In Canada, Artificial Intelligence is coming… for your legal research fees?

Some information vendors have been touting the value and benefit – specifically the apparent efficiency in legal research – of AI for a few years now, and it seems that the Honourable Mr. Justice A.C.R. Whitten of the Ontario Supreme Court of Justice is a believer.

In a recent decision [Cass v. 1410088 Ontario Inc., 2018 ONSC 6959], the Justice denies a $900.00 “legal research” disbursement for a number of reasons, and mentions – albeit in what would likely be considered dicta – that “[i]f artificial intelligence sources were employed, no doubt counsel’s preparation time would have been significantly reduced.” [¶ 34]

Also interesting, however, was that the Justice declined to adopt the simple suggestion of the plaintiff to strike the disbursement based on the query – “why is there a legal research fee for case precedents which are available for free through CanLII or publically accessible websites?”

h/t – Law Librarian Blog

Upcoming FDsys retirement

Word is that FDsys will be retired on December 14, 2018.  The “next generation” govinfo.gov, a service of the GPO, will replace it.  Important information about the transition and answers to frequently asked questions can be found here.

Thomson Reuters and CRIV Bi-Annual Call

Thomson Reuters and CRIV Bi-Annual Call

Nov. 9, 2018

Present: Caroline Walters, Harvard University, CRIV Liaison; Lori Hedstrom, National Manager, Information Management Advisors, Thomson Reuters; Rachel Torgerson, Customer Success Strategist, Finance Group, Thomson Reuters; Jeff McCoy, Communications, Thomson Reuters; Vani Ungapen, Executive Director, AALL

Notes submitted by Lori Hedstrom

Issue: Accounts Receivable – Dunning notices, timeframe for communications

Caroline submitted several member questions and comments regarding individuals’ experiences with their accounts. We are unable to address each one individually on this platform, but we can share information about how the system works so customers know the timing and processes at work.

Our systems are based on the net 30-day model and please understand that notices are automatically generated based on activity in the account, or lack thereof. There may be times when customers pay the majority of an invoice, but a partial amount may still be outstanding. Our system shows that residual amount as unpaid and generates a notice. Customer Service can walk customers through the system, with specific information on when their invoices are generated, when they are mailed, and when customers should expect to receive them each month.

Regarding copying directors and others in administration, dunning notices come out of our system addressed to the contacts listed. If the technical services librarian, the library director, and the dean are listed, they each will receive a copy. It is difficult to say why each individual was added – sometimes an administrator wants to know if payments are not being made timely and asks to be notified, or a librarian is promoted but not removed from the notification, as examples. If customers desire to remove contacts from the systems, they should work with their account manager to contact the Credit Management Team to ensure the appropriate contacts are in the system. Here is the general contact information for the Credit Management Team at Thomson Reuters for US Legal:

Email: WestAccountsReceivable@thomsonreuters.com

Phone: 1-800-522-0552

Fax: 651-687-4601

 Issue: Westlaw Edge rollout questions

Q: When will “regular” Westlaw sunset? For firms? For academics?

A: For the academic community, Jan. 1, 2019, is the date academic institutions will switch to Westlaw Edge. For law firms, we currently do not have a “sunset” date for Westlaw, but that will likely be around 2025.

Q: Will firms be able to choose between Westlaw and Westlaw Edge at renewal or for new customers?

A: Yes. Firms may choose between Westlaw or Westlaw Edge, but accounts will only have Westlaw or Westlaw Edge, as adoption is organization-wide.

Q: Can academics have access to both platforms for pedagogical purposes? There is concern among law schools that their students will only know how to use Westlaw Edge. Many of them may get jobs in firms that don’t have Westlaw Edge.

A: Students, similar to legal professionals that may change organizations, will still be able to use and benefit from Westlaw if their employer has yet to upgrade to Westlaw Edge. They may notice some of the efficiency tools such as the advanced search and analytics capabilities are not included, but they will still be able to conduct their legal research on Westlaw without disruption or feeling as they have to learn a new system.

Q: What if a professor is at a school that was an early adopter of Westlaw Edge and needs to grade their students’ work on Westlaw. Can they have access to Westlaw?

A: If a professor has transitioned to Westlaw Edge but need to grade on Westlaw, the professor can reach out to the Academic Account Manager and request a temporary password to get through this semester.

Thank you as always for the opportunity to meet and talk through members’ concerns. Please let me know if you have additional questions.

Lori. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Lori Hedstrom, MLS

National Manager, Information Management Advisors

Thomson Reuters Corp. to cut 3200 jobs by 2020

Thomson Reuters Corp. announced that it will cut its workforce by 12%, eliminating 3200 jobs by 2020 as part of a plan to streamline business and reduce costs. The company declined to say where the cuts were being made, but said they will “simplify the company in every way that we can,” including reducing the number of offices and locations. They will continue to focus on the legal, tax, and news businesses, and plan to “cross-sell more products to existing customers,” while cutting the number of products sold. The company claims this will make it easier for customers to do business with them.  I guess we’ll find out, won’t we?

Read more about it here.

CRIV Vendor Liaison call with LexisNexis

LexisNexis/CRIV Call – June 12, 2018

1. Present on the call were Carolyn Bach, LexisNexis Senior Manager of Faculty and Librarian Relations; Teresa Harmon, LexisNexis Director of Segment Management; Drew Jones, Segment Manager; Kate Hagan, AALL Executive Director; Jim Gernert, Chair, AALL Committee on Relations with Information Vendors.

2. New Lexis Products of Interest

a. Ravel Caselaw – now includes scanned images of cases as they appear in print reporters; Federal and state cases back to the 1600’s.

b. Law360 has added a Tax authority section and a current awareness product.

c. AI/Machine Learning – Answer cards have been added to Lexis Advance; Ask Lexis Advance for noteworthy cases.

d. Judge answer cards: type in name in the form of a question; returns judge’s most recent or noteworthy cases; all level courts; still working on building out trial level courts.

e. News search relevance: There is now better ranking of news results due to improvements in the algorithm.

f. Additional segments have been added in Experts and Trademarks areas.

g. A holistic review of how results are presented was done. They now include additional information such as who wrote a news article.

h. QWIK format has been brought in to Lexis Advance, and can now be found in the Copyright, Trademark, News, Legal News, and Cases search results.

i. Lexis Practice Advisor now includes Federal Civil Practice and Antitrust.

j. Upcoming:

i. Lexis Practice Advisor: Plans to add a state law comparison, new databases for Tax, Private Equity, and Privacy.
ii. Integration of Ravel in to Lexis Advance, including PDFs, Ravel view, a citation visualization map, citation alternatives, and a visual representation. Ravel will eventually be integrated completely in to Lexis Advance, but isn’t there yet.
iii. Snapshot of Shepard’s from Results list will be added in approximately July 2018.
iv. Non-billable zone is being added to Lexis Advance. The expectation is that it will primarily be used by admins in law firms that bill back.
v. Integration points will be added through Lex Machina, including Answer cards
vi. Notice of Appeal language will be added, but it will still have the yellow triangle as well.
vii. Full-text alerts are being added to Lexis Advance.
viii. Awards segments will be added to the Jury Verdicts database.
ix. Law Reviews – names
x. Courtlink integration in to Lexis Advance will be coming by the end of 2018 or January 2019.
xi. Custom pages will be able to be shared in the non-billable zone that is being added.

3. Vendor Advocacy Issues (no new issues at this point)

4. CRIV Vendor Roundtable at AALL Annual Meeting – Lexis indicated that they would participate.

5. Lexis sponsored activities at AALL.

a. Gold-level sponsor of AALL conference, and also a sponsor of PLL summit.
b. Two Exhibitor showcases – Lex Machina –and Winning Litigation
c. Analytics Road map – Lexis Nexis legal analytics – This is a new product debuting at show.
d. Legal Analytics theme showcasing new products.
e. Lex Machina and Law360 will be at the Lexis booth.
f. Build your Lexpertise will be one of the activities at the booth. Attendees can complete a quiz and get a prize.
g. There will be separate Intelligize events, and a Law 360 wine tasting session on the 16th

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.