Today LexisNexis is releasing a practice guide on federal civil practice TheWagstaffe Group Practice Guide: Federal Civil Procedure Before Trial  that will be available in three formats: print, online in Lexis Advance and eBook. (LexisNexis Digital Library.)  This multimedia guide includes over 150 video clips of two to five minutes in length. This is the first video offering from a legal publishing market that I can recall since the release of Professor Robert Berring’s Commando Legal Research series in 1989.

The LexisAdvance and Digital Library versions will be enhanced with video “mini lectures” by the author James M. Wagstaffe.  Wagstaffeformer co-author of The Rutter Group’s Federal Civil Procedure Before Trial. The press release describes the author as one of the country’s preeminent First Amendment and defamation lawyers. Wagstaffe is also, an adjunct professor in constitutional law and civil procedure at Hastings College of the Law and in Media Law at San Francisco State University and co-founder of Kerr & Wagstaffe LLP.  The press release describes the  videos  as providing “ rich, explanatory tips and practical insights … that enhance and complement the surrounding text in each chapter. “

 Sample Practice Tips/Strategic Points:

  • Citizenship Rules for Diversity Strategic Tips for Plaintiff and Defendant Removal
  • Analyzing Personal Jurisdiction – Objective and Strategy for Plaintiffs/Defendants
  • Analyzing Personal Jurisdiction – Strategic Points for Plaintiffs/Defendants
  • Motions to Dismiss Options and Strategies (entire section)
  • Motions to Dismiss for Failure  – Strategic Point — Plaintiff/Defendant to State Claim

According to Lexis this product  will not compete directly with the iconic Moores Federal Practice. Since this product is more focused on practice efficiency it appears to be positioned more in the LexisNexis Practice Advisor/Thomson Reuters Practical Law space.

Will Video Morph in Video Gaming

Sean Fitzpatrick, Managing Director of North American Research Solutions at LexisNexis is quoted in the press release describes how the product is positioned: “With its release and the addition of embedded video content directly within the legal research tools our customers use most, we’re bringing practical guidance to life. Not only are we providing the smartest and most relevant content to the market, but we are doing so in a manner that addresses the changing needs of our customers.”

I can’t help but think that we already  have  a generation of lawyers who’s hands itch for a game controller when they hear the word “video.”  I think it is time to think outside the traditional treatise. I assume that video is only the beginning. I could see gamification  having a place in litigation strategy. As I always say, Lexis has bought so many amazing assets, I can’t help but meditate on amazing mash-ups. Imagine Professor Wagstaffe illustrating a winning motion strategy and then enhancing it with an interactive comparative outcome chart from Lex Machina.

Access: The Wagstaffe Group Practice Guide: Federal Civil Procedure Before Trial  that will be available in three formats: print, online in Lexis Advance and eBook, but will require a separate subscription.