As most legal publishers are scaling back if not  winding down their print operations, Fastcase is scaling up their print offerings. The Fastcase publishing arm Full Court Press announced the release their first hard bound treatises. The titles Business Insurance and Insurance for Real Estate-Related Entities, are now available in print, as well as on the Fastcase legal research platform. Both treatises can be purchased through the Full Court Press bookstore.

The Full Press Release is below:

Fastcase’s Publishing Imprint, Full Court Press, Debuts First Hardbound Treatises
New Insurance Law Publications Available in the Full Court Press Bookstore and Fastcase Legal Research Platform

Washington, DC (May 16, 2019) – Legal publisher Fastcase today debuted the first hardbound books published under its Full Court Press publishing arm. The two treatises, Business Insurance and Insurance for Real Estate-Related Entities, are now available in print, as well as on the Fastcase legal research platform.

Each treatise is sold for $225 and can be purchased through the Full Court Press bookstore at https://www.fastcase.com/store/fcp/business-insurance and https://www.fastcase.com/store/fcp/insurance-for-real-estate-related-entities, respectively. Fastcase users wishing to add the treatises to their existing online legal research suite can similarly do so for $225 each, which includes any updates made to the titles as they become available throughout the year of the subscription period.

Robert E. Frankel, General Counsel at the Investments and Wealth Institute, authored both of the titles. Frankel’s expertise arises from his practice as a partner at Anderson Kill for more than 12 years, where he worked on matters related to insurance recovery and bad faith, commercial litigation, and real estate. The treatises update and expand upon Frankel and co-author John Ellison’s prior work Insuring Real Property Businesses, which was the first treatise to exclusively cover insurance issues facing the real estate industry.

“Since we started Full Court Press a little over a year ago, our offerings have blossomed into a diverse set of guidebooks, journals, eBooks, and now industry-leading hardbound treatises,” said Full Court Press Publisher Morgan Morrissette Wright. “While other publishers are eliminating the print model, we’re embracing the needs of many attorneys, who prefer to work with print books, so long as they are available at a reasonable price.”

“We’re fortunate to have Rob Frankel among our first expert authors to join our upstart imprint,” said Fastcase COO Steve Errick. “As our treatise library grows, we hope additional acclaimed attorney-authors will find a home at Full Court Press. Whether helping our bar partners accelerate their publishing programs, or finding authors ourselves, author expertise remains invaluable and Fastcase will do its part to offer these publications to the wider legal community, including the small and solo attorneys, who have had difficulty accessing these types of titles at their traditional price points.”

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.

Today Intelligize    (a Lexis Nexis company) is launching a new workflow enhancement resources the Intelligize RedBook (IRB). The SEC forms which lawyers are required to draft and update are the core of this product. When a lawyer selects a form – they are guided through a step-by-step guide linking all of the relevant regulations and commentary. The product leverages the powerful Intelligize algorithms and deep indexing.  Phil Brown, Managing Director and Mark Butler, Director. Thought Leadership & Product Marketing provided me with a preview of IRB.

The platform provides an intuitive workflow and displays all the key drafting resources in one screen. All of the functionality is tied to the SEC forms and a full library of primary source materials: statutes, regulations, SEC commentaries and a full archive of SEC filings which can be  explored and used for drafting language.


Workflow enhancements include:

• Leveraging checklists to increase efficiencies, reduce risks and collaborate with peers
• Quickly finding peer company precedents when drafting new disclosures
Eliminating the burden of looking up rules referenced in SEC Forms
• Redlining enables lawyers to easily spot changes in Form Items and the underlying regulation changes from previous iterations of the Regulation or form
• Improving their review accuracy by highlighting and annotating key regulatory content

Yes this is a research product, but it also joins the ranks of  digital products morphing from being a resource to provide faster answers  to  a product which drives efficient workflow. The Intelligize Redbook appears to be designed to compete  directly the Wolters Kluwer RB Source/RB Source Filing/Regulatory Review products.  This is part of a larger workflow trend in legal publishing where LexisNexis, Bloomberg Law and Thomson Reuters are extending workflow solutions throughout their research products.

 Free trial through May 31st of the Intelligize RedBook. Existing Intelligize customers will have automatic access to IRB. They won’t have to request anything until after the free access period ends.  Everyone else can request a free trial at this link: www.intelligize.com/redbook

 

It was only a week ago today that  I reported that international publishing giant Wolters Kluwer took all their products offline after malware was detected in one of their systems.  Today the U.S.  Legal & Regulatory division sent the message below to their customers which provides more context to the situation they were facing. I congratulate everyone at Wolters Kluwer for the speedy recovery. of their business and publishing systems.

The key security  takeaway is “the service interruptions you have experienced are primarily the result of our aggressive, precautionary efforts to ensure the safety of your data. This is why at this time we are confident that we see no indication of data loss or other effects, nor any potential risk to our clients’ data.”

Helpline: They have also set up  customer support line to address the incident: dedicated customer support line regarding this incident: 800-930-1753 or contact them by email at  customer.service@wolterskluwer.com.

Product Status Almost all of their legal products are back online and fully functional including NILS Insurance and International Arbitration which were the last two products to be restored. It is my understanding that the daily newsletters should be back up as soon as tomorrow. They have updated the product guide at this link which indicates the status of products and features.

Dear Valued Customer,

Thank you for your continued patience as we work to fully restore all of our applications and platforms. We are writing to update you on the progress we are making in this regard, as well as provide more context about this situation and how we were able to effectively isolate and contain it ensuring safety of our products and customer data. We are pleased to let you know that the vast majority of our products are back online, please visit our LRUS Products page for the most up-to-date information.

Regarding the May 6 service interruption, it’s important to clarify that although there was malware on our network, our processes and protocols provide a high degree of confidence in the security of our applications and platforms before they are brought back online. We reiterate that as of today we have not seen any evidence that customer data or systems were compromised or that there was a breach of confidentiality of customer data.

As previously shared, when we started seeing technical anomalies in a number of our applications and platforms, we proactively isolated our systems out of an abundance of caution before any detrimental effects could occur. We have since been working with best-in-class anti-virus and security firms to develop and deploy newly released anti-virus solutions. In short, the service interruptions you have experienced are primarily the result of our aggressive, precautionary efforts to ensure the safety of your data. This is why at this time we are confident that we see no indication of data loss or other effects, nor any potential risk to our clients’ data.

As we’ve noted before, we are working diligently around the clock to completely restore service and those efforts are continuing.

If you have any questions, we have established a dedicated customer support line regarding this incident at 800-930-1753 or contact us at customer.service@wolterskluwer.com.

We appreciate your continued patience and will work to keep you updated as new information becomes available.

 

 

 

Sincerely,
Your Legal & Regulatory, U.S. Team

Having lived through a cyber-attack in a large organization myself – I am pleasantly surprised to see that Wolters Kluwer  Legal and Regulatory has made such speedy progress getting their products back online in less than a week. Cheetah their main legal and regulatory platform was back online this morning after 3 days offline. Tomorrow RBSource, RBSource Filings and M&A Clause Analytics which are specialty products for corporate and securities lawyers will be back up tomorrow. Not every feature is working in these products. But they have created a useful chart where customers can check the status of each feature.

Can we all just be patient? I understand that some customers are chomping at the bit to find out how the Wolters Kluwer executives plan to “make them whole”  in response to the service interruption. My advice to subscribers is to hold off on the certified mail demand letter. Again, having been through a cyber attack myself  I understand that the immediate focus is on getting the business back up and running.  My own experience makes me suspect that the IT and Security teams have been working around the clock – there are likely some very tired executives hunkered down in a conference room with a temporary communication system ( personal cell phones and personal email accounts) reassembling the pieces of a complex organization.

We need to give them a few weeks to regroup and develop a response. Their focus is rightly on getting the business up and running – there will be time for the “make me whole” discussion — we just need to be patient.

They have added a separate chart for RBSource features at the bottom of the Cheetah page.

 

Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory has advised subscribers that their flagship platform Cheetah will be back online tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. est. However certain advanced features such at “smart charts” and redlining will not be restored immediately.

Wolters Kluwer has issued the following message to customers:

Dear Customer 
We are pleased to let you know that Cheetah will be coming back online tomorrow, May 9 at 10:00AM EDT. As Cheetah comes back online, some content updates may be delayed and certain features such as Smart Charts, Tax Reporters Plus Suite as well as some news content will not be immediately available. We will continue to update you on our progress, and information about product updates are being provided here

Thank you for your continued patience and loyalty; we truly appreciate it. 

As we continue to bring our support centers back online, please use this temporary number 800-930-1753 or contact us at customer.service@wolterskluwer.com

Best Regards, 
Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory Team

The Cheetah  Status Chart  Wolters Kluwer has created a guide outlining the restoration of Cheetah features and content at this LINK. This guide will be continuously updated as content and features are restored. Green= Fully Functional; Yellow= Partially Functional; Gray =Not Available

On Monday I posted about a malware incident which caused Wolters Kluwer to take all their products offline. Last night I commented about a post on the Krebs on Security website which indicated that the author had noted suspicious write-able files  on the Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting  software Website last Friday.

Linda Gharib, Director, Marketing Communications & Media Legal and Regulatory U.S. of Public Relations at Wolters Kluwer provided the following statement regarding the Krebs posting:

Please be assured that at this time we see no evidence of correlation between the matter raised in the article you cited, and the incident we experienced and informed customers of this week. We will of course to continue to investigate this matter.

Note that we also have concerns about the article, which contains inaccuracies – here are some specific points:

  1. The site Krebs highlighted is a read only ftp site that serves as a download center for certain legacy tax forms. The bulk of its content is tax forms for the previous years.
  2. None of the data contains PII or is sensitive data.
  3. When Krebs contacted the Tax unit, the site was taken offline to carefully review the content. The intent is to continue to make the forms available, but ensure security protocols are met.
  4. As disclosed on May 7 to customers, we took offline many of our applications and are in the process of bringing them back up.

Since temporal correlation does not equal causation we need to give Wolters Kluwer the benefit of the doubt. I have every confidence that Wolters Kluwer executives will communicate all material information to their customers and their cyber-security teams as soon as they have completed they security analysis of the incident. To Wolters Kluwer’s credit — in recent years they have developed a track record of “doing the right thing” in regard to customer relations issues.

Good News: Their website now indicates that there is a temporary helpline and customer service email are back up:

Helpline : 800-930-1753 or contact us at customer.service@wolterskluwer.com.

Most of Wolters Kluwer Legal and Regulatory products including the  Cheetah platform  and RBSource  have been offline for more than twenty four hours. To make matters worse – customer can’t reach them.  All of their phone and communication systems have been offline.  Their customer service number rings and rings —no answer – there have been no legal  news updates on their website since May 3rd. On Tuesday I posted a message which Wolters Kluwer wanted to reach their customers.

A prominent cyber-security blog Krebs on Security   has posted a disturbing report that Wolters Kluwer was aware of a security problem last Friday. It indicates that the problem may have originated in a  tax software product from the Tax & Accounting division. According to the blog post  “file directories containing new versions of CCH’s software were open and writable by any anonymous user, and that there were suspicious files in those directories indicating some user(s) abused that access.”  Krebs reported seeing “a few odd PHP and text files in the CCH Directories , including one that seemed to be promoting two different and unrelated Russian language discussion forums.” Shortly after Krebs reported the problem to Wolters Kluwer, the CCH file directory for tax software downloads was taken offline.

If there is any good news in this for law firms – they generally do not subscribe to the kind of accounting software implicated in the report above. It is accounting firms that are at the greatest risk.

Krebs also links to a Reddit thread which is full of theories about the cyber problems. One post suggests that this may be linked to a recent surge in MegaCortex ransomeware attacks.

Law firms are prime targets for hackers – they are rich in secrets: private equity and M&A deal data, intellectual property and trade secrets, financial and litigation risks involving clients. Given that reality,  it is a terrifying prospect that a research vendor could unwittingly provide a back door to a law firm network. Let us hope that the Wolters Kluwer suite of legal research products are not impacted by the malware attack at Wolters Kluwer. Let’s hope that it is true – that they have been taken offline out of an abundance of caution and access will soon be restored to subscribers. However – I remain puzzled that Wolters Kluwer did not warn all of their customers about the potential risks as soon as they became aware of the breach last Friday.

I reached out to representatives from Wolters Kluwer tonight asking for a comment of the Krebs report. I have not yet gotten a response.

Wolters Kluwer Legal and Regulatory – a   leading publishers of  regulatory materials in the United States has experienced a serious service interruption since yesterday afternoon arising from malware. They have taken their platforms  including Cheetah and RBSource offline. To make matters worse –  the malware  impacted their ability to communicate with customers.  According to the statement below no user data was impacted.

Below is a message to their customers:

Wolters Kluwer Platforms and Applications Service Interruptions – Update May 6

On Monday May 6, we started seeing technical anomalies in a number of our platforms and applications. We immediately started investigating and discovered the installation of malware. As a precaution, in parallel, we decided to take a broader range of platforms and applications offline. With this action, we aimed to quickly limit the impact this malware could have had, giving us the opportunity to investigate the issue with assistance from third-party forensics consultants and work on a solution. Unfortunately, this impacted our communication channels and limited our ability to share updates. On May 7, we were able to restore service to a number of applications and platforms.

We regret any inconvenience and that we were unable to share more information initially, as our focus was on investigation and restoring services as quickly as possible for our customers.

We have seen no evidence that customer data was taken or that there was a breach of confidentiality of that data. Also, there is no reason to believe that our customers have been infected through our platforms and applications. Our investigation is ongoing. We want to apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

 

The 2018 launch of Thomson Reuters Westlaw Edge was “buzz worthy” enough to get its own question in the Hits and Misses survey. I reviewed Westlaw Edge last July.  Readers were asked  to rank the value of Westlaw Edge features and to indicate whether their organizations had purchased Westlaw Edge… and if they hadn’t, to explain why.

Last  week  AALL announced that the Westlaw Edge Statutory and Regulatory  redlining feature “statutes compare and regulations compare” was given the prestigious “Product of the Year” Award. The readers of this blog agree. In the recent “Hits and Misses”  Survey,  Statutory and Regulatory Compare  was voted the most valuable feature in the new Westlaw Edge Product.

Statutes and Regulations Compare. I have no doubt that developing the technology for aligning statutes and regulations for a year over year comparison was is quite challenging. But  I can’t help but wonder if  this feature gets the award for being the most accessible and easy to explain to attorneys. The results smack you right in the timesheet. The resulting redline triggers an immediate gut understanding of the time saved compared to cobbling together a redline in a Word document… assuming you can easily locate the  the right statutory  text from the years you need to compare.

Citation Risk Analysis which came in third may be the most sophisticated new offering – but it offers a solution to a problem which was well… invisible to most lawyers. It almost requires a chart to explain what the “citation risk” is actually doing. It is the PHD of citation analysis products. It flags when an apparently valid precedent within a cited case has been indirectly over ruled in subsequent cases… as in  a lawyer’s  ‘eyes glaze over” before you have finished the first sentence of your multi-paragraph explanation.  And yet I am enough of a research geek to recognize the brainpower that went in to mapping the problem and the “Citation Risk” solution.

Analytics  came in second – even though analytics is the hottest and fastest growing segment of  legal research… But understanding this kind of data has a learning curve and until now lawyers have practiced law without it. I suspect that most lawyers won’t get the value of a “time to motion grant” chart until a client pushes an analytics dossier on his firm across the table for the first time.

WestSearch Plus – came in fourth. Frankly I am shocked that this wasn’t more highly ranked. It offers the first version of “Westlaw Answers” which utilizes AI in delivering answers to certain types of legal questions e.g. elements of a cause of action.  Westlaw had previously launched a version of Westlaw Answers which delivered “human curated” answers. Westlaw Answers in Edge not only uses AI but it can also deliver answers to analytics queries posed in natural language–which no other product offers.

The problem may be that “search” simply doesn’t “wow” people anymore… especially the search experts that read this blog. But I have been a legal researcher long enough to appreciate the trajectory  of  increasingly more sophisticated technologies and algorithms  powering  Westlaw since its inception. Westlaw has emphasized in their marketing and products demos that WestSearch Plus delivers more targeted results than Westlaw Next.

To consumers WestSearch Plus marks progress along a continuum rather than a fundamentally new tool shining with a gloss of novelty.   As early as 1990 Westlaw launched an alternative to “Boolean research commands” with  Westlaw EZ Access – a “fill in the blank” search option for partners. This was followed by the 1993 Westlaw is Natural WIN campaign marking the launch of the first natural language version of Westlaw.

WestSearch Plus is an excellent search tool – it may deliver more targeted search results and ultimately save lawyers time — but so far Thomson Reuters has not conducted a study to document the efficiencies delivered by the search engine.

To Buy Or Not To Buy

The majority of respondents indicated that they have not yet bought Westlaw Edge and have no plans to purchase in 2019.

Here are the Most Common Reasons:

    • Cost: 41% of non-purchaser respondents indicated that cost was the major factor in their decision.
    • No Clear ROI: was the factor mentioned by 24% of the non- purchasers.

Other factors noted by non-purchasers were: the cancellation of Westlaw prior to the launch of Edge (10%) prior purchase of Lexis Machina for analytics (5%).

Does it need to be stated? Show Me the ROI! If you have a product with a high price tag you need to deliver  a clear and compelling ROI message. Thomson Reuters could have rolled Westlaw Edge into existing contracts and allowed people to experience the value before tacking on the “up charge” during the  contract renewal. They could have offered it at a moderate price increase to ease people into the value of the product. It appears that Thomson Reuters has set the highest bar of all for themselves: High price point – supported by anecdotes rather than data.

How is it that in 2019 in the “age of analytics” – vendors have so much difficulty documenting value. Thomson Reuters is not alone here – none of their competitors Lexis, Bloomberg Law or Wolters Kluwer produce any efficiency or outcome studies to support their products and pricing. Thomson Reuters has in the past produced some very interesting value charts for Practical Law and “Dealproof” products but none to illustrate Westlaw driven efficiency.

It is time for  vendors to  justify the cost of  their products with some ROI data. If WestSearch Plus, Lexis Advance or Bloomberg Law “points of law” are making associates more efficient – show me the data!   And if you can’t invest in an ROI study to justify the cost  you are asking customers to pay — it makes me wonder if you really believe that your products can deliver the value which you continually promise.

Here are links to the prior Hits and Misses Posts

Part 1: Terminal Outrage.

Part 2: Best New Products and Features

Part 3: Best New Analytics Products

Late last year  Fastcase announced a partnership with the American Immigration Lawyers Association to publish a new biannual publication. Today they delivered on that promise with the launch of the AILA Law Journal. Immigration is a “hot topic” and the first issue of the journal include seven articles written by leading experts. Topics include: the renunciation of U.S. citizenship, Central American asylum seekers, travel ban waivers and extraordinary ability adjudications.

“We are proud to bring this important and pertinent expert content to AILA members and the wider legal community as the result of a collaborative effort with our long-term friends and partners at AILA,” said Full Court Press Publisher Morgan Morrissette Wright. “The editors and contributors working on the journal have assembled a deeply interesting collection of insights about the rapidly changing legal issues facing immigration attorneys and their clients today.”

The AILA Law Journal is published by The Fastcase publishing arm Full Court Press and is available to all AILA members for free on AILA’s website. AILALink subscribers can also access the AILA Law Journal on the AILALink database. Outside of the complimentary digital subscription, AILA members can also access the AILA Law Journal by purchasing a print subscription for $49 a year, which includes up to three copies of each issue.

Non-AILA members, can purchase individual issues in print or digital download formats for $60 in the online Fastcase Bookstore. There is also a combined print and digital option available for non-members for $99 a year. This option includes up to three copies of each issue and unlimited access to the journal on Fastcase’s online legal research system. Organizations of over 10 users may purchase a one-year combination subscription for $299 which includes up to five copies of each issue of the print AILA Law Journal, plus unlimited access to all current and future issues on Fastcase’s online legal research system.