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.

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.

HathiTrust Digitizes Historic California Legislative Materials

As part of a project between HathiTrust, California Office of Legislative Counsel, University of California, Stanford University, and the California State Library, almost 4,000 California Assembly and Senate publications are now available digitally. HathiTrust members will be able to download complete documents, while the library itself allows browsing, single page downloads, and sharing. More information about the collection can be viewed on HathiTrust’s blog.

Thomson Reuters New Law School Landing Page

Just before some of us began classes in August, Thomson Reuters changed their landing page. As opposed to the old lawschool.westlaw.com, you will be redirected to lawschool.tr.com. There were a few teething troubles with this at the beginning, but it seems to be working as of now (although I sometimes still see the old page with some of my saved links). This is part of a branding attempt to make students more aware of the fact that Thomson Reuters owns Westlaw. The new page is more streamlined, with less text. Those who want to access Westlaw need to click on the orange “log in now” button towards the middle of the screen.