It is no secret that private law firm librarians  and knowledge managers face a work-day full of tight deadlines, and relentless demands… And yet we are fortunate enough to have colleagues who  find the bandwidth to lead the initiatives of the PLLIP Special Interest Section of the American Association of Law Libraries. Here are the newly elected members of the PLLIP Board:

Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect,  Saskia Mehlhorn, Director of Knowledge – US, Norton Rose Fulbright, Houston, TX

Secretary,  Cynthia Brown, Director, Research Services, Littler Mendelson, P.C., Fresno, CA

Member-At-Large, Jeremy Sullivan, Manager, Competitive Intelligence & Analytics, DLA Piper,  Sacramento, CA

And then there are the award winners who demonstrate excellence and dedication to the profession in a variety of contexts.…


The PLLIP Board and Awards Committee Chairs Saskia Mehlhorn and Karen Oesterle announced PLLIP’s 2018 award recipients. Each of the award recipients are distinguished in their commitment and level of engagement to our profession, particularly as members and supporters the Private Law Library and Information Professional community. Award winners will be honored during the annual PLLIP business luncheon at the AALL Conference in Baltimore this coming July.

Distinguished Librarian
Steve Lastres, Director Knowledge Management Services – Debevoise & Plimpton

The PLLIP Distinguished Librarian Award is designed to recognize a long time active member whose contributions to the profession, their organization, and service to the Private Law Librarians & Information Professionals SIS have been significant, substantial and long-standing.

Hall of Fame
Martha Goldman –  retired Research & Library Services Manager – Jones Day and
Cindy Spohr –  retired Manager Librarian Relations Group – LexisNexis

The PLLIP Hall of Fame award is designed to recognize a retired member or members who over the entire course of their career made significant contributions to the private law library profession, their organization, and the Private Law Librarians & Information Professionals SIS.

Advocate of the Year
June Liebert,  Firmwide Director of Library & Research Services – Sidley Austin

The PLLIP Advocate of the Year award is designed to recognize a member who has been a strong advocate of private law librarianship, the Private Law Librarians & Information Professionals SIS, and who demonstrates outstanding potential for continued service and leadership within the SIS and the profession.

Innovative Professional of the Year
Katherine Lowry, Director of Practice Services – Baker & Hostetler

The PLLIP Innovative Professional of the Year award is designed to recognize a member who has demonstrated significant innovation within their organization,and the Private Law Librarians & Information Professionals SIS.

Best Blogger/Writer of the Year
Harris County Law Library  

The PLL Best Blogger/Writer award is designed to recognize a member or group who has made significant blogging/writing contributions to the private law library profession, and demonstrates outstanding potential for continued service and leadership within the SIS and the profession.

Emerging Leader of the Year
Leanna Simon, Reference Librarian – Honigman Miller Schwartz & Cohn

The PLLIP Emerging Leader award is designed to recognize a member in the early stages of their career that has made significant contributions to the law library profession, their organization, and the Private Law Librarians & Information Professionals SIS and demonstrates outstanding potential for continued service and leadership within the SIS and the profession.

Service to PLLIP Award
Kevin Miles, Manager of Library Services – Norton Rose Fulbright

The Service to PLLIP award recognizes a member who has provided significant service to the Private Law Librarians & Information Professionals SIS through their volunteerism and commitment to service.

Vendor/Outside Champion Award
Chuck Lowry, Account Executive – Fastcase

This award recognizes activities or initiatives by a vendor and their representative in promoting the value of information professionals to the broader legal community and responds to the PLLIP community as a partner and champion. 

I am delighted to see so many of my friends and colleagues honored by the PLLIP membership. Congratulations one and all.


For years I have been heaping praise on Thomson Reuters for producing one of the first marketing pieces that took a crack at quantifying the time savings delivered by one of their workflow products.  The chart offers a simple comparison of several tasks and shows the time it takes to perform each task and with and without the use of the Practical Law Resources. See Illustration below.

It is probably five years since I saw that first chart and I recently began investigating whether Thomson Reuters has moved from producing a marketing piece to delivering a real tool that could actually help a customer determine or even estimate the time savings or efficiency delivered by Practical Law.   I am picking on Thomson Reuters but the truth is that none of the large legal information publishers ( LexisNexis, Wolters Kluwer or Bloomberg Law) which have enhanced their research products with workflow solutions are offering any resource to measuring the ROI of their products.  For Continue Reading Your Workflow Product Costs Half a Million Dollars — Now How Do I Measure My ROI? Where is the Quickview and PowerInvoice for Practical Law and Lexis Practice Advisor?

The results of the 2017 Start Stop Survey are in. Thanks to everyone who participated in the survey. My apologies for the delay in compiling the results – let me blame a series of unexpected events starting in December and continuing through the spring.

Can it Be? The Best New Legal Information Product is FREE!  Although AALL’s daily newsletter launched in late 2016 it really gained traction in 2017. I am also a daily reader. Know It AALL aggregates legal knowledge and technology stories from around the web ranging from academic publications to popular blogs and news sites. It is like a fresh cup of news serendipity to drink in along with your morning coffee. (Full disclosure: I am currently on the Board of the American Association of Law Libraries which publishes the newsletter..) The Know it AALL is available for free to anyone who wishes to subscribe at this link.

What is the best NEW PRODUCT you became aware of in 2017? Continue Reading Start Stop Survey Results AALL’s — “The Know it AALL” Is Voted Best New Product and Bloomberg Law’s “Docket Key” Best New Feature

PAYPAL Issues have been resolved. My apologies to those who were unable to place orders yesterday. Thank you for your patience.

Dear Colleagues and readers you must be asking yourselves:

What is a Blog-o-zine? It is word I made up to describe a print publication which includes  “best of” selection of  Dewey B Strategic  blog in 2017.

Why a print blog-o-zine?  I, who have been an unrelenting advocate for digital information consumption have now pivoted to embrace a print representation of my 2017 blog posts The bottom line is that  I want to make my content accessible to more readers and to put it into a format which more easily “browseable for lawyers, researchers and legal information innovators who want to review a recent snapshot of the legal information landscape.

What inspired this? I had two epiphanies on the print versus digital issue in 2017. After 7 years of blogging it has become more difficult for me to locate my prior blogs. After I moved from the Blogger platform to Lexblog which uses WordPress, my earlier posts became much more difficult to find using Google searches. As I often say “with  Google can always give you something— but it does not always give you the exact thing  that you are looking for.” 

Perhaps more importantly, in 2017 I read the book The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter  by David Sax which posits that since we are material beings we have a special connection to tangible things. Sax documents the reappearance of all sorts of artifacts of our pre-digital age:  Phonograph players, vinyl records, 35 mm film, moleskin notebooks and yes – specialist magazines!  I was only half way through the book when my daughter asked to go into an Urban Outfitters at 5th Avenue and 42nd St in Manhattan – and what was in the front of the store? Displays of phonograph players, vinyl records and 35 mm Fuji film.

The Revenge of Analog made me question one of my most basic assumptions about information delivery. It made me notice that for at least some content, I prefer to hold something in my hands and browse. The Dewey B Strategic Blog-o-zine is my celebration of our tangible selves who still enjoy turning a page and browsing.

Why should  someone pay for it? The 2017 Dewey B Strategic  Blog-o-zine is intended to be an easy access, reference handbook on the major legal research/technology trends,  product releases and enhancements of 2017. The book includes 34 product reviews for cutting edge legal products incorporating AI, analytics, workflow tools and plain old expert analysis. What have the big players Thomson Reuters, LexisNexis, Bloomberg Law and Wolters Kluwer been up to? Did you catch the release of new features on Fastcase, CARA,  Ravel, Lex Machina? Have you heard about the innovative new tools from Judicata,  Gavelytcs and Voxgov? The blog-o-zine can be seen as a good investment in a tool that will make it easier for you to focus your time and your budgets on best products for your firm’s research needs.

What the legal information industry thought leaders are saying…. Dewey B Strategic has been recognized as an important source of legal publishing and technology insights by industry executives, knowledge management and library thought leaders. Read their testimonials here.

 Exclusive content in the Blog-a-zine – A  wrap-up blogpost on the state of the legal information industry at the end of 2017. ” 2017:KM Rises, “Robot Lawyer” Fatigue Sets in. Analytics and Workflow Surge.”
The book will retail for $99 but will be available at the pre-publication price of $79.00 (plus shipping) through April 30th. The publication will ship on or about April 30th.

You can use Paypal to reserve your pre-publication price  here: Buy Now Button

If you should experience any difficulties with Paypal please email me at

Last week Bloomberg Law launched a new analytics tool, Health Care Fraud Analytics. A first of its kind tools offering insights into a very specific niche– health care fraud enforcement. The tool enables subscribers to search and filter health care fraud settlement agreements by court, entity, allegation, date which can be used to display trends in health care enforcement and settlements. The product also provides insights into whistle-blower suits and violation trends. Settlement analytics can be searched by law firm or Continue Reading Bloomberg Law Launches Health Care Fraud Enforcement Analytics Tool

I recently had the opportunity to interview Andrew Perlman, The Dean of Suffolk Law School and Professor Gabrielle Teninbaum, Director of the Institute on Law Practice Technology and Innovation at  Suffolk Law School. Suffolk is on of the U.S, law schools which has been in the forefront of transforming the law future lawyers are educated. In particular they have focused on preparing students for the emerging technology roles described by legal futurist, Richard Susskind. The interview was published in the  March issue of Thomson Reuters Practice Innovations.

The article provides insights into upcoming changes  law school curriculum, the role of the ABA and law firms in the transformation of legal education and preparing students for practice chances arising from AI and analytics in the practice of law.

Read the full interview here.



The March issue of  Thomson Reuters Practice Innovations has been released. This issue focuses on AI’s impact on the business and practice of law, transformation of legal education and the ongoing challenges of value pricing and client collaboration.

The Full issue is available here.

Subscribe to Practice Innovations at this link.

Skill Fade: The Ethics of Lawyer Dependence on Algorithms and Technology Brian Sheppard, Seton Hall University Law School

Using Expected Value Calculations and Big Data to Guide Decision-Making  by Mark Thorogood , Perkins Coie

 Fending Off Incursions by the Big Four into the Legal Industry  by V. Mary Abraham

The Opportunity for “Back Office AI” in Law Firms     by Sally Gonzalez, Fireman & Co

Suffolk Law School: Leading Transformation of Legal Education  Jean O’Grady, DLA Piper Interviews  Andrew Perlman Dean of Suffolk Law School and Gabrielle Teninbaum  Director of the Institute on Legal Innovation, Suffolk Law,

The Future of Change is Client/Law Firm Collaboration By Toby Brown, Perkins Coie

 Today Lex Machina  announced the release its first annual Products Liability Litigation report which analyses more than 400,000 product liability cases filed in U.S. District Courts from January 1, 2009 to Dec 31, 2017.

The report highlights  claims related to pharmaceuticals and medical devices and provides detailed insights on case findings, resolutions timing, damages awarded in verdicts, and approved class action settlements.

Owen Byrd, General Counsel and Chief Evangelist is quoted in the press release announcing the report. “Every year, the number of product liability cases filed in District Court consistently outpaces the combined case filings for patent, commercial, employment, trademark, copyright, antitrust, securities, and bankruptcy appeals. Of those product liability cases, medical device and pharmaceutical litigation accounts for the lion’s share of all filings, which is why we’ve chosen to feature this sector in our first annual report.”

Key Findings Include:

Continue Reading Lex Machina 2018 Products Liability Litigation Report Includes Trends and an Analytics “Primer”- Expert Witness App Launched

Tax and Trust & Estate lawyers have always been a breed apart. They take their research tools and processes VERY seriously. And Wolters Kluwer CCH resources have defined the process of tax research. CCH launched its first publication in 1913 the year the US enacted its first tax law The Revenue Act of 1913. Anyone who has studied tax law understands the multiple threads of primary sources ( laws, regulation, revenue rulings etc. which are necessary for the interpretation of the law. A code section is only the first step in a complex analysis. And all of these primary law pieces are in a continuous state of change. Wolters Kluwer is leveraging machine learning and natural language processing to generate new tools and insights.

This week Wolters Kluwer launched an  important  new tool Estate and Gift Tax Plus  to help trust and estates practitioners instantly track changes in laws and regulations with an innovative new tools for “redlining” and point in time navigation. Since the recently enacted Tax Cuts and Job Act was the most sweeping tax law in decades, trust and estates practitioners will need to track ongoing changes to regulations as well as interpretive and advisory materials impacting the practitioners understanding of the law. Wolters Kluwer expects their  Tax Plus and Estate Tax and Gift  Tax Plus products to help lawyers master these ongoing changes efficiently.

New Features Include: Point in time allows lawyers to see a law or regulation as it was in a particular year and redlining which allows a lawyer to track changes in laws and regulations over time.  Continue Reading Wolters Kluwer Launches Estate & Gift Tax Plus With Redlining and “Point in Time” Research Features

Today Fastcase is announcing the addition of the Littler Mendelson employment law practice materials to their growing portfolio of secondary sources and practice materials. Littler, is the largest global employment and labor law firm, and as far as I know they also have the largest collection of law firm authored treatises. The firm has a bookstore on their website. As of today, Fastcase will offer, 79 titles from the Littler Employer Law Library within the Fastcase legal research platform.. Fastcase subscribers will now see little materials in their search results. National titles include: Littler on Bankruptcy and Employment Law Issues, Littler on Disability in the Workplace, Littler on Classifying Workers: Employees v. Independent Contractors, Joint Employees, & Other Contingent Continue Reading Fastcase Expands Treatises: Adds Littler Employment Library Including 79 Titles