Fastcase is a Print-Machine!

Fastcase, a database that prides itself on using technology and AI for digital research, continues to bolster their print resources, both internal and external.  In February, Fastcase’s publishing division, Full Court Press, published their first print book titled MAP a Complex Case by Dave Dolkas. In March, Fastcase partnered with the ABA to sell print versions of ABA Expert Treatises from across the country.  In April, Full Court Press published their second print book, Mapping the Deal, as well as partnering with the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), to print the first issue of the AILA Law Journal, a bi-annual journal analyzing and researching contemporary issues of immigration law.

These new print titles join with Fastcase’s current print collection of the Full Court Press journal RAIL (Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, and the Law) and their other print partnership with James Publishing. Of course, Fastcase makes many of these materials available online through their database, but this increased focus on print materials swim against the current trend of other publishers and databases reducing their print collections in favor of a purely digital library.

Where Have All the C.F.R.s Gone?

As many readers of this blog know, the Code of Federal Regulations is updated annually on a staggered schedule.  Specifically, the  updated Titles 1-16 are published on January 1 of every year, and the updated Titles 17-27 are published on April 1 of every year.  As of the writing of this blog entry, none of these titles have been updated on govinfo’s annual C.F.R. library.  When contacted for an explanation, the reasoning given was that govinfo places them “online as we receive them and our office has not receive those CFR’s for online posting.  I don’t know why or where the holdup could be.  When they come in we will do our best to expedite the online process.”  Following up with other members of the CRIV committee, it appears that the print versions of the C.F.R. have also not arrived in many libraries.  While the Government Publishing Office’s Electronic C.F.R. (eCFR) is up to date, this remains the unofficial version of the code.  Therefore as of this writing, the most current official versions of the over half the C.F.R. Titles remain over a year out of date.

Additionally another anomaly, specifically the January 2019 List of C.F.R. Sections Affected referring to Titles 42-50 updates in the Federal Register dating back to October 1, 2017 (rather than October 1, 2018), makes it appear that the Government Publishing Office is delayed in either publishing or shipping the most current C.F.R. volumes, creating a rather vast gap in federal regulatory information for the public.  While the Federal Register is up to date on govinfo, and current regulations may be found therein, the fact remains that the C.F.R., the official source for federal regulations, is unaccountably out of date.  As stated in the response from govinfo, even divisions of the GPO don’t fully understand the delay, and I have been unable to find any news which would explain further.  One possible explanation is the December 22, 2018-January 25, 2019 federal government shutdown, but this is simply a guess without more information to support a conclusion.

If you have any information about the delay in the C.F.R. publications (either print or on govinfo) please reach out to myself (mtimko@niu.edu) or another member of CRIV.  Govinfo remains a tremendous resource for attorneys, information professionals, and the public at large, and providing the most current information is integral for the public’s access to information.

Lexis Advance Access Beyond Law School

Lexis Advance will once again be available to law students over the summer (May-August) with their law school login credentials.  Students will have full access to Lexis Advance, without a break in their search history or saved documents and searches.  This access is not limited to academic research, and students may use their student accounts for research related to clerkships, internships, or summer jobs at a law firm.

Similarly, any graduating students will maintain continued access to Lexis Advance through the end of the calendar year (December 31, 2019).  Graduate program access allows access to continue with the law school login credentials, however credentials will be updated from regular law school IDs to “graduate” credentials beginning on July 5, 2019.  For more information, please refer to the attached Flyers provided by Lexis.

Summer Access Flyer

Graduate Program Flyer

Fastcase’s Docket Alarm Adds Deadline Display

Fastcase acquired Docket Alarm in January 2018. Docket Alarm is a legal analytics tool that can be used to identify judicial trends and identify possible outcomes of litigation. Deadline display is Docket Alarm’s newest feature. Deadline display gleans any deadlines from the docket and automatically displays them to users viewing the docket sheet. This allows users to see at a glance all upcoming events in a case. Deadlines are also searchable; allowing users to see upcoming work by firm or type of filing. The deadlines can also be exported to Google or Outlook calendars to allow for easy integration into work processes.As of March 14, deadline display is included as a complimentary feature for all Docket Alarm users.

More on the UC and Elsevier Split

On February 28, the University of California (UC) announced that it would not be renewing its subscription with Elsevier. In its negotiations, UC was trying to ensure that research produced by its campuses would be freely available to researchers around the globe immediately. According to UC, Elsevier was proposing to charge UC authors large fees on top of the existing multi-million dollar contract the University had for access to Elsevier journals. In a stance in support of open access, UC decided to walk away from Elsevier entirely. The UC Academic Council released a statement on the same day, supporting the efforts to negotiate to ensure open access to research. Elsevier released a statement in response via twitter. In the statement, Elsevier expresses disappointment that the negotiations were broken off by UC and says that it put forward a proposal to support the multi-payer open access requests by allowing researchers the choice to publish for open access as well as a “scaled path to reduce costs for each campus library.”  Berkeley News interviewed University Librarian Jeffrey MacKie-Mason, who served as the co-chair of the negotiation team for UC. According to MacKie-Mason, UC wanted to reduce costs (the University was paying $11 million in subscriptions to Elsevier each year) and ensure open access for UC authors publishing with Elsevier. UC was asking for a contract that integrated a paid subscription fee with the open access publishing fees, which is a new approach. The offer by Elsevier agreed to do this, but at a much higher cost of around $30 million more per three year contract. The main idea is to makeup the loss in subscriptions by moving to a market that charges for the publishing, rather than for the reading as it works now. MacKie-Mason pointed out that although UC is the first University system to cut ties with Elsevier in the U.S., the Max Planck Society, University Alliance in Sweden, and University Alliance in Hungary have already done so.

National Law Journal Releases its Best of List for 2019

The National Law Journal released its Best of List for 2019. The list is based on votes from lawyers and firm administrators. Categories include accounting, ADR, consulting, education, litigation support, marketing, real estate, recruitment, research, and technology. The top three legal research providers (including print, & digital products and software as a service) were Thomson Reuters Westlaw, LexisNexis (Lexis Advance/Lexis.com), and Bloomberg Law. The best solo firm/practitioner research providers were LexisNexis (Lexis Advance/Lexis.com), Thomson Reuters Westlaw, and Justia. The best legal research apps were Westlaw App, Lexis Advance HD, and Bloomberg. The best legal news apps were Bloomberg Law Insights, LexisNexis Legal News Briefs, and Westlaw Portfolio.

Dewey B Strategic’s “Hits and Misses” Survey

In yesterday’s Dewey B Strategic blog, Jean O’Grady announced her “Hits and Misses” survey (which replaces the “Start and Stop” survey).  The survey, which closes on January 31st, asks participants to share their thoughts on what went right and what went wrong in the legal publishing industry in 2018.  As Jean mentions, there were a number of pivotal events announced last year, e.g. TR’s layoff, transitions in BNA’s content and AALL’s hiring of an attorney to address member complaints against Lexis.  With all that is happening in the industry, it will be interesting to see the Survey results! 

To read more, visit Jean’s blog here: https://www.deweybstrategic.com/2019/01/welcome-first-dewey-b-strategic-hits-misses-survey-legal-publishers-get-right-wrong-2018.html.