Legal publishing industry mergers

I have been following Fastcase since 2011 when I wrote a blogpost, highlighting their innovative approach to legal research which included visual timelines and a feature called “foresight” that identified relevant precedent without relying on keywords. Fastcase was the brainchild of co-founders  Ed Walters and Phil Rosenthal, former big law associates who were driven by a passion to “democratize the law.”

Since 2011, I have written an astonishing 49 stories on my blog tracking Fastcase’s various upgrades, acquisitions and alliances.  Acquisitions include: Casemaker, Loislaw, Docket Alarm, Judicata’s “Legal genome,” TopForm, Next Chapter and Law Street Media. They expanded business intelligence, legal treatises, expert witness profiles, and corporate content by entering alliances with a host of companies, including Courtroom, Insight, JurisPro, the ABA, TransUnion, James Publishing , The Practicing Law Institute, Littler, Wolters, Kluwer, and Association of Immigration Lawyers and Matterhorn.

A year ago this month cast Fastcase merged with vLex,  the international research platform. I was really excited to talk to Ed Walters, Chief Strategy Officer at vLex and get his take on the vLex merger as well as the state of the legal tech market, advice for entrepreneurs and teaching robot law to next generation of lawyers.

O’Grady: It is a year since Fastcase merged with vLex. Has it been a win-win for both companies?

Walters: Fastcase was very successful as a 24-year-old bootstrapped company. We had not gotten a lot of outside financing, and we had grown Fastcase incrementally and responsibly as a profitable company. At the beginning of 2023 it was pretty clear, that we were coming into an age where “speed to market” and artificial intelligence were going to be more important than ever, and candidly, we just didn’t have the resources to compete as an independent, slow-growth company.

Continue reading on LegalTech HubContinue Reading The Fastcase/ vLex Merger – A Talk with Ed Walters on the State of the Legal Tech Market, Advice for Start-ups, Generative AI and Robot Law in Legal Education

Legal Tech Mergers continue despite the uncertain economy. The recent acquisitions of Fastcase and Casetext inspired me to “take the temperature” of legal information marketplace. Thomson Reuters acquisition of Casetext for the breathtaking $650M was completed on August 17, 2023

The Survey I gave information professionals the opportunity to provide feedback on legal information mergers

60% of DBS Survey Responders Say Legal Research/Tech Company Customer Support Has Declined in Past 10 Years.

In March I conducted a reader survey to explore the current state of customer service in the legal publishing and technology market. The Survey was open from March 3rd to March 11th. The reader response was somewhat overwhelming.  Not only did 169 readers respond to the 5 question survey but the majority of responders took the time to provide thoughtful responses to open ended questions about the improvement or decline in service.

I was inspired to conduct this survey by my own observations of and participation in the legal information and technology market from its infancy in the 1980’s when online caselaw was an adjunct to print — through today’s market where text has been transformed into data,
Continue Reading Legal Research Platforms Customer Service Survey – Customer Support in a Freefall

Legal publishers Casemaker and Fastcase are announcing a merger of their two companies. According to the press release ” The two companies will combine their teams and technologies to innovate research, analytics, and workflow offerings that empower lawyers with powerful digital solutions for their clients.”

I spoke with Ed Walters CEO of Fastcase yesterday. He

Fastcase  acquisition of Judicata  will bring a new era of innovation and advanced legal reasoning technologies such as, citation analysis, legal analytics and brief analysis to Fastcase 8 and Docket Alarm.

Several years ago I wrote a post  about Judicata, a small California start up which described its mission as “as mapping the legal genome.”   They used their analytics and  citation analysis tool to grade law firm briefs. How that for chutzpah?. Judicata knows how to stretch the legal research and analysis envelope.

Fastcase today announced the acquisition of Judicata technology assets “with the mission of extending Judicata’s California research and analytics tools nationwide in the Fastcase platform.”

Judicata founder, Itai Guriari  worked at Jones Day then at Google working on Google Scholar before founding Judicata in 2012 with Adam Han and Blake Masters. The team spent the last decade building out “industry-leading research analytics and workflow tools for California law.” Chief technology officer Ben Pedrick  and the Judicata team will join Fastcase to scale those solutions nationwide. Gurari  will be VP of Research and Development and lead  Fastcase labs.

I asked Fastcase CEO Ed Walters to provide some insights into the strategy behind this acquisition.  “Judicata has
Continue Reading Fastcase Acquires the Judicata “Legal Genome” – Watch Out For Fastcase 8!

The  Dewey B Strategic  Blog-o-zine is an easy access, guide to the evolving legal research marketplace. Get practical guidance on assessing products and vendors. The book is a handy tool to help focus your time and your budgets on the best products for your firm’s practice needs. Enhance your understanding of  technology trends,  product releases,

Fastcase continues its content expansion strategy. Today they are announcing a new partnership with James Publishing. James Publishing, founded in 1981, publishes  legal practice materials  including model pleadings, client letters, and step-by-step procedural checklists, pattern arguments, model questions,  and practice tips. According to their website they focus on federal practice as well as practice in

In recent months Bloomberg BNA has been introducing changes to the format, timing and delivery of their various publications and platforms. Some newsletters are being discontinued, some newsletters are being merged into channels, other newsletters will only be available in a practice center, some practice centers will only be available on the Bloomberg Law platform. For a company that wowed the market with their promise of simplified, standard pricing, the Bloomberg Law acquisition of the Bureau of National Affairs (BNA) has become a multi-year content  migration
Continue Reading Bloomberg BNA Editor in Chief Outlines Reorganization and Layoffs– Shifts in Content Strategy