Lex Machina and LexisNexis is announcing the release of the seventh California county: Orange County Superior Court. Los Angeles County Superior Court, Sacramento County Superior Court, San Diego County Superior Court, Riverside County Superior Court, San Bernardino County Superior Court, Alameda County Superior Court.
These counties are key courts for civil cases involving contracts, torts, employment, and other civil matters, and serve more than 24 million citizens. Like other Lex Machina products, the California modules are created using Lex Machina’s machine learning, natural language processing and human review to extract and validate data-driven insights from millions of state court documents. According to the press release legal analytics are now available for any Superior Court civil trial case filed in any of these seven California courts.
Lex Machina faces a daunting challenge bringing Lex Machina’s standard analytics to state courts. Few states have unified systems for Continue Reading Lex Machina Expands California State Court Coverage with Seven Major Counties
The 2020-2021 Dewey B Strategic Hits and Misses survey asked responders to identify products purchased in 2020 or to be purchased in 2021. Despite the financial concerns triggered by the pandemic, law firm librarians continued to consider new products. Some new products such as Westlaw Edge and Lexis + are often driven by an impeding contract renewal. Other product selections are driven by practice demands as well as a desire to remain competitive by introducing innovative solutions and enhance productivity.
The Top Products Four was the magic number this year. Each of the top vote getters were identified by 4 responders as new purchases. Continue Reading The Dewey B Strategic 2020-21 Hits and Misses Survey: What Research, KM/Workflow and Analytics Products are Readers Buying?
COVID-19 threw law firms and librarians into the deep end of the local law pool. COVID-19 exposed the limits of traditional legal information vendors who focus on laws at the federal and state level. Long before COVID-19 emerged, Amanda Ostrowitz the SVP and founder of Fyllo’s CannaRegs, recognized the need for hyperlocal law to track the emergence of the Canna CBD Industry. Ostrowitz herself has developed a mastery of canna law and the canna law market.
Like other attorney entrepreneurs Ostrowitz sat at her desk thinking — “there’s got to be a better way.” Ostrowitz was working at the Federal Reserve and had to research financial regulations related to the emerging cannabis industry. There were no standard tools for locating the materials related to canna. As she excavated the regulations she discovered that she was in terra incognita — the unmapped and unharnessed regions of hyperlocal law related to regulation of the cannabis industry. By June 2015, CannaRegs was ready for a soft launch. The company was purchased by Fyllo in March 2021.
The Fortune 500 Drove Cannabis Law Into The ALM 100?
Cannabis law was not immediately embraced by the ALM 100 law firms. Ostrowitz tracked the progression. In 2018, only 15% of ALM law firm websites mentioned cannabis/CBD law and 5% had a specialty canna practice. By 2019, those numbers jumped to 35% of ALM 100 firms mentioning cannabis/CBD law and 10% having a special practice group. In 2020, 75% of ALM 100 law firm websites Continue Reading Excavating The Hyperlocal Legal Landscape With Amanda Ostrowitz Of CannaRegs
“With the IPO market on track to break records this year and M&A volume continuing to increase, it’s becoming more important for attorneys to access expert insights that help them stay competitive in the current landscape,” said Ken Crutchfield, Vice President and Continue Reading Wolters Kluwer Bulks up Capital Markets Content with IPO Vital Signs, M & A Deals on RB Source
There were just over 20 respondents but the report is positioned as providing anecdotal evidence of industry trends from the point of view of CIOs and other technology specialists.
- 89% said their IT operating budgets were holding steady or rising.
- More than 60% are using document automation
- 20% are using virtual assistance and chat bots
- More than 90% of respondents have a cyber liability policy
- Fewer than 10% said they had a data breach in the past year.
- 75% said they had a dedicated technology expert to support automation of core in-house workflows.
- AI is being used primarily for legal research 86% and contract review and negotiation 48%
- Only 32% of the respondents have a minimum hourly CLE requirement Lawyers to gain technical competencies.
COVID exposed the stark boundaries of traditional legal publishing. Lexis and Westlaw built their reputations by developing robust libraries of federal and state primary law material ( cases, statutes and regulations). The issuances of individual state agencies e,g, health departments as well as the terra incognita of village, township, borough, and city law was not even on their “to do” list. To make matters worse in the first weeks of the pandemic shutdown, a deluge of local orders, policies and proclamations were published in unpredictable and almost un-capturable formats including, tweets, texts and Facebook postings.
Law firms and librarians found out almost overnight that every client needed to understand the landscape of “hyper local” law. Law librarians rose to the challenge. This year as part of this blog’s annual Hits & MIsses Survey, I explored COVID specific issues that emerged in 2020.
I asked survey participants what kind of specialized products they were tasked with developing to fill the void in traditional legal publishing.. 63.3 % of responders indicated that they had led or participated in a COVID Project.
What Kind of Projects? Below is a word cloud of responses identifying the kind of COVID related projects which librarians were tasked with.
Curating Resource Pages, Newsletters, Trackers, Alerts and RSS Feeds
- More than half of those who worked on COVID Projects created some form of COVID resources page for either internal or external use.
- Almost 100% of the librarians who were tasked with COVID projects developed methodologies for tracking COVID related impacts.
- Almost every responder performed some form of tracking which results in both internal and external alerts, newsletters and RSS feeds.
- 50% of those participating in COVID projects undertook the tracking of state and local executive orders, regulations and policies.
- Special topics included : remote work, court closures and tracking other law firms responses to COVID
- More traditional COVID related materials tracked include dockets, cases, news and industry developments.
The 2020-21 Dewey B Strategic What’s Hot and What’s Not Survey included a series of questions related to the COVID-19 Crisis.
COVID Resources Every legal publisher launched some kind of COVID related legal resource. Many of these resources were made publicly available outside the paywall. These products included toolkits, trackers, practical guidance, advisories, checklists, legislative and caselaw monitors. Legal publishers demonstrated laudable community-mindedness. In light of this, rather than ask readers to rate these pro bono offerings, I asked readers to identify which COVID offerings they had used. Readers were able to select multiple products.
The B Word Most law firms were facing financial uncertainty which resulted in slashed budgets. Everyone was working from home. For law firms with large libraries – this meant – books that were no longer accessible or even “up-update-able.” Overnight librarians who had not yet done so, were challenged to build robust digital libraries. Many librarians asked vendors to make adjustments to fixed price multi-year contracts for print materials. How did vendors respond to customers budget adjustment requests?
How Did the Legal Publishers Compare? Lastly I asked readers to provide an overall rating for each publisher based on their overall experience with each vendor during the COVID crisis.
COVID Resources – Bloomberg Law’s In Focus COIVD-19 was the most heavily used COVID Offering
Responsiveness to Print Budget Concerns – Wolters Kluwer was the most responsive legal publisher addressing librarians contracting and budget issues.
Overall Responsiveness During COVID Crisis – Wolters Kluwer received the highest percent of “excellent” ratings for their free resources, responsiveness to budget concerns and overall support during the COVID Crisis.
The American Association of Law Libraries has opened registration for their Annual Conference which will be held July 19-23, 2021. Sadly it will be a virtual conference for the second year in a row. The theme is “Leading with Wisdom & Insight” and “builds upon legal information professionals’ ability to adapt to unparalleled industry shifts while leading the way forward in this new and constantly changing legal landscape.
The conference was originally scheduled to be a live event in Cleveland, Ohio. The five day conference promises five days of innovative innovation and events. There will be live-streamed and on-demand sessions covering topical coverage of legal technology, diversity, equity, and inclusion, analytics in competitive intelligence, wellness, access to justice, and more.
New Virtual Conference Platform: attendees will have the ability to chat and network with colleagues directly through a new virtual conference platform and even schedule both group and one-on-one meetings with other attendees.
Partner Solutions Day Monday July 19th will feature Partner solutions .allowing registrants to explore and connect with providers of cutting-edge and essential products and services, and attend livestreamed Exhibitor Showcase sessions.
Keynote: Live education programs will kick off on Tuesday, July 20 with the Opening General Session, featuring keynote speaker Tina Continue Reading AALL Opens Registration for 2021 Virtual Conference — Rock On!
Workflow Tools. 2020 was marked by significant activity in the legal workflow/drafting space. There were eight products that came to my attention during 2020. Three of the eight workflow products fall into the Brief analysis category. Casetext invented the brief analysis space with the launch of the first brief analysis product CARA in 2016. So it has taken 4 years for all 3 of the major legal publishers to launch a brief analysis tool. Thomson Reuters launched Westlaw Quickcheck in 2019 . In 2020 Quickcheck Judicial was launched and is an extension of Quickcheck which enables judges (and lawyers) to analyze up to six briefs/motions. Both Bloomberg and Lexis launched their competing brief checking tools Bloomberg Brief Analyzer and Lexis Brief Analyzer in 2020.
Casetext raised a new challenge for their competitors in 2020 with the launch of another groundbreaking new product Compose. Compose uses AI to and linguistic analysis to help lawyers draft motions by identifying relevant standards and arguments with which to build out a brief or motion. The product also includes the powerful “parallel search” technology which frees research from the “prison of the keyword” according to Pablo Arredondo, co-founder and Chief Product Officer at Casetext. It is hard for me to imagine that Lexis, Westlaw and Bloomberg are not already investing in the development of their own motion drafting products. It will be interesting to see if it is another 3 or 4 years before a competitor to Compose is launched.