Fastcase Acquired Judicata

Fastcase announced its acquisition of California based Judicata at the beginning of the month. Judicata is a legal search tool for California state law that focuses on providing precise results by harnessing the power of artificial intelligence. Judicata was founded in 2012. The intention is to use the power that Judicata built in relation to California law and develop it for a wider legal audience. Fastcase is working on development of Fastcase 8, the newest version of its research platform, using Judicata as the underlying backbone. The Judicata team will be joining Fastcase to work on the integration of Judicata with Fastcase.

Lexis Releases its New Platform, Lexis+

Back in July, Lexis began to roll out a new platform to librarians and professors in law schools. As of August, all law students only have access to Lexis+, while professors will still be able to access Lexis Advance until the end of the year. Most importantly, the new platform does not require new registration and set-up. You will be able to log-in using your existing credentials.

The new platform does have a slightly new look. On the research page, you will see a red wave image. When you toggle to different aspects such as practical guidance and brief analysis, the color of the wave changes. The Explore box is still on that initial search page, letting you choose content type, jurisdiction, topic, source, etc. As you run searches and move through the content, many of the pages still have the look and feel of Lexis Advance.

There are several new features on Lexis+. First, when you run a search on the legal research portion, the search will also include any of the materials available on Practical Guidance. Previously, you needed to search this separately. Also, there is the ability to edit your search without going back to the first search box. There will be a little pencil icon next to your search, which can be used to edit the search. Additionally, there is a search tree map that shows you how the different operators you use in your search yielded the results you see. Lexis has also added a new Shepard’s feature called Shepard’s at risk, which provides you with notice when a case you are using itself relies on authority that has received negative treatment. Additionally, the platform now has code compare, which can compare two versions of a statute side-by-side.

As part of the new platform launch, Lexis also announced a few name changes. In the U.S. and Canada, Lexis is removing the Advance moniker from all of its products and will simply be known as Lexis. Further, Lexis Practice Advisor is being renamed Practical Guidance in the U.S. and Canada. You can see more information about Lexis+ from the press release issued on September 14.

Vendor Resources for COVID-19 & Racial Justice

CRIV hosted its annual vendor roundtable at the beginning of July. Several legal information vendors presented on the topic of what they have done in response to COVID-19 as well as plans they had for the future. Listed below are some links provided by the vendors to resources mentioned during the event.

Thomson Reuters:

LexisNexis: Complimentary COVID-19 & Related Resources:

LexisNexis: Racial Equality Resources:

CRIV-Wolters Kluwer BiAnnual Call – Spring 2020

The Spring 2020 CRIV-Wolters Kluwer BiAnnual Call took place on Thursday, June 11, at 10:00 a.m. PST.

Participants:

  • Jenna Ellis, Wolters Kluwer Liaison
  • Vani Ungapen, AALL Executive Director
  • Karen Selden, CRIV AALL Board Liaison
  • Cynthia Condit, CRIV Board Wolters Kluwer Liaison

Agenda:

Welcome

Wolters Kluwer Programs, Activities, or Business of Interest to CRIV and/or AALL

  • COVID-19 Resources:
    • Wolters Kluwer provides a public page of COVID-19 Resources and Tools.  The extensive, curated list offers Back to Office agency guidance and legal insights, State Bar Association guidance, white papers, legislation, frequently asked questions, links to third-party resources, and information specific to over ten legal practice areas.
    • Wolters Kluwers also offers free access to its COVID-19 State and Federal Compare Smart Chart.   Users can locate curated state and federal content by topic and jurisdiction in a single resource.  View federal and state laws, regulations, and executive orders organized topically across banking and finance, labor and employment/HR and benefits, health and infectious disease and others along with links to full text, updates, and more.  The Smart Chart is updated three times a week.  See screenshot below.

WK-smart-chart

  • Summer Associate Training:
    • Wolters Kluwer continues to offer Summer Associate Training to law firms functioning in hybrid remote work from home environments.  In addition to offering virtual training sessions, Wolters Kluwer has created over 30 new training videos organized by practice area.  The 2-3 minute videos focus on tasks a new associate might need to perform, such as how to pull up a no-action letter.  Selections of videos may be found here.

Requests for Advocacy

  • Cheetah Platform Update: Wolters Kluwer reports that the Cheetah tax content platform update was completed successfully the end of February 2020.  Potential issues with Cheetah since COVID-19 closure of schools may be the result of employees working outside of the normal access points/IP ranges.

AALL Programs, Activities, or Business of Interest to Wolters Kluwer.

  • E-book subscriptions.  Cynthia asked if there were any plans for Wolters Kluwer to provide e-book subscriptions for course reserves this coming fall.  Jenna will follow up on this question, which was not on the original agenda.
  • CRIV Vendor Roundtable.  CRIV invited Wolters Kluwer to participate in the CRIV Vendor Roundtable at AALL’s Virtual Conference on Monday, July 6.  The topic is Vendor Responses to COVID-19 and plans for the future.  Wolters Kluwer is interested in sending someone and will forward names on to Deborah Heller.  Karen advised that some questions may revolve around obtaining e-book reserves for law schools in the fall.
  • AALL Virtual Exhibit Hall.  Vani and Karen encouraged Wolters Kluwer to reconsider participating in AALL’s Virtual Exhibit Hall as a sponsor for this year’s AALL Virtual Conference.  Vani will share screenshots and a page from another virtual exhibit hall with Jenna that illustrates what a virtual exhibit hall looks like and how it functions.  Karen noted that law firms and law schools would benefit from the opportunity to have Wolters Kluwer present at the Exhibit Hall event.  Jenna will share the information and elevate it to the appropriate level.  Vani and Karen expressed appreciation regarding continuing this conversation with Wolters Kluwer.

 

CRIV / LexisNexis Semiannual Call – Spring 2020

Date: June 18, 2020

Participants: Carolyn Bach (Senior Manager, Librarian Relations and Faculty Programs), James Oakes (Segment Manager), Karen Selden (AALL Board Liaison), Vani Ungapen (Executive Director, AALL) & Karen Provost (CRIV Board, LexisNexis Liaison)

 

Lexis Advance® Updates:

  • Non-billable Zones (NBZs): Law firms now have the ability to share “non-billable” links to sources and documents directly with their users. These links can be hosted on the firm’s intranet. NBZs are becoming more popular. Common applications now include an NBZ for summer associates and for attorneys to access specific content in a work from home environment.
  • Ravel™ View has been improved with a color set that is more accessible to our color-impaired users. We also improved the way Ravel View displays on the page so that valuable information from the legend isn’t obscured when a user engages with different aspects of the tool.
  • A project is well underway to merge practice centers with practice area pages and jurisdictional pages in Explore Content to improve usability and reduce confusion and clutter on the page. All jurisdiction pages and most practice areas are complete.
  • Improved work folders: Following the nationwide shift toward remote work due to COVID-19, we’ve been enhancing work folders by: 1) making sure that annotations and highlights added to any document saved in a folder are visible anywhere that document is accessed throughout the system; and 2) ensuring that the version of a document saved in a folder is always up to date with the live document. For example, if I annotate a case and save it in a folder, those annotations will be visible the next time I retrieve that case by citation from the home page; not just from within the folder. If I saved news stories in a folder and the publisher updates the language of those stories after the fact, the version in the folder will be the same as the version elsewhere on Lexis Advance, without my needing to manually update the folder. Similarly, the Shepard’s Signal™ indicators on cases in folders will reflect the current Shepard’s® symbol on the Lexis Advance service, without the need to update manually.
  • A minor enhancement, but one information professionals will appreciate, is a new indicator that makes it easy for users to identify when a source is no longer updated. A small icon that looks like a filing box will appear next to the name of the source in Find a Source, the Source Information window and in the word wheel.

Context Analytics:

In April, we released the Context Company Analytics module, featuring company profiles for nearly 2.5 million companies from around the world. Building on the exclusive legal language analytics in the Context offering, this new module also introduces industry-first news language analytics, allowing users to understand the interplay between news stories and litigation. We’re already seeing Context Company Analytics used by business development professionals as well as litigators.

The Context Expert Witness Analytics module now offers the ability to compare experts by hiring party, top jurisdictions, number of settlements, number of testimonies and number of challenges—right from the results set.

Lexis Product Liability Navigator™:

Perhaps the most exciting news is the recent launch of our newest, one-of-a-kind product—the Lexis Product Liability Navigator. Users can quickly identify relevant regulations, recalls and reports, multidistrict litigation, verdicts and settlements, and subject matter experts, and leverage exciting filters such “case law by theories of liability” or “affirmative defenses” and more. There’s nothing like it in the market.

Nexis Newsdesk™ Update:

  • Search results enhanced to include a default of less filters (ability to expand for more), an article preview button and an infographic to depict trends over time for that search
  • Quick Search rebranded as Simple Search—guided search template for new users
    • Helpful “Remove the Noise” filters added to post-search filters to help further refine results
  • New transfer of ownership functionality to allow administrators the ability to move content from one user’s account to another
  • Alerts merged into newsletters
  • Newsletter export functionality expanded to access the last 30 days of content

ID Migration Update:

Lex Machina® customers can now access the product via their Lexis Advance ID.

COVID-19 Complimentary Resources:

   

LexisNexis® Information Professional Resources:

The LexisNexis® InfoPro website and newsletters have been upgraded. This site is designed specifically for legal information professionals. The new streamlined InfoPro website includes current and archived InfoPro newsletters, research tips, law librarian webinars and additional resources for information professionals. Bookmark the site, and if you’re not a subscriber, click here to subscribe and stay on top of key enhancements added to the products you use daily.

Law librarianship is ever evolving, and so is the librarian relations team. The Librarian Relations Consultants have a new job title, Knowledge & Research Consultants, to better reflect how they support today’s law firm information professionals.  

LexisNexis is proud to be a Platinum sponsor of the 2020 AALL Virtual Conference. We’re looking forward to spending time with you at the virtual exhibit hall.

 

LexisNexis, Lexis Advance, Shepard’s, State Net and the Knowledge Burst logo are registered trademarks, and Shepard’s Signal, Lexis Product Liability Navigator, Nexis Newsdesk and Lexis Practice Advisor Journal are trademarks of RELX Inc. Elsevier is a registered trademark of Elsevier BV. Law360 is a registered trademark of Portfolio Media, Inc. Lex Machina is a registered trademark of Lex Machina, Inc. Intelligize is a registered trademark of Intelligize, Inc. Ravel is a trademark of Ravel Law, Inc. Other products or services may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies. © 2020 LexisNexis.

CRIV/Thomson Reuters Biannual Phone Call

Conference call took place on Tuesday, June 2 at 1:00 PM EDT.

Participants:

  • Deborah Heller – CRIV Thomson Reuters Liaison
  • Kim Hurley – Information Management Advisor at Thomson Reuters
  • Rachel Torgerson – Customer Success Strategist at Thomson Reuters
  • Kevin Lane – Manager, Westlaw Product Development

Agenda:

  • Discussion about some of the billing changes recently implemented and forthcoming.
    • Working to improve communication and redesign invoices
    • Ensuring a more reliable communication channel to customers
    • Increase in electronic invoicing
    • Making it clearer to customers if they are on auto-pay for certain items
      • The invoice more clearly shows that something has already been paid to cut down on duplicate payments
      • Providing 60, 30, and 15 day notices when a credit card that the customer is using for auto-pay is expiring to help prevent past due invoices and collections.
    • Working to reduce the unapplied payments backlog by contacting customers and asking how payments should be applied to their account
    • 3 phase invoice redesign
      • Phase one began in early May and applies to new sale or debit invoices
        • Cleaner
        • Clearly outlines the amount due and the date it is due
        • Customer name and address clearly provided on the invoice
        • Customers will receive a PDF attachment with the invoice in an email so there is no longer the need to go to a separate platform in order to access the actual invoice
        • The invoice will include hyperlinks.
      • Phase 2 is anticipated to launch in the 3rd Quarter of 2020 and applies to Subscription, Credit, and Pro Forma invoices
      • Phase 3 launch date is still being determined after Phase 2 and will include online invoices
    • Customer support information including how to read my new invoice is available online here
  • Quick Check on Westlaw Edge has added a quotation analysis feature
    • It analyzes quotes in legal documents to ensure that they are accurate
  • A new feature on Westlaw Edge that will be rolling out later this summer (August) is Quick Check Judicial
    • Allows you to upload multiple documents from a single matter. So the documents submitted by both parties will be analyzed together
    • Shows the cases cited by each party, cases cited by both parties, and cases cited by neither party
    • Will allow you to upload up to 6 documents at one time and assign each document to a party
    • It will be included with a Westlaw Edge subscription
  • More Practical Law materials will be released towards the end of June
    • Includes a commercial litigation subtopic with over 200 new resources
    • Substantive videos by the Practical Law editors
    • Relaunch of the life sciences topic
    • FDA-regulatory cross practice collection

Ransomware — Stronger Than Ever

Ransomware, the malicious malware that can spread quickly across a computer network, encrypting or otherwise locking down access to data, cost businesses, health organizations, educational institutions, and others millions of dollars in lost revenue and disrupted operations in 2019.

Gerd Altmann/Pixabay

It’s hard to believe that the first ransomware virus was created three decades ago. In 1989, Joseph L. Popp infected 20,000 floppy disks (remember those?) with a virus, which were distributed at a global World Health Organization gathering. Nonetheless, it took another seventeen years before ransomware began to achieve a high level of sophistication.  It wasn’t until 2005 that the first contemporary ransomware programs began to show up. In 2008, Bitcoin’s emergence was a game changer for ransomware cyber criminals by providing a mostly anonymous system of transferring money and making it easy for them to extort their victims.  Since 2011, large scale ransomware attacks have escalated. For a recap of these and other key events and attacks from 2005 through February 2020, see KnowBe4’s timeline.

A lot is written about ransomware. Enter Infographics, one way to obtain a quick and clear visual overview of the current state of ransomware. For example, MalwareFox offers an infographic that outlines the trends and figures for ransomware statistics in 2019.  According to their infographic, desktops were the most infected device (80%), access was gained most often through phishing via email or social media (69%), the major cause of attacks started with careless employees (51%), and 46% of victims did not pay the ransom and instead decrypted on their own or replaced data with backup. The infographic also includes a map that reveals the distribution of ransomware attacks across the world — the U.S. was hit 46% of the time, while other countries or continents were hit less than 10% of the time.

Darwin Laganzon-Pixabay What makes ransomware difficult to deal with is the continuing evolution of new strains of ransomware. If you are interested in learning what the 10 “monstrous ransomware strains that haunted 2019” were, take a look at this infographic from Acronis. Details on each monster strain appears just beyond the infographic. Ryuk, number seven on the list, was responsible for a pervasive attack that halted production at a giant Belgian airplane parts manufacturer for weeks and sent home nearly 1,000 employees on paid leave while the company struggled to restore critical systems frozen by the attack.  The Ryuk virus continues to attack, most recently hitting the Tampa Bay Times in January 2020.

Network file encryption is a type of attack that locks access to files by encrypting them. Vectra AI’s infographic breaks down the victims of this type of attack by industry around the world and in the U.S. The finance and insurance industry is hit hardest in Europe and the Middle East (35%), with the healthcare industry at 18% and energy industry at 17%. Like Europe and the Middle East, in the U.S. the finance and insurance industry is hit hardest at 38%. Education is a close second at 37%, followed by governments at 9%. The infographic also shows where network file encryption has been detected by region.

An infographic from Dropsuite provides additional information on the most targeted industries along with a list of the most notorious attacks since 2013, and the top ransomware infiltration tactics. Interestingly, Dropsuite predicts a five times increase growth of ransomware attacks on hospitals by 2021.

What’s ahead, you ask? According to Comm & Tech Blog’s infographic, ransomware attacks will increase to 1 in every 11 seconds by 2021.  They also predict that 70% of the people who pay ransom will not get their data back. McAfee’s threats prediction infographic describes new directions ransomware attacks will take, including the emergence of cyber criminals merging to create malware-as-a-service families, evasion techniques moving toward the use of AI, and attacks moving to target cloud services. Notable is the prediction of issues presented by voice-controlled digital assistants allowing entry into the home. It looks like ransomware may be coming very close to home. You might want to reconsider buying those smart appliances … or … take charge and learn how to protect your smart home from potential hackers.

Pixaline-Pixabay

Images from Pixabay contributors: Gerd Altmann, madartzgraphics, and Pixaline.

As a result of issues raised by CRIV, law schools and courts may now purchase an IP-authenticated electronic version of just the ABA/Bloomberg Law Lawyers’ Manual on Professional Conduct

I thought I’d take a quick minute to make sure that my fellow government and law school libraries had an opportunity to read this part of Request for Assistance #2 in the Post-Call Addendum.

“As a result of issues raised by CRIV, law schools and courts may now purchase an IP-authenticated electronic version of just the ABA/Bloomberg Law Lawyers’ Manual on Professional Conduct at a price significantly less than a full Bloomberg Law Patron Access terminal. Librarians should contact their Bloomberg Law Relationship Partner for more information.”        

Neither CRIV nor I are certain of the pricing at this time.  Hopefully, this continued accessibility by the public and the librarians who help them will be continued by publishers as print ends.

All in One Place – Software & Vendor Trainings

If you have ever thought about how nice it would be if there was a guide that listed multiple different vendors along with a short informative description and links to their how-to tutorials and trainings — all in one place — you are in luck.  The Villanova Law Library has put together a pretty cool LibGuide on “Software & Vendor Trainings” primarily focused on legal research and practice management vendors.

In the LibGuide’s Legal Research section, links to training materials may direct you to help centers, archived/live webinars, videos, FAQs, certification training, and tutorials. Vendors include Bloomberg Law, Westlaw and Practical Law, and Lexis, plus state bar vendors Fastcase and Casemaker, as well as specialty vendor platforms Checkpoint and Wolters Kluwer’s Cheetah.

What might distinguish the Villanova Law Library LibGuide from others is its section on practice management vendors — twelve in total. For students heading out for summer jobs (or new attorneys or those of you teaching law practice management and technology classes), this part of the LibGuide may be particularly useful. There are links to overview videos, setup guides for new users, and special features unique to a particular platform.  Vendors included here are AbacusLaw, Amicus Attorney, Clio, CoCounselor, CosmoLex, Firm Central, HoudiniESQ, Jarvis Legal, MyCase, Practice Panther, Rocket Matter, Time Matters, and Zola Suite. Whew!

There is also a small section on free presentation software — emaze, Google Slides, Prezi, Trial Director for iPad, and ZohoDocs-Show, and under the Other Resources section, you will find links to CALI lessons and CALI videos.  Definitely a guide that packs a punch and is worth a look.

“The Wall” Litigation Moves Forward, But Slowly

Discussion about the cost of access to documents on PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) — sometimes referred to as “The Wall” — is not a new one.  In the May 2017 issue of The CRIV Sheet, an article described the background of the availability of court documents, the evolution of PACER, and a group of four lawsuits filed against PACER at the time.

Recently, The Goodson Blogson posted an update on this ongoing litigation focusing on one of these law suits, a class-action led by three consumer protection groups: the National Veterans Legal Service Program, the National Consumer Law Center, and the Alliance for Justice.  A New York Times article on the case, states that the complaint “highlighted practices of overcharging or double-charging individual users, and also challenged the judiciary’s practice of using excess PACER income for costs unrelated to the maintenance of the court record system.”  More specifically, according to a Minnesota Law Review article, at the center of this class action suit was a phrase in the E-Government Act of 2002 that states courts may impose fees “only to the extent necessary” to make public records available.

Last year, federal District Court judge for the District of Columbia Ellen Segal Huvelle ruled in favor of the plaintiff consumer groups, accepting the challengers basic theory. The case is now on appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and, perhaps predictably, there has been a flurry of supporting Amicus Curiae briefs.

AALL, along with the American Civil Liberties Union, American Library Association, Cato Institute, and the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, presented an amicus brief supporting the idea that the First Amendment guarantees the public a right of access to judicial records through PACER.  

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and 27 Media Organizations has filed a brief in support, stating the “policy is bad for democracy” and that “news outlets across the country face leaner budgets” and the budgetary challenges are especially hard on “independent journalists and community news media companies.”

Another supporting brief was filed by former Senator Joe Lieberman, one of the original sponsors of the E-Government Act of 2002.  Senator Lieberman, in his brief, claims Congress meant for fees to cover costs “only to the extent necessary” and that allowing the government to charge fees higher than costs necessary is “at odds with the text, history, and purpose of the E-Government Act of 2002.” (see pgs. 2-3)

In addition, the ABA Journal in an update on the litigation, mentions seven retired federal judges who have filed a supporting brief, including former Circuit Court Judges Richard Posner and Shira Scheindlin.  The judge’s amicus brief calls on the court to allow the information to be accessed for free, arguing. among other things, that it would increase judicial transparency and the legitimacy of the courts.

Oral arguments took place last week on February 3, 2020.  You can listen to arguments at the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit oral argument website, appeal number 2019-1081.  A Bloomberg Law article summarizing the oral argument states the “judges appear[ed] to reject [the] government’s broad reading of the statute” and “focused on merits, not government’s jurisdiction argument.”

Post updated: 2/10/2020

Additional Update — Wolters Kluwer Cheetah

Wolters Kluwer has provided an additional update and clarification to the CRIV blog post of February 4, 2020 on the Cheetah platform regarding missing content.  From Wolters Kluwer:

As of August 2017, Wolters Kluwer has added all of its trusted legal content onto the Cheetah legal research platform. At AALL 2018, Wolters Kluwer announced that all of its law firm and corporate customers would be migrated from Intelliconnect to the Cheetah platform by the end of the year as their contracts came up for renewal.

Academic customers were provided with additional time to make the transition from Intelliconnect to Cheetah. Even today, some law school libraries still have dual access to their subscribed content on both Intelliconnect and Cheetah as the continue to make the transition.

If you are an Academic customer who has not yet transitioned to Cheetah and would like to discuss your transition plan with Wolters Kluwer, you may contact Sean Hearon, Academic Sales Lead, at SeanHearon@wolterskluwer.com 

If you are already a Cheetah customer and have questions about your account, you can contact Wolters Kluwer at 1-800-955-5217 or email: CheetahSuport@wolterskluwer.com.training-support/cheetah.

Wolters Kluwer Cheetah Update

Several law school libraries that subscribe to Wolters Kluwer’s Cheetah database and platform have experienced multiple issues with unexpected and unpredictable missing content for several months.  Briefly, here is what happened and an expected time frame for fixing the issue.

Originally, tax content was managed by the Tax and Accounting (TAA) division at Wolters Kluwer.  In August of 2019, the Legal and Regulatory (LAR) division took over management of the tax content.  The missing content problem stems from the period when TAA was managing the content.  When renewals came up this past year, TAA renewed content to Intelliconnect, the prior platform, instead of to Cheetah.  To update the system properly, LAR has had to move content manually from Intelliconnect to Cheetah on a law school by law school basis, which is taking time to complete based on the volume of content that needs to be transferred.

Completion of the manual movement of content to Cheetah is expected by the end of February this year.

CRIV/BBNA Semiannual Call Minutes (December 2019)

Thursday, December 17, 2019, 11:00 am Eastern

Participants: Joe Breda (President, Bloomberg Law); Mike Bernier (Director, Knowledge Services and Library Relations; Bloomberg Law); Vani Ungapen (Executive Director; American Association of Law Libraries (AALL)), R. Martin Witt (Chair, AALL Committee on Relations with Information Vendors (CRIV)); Karen Selden (AALL Board Liaison to CRIV)

New Bloomberg Law Products, Policies, and Issues of Interest

  • Corporate and litigation Practical Guidance tools continue to be expanded. New suites include:
    • Initiating & Defending Litigation
    • Litigation Finance
      • Both go live on December 18, 2019
      • Both fully integrate with existing tools on Bloomberg Law (e.g., Points of Law; Docket Key; SmartCode)
    • Law X.0 podcasts
      • Available on Apple Podcasts and Stitcher.
        • Focused on the future of the practice of law
      • Workflow enhancements
        • Revamped alerts management system
        • Simplified printing process, including bulk printing and downloading multiple files from a results list.

Upcoming Bloomberg Law Products, Policies, and Issues of Interest

  • Big product release of 2020 Q1 will include
    • Brief Analyzer
      • To be released to all Bloomberg Law customers
      • Will allow users to upload a brief and get related legal materials from Bloomberg Law

Requests for Assistance (RFA)

RFA #1 – Restrictions on Docket Use (Academic Law)

R. Martin Witt:

Background – There were a number of Requests for Assistance in which AALL members reported having Bloomberg Law users who were told that their Bloomberg Law accounts were prohibited from executing any further Dockets Transactions. These users received a letter from Bloomberg Law’s legal counsel saying they had been identified as having an excessive amount of docket transactions. Some AALL members also indicated that they had users also were told they were banned “for life.” Historically, AALL members have Bloomberg Law have often recommended Bloomberg Law as a resource for access dockets, precisely because there was not a preset limit on the transactions that could be completed.

Joe Breda:

In general, Bloomberg Law offers pretty much unlimited/unmetered dockets access to every single law school seat. There is, however, an external variable cost associated with the transactions, which is borne by Bloomberg Law. Docket usage is increasing at a non-linear rate, and – rather than severely limit docket access across the board in the law school market – Bloomberg Law identified 23 individual users whose usage was several orders of magnitude above “normal” usage and contacted them, referring to a Bloomberg Law’s general provision allowing access to be restricted.

Those 23 users are not forbidden from accessing Bloomberg Law; they are also not forbidden from accessing dockets on Bloomberg Law. The restriction applies only to the ability to incur costs via docket requests and docket alerts. Those 23 users could only perform actions that would generate costs if they agreed to cover the costs of those actions.

Agreements to cover the costs of docket requests have been discussed with two of the 23 users, but a billing mechanism is still being worked out by Bloomberg Law.

Mike Bernier:

Bloomberg Law will be meeting with a group of Law Library Directors at AALS, to gather feedback and perhaps work to establish thresholds that could be used moving forward. The purpose is not to reduce the use of dockets for general legal research, but instead to curb the excessive use of dockets above what is reasonably expected.

Joe Breda:

Again, the vast majority of law school users (students and faculty) – 99.8% of academic users –were completely unaffected.

R. Martin Witt:

Were any of the 23 users running scripts or were they all manually gathering/using dockets?

Joe Breda:

That’s less of a relevant question in this instance, because even if done manually the fees incurred were extremely high. This is particularly true with docket tracks because, once set up, they can generate substantial fees without any further human action required.

R. Martin Witt:

To recap, there is no strict limit right now, but setting a threshold will be discussed at AALS. Other aspects CRIV would recommend be included in those AALS discussions are 1) the possibility of some warning, prior to restricting docket functionality for users; 2) perhaps a suspension period prior to a permanent restriction of certain docket actions; 3) whether the permanent restriction will remain for all 23 users already identified.

Joe Breda:

Bloomberg Law is totally willing to return full functionality to any of the 23 users under either of two circumstances: 1) they discontinue whatever actions were driving disproportionate fee generation or 2) they reach at least an informal agreement to bear the financial burden for the excessive activities.

R. Martin Witt:

Finally, the letter from General Counsel indicated that “efforts to circumvent the prohibition” would lead to suspension and/or termination of the Bloomberg Law agreement. What would constitute efforts to circumvent? Would, for instance, a Reference Librarian requesting an item that the faculty member with restricted access could not request be an effort at circumvention?

Joe Breda:

Absolutely not, that activity by a Reference Librarian would be fine. The efforts at circumventing that are not permitted would be things like transferring all the existing alerts that caused an account to be restricted to another account that had not been restricted.

A summary of the AALS meetings will also be provided to CRIV to be appended to these minutes or share shortly thereafter. If Law Librarians would like to share their thoughts on this, please contact Mike Bernier (MBernier@bloomberglaw.com).

Post-Call Addendum

Bloomberg Law reported constructive conversations at AALS regarding law school docket use and are making some refinements to a policy based on feedback at that meeting and will communicate further.

RFA #2 – ABA/BNA Lawyers’ Manual on Professional Conduct

Joe Breda:

As has been expressed multiple times over recent years, Bloomberg Law sees its future as two things: 1) completely digital; and 2) an integrated platform. At this point, this was essentially the final print resource produced by Bloomberg Law. After extended discussions with the leadership at the ABA, everyone agrees the future is digital and the time has come to make that move with respect to this product. An entirely new slice of Bloomberg Law was built out, which will allow for a better more current product that the print could offer.

R. Martin Witt:

ABA/BNA Lawyers’ Manual on Professional Conduct has current archives in PDF, with citable pagination. Will that be maintained?

Mike Bernier:

Yes, the archive will be maintained.

R. Martin Witt:

Will new updates be similarly paginated?

Mike Bernier:

We have been reworking this resource from page-based pagination to paragraph-based pagination, which will hopefully make the transition easier since updates after the end of the year will not have fixed pagination. Even when print goes away, we will have a means of consistent citation.

R. Martin Witt:

OK, thank you. Moving to consistent paragraph formatting should hopefully alleviate some concerns over citations. With respect to access, there seems to be some similarity to the concern over access – primarily for court/public Law Libraries, or those open to the public – that we discussed in connection with the Tax Management Portfolios (TMPs) last year. For the TMPs, you were open to the idea of kiosk access based on IP address rather than simply by specific machine address. Could there be something similar – either a slice or kiosk-based access to the new professional responsibility platform – available to those libraries who are open to the public and have financial constraints that make providing public access to the complete Bloomberg Law platform untenable?

Joe Breda:

There is no current kiosk-based configuration for that particular slice. A challenge with IP authentication is that it becomes difficult to price appropriately. We are, however, willing to discuss the possibility and will follow-up with CRIV and the libraries impacted.

R. Martin Witt:

I’m not sure there’d be a consensus, given all the different circumstances Law Libraries face. For some Law Libraries though, especially those that make a concerted effort to serve the public and attorneys who are unlikely to have access to the full Bloomberg Law, this is a resource that is of great importance. It isn’t a niche practice area; it’s something that every practicing attorney should be able to stay informed on. IP-recognition would likely be preferred, for ease of administration, but even a kiosk-based configuration (single terminal) with just the professional responsibility slice available could be a good compromise.

Post-Call Addendum

Bloomberg Law responded to concerns that law school and court libraries were unable to make the ABA/Bloomberg Law Lawyers’ Manual on Professional Conduct available to patrons after print ceased. As a result of issues raised by CRIV, law schools and courts may now purchase an IP-authenticated electronic version of just the ABA/Bloomberg Law Lawyers’ Manual on Professional Conduct at a price significantly less than a full Bloomberg Law Patron Access terminal. Librarians should contact their Bloomberg Law Relationship Partner for more information.

RFA #3 – Itemized invoices, including of electronic subscriptions

R. Martin Witt:

An AALL member subscribes to multiple electronic products from Bloomberg Law and needs itemized invoices in order to properly allocate costs from Bloomberg Law to appropriate practice groups. Is there anything that can be done for this subset of firms that needs to allocate costs of individual electronic products?

Mike Bernier:

The default is to bill as one lump sum. Requests for itemized bills can generally be accommodated on an individual basis, since it is a manual process. If the request has been made to the billing contact and the response is not satisfactory, users should contact Mike Bernier (MBernier@bloomberglaw.com) directly for a cost-per-subscription breakdown (with some limitations if bundling makes such a breakdown impossible).

RFA #4 – BNA Books

R. Martin Witt:

Within the past couple days, there have been a rash of incidents where Bloomberg Law Books (formerly BNA Books) have been delivering multiple copies of materials and billing them separately when only one was ordered. There was also a lot of institution account information that was lost in a recent transition. I know you’ve just been made aware of the issues as well. Can you share any additional information or progress on diagnosing the issues?

Mike Bernier:

The books@bloomberglaw.com email address should now be sufficient to address most of the concerns expressed. There was a transition, but it is being worked on. If there is a need for escalation of a particular issue, people should be forward the previous correspondence to me [Mike Bernier (MBernier@bloomberglaw.com)] and I can assist.

Joe Breda:

We have someone in the office now tracking down instances where customers were sent books/copies that they didn’t want and working to resolve them. We are also working on fixing issues in our accounts that were transferred, including the loss of information related to tax-exempt status, so we are asking for that information and should be able to effectively keep track of that moving forward. Please just continue to communicate with us as we work through this process and the best initial contact is books@bloomberglaw.com.

R. Martin Witt:

Was there a pattern to the extra books that were sent out, which might indicate a systematic issue?

Mike Bernier:

Unfortunately, no. We’ve been able to resolve the individual issues, but there does not seem to be any commonality among the extra materials that were sent out.

RFA #5 – Full-time Equivalent (FTE) measure

R. Martin Witt:

A AALL member reported that Bloomberg Law was trying to “prove” that JD enrollment had crossed a certain threshold, thereby increasing their subscription cost and were requiring extra steps to certify the number as correct even though it was publicly available.

Mike Bernier:

Generally, Bloomberg Law takes the ABA 509 report and if enrollment drops we request something from the registrar that confirms the drop. If there is no discrepancy identified by the school, Bloomberg Law will not seek to identify discrepancies itself or require additional certification of ABA 509 numbers. This sounds like there was an unfortunate miscommunication and we can follow up.

 

CRIV/Thomson Reuters Biannual Phone Call

CRIV-Thomson Reuters Bi-Annual Liaison Call

Conference call took place on Monday, December 16, 2019 at 3:00 PM EST and ended at 3:30 PM EST.

Participants:

  • Deborah Heller – CRIV Thomson Reuters Liaison
  • Kim Hurley – Information Management Advisor at Thomson Reuters
  • Rachel Torgerson – Customer Success Strategist at Thomson Reuters
  • Vani Ungapen – AALL Executive Director

Agenda:

  • Introductions
  • Discussion of direction of the phone calls moving forward. Deborah expressed an interest in having the calls address outstanding advocacy issues, provide an overview of any updates to Westlaw and/or Practical law, and continue ongoing discussions of billing issues worked on with Caroline Walters, the previous CRIV Thomson Reuters liaison.
    • Kim said she could share the quarterly product updates with Deborah, who will then share information with members. Normally, Thomson Reuters tries to provide the update information in person to customers.
  • One request for assistance was shared. The customer reported that Practical Law charges are appearing in Quickview as chargeable even though they are supposed to be non-billable. The problem is apparently not immediately obvious unless you are spot-checking a specific charge, so it is possible that firms may have been billing clients for something that should have been free. The problem was reported to a client relations manager, who has reported that Thomson Reuters is aware of the issue.
    • Rachel took note of this problem and will look into the issue.
  • Rachel provided an update on her work with the customer to cash group to improve customer experience.
    • Survey responses as well as phone calls used to understand customer experience. This information has been shared with various departments.
    • Working on making invoicing clearer and more understandable.
    • Working on improving accuracy and timeliness of processing payments
    • Working on consistency of information provided
      • Discussed fact that product numbers are not appearing on all invoices, so Rachel wanted to know if this was information users wanted and or needed.
        • Deborah said that the most important information to her is the title of the product and a description of what it is (e.g. yearly update, specific release number, etc.).
      • Rachel hopes to be able to share more specific information including roadmaps and timelines for improvements to customer billing at the next phone call around the beginning of May.
    • Kim explained that she is the current liaison to CRIV for Thomson Reuters since the CRIV liaison once again falls within her territory (Deborah works in NY).
    • Discussion about the timing for the next call. It will happen in early to mid-May. Deborah will contact Kim and Rachel to schedule it at the beginning of April.

CRIV / LexisNexis SemiAnnual Call

Date: December 2, 2019

Participants: Carolyn Bach (Senior Manager, Librarian Relations and Faculty Programs), Autumn Boyer (Director of Segment Management), James Oakes (Segment Manager), Vani Ungapen (Executive Director, AALL) & Karen Provost (CRIV Board, LexisNexis Liaison)

Requests for Advocacy:

  • Although there were no formal requests to CRIV, AmLaw 200 firms still question why they are unable to renew Law360, Courtlink, AmLaw products and print materials separately without subscribing to Lexis Advance.  Here is the response from Lexis:

While we understand that firms initially had questions about how the products are related, Lexis has made substantial progress integrating the user experience across numerous products since 2018. As of today, LexisNexis Patent Optimizer®, Intelligize®, LexisNexis® Dossier, TotalPatent®, Nexis Diligence™, and Nexis Newsdesk™ have been moved off standalone platforms and on to the Lexis Advance® platform for single ID access, links between products, and back-office administration. Near-term plans include integration of CourtLink®, and Law360®, along with considerably more interconnectivity between products. Customers tell us that the Integration has materially improved their experience across products, rendering some former platforms unusable without integrated permalinks to Lexis Advance and other products.  Customer feedback continues to drive our integration plans, and we encourage members to follow-up with their LexisNexis account representative with any questions regarding their firm’s specifics. Read more details on product integration in the section below.

Product Integration:

  • Integrating our products into a single platform to facilitate administrative convenience and research efficiency remains a top priority.
  • In 2019 we concluded the legacy system decommissioning effort, and successfully integrated Patent Optimizer, Intelligize, Dossier, TotalPatent, Diligence, and Newsdesk into the Lexis Advance Platform. All of this allows users to seamlessly move between more products.
  • In 2019 we upgraded the bulk of our CourtLink customers to the integrated Lexis Advance version, and the remaining customers with complex setups and custom integrations will be upgraded in 2020.
  • In 2020, we plan to integrate Law360.
  • Also in 2020, we plan to introduce to the Lexis Advance platform a web-based version of LexisNexis CaseMap® (currently software based). This will allow for significant integration between Lexis Advance and this trial management tool in the future.

Lexis Advance:

  • Streamlined Lexis Advance User Interface released in August 2019 increasing ease of use. Also included enhancements to filtering by court and relocation of Browse functionality to Explore Content with new Find a Source and Find a Topic tabs. The result is a streamlined home page that’s easier to navigate.
  • Lexis Answers: We also continued to enhance our Lexis Answers offering, adding Expert Witness cards and providing links to CVs and other relevant materials including links to Context and Lex Machina in judge and expert witness answer cards where applicable.
  • Ravel View enhancements: In early December, a visual refresh to Ravel View display on Lexis Advance that will improve accessibility for some visually impaired users and make the data and navigation easier.
  • India and Malaysia primary law were added to Lexis Advance.
  • Alerts Manager: first iteration released. This tool facilitates firm-wide alert and track management by firm Administrators across all Lexis Advance products.
  • Lexis Advance CourtLink – initial wave of migrations from CourtLink to the Lexis Advance platform providing a more streamlined docket solution. This industry leading docket coverage and robust alerting and tracking are still key components of the tool and now it is easier to use and learn than ever before on the Lexis Advance platform – hopefully relieving some of the burden from information professionals by allowing attorneys and other researchers to use the product on their own without much in the way of special training.
  • In Large Law, primary law materials accessed are now $0 from a billback perspective. This change was made based on customer feedback.

Context:

  • The Court module was launched, building further on the Judge module, and allowing attorneys to understand which language is most persuasive in a given court, determine the success rate of over 100 types of motions by court, and more.
  • Users can now share a summary version of the Context report with their clients, co-counsel, etc.
  • The Company module is currently in early testing and will allow users to understand corporate structure, financials, leadership, news coverage, and litigation history in a single interface. This module will be attractive to both litigators and business development professionals.

Lexis Practice Advisor®:

  • New practice areas including: Business Entities, Data Security and Privacy, Energy and Utilities, Financial Services Regulation, Insurance, Life Sciences, Private Equity & Investment Management, and Trusts and Estates.
  • Evolving Guidance – Lexis Practice Advisor and Law360 have been integrated in an innovative and extremely useful way allowing attorneys and researchers to gain end-to-end coverage of editorially selected issues, from the first news stories to the relevant forms needed to practice law surrounding those issues.
  • Deeper integration of Intelligize and LPA allows for “deal point” searching on substantive contract terms in M&A agreements.
  • State Law Comparison Tool – updates and additions to the state law comparison tool continue.
  • Expert forms on Lexis Practice Advisor are easier to export to Word and the alternate clauses and drafting notes our customers love now appear in-line in the document making them easier to understand and employ.
  • Core Documents are now surfaced immediately in several practice areas, allowing users to quickly identify the most useful and most used forms, checklists, etc.

Nexis Newsdesk:

Recent Enhancements:

  • Integration with Lexis Advance – access with Lexis Advance ID
  • RSS Privatization and naming (Firm added RSS feeds visible to firm only)
  • Ability to export Newsletters and share via other internal channels e.g. intranet
  • Ability to receive newsletters through mobile app
  • Sharing Newsletters externally (e.g. to a client) is now available via a subscription amendment
  • Newsdesk Quick Search – new guided search template default for new users.

Coming soon:

Lexis Advance:

  • New products and tools in development: Statutes Compare tool, a brief analysis tool, AI enabled research tools and forthcoming additions to Context These tools are all still in development and we look forward to sharing information with you about all of these and more in 2020.

LexisNexis, Lexis Advance, Lexis Practice Advisor, LexisNexis PatentOptimizer, TotalPatent, CaseMap and CourtLink are registered trademarks, and Nexis Diligence and Nexis Newsdesk are trademarks of RELX Inc. Intelligize is a registered trademark of Intelligize, Inc. Law360 is a registered trademark of Portfolio Media, Inc. Other products or services may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.