Fastcase acquires Docket Alarm

Last week Fastcase announced that it was acquiring Docket Alarm, a docket alerting and analytics company.  Docket Alarm was founded by Michael Sander, who started developing the technology for the product while he was working as an IP litigator.  Constantly doing repetitive tasks, he created a set of tools to track and analyze judicial trends in lawsuits and bankruptcies in federal, state, and administrative courts.  Adding these features to Fastcase’s database of judicial opinion data will allow subscribers to get clear analytic insights into judges and law firms.  Sander will be staying on at Fastcase to help build out and expand the platform he created.  Read the press release here.

Thomson Reuters acquires O’Connors

Thomson Reuters has acquired O’Connors, publisher of state and federal legal deskbooks.   According to TR, any immediate changes should be invisible to their customers.  In the future, however, it is expected that TR and O’Connors will work together to enhance the products.   Read the announcement here..

Changes coming to the Twitter Archive at the Library of Congress

Through an agreement with Twitter, the Library of Congress has collected and preserved an archive of public tweet texts from 2006 to the present.  The Library of Congress recently announced that it will change its collection strategy.  Effective January 1, 2018, they will “acquire tweets on a selective basis.”  The tweets collected and archived will be “thematic and event-based, including events such as elections, or themes of ongoing national interest, e.g. public policy.”

Read more about the changes on the Library of Congress website or in the white paper summarizing the announcement.

LexisNexis/AALL CRIV Conference Call November 28, 2017, 4:00 p.m.

  1.  Present on the Call – Kate Hagan, AALL Executive Director; Carolyn Bach, Sr. Manager Librarian Relations; Drew Jones, Product Planning Manager; Teresa Harmon, Sr. Director of Product Planning; Jim Gernert, CRIV Chair.
  2. New Lexis Products of Interest
    1. Lexis Advance
      1. Lexis has added a number of enhancements to users’ ability to search News files, including options for filtering searches by negative news either pre or post search; group files for more refined results;; and language filters that let the searcher refine by language.
      2. International Primary Law sources have been added to Lexis Advance so that all of the international primary content that was available on Lexis.com is now available on Lexis Advance, including sources from the EU, Canada, and Malaysia.
      3. In 2018, Patent Content on Lexis Advance will be powered by Total Patent One, and includes full diagrams and visual capabilities and a more robust gateway. However, there is still additional content in Total Patent One that is not included in Lexis Advance .
      4. Full text alerts and custom pages will be available on Lexis Advance in early 2018. Links to custom pages will be available on the main screen of Lexis Advance, and can be shared with other Lexis users in your organization.
    2. Lexis Practice Advisor has been redesigned to enhance the user experience with new navigation by Practice Area, Jurisdiction and Content Type. It aligns with the practitioner’s workflow with expanded practical guidance content organized along a navigable task tree. Moreover, Practice Advisor now includes a deal document Transactions Search, powered by Intelligize. Lexis Practice Advisor will further be expanding their practice area focus with the addition of Federal Civil Practice and Antitrust in Q1 2018, followed by Private Equity and more planned for the 2nd half of 2018.
    3. AI and Analytics
      1. Ravel and Lex Machina – There is enhanced integration of Lex Machina in to Lexis Advance that include analytics for judges law firms and attorneys, accessible when viewing a case; deeper analytics are available via a link for Lex Machnia subscribers ;Ravel Law integration will take place throughout 2018.   Users should start to see content from Ravel in Lexis Advance by the end of Q1 2018, and Case Law Visualization, information on judges, and additional analytics will be added throughout 2018. Some of the information will be available with an existing Lexis Advance subscription, while the analytics may require a separate subscription.
      2. Lexis Answers – this service leverages AI to deliver on-point answers and results in five areas – Definitions, Elements of a Claim, Doctrines, Standards of Review, and Burden of Proof; Statute of Limitations and Judges will be added to the service in Q1 2018; Lexis Answers is available across multiple jurisdictions.
  3. Vendor Advocacy Issues
    1. Some law firm librarians reported that they were not able to purchase Lexis print and ancillary online products if they opted not to renew their Lexis Advance subscriptions. This issue had been raised with Carolyn earlier and a response was provided by Lexis’ management, as follows:

“Keep in mind that Lexis has been selling integrated products as a package with Online for many years with notable examples such as Lexis Search Advantage, Lexis for Microsoft Office, Verdict and Settlement Analyzer, Profile Suite, LN Publisher, and Digital Library.  As we retire Lexis.com this year, and upgrade users to Lexis Advance, we will more fully leverage our platform that consolidates all content and tools to one ecosystem.  This  affords considerable benefits to users including being able to navigate seamlessly between products, have answer sets surfaced across products, and gain access into the central Online content repository, that formerly would have been restricted by product.   

Our pricing is different in each market and varies depending on which products and solutions work best for each customer. Accordingly, we sit down with customers and explain the pricing for their firm, including what products are sold together and which are sold separately.  If any of your readers want to discuss, we are happy to do so directly with them.”

It was felt by AALL/CRIV that the response didn’t squarely address the questions that were asked.  Carolyn advised she did not have additional information, and Jim and Kate asked her to go back to Lexis’ management and try to get answers to these specific questions:

      1. Will Lexis confirm that they are refusing to sell print and ancillary online products to customers who do not maintain their subscriptions to Lexis Advance?
      2. If so, what is the rationale behind the policy?
      3. What markets is this policy being applied in?
      4. Are there plans to expand the policy to additional markets?
      5. What are the parameters of the policy (i.e., which Lexis products does it apply to)?
    1. Pricing of Errata? Does LexisNexis have a policy on the pricing of Errata for their print titles (is it normally provided free of charge)?  : LexisNexis does not charge for Erratas for their publications.

4.  Sunset date for Lexis.com – Lexis confirmed that the Lexis.com platform is on schedule to end service in all markets at the end of 2017.

There being no further business, the call was adjourned at 4:40 p.m.

Note: For a brief promotional period, users will have all patent authorities available in Total Patent One. After the promotional period, users will be limited to the same patent authorities they had access to in lexis.com

PLI to remove content from Bloomberg Law

Jean O’Grady reports that Practicing Law Institute (PLI) plans to remove their content from Bloomberg Law when the license expires at the end of this year.  PLI will develop and promote their own digital platform PLI Plus.  Read Jean’s insights here.

New on HeinOnline: Similar Article Email Alerts for Author Profile Pages

With the help of machine learning and natural language processing tools, you can now “receive email alerts when articles are added to HeinOnline that are similar to those written by a specific author.”  For more information and instructions on how to create your alert, read the announcement here.

Amazon announces Alexa for Business

Amazon recently announced Alexa for Business, “a new AWS service that provides every employee with an intelligent assistant to simplify their interactions with the technology around them at work—in conference rooms, at their desks, and around the office.”  Sounds intriguing.  Is there a use for Alexa in your law library?

Read the full press release here.