This week, ILTACON 2019 is being held August 18-22, in Orlando, FL. Attendees will have the opportunity to attend a four-part series on the hot topic and still mysterious cluster of technologies known as blockchain. The program is the brainchild of Katherine Lowry, Director of Practice Services at BakerHostetler. I recently interviewed Lowry to gain some insights into the evolution of her interest in blockchain in the law and her goal in designing the ILTA program.
According to Lowry’s LinkedIn write up, attendees who come to the “Blockchain series will have the opportunity to demystify and learn the practical impact of blockchain for lawyers.” Below is a description of the sessions which will run Monday through Wednesday at the ILTA conference in Orlando.

The series facilitator is Amy Y. Wan, CEO, Sagewise & Bootstrap Legal. The sessions and speakers will be:
Building-a-Blockchain live (without computers) to bring clarity on how permissioned and permissionless blockchains work, but most important, identify what problems are solved using this technology. Speakers: Diana J. Stern and Christian Smith
Demonstrations on how blockchain technology can be used to support practical business applications today! Continue Reading Demystifying Blockchain: Katherine Lowry Invites You to Build a Blockchain at ILTA

Today Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory US announced the successor to Dean Sonderegger who was recently  promoted to the position of Senior Vice President and General Manager.  Ken Crutchfield was previously Senior Vice President & General Manager for the Bloomberg Tax Technology division of Bloomberg BNA was named  Vice President & General Manager of Legal Markets at Wolters Kluwer.

Crutchfield will lead the legal markets group and focus on  Continue Reading Ken Crutchfield Succeeds Dean Sonderegger as Vice President & General Manager of Legal Markets Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S.

CourtLink was one of Lexis’ earliest product acquisitions and it is seemingly the last to be integrated into the flagship Lexis Advance platform. Starting Monday Lexis Advance subscribers will see a host of new features and a cleaner more streamlined interface. This will be none to soon for customers.
The integration of CourtLink was a massive undertaking. The system contains over 189 million unique dockets and 36.5 milling documents. Over 100,000 new dockets are added every week. The data is now stored in a single unified database which will deliver faster search results.


LexisNexis worked with customers and tracked over 1,00 interactions to interactively tweak and optimize the system. The new CourtLink will provide seamless access, faster navigation and easier administration of alerts.

New Features include: 

  • A single unified search.
  • No more drilling down. All search features and filters are available from a single page.
  • Limit results to civil dockets
  • Filter using timeline
  • New Lexis created taxonomy allows searching for similar cases across state courts. E.g all state specific case types for Labor will be unified as labor cases.
  • Download All or selected. Checkboxes allow researchers to select and download documents in a single transaction
  • Instead of selecting dozens or hundreds of documents.
  • Link out to Lex Machina analysis of a judge.
  • Courtlink Alerts now listed with regular Lexis alerts to steamline management of alerts.
  • Limit party searches to plaintiff or defendant.

One important feature which I did not see in the new platform was the ability to limit search to a specific document type such as a “complaint.” I was assured that this feature is “in the pipeline.”

Overall there is no question that the new CourtLink will will deliver significant efficiencies to docket research. Previouly there was a laborious drill down and navivation process to search or set up an alert ( 7 pages for an alert and 5 pages for a search).

As with all legal products. The law librarian community of power searchers will continue to give feedback and advice Lexis to continue optimizing the product. But the Lexis Advance integration  alone represents a major step in the right direction.

During the Great Analytics ‘Shoot-Out’ at AALL, law librarians tested and compared the results of seven federal litigation analytics platforms.

Analytics tools enable lawyers to ask completely new questions and gain insights which were virtually unavailable in a text based research world.  It takes a special skill set to ask the right  “data quality” questions when firms are assessing  the dozens of analytics products competing for a share of lawyers desktop or an organization’s information resource budget.

Use cases for analytics include: pitch strategy, AFA responses, litigation strategy, deal negotiation strategy, managing client expectations, diving process efficiency, internal bench marking and developing peer metrics.

Law librarians have been quietly driving the adoption of analytics in the business and practice of law.  Hundreds of librarians, knowledge managers and legal publishing executives jammed into a meeting room at the 2019 American Association of Law Libraries Conference and Meeting in Washington DC on July 15th to attend a two and one half hour “super-session” “ The Federal and State Analytics market: Should the Buyer Beware?” exploring the state of litigation Continue Reading What Do Law Firms Need to Know About Buying Litigation Analytics Products?

Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory, LexisNexis and Thomson Reuters spent the past week showing off newproductsand features at the annual American Association of Law Libraries ( AALL)  Meeting and Conference in Washington DC.  Since the close of the conference on Tuesday, each has announced a new alliance of some kind.

  • Thompson Reuters acquired HighQ Software (July 17th)
  • Wolters Kluwer formed and alliance with Docket Navigator (July 18th)
  • Lexis Nexis formed a join venture with Knowable (July 18th)

Wolters Kluwer Legal and Regulatory announced an alliance with  leading IP analytics platform Docket Navigator  which will make IP and antitrust litigation analytics available through three Cheetah™ platforms: IP Cheetah™, WK Trademark Navigator, and Antitrust & Competition Cheetah™.

 

Docket Navigator is a litigation database tool that tracks current cases from the time a complaint is filed through the filing of the notice of appeal in patent, trademark, copyright and antitrust cases and includes a daily email alert and case analytics. This strategic alliance will allow current Docket Navigator subscribers to access the platform through Cheetah™, Wolters Kluwer’s award-winning legal research platform.

“Business development and an understanding of litigation trends are continual needs for our law firm customers,” said Susan Gruesser, Product Line Director for Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S. “Through Cheetah, our customers will not only be able to subscribe to our preeminent and authoritative second source material, such as Areeda and Hovenkamp’s Antitrust Law and Goldstein on Copyright, but will also have access to Docket Navigator, a strategic business development and litigation tool. We’re always looking for new ways to help our customers drive efficiency and deliver value, and we are pleased that this alliance will bring even more convenience and ease of use to their workflow.”

 

Thomson Reuters/HighQ Today  Thomson Reuters announced that it has acquired HighQ, a leading cloud based, collaboration and workflow platform for the legal and regulatory market. HighQ currently serves more than 400 customers, including more than half of the Global 100 largest law firms.

It is not hard for me to imagine the HighQ acquisition being leveraged by Thomson Reuters to extend the capabilities of the recently developed Panoramic/Elite3E platform which  integrates business and practice of law processes.

According to the press release “this acquisition will expand on the company’s strategic objective to provide more cloud-based software offerings and will meet a growing market need for legal professionals, aligning with Thomson Reuters focus on legal, tax, compliance and risk. This deal follows our recent acquisition of Confirmation, a leading provider of secure audit services, and reinforces our strategy of carefully investing to grow our core offerings in the world of business information services,” said Jim Smith, president and CEO, Thomson Reuters.”

 

.LexisNexis Legal & Professional /Knowable. has announced a joint venture with contract analytics company   Knowable. Similar to other transnational document review products such as Kira and Luminance, Knowable uses AI and machine learning  to help organizations review large portfolios of documents for due diligence and risk.

Knowable is a spin off from  Axiom  a prominent alternative legal services provider. Today I spoke with  Bob Harris, CEO of Knowable and Ritu Khanna, executive vice president, Global Strategy & Acquisitions, at LexisNexis. They confirmed that Knowable will operate independently. It appears to be a win-win for both companies. Knowable will get access to LexisNexis’  resources and LexisNexis will have the opportunity to expand its reach into customer workflow solutions.

What a busy week for the legal information industry. Good thing the weekend is coming.

On Monday night Bloomberg Law hosted a “semi-secret” preview of their still to be named “brief analyzer.” I will cut to the chase and recommend “B Brief”  as a name for the analysis tool.  After all,  the point of a brief analyzer is to make lawyers more efficient. The product is expected to be released  as a beta test in September and  to launch by the end of the year – depending on feedback from the beta testers. Bloomberg Law President Joe Breda and his executive team held an event in a “speak easy” style restaurant on Blagden Ally in the hipster heart of DC. A select group of librarian and tech journalist invitees received a mysterious key in a rather MI-5 invitation several weeks before the AALL Annual Meeting and Conference. In a darkened back room, the invitees received a preview of the “brief analyzer” product and were invited to give feedback.

Like other brief analyzers the process is launched by dropping and dragging a document into the analyzer tool. The tool extracts and analyses the citations, text and concepts in the document.

Bloomberg’s product demo focused on the workflow for analyzing an opponent’s brief rather than the process for finalizing a brief that is being drafted. Most of Bloomberg’s competitor’s in this space have launched their products focusing on the brief drafting process, the analysis of an adversary’s brief was included as an additional use case.

The bottom line is that for either process, the analyzer tool is designed to speed up the review process and help lawyers focus on the most important Continue Reading Bloomberg Law Joins the Brief Analyser Party – With A Touch Of Intrigue

Today Thomson Reuters is announcing the release of a new AI enabled enhancement for WESTLAW Edge. Quick Check enables a lawyer to “drop and drag” a brief or motion into the Quick Check AI portal and retrieve a thorough analysis of the cited or missing authority. The Quick Check process takes one minute on average. Michael Dahn, SVP Product Management, Carol Jo Lechtenberg, Westlaw Product Management and T0nya Custis, Sr. Director Research Center for AI and Cognitive Computing hosted a webinar demonstration earlier this week for members of the legal press which I attended.

Quick Check use cases include:  Updating an old brief, quality checking a  working draft and  performing final check before submitting a brief to a court. Lawyers can also examine  an opponent’s brief and Continue Reading Thomson Reuters Launches Westlaw Edge Quick Check Raising the Bar for A.I. DrivenBrief and Citation Insights

Today Fastcase is announcing their intention to relaunch Law Street Media  at the end of 2019. Toward that end they have announced the creation of an advisory board. (Disclosure: I will be a member of that board.) For more than a decade LexisNexis has dominated the legal news market. Nexis was always a strong news product then they achieved a near monopoly through acquisitions and alliances (Law360, ALM, Wall Street Journal, MLex, Newsdesk). The legal market could clearly benefit from having more legal news options. Bloomberg Law and Wolters Kluwer Legal and Regulatory have recently signaled their intent to enhance their legal news offerings.

“The legal information news industry has evolved from case decisions to docket alerts, decisions and analytics,” said Fastcase Chief Operating Officer Steve Errick. “Law Street Media will be must-have legal news that directly helps law firms to drive new business across emerging industry practice groups.

News Powered by Analytics. according to the press release “Law Street Media will connect the news platform to its Docket Alarm and Fastcase legal research platform, build out its reporter team, and work with its state bar partners to showcase their local expertise. Fastcase founder Ed Walters, himself a former journalist, has been working to re-tool the Law Street Media platform and business model.”

The inaugural Law Street Media advisory board includes some legal news disruptors and  pioneers such as Bob Ambrogi of LawSites, David Lat, Founder of Above the Law, and Kevin O’Keefe, Founder, LexBlog.

Here is the Full  Roster of the Inaugural Law Street Media Board

  • John Jenkins, Founder, Law Street Media
    Bob Ambrogi, LexBlog and LawSites
    Jean O’Grady, Founder, Dewey B. Strategic
    Kevin O’Keefe, Founder, LexBlog
    David Lat, Founder, Above the Law
    Michael Sander, Founder, Docket Alarm
    Kevin Vermeulen, Partner and COO, Good2bSocial
    Ed Walters, CEO, Fastcase

Law Street Media will connect the news platform to its Docket Alarm and Fastcase legal research platform, build out its reporter team, and work with its state bar partners to showcase their local expertise. Fastcase founder Ed Walters, himself a former journalist, has been working to re-tool the Law Street Media platform and business model.

Fastcase Announces Law Street Media Q4 Re-Launch, News Leader and Inaugural Advisory Board
“News Leads to Business” Platform to Drive Client Development and Industry Alerts

Washington, DC (July 11, 2019) – Legal publisher Fastcase has announced its plans for the relaunch of Law Street Media in the fourth quarter of 2019, as well as its leadership team and inaugural advisory board. The company is developing the new platform around state and federal litigation news and alerting services tied to emerging industries. News content will be free, while additional alerting and tracking tools will be available by subscription for subscribers of Fastcase or Docket Alarm.

“The legal information news industry has evolved from case decisions to docket alerts, decisions and analytics,” said Fastcase Chief Operating Officer Steve Errick. “Law Street Media will be must-have legal news that directly helps law firms to drive new business across emerging industry practice groups.”

Law Street Media will relaunch later this year under the leadership of former Docket Alarm Product Manager David Nayer, a graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center and former Editor-in-Chief of the Georgetown Law Weekly newspaper. David’s background and training in docket analytics puts him in a unique position to build out the vision behind Law Street.

“There are so many fantastic general news services in the market today. Our vision for Law Street is focused: legal news that can help law firms get business,” Nayer said. “We want to deliver news that is not only engaging but goes beyond the story to help attorneys expand their business. With Docket Alarm, firms can immediately track clients of interest to them, and Law Street will supplement case tracking with news content targeted toward their particular industry or practice area,” he added. “News may be a commodity, but in law firms, finding out news about a client first is everything.”

Joining in the relaunch of Law Street Media is a board of advisers to help ensure Law Street Media meets its mission of “news leads to business” by including industry and segment experts who understand the value of news and alerts in driving business.

Inaugural Law Street Media Board

John Jenkins, Founder, Law Street Media
Bob Ambrogi, LexBlog and LawSites
Jean O’Grady, Founder, Dewey B. Strategic
Kevin O’Keefe, Founder, LexBlog
David Lat, Founder, Above the Law
Michael Sander, Founder, Docket Alarm
Kevin Vermeulen, Partner and COO, Good2bSocial
Ed Walters, CEO, Fastcase

Law Street Media will connect the news platform to its Docket Alarm and Fastcase legal research platform, build out its reporter team, and work with its state bar partners to showcase their local expertise. Fastcase founder Ed Walters, himself a former journalist, has been working to re-tool the Law Street Media platform and business model.

“Traditional news reporting has been in retreat for years,” Walters said, “and Fastcase prizes itself in running against the tide. When the world overcorrects, we see market opportunities. The key is to create a new business model that supports sustainable legal journalism in the 21st Century. The expertise of our advisory board gives me great confidence that we can chart a new course.”

###

About Fastcase
As the smarter alternative for legal research, Fastcase democratizes the law, making it more accessible to more people. Using patented software that combines the best of legal research with the best of Web search, Fastcase helps busy users sift through the clutter, ranking the best cases first and enabling the re-sorting of results to find answers fast. Founded in 1999, Fastcase has more than 900,000 subscribers from around the world. Fastcase is an American company based in Washington, D.C. For more information, follow Fastcase on Twitter at @Fastcase, or visit www.fastcase.com.

About Law Street Media
Law Street Media is a free web-based platform covering law and public policy. It was founded as a way to provide a single essential resource to law students and young professionals in the rapidly evolving legal industry. Law Street’s Founder and CEO is journalist and author John A. Jenkins, formerly President and Publisher of CQ Press. Law Street Media served millions of online visitors and located its editorial office in Washington D.C., with business operations in New York City. For more information about Law Street Media, visit LawStreetMedia.com and follow on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Several weeks ago Joe Breda, President of Bloomberg Law sent a communication to Bloomberg Law customers promising a new pricing strategy. Here in the key text from the document:

“Our migration to a single platform has meant price adjustments for some customers. In response, we are recommitting to transparency and predictability in pricing.  Our long-term vision is a fair price that’s consistent with the marketplace and representative of the value Bloomberg Law brings to your practice or business.” (The complete message is included at the bottom of this post.)

I had a conversation with Breda in which he explained that although Bloomberg will no longer sell Practice Centers, customers can get access to practice related content by purchasing  as many seats as are required by any practice Continue Reading Bloomberg Law Returns to Predictable Pricing Model – Enhances Customer Cost Management

Next Sunday July 14th,  I will be moderating a Hot Topic: Embracing Sustainable Innovation Initiatives to Build a Future-Focused Library.   panel (11:30am in Washington, DC at the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) Annual  Meeting and Conference. Ron Friedmann, (LAC), Marlene Gebauer (Greenberg Traurig) and Darrin Fox (University of Oklahoma) will be discussing the both the survey results and real life sustainable innovation initiatives.

Several weeks ago Ron and I posted the survey questionnaire on our blogs. We received eighty responses. Today Ron posted a thorough  analysis of the  innovation survey results on Prism Legal.

Aspiration or Actuality  Below is a chart which illustrates one of the key insights from the survey. Many law firms, corporations, law schools and government agencies aspire to engage in innovation. However few devote the money, staff and high level support which would be required to move innovation from aspiration to actuality.

Barriers to Legal Innovation

To read more about survey results visit Prism Legal.

Thanks to everyone that participated in the survey.