CRIV / LexisNexis SemiAnnual Call

Date: December 2, 2019

Participants: Carolyn Bach (Senior Manager, Librarian Relations and Faculty Programs), Autumn Boyer (Director of Segment Management), James Oakes (Segment Manager), Vani Ungapen (Executive Director, AALL) & Karen Provost (CRIV Board, LexisNexis Liaison)

Requests for Advocacy:

  • Although there were no formal requests to CRIV, AmLaw 200 firms still question why they are unable to renew Law360, Courtlink, AmLaw products and print materials separately without subscribing to Lexis Advance.  Here is the response from Lexis:

While we understand that firms initially had questions about how the products are related, Lexis has made substantial progress integrating the user experience across numerous products since 2018. As of today, LexisNexis Patent Optimizer®, Intelligize®, LexisNexis® Dossier, TotalPatent®, Nexis Diligence™, and Nexis Newsdesk™ have been moved off standalone platforms and on to the Lexis Advance® platform for single ID access, links between products, and back-office administration. Near-term plans include integration of CourtLink®, and Law360®, along with considerably more interconnectivity between products. Customers tell us that the Integration has materially improved their experience across products, rendering some former platforms unusable without integrated permalinks to Lexis Advance and other products.  Customer feedback continues to drive our integration plans, and we encourage members to follow-up with their LexisNexis account representative with any questions regarding their firm’s specifics. Read more details on product integration in the section below.

Product Integration:

  • Integrating our products into a single platform to facilitate administrative convenience and research efficiency remains a top priority.
  • In 2019 we concluded the legacy system decommissioning effort, and successfully integrated Patent Optimizer, Intelligize, Dossier, TotalPatent, Diligence, and Newsdesk into the Lexis Advance Platform. All of this allows users to seamlessly move between more products.
  • In 2019 we upgraded the bulk of our CourtLink customers to the integrated Lexis Advance version, and the remaining customers with complex setups and custom integrations will be upgraded in 2020.
  • In 2020, we plan to integrate Law360.
  • Also in 2020, we plan to introduce to the Lexis Advance platform a web-based version of LexisNexis CaseMap® (currently software based). This will allow for significant integration between Lexis Advance and this trial management tool in the future.

Lexis Advance:

  • Streamlined Lexis Advance User Interface released in August 2019 increasing ease of use. Also included enhancements to filtering by court and relocation of Browse functionality to Explore Content with new Find a Source and Find a Topic tabs. The result is a streamlined home page that’s easier to navigate.
  • Lexis Answers: We also continued to enhance our Lexis Answers offering, adding Expert Witness cards and providing links to CVs and other relevant materials including links to Context and Lex Machina in judge and expert witness answer cards where applicable.
  • Ravel View enhancements: In early December, a visual refresh to Ravel View display on Lexis Advance that will improve accessibility for some visually impaired users and make the data and navigation easier.
  • India and Malaysia primary law were added to Lexis Advance.
  • Alerts Manager: first iteration released. This tool facilitates firm-wide alert and track management by firm Administrators across all Lexis Advance products.
  • Lexis Advance CourtLink – initial wave of migrations from CourtLink to the Lexis Advance platform providing a more streamlined docket solution. This industry leading docket coverage and robust alerting and tracking are still key components of the tool and now it is easier to use and learn than ever before on the Lexis Advance platform – hopefully relieving some of the burden from information professionals by allowing attorneys and other researchers to use the product on their own without much in the way of special training.
  • In Large Law, primary law materials accessed are now $0 from a billback perspective. This change was made based on customer feedback.

Context:

  • The Court module was launched, building further on the Judge module, and allowing attorneys to understand which language is most persuasive in a given court, determine the success rate of over 100 types of motions by court, and more.
  • Users can now share a summary version of the Context report with their clients, co-counsel, etc.
  • The Company module is currently in early testing and will allow users to understand corporate structure, financials, leadership, news coverage, and litigation history in a single interface. This module will be attractive to both litigators and business development professionals.

Lexis Practice Advisor®:

  • New practice areas including: Business Entities, Data Security and Privacy, Energy and Utilities, Financial Services Regulation, Insurance, Life Sciences, Private Equity & Investment Management, and Trusts and Estates.
  • Evolving Guidance – Lexis Practice Advisor and Law360 have been integrated in an innovative and extremely useful way allowing attorneys and researchers to gain end-to-end coverage of editorially selected issues, from the first news stories to the relevant forms needed to practice law surrounding those issues.
  • Deeper integration of Intelligize and LPA allows for “deal point” searching on substantive contract terms in M&A agreements.
  • State Law Comparison Tool – updates and additions to the state law comparison tool continue.
  • Expert forms on Lexis Practice Advisor are easier to export to Word and the alternate clauses and drafting notes our customers love now appear in-line in the document making them easier to understand and employ.
  • Core Documents are now surfaced immediately in several practice areas, allowing users to quickly identify the most useful and most used forms, checklists, etc.

Nexis Newsdesk:

Recent Enhancements:

  • Integration with Lexis Advance – access with Lexis Advance ID
  • RSS Privatization and naming (Firm added RSS feeds visible to firm only)
  • Ability to export Newsletters and share via other internal channels e.g. intranet
  • Ability to receive newsletters through mobile app
  • Sharing Newsletters externally (e.g. to a client) is now available via a subscription amendment
  • Newsdesk Quick Search – new guided search template default for new users.

Coming soon:

Lexis Advance:

  • New products and tools in development: Statutes Compare tool, a brief analysis tool, AI enabled research tools and forthcoming additions to Context These tools are all still in development and we look forward to sharing information with you about all of these and more in 2020.

LexisNexis, Lexis Advance, Lexis Practice Advisor, LexisNexis PatentOptimizer, TotalPatent, CaseMap and CourtLink are registered trademarks, and Nexis Diligence and Nexis Newsdesk are trademarks of RELX Inc. Intelligize is a registered trademark of Intelligize, Inc. Law360 is a registered trademark of Portfolio Media, Inc. Other products or services may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

 

Winter is Coming – and so are Gale Product Enhancements!

Most of us are familiar with the vast array of Gale products. As vendors continue to update and streamline their products to make them more user-friendly, Gale has started a roll-out of enhancements as well. Phase one was completed earlier this year, and phase two, which affects such law collections as The Making of Modern Law: American Civil Liberty and the U.S. Declassified Documents Online, is slated to roll out this month (as of this posting, the rest of The Making of Modern Law collections are still TBD). Enhancements in these roll-outs include improved search results (with better faceting and filtering); a new Explore panel to upgrade the search experience, with tools such as a “More Like This” article suggester; and updated product names — for example, LegalTrac received its upgrade in July 2019, and is now Gale OneFile: LegalTrac.

To learn more about these enhancements, access a timeline of when each Gale product will receive the enhancements, and get a sneak preview, check out the Gale Product Enhancement site.

New, Notable, and Fun: Recent Finds from GPO and LOC

Government websites can be a boon of (free!) information for legal research. For today’s post, I thought I’d highlight a few news items and a few fun finds from the Library of Congress and the GPO.

New: GPO Director

Earlier this week, the Senate confirmed Hugh Halpern as the new Director of the Government Publishing Office. Halpern has held a variety of positions on Capitol Hill over the past 30 years, including Director of Floor Operations for the Speaker of the House. You can read more about Halpern in the GPO’s press release.

Congress.gov Enhancements

In November, Congress.gov added two new enhancements: First, for Senate amendments to bills, you can now see a list of any withdrawn co-sponsors. Second, in an effort to increase accessibility, Congress.gov has made improvements to their search results to make them easier to read for screen readers. You can see all the latest Congress.gov enhancements here.

Notable: CRS Reports on Congress.gov

We reported on this feature in September 2018, but in case you missed it, you can now access a large collection of Congressional Research Service reports through Congress.gov ( https://crsreports.congress.gov/). My favorite way to access the CRS reports on this site is to hit the search button without entering any search terms. This brings you to the index of CRS reports, so you can see the variety of subjects covered. Did you know the Law Library of Congress also creates research reports for Congress? You can access their reports as well, from the Law Library of Congress website.

Just for Fun: Library of Congress’ Free to Use and Reuse Collection

The Library of Congress has digitized large numbers of items in their collections, and have created a Free to Use and Reuse page, where you can browse these digitizations by category. Some collections, such as Veterans, Presidential Inaugurations, or Women’s History Month, might be more relevant to law libraries; myself, I’m partial to the Dogs collection (don’t worry – there’s a Cats one too). Perhaps the best collection here is the Not an Ostrich collection, named after this photo:

“Not an Ostrich” – https://www.loc.gov/resource/ppmsca.40935/

These are just a few of the new and notable finds from the GPO and the Library of Congress. Do you have your own favorite features? Please share!

CRIV-Wolters Kluwer Bi-Annual Liaison Call

Conference call took place on Thursday, November 21, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. PST.  Call adjourned at 10:15 a.m. PST.

Participants:

  • Jenna Ellis, Wolters Kluwer Liaison
  • Vani Ungapen, AALL Executive Director
  • Karen Selden, AALL, CRIV Board Liaison
  • Cynthia Condit, AALL, CRIV Wolters Kluwer Liaision

Agenda:

Wolters Kluwer Programs, Activities, or Business of Interest to CRIV and/or AALL

  • Announcements/Updates:
    • Smart Charts.  At the July 2019 AALL annual meeting Wolters Kluwer gathered a focus group of librarians in the legal field.  Many in the focus group indicated strong interest in the practice tool that creates multi-jurisdictional surveys called Smart Charts.  Based on the feedback, Wolters Kluwer will be making Smart Charts its own document type for searching.  The Smart Charts are currently under development.  There is no exact roll-out date, but expecting it to be sometime in 2020.
    • “Did You Know?”  To increase awareness of some useful products that people may not know about, Wolters Kluwer is providing focused introductions to these products.  Access to products depends on your specific subscription.  In today’s call, Jenna drew attention to a group of over 65 white papers written either internally by Wolters Kluwer or more often by law firms.  The white papers are highly used and well liked.  Some professors attach them to course syllabi.  However, the white papers do not appear in the usual topical area search results.  Instead they must be searched for separately in their own content category under News & Commentary.  When accessed, you can browse and word search the white papers.  Please see the screenshot below for more detail.

WK-WhitePapers-Nov2019

    • Cheetah.  Jenna noted that Cheetah has now been up and running for a full year.  There have been no further outage issues.

Requests for Advocacy

  • One outstanding request – resolved:
    • Question: Why did Wolters Kluwer stop collecting sales tax on tangible items in California since the beginning of 2019?
    • Response: California (and Wisconsin) do impose a sales tax on initial purchase of a loose-leaf subscription (they published the letter ruling).  Sales tax must be paid, according to the California State Board of Equalization, on initial purchases because purchasers are receiving binders, (tpp), with the subscription and the binders are not sold separately from the subscription.  Because the binders are taxable, the entire initial subscription is taxable.  The renewal of the subscription is not taxable because the customer receives monthly updates (i.e., more than 4), and therefore the renewal qualifies as an exempt subscription.
  • No new requests

AALL Programs, Activities, or Business of Interest to Wolters Kluwer

  • Sponsorship contact for AALL annual meeting:
    • The new sponsorship point of contact for the AALL annual meeting is Rocco Impreveduto, Director of Marketing at Wolters Kluwer.

Other Items of Interest — None

Lexis Provides Information on its Dealings with ICE

Today, Lexis sent an email to Law Faculty to explain its relationship with ICE in response to the #NoTechForICE petition. One of the issues that has been prevalent in the past few years is the interaction that the legal research vendors have with ICE, as the agency has cracked down on illegal immigrants during the Trump Administration. The email noted that all federal agencies can purchase access to LexisNexis products under the contract the company has with the federal government. According to the email, ICE has purchased some ancillary public records services, which account for approximately 10% of the contracts reported in the petition. The email goes on, stating “[w]e are not providing jail-booking data to ICE and are not working with them to build data infrastructure to assist in their efforts (emphasis in original). The email also notes that LexisNexis has a contract with ICE, which provides core legal research services to detainees including cases, statutes, secondary materials, bilingual user guides, and immigration forms. The email also stated that LexisNexis does not sell subscriber user information to ICE or any other government agency.

Westlaw Edge Now Has Regulations Compare for Select States

According to a tweet earlier this week, Westlaw Edge has added the Regulations Compare feature to select state regulations. Unfortunately, the announcement does not say which states are included. However, after a chat session where I asked which states were included, I received a response that the following states have regulations compare: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, DC, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. For those unfamiliar with regulations compare or statutes compare, the feature allows users to compare red-lined versions of the regulation showing deletions and insertions. The comparison is done automatically when you select two versions to compare. This saves the user the time that would have been spent comparing the versions manually. Presumably, this feature will be added to all states in the future.

West Academic Acquires AdaptiBar

Back in October, West Academic announced that it acquired AdaptiBar Inc.  AdaptiBar is a bar review supplement program that focuses on getting students ready for the MBE. It has simulation exams, explanations, and subject area analysis. AdaptiBar was founded back in 2003. West Academic has not announced how its acquisition of AdaptiBar will impact either company. For now, both will continue to operate as usual.