Bloomberg Law adds SEC Tools

Bloomberg Law has added new Securities resources to the database.  SEC Administrative Enforcement Analytics analyzes the decisions of enforcement actions by the Securities and Exchange Commission, and aggregates all of these decisions (both initial and final) to provide a more detailed trend of decision outcomes.  According to Bloomberg Law’s press release, “the new tool covers settled SEC administrative actions, including the full text of SEC Administrative Orders, links to relevant statutes, and analytic visual representations of key data points and trends.”  This complements the SEC ALJ Enforcement Analytics tool, which analyzes unsettled decisions which go to the Administrative Law Judges.  These tools are both available under Bloomberg Law’s Securities Practice Center.

Changes within Thomson Reuters

Thomson Reuters is in the process of “rightsizing” their operations through reducing staff and management, as well as closing offices, according to Jean O’Grady.  This transition continues the trend of Thomson Reuters in recent years of downsizing their legal presence, including selling majority control of Financial & Business as well as closing their Rochester, NY office, which had been operating since the 1880s (prior to being acquired by Thomson Reuters).  According to O’Grady, this continued downgrading of human editors will further erode the quality of the legal publications under Thomson Reuters, and lead to growth in the artificial intelligence involvement in the editing process (which carries several drawbacks).  In the end it is unclear whether this move by Thomson Reuters represents a size-correction or downsizing to cut costs, as well as how the legal content will be affected.  Regardless of the intention, it is something that all users of their content should be aware of.

New Study Comparing Bloomberg Law’s SmartCode to Other Annotated Statutes

Jason Zarin examines the effectiveness of similar operating features of different vendors through comparisons between Bloomberg Law’s “SmartCode” annotated statutes and other annotated statutes, specifically (but not exclusively) the United States Code Annotated and United States Code Service.  In his SSRN articleA Comparison of Case Law Results Between Bloomberg Law’s “Smart Code” Automated Annotated Statutes and Traditional Curated Annotated Codes, Jason conducts similar queries within these tools to determine the effectiveness of the newer SmartCode as compared with the more established West and LexisNexis products.  This article adds to similar studies of the past two years, including comparisons of headnotes and search algorithms across the different databases.

WIPO Lex announces access to IP information free of charge

WIPO Lex is a “global database that provides free of charge access to legal information on intellectual property, such as treaties administered by WIPO, other IP-related treaties, and regulations of some 200 countries.” Search the full text of documents using simple search terms, or search by subject matter, treaty name, or member country. Retrieve the full text of laws (including constitutions), regulations, treaties, and IP literature, arranged in reverse chronological order.  It even includes historical or superseded versions where available. It looks like an impressive collection of IP materials.  Check it out here.

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).