Federal Circuit briefs will be available to the public immediately

As of December 1, 2018, briefs and appendices filed electronically in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit will be available to the public immediately. Previously, briefs were withheld from the public – sometimes for days – pending review by the clerk’s office.

For more information, read the procedures memo here and the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s announcement here.

U.S. Congressional Serial Set Phase I complete

HeinOnline announced the completion and release of the U.S. Congressional Serial Set Phase I.  Phase I includes full indexing of the Serial Set and 40-year (1978-2018) content archive.  This is an ongoing project with a goal of adding as many as four million pages to HeinOnline each year until the archive is complete.

For those not familiar with this resource, the Serial Set began publication in 1817 and contains reports and documents from House and Senate committees on proposed legislation and issues under investigation.

Read more about the HeinOnline project here.

Will online court documents finally be available in Texas?

On October 2nd, the Texas Supreme Court issued an administrative order that will allow online access to Texas court documents. Online access to Texas state court documents has been the hope of many Texas librarians and attorneys since mandatory e-filing became a requirement in all 254 counties in 2015. However, online documents have only been available from individual court websites in the larger counties, and is far from comprehensive, necessitating court runners to obtain documents from smaller courts. In February 2017, access to court documents became available via the re:SearchTX platform, but only to judges, court clerks, and attorneys of record. Adopting recommendations by the Judicial Committee on Information Technology, the Court’s order will expand access to re:SearchTX to attorneys and registered users for a fee of $.10 per page up to $6 per document, with fees waived for attorneys working in legal aid entities. The order does not specify when re:SearchTX will be available to the public, but according to the administrative director of the Texas Office of Court Administration, should be live by the end of the year. Source: Texas Lawyer (subscription required).

New bill may finally end PACER paywall

Republican Doug Collins (R-Ga) has introduced legislation that would require that the courts make PACER documents available for download free of charge.  The PACER system, which has been available on the web since the late 1990s, currently charges 10 cents per page.  To develop the system back in the 90s, Congress authorized the courts to charge users for it, but now, with the plunging costs of bandwidth and storage, and many documents available for free on the internet, these fees seem to be out of step.  Especially since the judiciary has made such a profit from PACER.  The amount of fees collected each year climbed from $102.5 million in 2010 to $146.4 million in 2016!   Click here to read more about this new bill introduced on September 6th.



vLex Introduced Vincent, its New AI Powered Research Tool

Last week, international legal research vendor vLex introduced its new research tool powered by AI, Vincent. Vincent works much like CARA from Casetext, EVA from Ross Intelligence, and Clerk from Judicata. Vincent allows users to upload a brief, court opinion, or other legal document for analysis. The system looks at the language used and any citations within the document to find related materials including cases, statutes, secondary sources, and more. Vincent is currently in its beta testing phase and use is by invitation only. One of the unique features of Vincent is that it can recognize documents in both English and Spanish, and provides results from 9 different countries including the U.S., Mexico, Spain, Chile, Colombia, and Canada. There are plans to increase the number of countries included in the future. vLex is making a push into the U.S. market, where it has previously been perceived as a legal resource for foreign law. https://blog.vlex.com/introducing-vincent-the-first-intelligent-legal-research-assistant-of-its-kind-bf14b00a3152 

Library of Congress Launches Website to Search CRS Reports

The Library of Congress (LOC) has launched their new website to search Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports. This website was developed after the passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018, which directed the LOC to make CRS Reports publicly available online. Before this, researchers would have to look in several different places in order to try and find the reports that are developed for Congress. The initial release of materials will include all R-series “active” reports that have been published since the passage of the Appropriations Act. A full migration of reports is estimated for completion in the Spring of 2019. More information can be found on the site’s FAQ page.

CRIV Vendor Liaison with Bloomberg BNA

CRIV Liaison and Bloomberg BNA Semi-Annual Meeting
July 16, 2018, at 11:30 AM ET

Attendance and Introductions:
The semi-annual meeting took place on Monday, July 16, 2018, at the Hilton Hotel during the annual meeting. The following people attended:
• Kirstin Nelson, 2017-2018 CRIV liaison
• R. Martin Witt, 2018-2019 CRIV liaison
• C.J. Pipins, 2018-2019 CRIV Chair
• Mary Jenkins, Executive Board Liaison
• Joe Breda, President, Bloomberg Law, Bloomberg BNA
• Rick Montella, Executive Vice President, Commercial Strategy, Bloomberg BNA
• Mike Bernier, Director of Library Relations, Bloomberg BNA

New Bloomberg BNA Products, Policies, and Other Issues of Interest to AALL Members

Bloomberg Law News
The upgrade of Bloomberg BNA Law Reports to the news platform is about three-quarters complete. The enhanced news products feature real-time delivery, custom alerts, a better mobile experience, and more. Users can now read three full news stories on a mobile device without entering login credentials. News content moved to the new platform includes Labor & Employment and Benefits & Executive Compensation, Intellectual Property and Tech & Telecom, and Litigation and Bankruptcy Law Reports. Some publications have been renamed.
Key titles changes as of July are:
• Bankruptcy Law News: which replaces Bankruptcy Law Reporter;
• Class Action Litigation News: which replaces Class Action Litigation Report;
• White Collar & Criminal Law News: which replaces Criminal Law Reporter and White Collar Crime Report;
• Product Liability & Toxics Law News: which replaces Product Safety & Liability Reporter and Toxics Law Reporter;
• E-Discovery & Legal Tech News replaces Digital Discovery & E-Evidence; and
• Product Liability & Toxic Law News replaces Expert Evidence Report

More changes are expected through the year with regular communications to customers about the changes.

Bloomberg Law continues to focus on the development of data analytics tools. Last year Docket Key was released, a tool that uses machine learning to classify underlying filings. Earlier this year, Bloomberg released Health Care Fraud Analytics which enables subscribers to search and filter health care fraud settlement agreements by court, entity, allegation, and date. More recently, SEC Administrative Law Judge Enforcement Analytics was launched. This tool examines trends and outcomes of SEC regulatory actions. Bloomberg Law plans to enhance existing content and release new data analytics tools in the future.

New Partnership with John Wiley & Sons
In February 2018, Bloomberg Law announced a new alliance with John Wiley & Sons. The partnership added over 60 titles covering a variety of legal practice topics, including corporate, IP, privacy, and cybersecurity.

Litigation Intelligence Center
Bloomberg Law recently introduced the Litigation Intelligence Center. The Center provides access to dockets and underlying documents, Docket Key, and docket alerts for tracking and business development. The Center uses Points of Law, an AI tool that decreases research time and quickly identifies appropriate language to strengthen legal arguments, for case law research. The case law research function includes access to BCite, Bloomberg Law’s citator. Litigation Analytics is included to provide analysis and information on law firms, judges, and companies.

Requests for Assistance/Member Advocacy Issues
There were ten formal requests for member advocacy filed with AALL. There were additional requests submitted to the CRIV committee. All requests for member advocacy focused on three main issues. They are:
1. Discontinuing print titles for existing subscribers

Bloomberg BNA is moving toward digital-only publishing. This decision is grounded in the reality that more and more libraries are moving away from subscribing to print titles. Bloomberg BNA stopped selling print titles to new subscribers over two years ago and is now moving existing subscribers to the same electronic-only access model. Three publications will continue in print.. Tax Management Portfolios (TMP) and Corporate Practice Series (CPS) will continue in print for until a date TBD.. No print sunset has been determined at this time. Subscribers will be notified in advance when an end date is determined. The ABA/BNA Manual of Professional Conduct will continue in print for the foreseeable future. BNA Books will continue in print and are not impacted by this policy.
2. Requiring a Bloomberg Law subscription for continued access to print Tax Management Portfolios

As accounts come up for renewal, libraries that wish to continue to receive the print version of TMP must license one or more seats to Bloomberg Law. Libraries that prefer electronic-access only are not required to continue a print subscription. Libraries also have the option to subscribe to Bloomberg Law: Tax and other Bloomberg BNA publications currently for sale on a designated-user license, as opposed to the entire Bloomberg Law platform. Bloomberg Law: Tax includes access to the Tax Management Portfolios. A standalone patron access terminal for just the Tax Management Portfolios is not available. The Patron Access Terminals have access to all of Bloomberg Law.

For libraries that provide public access in state, public, and government libraries, a Patron Access electronic license to the full Bloomberg platform is required. Libraries have the option to pay the additional cost to keep TMP or CPS in print until they cease publication. Patron access must be provided at a single-user access point and is priced at $13,390 per seat. Some libraries may require multiple seats with the number determined during the renewal process.
3. The cost and number of seats required to subscribe to or renew Bloomberg Law

For accounts that do not need to provide public access, there are a variety of subscription options. Subscribers can license the full Bloomberg Law platform, which contains all available content, or select segments based on specific areas of law. The list of products can be found on the Bloomberg Law website. A sales representative will determine whether individual or practice group level licenses are required. This is determined by a range of factors such a size of firm, size of practice group and additional metrics. To review options, contact your Bloomberg Law sales representative.
The meeting ended at approximately 12:30 pm.