote a detailed recap of the road from CCH to Cheetah in my  2013 post on the launch of Cheetah.

Tonight I was able to chat with  Ken Crutchfield,  Vice President & General Manager, Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory, U.S. He has been hearing about law librarian concerns and offered this comment. “We are excited to introduce the VitalLaw brand to our customers. The new enhancements were based on valuable feedback from customers including law librarians and knowledge managers. We invited customer feedback on our launch plans and recognize now that we could have provided more advanced notice to the broader community.”

What you should do before Monday:

  • Email your IT deparment and request that they “white list” :Vitallaw as a permissible URL and email domain. IT/Security protocols might block the website and emails as suspicious.
  • Email all Cheetah subscribers and alert them to the change. (I know they are unlikely to read the email, but when the lawyers inevitably complain that you never told them about the change – you can just resend your original email as proof.)

Here’s the good news:

  • VitalLaw will  be  a new and expanded version of  Cheetah. You are not losing anything nor will you be charged more.
  • The overall user experience will be similar to Cheetah but  it will offer more content and streamlined  “point fo need” workflow.
  • Cheetah users will not need any new training to use VitalLaw
  • If you use SAML/single sign on users will not need to reset their passwords
  • For customers employing DRM Tools such as Research Monitor, Onelog and OneLogin, the login page functionality is not changing, so no changes should be required for these DRM tools.
  • Links will automatically redirect until Oct. 29, 2022. So you have a year to correct all of the links on your portals and in your catalog.
  • Lawyers can reuse their existing password or reset their passwords using the normal reset password  process.
  • VitalLaw, will almost double the primary law available on the platform ( a 40% increase) with the addition of all federal and all 50 state laws and regulations.

Law Librarians have mastered more complicated transitions than this. And I have no doubt my colleagues will be quite vocal in advising Wolters Kluwer if they have overlooked any transition issues. One colleague optimistically pointed out that with a new brand like “VitalLaw” we can probably look forward to getting free energy drinks at the Wolters Kluwer booth in the exhibit hall  next summer at the next AALL Annual Meeting & Conference.

For any questions, customers can contact their account executive or VitalLaw’s Customer Service at LRSUSTechnicalSupport@wolterskluwer.com and 1-800-955-5217.

Today Fastcase and Matterhorn Transactions are announcing an alliance that will make M&A deal data and analytics available in Fastcase’s legal news platform. Law Street Media.  The deal terms and data will be added to its existing litigation-focused coverage of technology, agriculture, and health law.

According to the press release: “Matterhorn proprietary data analysis provides legal professionals with unparalleled capabilities to search for and compare the market terms of mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, and other transactions. The company provides transactional attorneys both

consolidated information on market terms as well as detailed legal language used for specific deal provisions, based on underlying legal agreements and financial disclosures. Matterhorn enables its clients to know precisely the frequency, form, and language of transaction terms and provisions by tying each deal term to the actual documentation.”

It is axiomatic that lawyers  and law firms are hungry for data and analysis- so this is a smart alliance. I am not personally familiar with the Matterhorn product. But the description above sounds similar to the content available in Lexis Intelligize, Thomson Reuters “Westlaw Business” (formerly GSI) and Bloomberg Law. I have no doubt some brilliant research librarian will undertake an analysis of each platform to tease apart the unique and common content and features across these platforms.

The integration of analytics with news has been a growing trend for  the past two years. In addition to Fastcase— American Lawyer Media, Lexis Law360 and Bloomberg have all been pushing data into their news offerings.

Growth without Greed I am an agnostic on how these products compare at this point. Everyone is welcome to the join the analytics party – legal consumers win as the quality and scope of products expand.  But  I  do have to cheer  for the addition of sophisticated M&A data to products available through Fastcase – which has taken a unique “growth without greed” approach to transforming the legal Continue Reading Matterhorn Deal Data Available In Fastcase Law Street Media News Platform

Lexis+ Judicial Brief Analysis was initially conceived as a tool for judges and their clerks.  The Lexis product developers soon realized  that lawyers on opposing sides also need to be able to analyze multiple briefs to identify conflicting or omitted authorities. The specific functions, features and reports in Judicial Brief Analysis were derived from workflow mapping exercises and interviews with over 100 attorneys.

Lexis+ Judicial Brief Analysis provides the standard brief checking efficiencies (checking the validity of authorities and identifying omitted authorities). But there is an obvious benefit to be able to simultaneously analyze and review multiple documents. Getting a quick overview of   authorities cited by each party, by both parties as well as identifying president identified by neither party.

New ‘Judicial Brief Analysis’ from LexisNexis Allows Lawyers to Compare Up to Six Briefs at Once

How it works – an attorney or judge’s clerk can upload up to 6 documents – 3 plaintiff and 3 defendant briefs. A Judicial Brief Analysis Continue Reading The brief analysis wars continue. Lexis+ Judicial Brief Analysis Launched Today