vLex has been getting a lot of buzz for launching a “drop and drag” research assistant to compete with Casetext’s CARA and Ross’s Eva. Yes vLex has launched an AI enabled research assistant called Vincent which has similarities to the competitors. Vincent is the ONLY “legal assistant” that works in multiple languages.  International legal research remains a challenge in an increasingly globalized legal market. Very few products allow researchers to conduct research in English and get results in both English and the native language of a foreign document.  vLex is very complex product and it is important to distinguish between the vLex product and the Vincent functionality. vLex includes primary law for twenty countries which is a  significant differentiator as it enters the U.S. market.

Vincent

Vincent is currently trained on the law of  9 countries which allows it to recognize  citations and assign topics. Additional countries will be added as Vincent is trained on the remaining 11 countries where vLex has comprehensive or near-comprehensive coverage of primary law.

Vincent can be launched by loading either a document or a link to a public document.

Users can control the results by using contextual filters such as topics, authorities’ similar documents and semantics similarity you can also use keywords to focus.

Vincent offers users more editorial control and filters than competitors.

Vincent Filters

 vLex

Can translate  a query into 13 languages. to find results from documents published in one of those languages, and the results list present matches in the user’s operating language along with the option of switching between operating and original language at a document-by-document basis.

One of the most interesting features is the ability to locate foreign laws on a topic and to see the text of laws side-by-side in both English and the original language.

vLex provies “strength of treatment signals” and negative history treatment from Casemaker

Unlike the vast majority of legal vendors vLex will license their software to law firms and it can be used as SaaS platforms and APIs.

vLex is loaded with unique features – too numerous to highlight in this post.

vLex Global Footprint

vLex – the back story

vLex began in Spain in the late 90s. No surprise – it was started by a lawyer who thought “there has to be a better way” and a technologist who could built a solution. The lawyer was Lluís Faus and the technologist was his brother Angel, a mathematician. In the past  20 years  vLex  has built up a market in Spain, southern Europe and Latin America, and provides  foreign and international law in the North American academic market.    The vLex  Content collections, are obtained directly from sources or through licensing and  now exceed 110,000,000 documents. vLex has comprehensive primary law coverage in 20 jurisdictions, the largest coverage of any provider in Latin Americas and important selections of national level primary law and valuable secondary source materials from over 100 countries in total. In its original market Spain , vLex has as broad a suite of offerings which includes dozens of specialty collections (e.g., Tax, labor, criminal, etc….), practice management platformscourt analytics, litigation workflow tools (virtual paralegal) and practical law tools..

U.S. coverage, which includes 12M federal and state primary law documents (all federal and state codes and caselaw) and 8M secondary source, has mostly been focused on serving global client interest in U.S. materials. Canadian  materials including all cases and statutes for both provinces and national law. have also been added in the past two years. With the release of Vincent, vLex is now,  ready to position itself as domestic competitor in the United States market. Although they will focus on the large law firm market they offer options for solo and small firms  without Vincent – for  $79/month).

A few years ago, vLex undertook a project to develop a completely new back-end for its content collection, management and publishing process. The size and complexity of the vLex’s  data which is ingested from over 2,000 different sources, in multiple languages, jurisdictions, document types compounded the challenges of operating efficiently and continually scaling up the platform. The solution was the development of the Iceberg platform. According to  Colin Lachance, CEO vLex Canada, Iceberg would not only support vLex’s own operations, “but was designed to be made available as an enterprise SaaS platform that could unbundle and put vLex’s tools, AI models and even its content in the hands of organizations with a vision for legal information management and analysis that can’t be satisfied by closed systems.” Iceberg enabled vLex to develop Vincent in less than six months.

Sign up for a free trial of vLex at this link.

 

Organizations interested in a trial of Vincent can request access here.

Today legal publisher Fastcase is announcing the acquisition of Law Street Media legal news platform. Fastcase plans to work with founder John A. Jenkins, the former President and Publisher of CQ Press, and a team of reporters to evolve the online news platform into an enhanced daily news and analytics hub. When the site is relaunched in 2019, the retooled platform will highlight national and state docket litigation, regulatory developments, state bar news, and offer analytics and insights powered by Fastcase’s growing suite of legal information products, such as Docket Alarm and Fastcase 7.

In recent blogs I have expressed concern about the lack of competition to LexisNexis dominance of the legal news market through acquisition (Law360, Mlex, Knowledge Mosaic) and alliance ( American Lawyer Media, Wall Street Journal.) Recently Bloomberg Law announced a realignment of their news staff and product lines – customers are still waiting to see what  this means. Lexblog recently announced that they are expanding their blog network to compete in the legal news space. So the Fastcase strategy to focus on news and analytics is a welcome sign that the market for legal news is becoming healthier and offering law firms more options for gaining legal news insights for  the practice and business of law.

The press release describes how Fastcase leaders Ed Walters and Phil Rosenthal plan to evolve their news and analytics offerings.

“Legal research isn’t just about logging into an online service and running searches,” said Fastcase CEO Ed Walters. “It’s also about taking an active interest in developments that clients care about. Legal news means covering the stories behind new cases filed, analytics, new judicial opinions, passed bills, and rulemaking. Lawyers have to stay as informed as their clients, and our partnership with Law Street Media will be an important source of must-have information about the fast-changing practice of law.”

For Law Street Media, Fastcase offers exposure to an active and engaged group of readers.  More than 900,000 lawyers have a subscription to Fastcase and its Docket Alarm analytics platform.

“This transaction represents a full realization of our vision,” said Jenkins, Law Street Media’s founder.  “I am gratified that Law Street will continue as a Fastcase enterprise.  It’s an affirmation of the ground-breaking work done by our team. But the real winners are the millions who trusted us to be their authoritative legal news source.  With the support of Fastcase, Law Street will continue to serve them.”

Fastcase co-founder and President Phil Rosenthal sees the benefit in having state bar partners play an essential role in the news efforts: “What better way to introduce law students to their local state bar and the invaluable insights and connections these bars offer, than to see state bar associations as active contributors providing local expertise in our news feeds?”

Fastcase will connect the news platform to its Docket Alarm and Fastcase 7 platform, build out its reporter team, and partner with its state bar partners to showcase their local expertise.  “Lawyers already get their news from Fastcase’s research alerts, and Docket Alarm is itself named after its alerting service. We can’t wait to explore the legal news potential from telling these stories in Law Street Media,” said Walters.

###

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.

A new issue of Thomson Reuters Practice Innovations quarterly newsletter has  been released. This issue contains articles written by a roster of legal innovation and law firm management thought leaders including Sylvia Coulter, Sally Gonzalez, Toby Brown, V. Mary Abraham, Mark Medici and Sharon Abrahams. The full issue is available here.

  • Accelerating adoption of experience management systems by Mark Medici, Senior Director new initiatives in tap Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Artificial intelligence: the debate between point and platform solutions by Sally Gonzalez senior consultant Fireman and Company Scottsdale, Az.
  • Professional development for staff: key to law firm success by Sharon Abrahams: Ed. D. national director of professional development and diversity and inclusion, Foley & Lardner LLP Miami, Fl.
  • Better business discipline for law firms by Toby Brown chief practice management officer, Perkins Coie LLP, Seattle, Washington
  • Next generation office design an impact for knowledge workers By V. Mary Abraham, knowledge management consultant, above and beyond KM, New York, New York
  • Collaboration will achieve business benefits for your law firm by Silvia Coulter, principal,  Law Vision Group, Manchester, Ma.

Subscribe to Practice Innovations at this link.

Note: Apologies to readers – due to a technical problem at Word Press, a blank post was delivered yesterday. This is the replacement post. JOG

Today Gavelytics and CourtCall are announcing a  partnership that will accelerate the adoption of the Gavelytics judicial analytics platform in a whole new market. CourtCall was established in 1995 and was inspired by — a lawyer who got stuck in traffic on his way to court and decided that  there ought to be a better way . Court Call has developed a remote appearance platform creating an organized  and voluntary way for attorneys to appear for routine matters in civil family, criminal, probate, bankruptcy, worker’s compensation another cases— from their offices homes or other locations.

Gavelytics is currently only available in California, but the company is preparing to launch its AI-driven data visualization tool in other key state court jurisdictions, including Florida, Texas and Illinois. Gavelytics uses AI to identify and visualize patterns and tendencies in judicial decision-making. The CourtCall judicial analytics product will launch in Continue Reading Gavelytics Partners with CourtCall to Drive Analytics into the Small Firm Market While Expanding Nationwide and Adding Enterprise Content for Large Law Market

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

Last week Texas Lawyer reported that by the end of 2018 Texas will make its state court records and documents system re:searchTX  available to the general public— similar to the way the federal government does it through Pacer.
The re:searchTX system actually launched in February 2017 with limited access for judges court clerks and attorneys of record. The system has provided access to documents in their own cases. The Texas Supreme Court is now expanding Open access two attorneys or other registered users. The news story seems to indicate that anyone including researchers can get access by registering.

Continue Reading Texas Expands Access to State Court Dockets and Documents: Impact on Analytics Market Not So Clear

Intelligize  which offers a sophisticated platform for securities law research has added a new Accounting Standards and Guidance Module.

The new module features:

  • Benchmarking of financial disclosures
  • Analytical views to quickly identify filing and disclosure characteristics
  • Trending accounting topics
  • Intelligize Filtering and tagging
  • Accounting Memos and guidance handbooks from “the big four” accounting firms
Intelligize Accounting Standards & Guidance

The Intelligize Accounting Module  improves legal workflow:

  • Tracking and preparing for FASB  rule changes.
  • Researching and bench-marking market standards impact on financial reporting.
  • Understanding how new accounting standard impact financial reporting.
  • Finding SEC comment letters and responses related to FASB changes
  • Discovering precedent language for new business areas
  • Collaborating on accounting policies and discover langues
  • Identifying on what’s trending in relation to FASB rule updates and proposals.

Access

The Accounting Standards Module is available to Intelligize subscribers as an “add on” subscription. Since the content is licensed from a third party, it is not available via IP authentication. Access  is available  only to a defined  group of individuals.

Phil Brown, The Chief of Strategy at Intelligize provides insight into use of the Accounting Module in his post “The Struggle is Real: Drafting Financial Disclosures in the Wake of Accounting Rule Changes.”

American Lawyer Media (or more precisely, Steven Brill the founder of the American Lawyer) pioneered the collection of law firm data in the mid-1980’s with the publication of the first Amlaw 100 list.  For better or for worse, the  ALM rankings have driven decision making in the legal market for almost 40 years. I wrote an historical review of ALM in the last time ALM was sold to an investor consortium the Wasserstein Group in 2014 . I am happy to see that the new owners have demonstrated an ongoing commitment to leveraging ALM’s unique data assets to help law firms navigate Continue Reading American Lawyer Media Releases Law Firm Merger and Lateral Modeling Tool: Let the Scenario Planning Begin

 

I will be doing a presentation with colleague Stacy Pangilinan entitled: Why Are We Paying for That? Reinventing the Budget Process with Project Management and KM Principles.”

 

 

The conference has assembled a roster of well known legal KM experts. who will focus on the intersection of KM with AI, Blockchain, cybersecurity, gamification, analytics, project management and other law firm management issues.

The program will be held at New York Law School in lower Manhattan on October 23 and 24th.

Here is a link to the brochure and registration information.

 

I have lately been puzzling over the fact that LexisNexis has through acquisition and alliance, built a virtual monopoly on legal news (Law360. ALM, Wall Street Journal, MLex, Newsdesk).  Now here’s the irony their main competitors Thomson Reuters Westlaw and BloombergBNA are both  owned by news companies!  Both  companies also  publish legal news. BloombergBNA has a serious newsletter business and TR  has a variety of  newsy publications and alerts – but neither has made a dent in the Lexis dominance of what I would call “water cooler” legal news. I can’t help but wonder if Lexblog’s free news service  aggregating the expertise of the legal community might create be the disruptor. Lexblog was founded in 2004 by Kevin O’Keefe. He recently hired attorney and news veteran Bob Ambrogi as Editor in Chief of Lexblog. I plan to stay tuned. Here is the press release:

 

LexBlog Launches Global Legal News and Commentary Platform

Seattle, Wash.—Sept. 10, 2018—​LexBlog today launched a first-of-its-kind, comprehensive, global news
and commentary network, delivering timely and targeted articles from legal bloggers throughout the
world. Any legal blogger is invited to add a feed to the network, and any reader is free to access the
network, with no subscription or payment required.

Some 19,000 legal bloggers already participate in the network, which features both curated and
real-time posts from lawyers, law professors, law librarians, law students, legal-industry executives, legal
marketers, legal consultants, legal technologists and others, providing news, insights and analysis on
virtually every legal and practice topic.

Powering the network is LexBlog’s custom-built syndication engine that allows it to aggregate blog
content from any source, regardless of whether the blog is hosted by LexBlog on its own blogging
platform or externally on any other blogging platform.

Any legal blog hosted by LexBlog is automatically included, and any other legal blogger can add a blog to
the network, at no cost, by registering the blog’s RSS feed at: www.lexblog.com/join.
“At a time when other legal news sites are reducing coverage and erecting paywalls, we’re providing an
alternative that is free to use, constantly updated, and expansive in coverage,” said Kevin O’Keefe,
LexBlog’s founder and CEO. “Legal bloggers are the citizen journalists of law and our network is bringing
their work to the readers who will most benefit from it.”

The network includes:
● Featured articles curated by LexBlog editors throughout the day.
● Real-time feeds of all articles from member blogs across the world.
● Real-time feeds of targeted articles arranged by legal channels.
● RSS and email subscriptions to channel and blog updates.
● Profiles of each blogger, including the blogs to which they contribute and their recent posts.
● Profiles of the law firms and institutions that publish blogs, including all the blogs they support, all their blog authors, and the recent posts from across all their blogs.

Content published through the network receives additional exposure through publication to the
Fastcase legal research service and through bar association publishing portals.
“The wealth of original writing and reporting from legal blogs is staggering,” said Robert Ambrogi,
LexBlog’s publisher and editor-in-chief. “For legal professionals, there is immeasurable value in having
unlimited access to timely articles targeted to their practices and interests.”
Today’s launch is just the first phase of the new LexBlog.com. Future plans include greater curation of
channel pages, expanded original content and coverage, and special-focus publications. In addition,
LexBlog will license and deploy its syndication and aggregation platform to law firms, bar associations,
law schools and other organizations to power their own custom publishing.

About LexBlog
Founded in 2004 to empower lawyers to increase their visibility and accelerate their business
relationships through blogging, LexBlog today is the hub that brings together many of the best legal
minds on the web. Its platform powers more than 19,000 legal bloggers and over half of the nearly 1,000
blogs published by the 200 largest U.S. firms.

Contact:
Robert Ambrogi

Publisher and editor-in-chief Founder and CEO
bob@lexblog.com kevin@lexblog.com
(978) 317-0972 (206) 340-8204