New from Lexis: Litigation Analytics

If the title of this post makes you think I’ve been living under a rock for a few years, I completely understand. To say that litigation analytics are new to Lexis would be highly inaccurate — LexisNexis has a vast suite of analytics tools, Litigation Profile Suite and Context, to name just a couple, not to mention the case law analytics available through Ravel Law‘s visualization technology — but their newest analytics product, Litigation Analytics, stands out in a couple of key ways.

First, Litigation Analytics is an analytics tool within the Lexis+ research platform, rather than a standalone product. From the Lexis+ homepage, users access the tool from the left-hand menu.

Lexis+ Litigation Analytics - example with Jane Magnus-Stinson of the Southern District of Indiana.

Second, Litigation Analytics offers vastly different information than their next most recent analytics product, Context, which launched a few years ago. Litigation Analytics harnesses the power of Lex Machina, a legal analytics company LexisNexis acquired in 2017, to provide a bird’s-eye view of the caseloads of particular judges, courts, attorneys, or firms. This includes everything from the overall number of cases per year, case types, length of cases, and damages. You also have the ability to compare analytics with another court, judge, firm, or attorney. Context, on the other hand, takes a deeper dive into the behavior of judges, courts, and firms, looking at activity at the motion level, identifying most-cited opinions, most-cited judges, and most-cited language. (My favorite feature is their analytics on expert witnesses. But I digress….)

Lexis+ Litigation Analytics - comparative analytics example with Jane Magnus Stinson of the Southern District of Indiana, compared to the court as a whole.

To dive deeper into the analytics in Litigation Analytics, you can link out to the Lex Machina platform. If you do not have a subscription to Lex Machina, there are advantages and limitations here. The advantage is that you can still look at the data on Lex Machina, even without a subscription to the product, but the limitation is that you cannot do much with that data; it is in read-only form, so you cannot drill down deeper into the data to learn more, without that separate subscription to Lex Machina (see Image 3 as a reference).

Lex Machina read only mode for non-subscribers

Comparisons will certainly be measured in the future between Lexis+ Litigation Analytics and similar products from competitors, but within the LexisNexis suite of products, Litigation Analytics is certainly a powerful new tool, and the fact that it is incorporated into the Lexis+ research suite is an added bonus. If you have access to this product, be sure to try it out. With Casemaker and Fastcase’s recent merger announcement and their intent to focus on analytics as well, it’s clear that litigation analytics will continue to be the development future for legal research platforms. Lexis+ Litigation Analytics is just the next step.

For more write-ups on Litigation Analytics, check out Frank Ready’s article on Law.com , Jean O’Grady’s post on Dewey B Strategic, and Bob Ambrogi’s post on LawSites.

CRIV-Wolters Kluwer Bi-Annual Liaison Call

Conference call took place on Tuesday, December 21, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. PST.  Call adjourned at 10:18 a.m. PST.

Participants were:

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

Agenda:

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

Announcements/Updates: New Practical Content Solution

  • Wolters Kluwer launched a new Practical Content solution this past fall.  Available through your regular Cheetah subscription, the new toolkit provides an intuitive, easy to use Practical Content Dashboard.  As a single point of access to all practical content, the dashboard connects users to more than 20,000 practical content tools and documents.
  • The Dashboard allows filtering by practice area and practical content type so the user can quickly see everything that is available.  The standard Cheetah search functionality applies to the dashboard, as well as each practical content type.  Users will also find the practical content expanded and standardized.
  • The dashboard features SmartCharts, SmartTasks, Guidebooks, AnswerBooks, Decision Trees, Forms, and Calculators, and Checklists.  See screenshots below.

Announcements/Updates: Legislative Tracking Integrated into Cheetah

  • The Federal Developments Knowledge Center (FDKC) has been enhanced with a new range of features and is available on 18 practice area dashboards.
  • FDKC allows users to monitor all newly issued executive actions, proposed bills and rules, enacted laws and final rules in real time across more than 800 agencies and sub-agencies of the federal government.
  • Some specific new features include:
    • Real-time alerts: customizable alerts on legislation, rules, and executive actions.
    • Source documents: FDKC provides quick access to source documents from Congress, the executive branch, and federal agencies.
    • Practice area-specific alerts: users can access synopses, impacts, and next step analyses on legislation, rules, and actions curated by Wolters Kluwer deep domain experts.
  • The FDKC platform allows users to research current laws and regulations and potential legislative changes all in one place.  It is available by separate subscription.

Requests for Advocacy:

  • None at this time; all issues currently resolved.

ALL Programs, Activities, or Business of Interest to Wolters Kluwer:

  • Reminder of annual meeting sponsorship opportunity.

Other Items of Interest:

  • None at this time.

 

CRIV/Thomson Reuters Biannual Phone Call

Conference call took place on December 2 at 11:00 AM EST.

Participants:

  • Deborah Heller – CRIV Thomson Reuters Liaison
  • Vani Ungapen – AALL Executive Director
  • Karen Selden – AALL CRIV Board Liaison
  • Kim Hurley – Information Management Advisor at Thomson Reuters
  • Rachel Torgerson – Customer Success Strategist at Thomson Reuters
  • Rachel Beithon, Product Developer, Litigation Analytics
  • Rebecca Ditsch, Manager, Product Development, Westlaw Today
  • Craig Vaughn, Senior Product Manager, Practical Law

Agenda:

  • Practical Law’s new Health Care Service
    • Developed and maintained by a team with decades of experience in the health law field.
    • Includes 6 topics at launch:
      • Clinical Trials and Research
      • Fraud, Abuse, and Compliance
      • Health Care Entity Formation and Governance
      • Patient Privacy and Security
      • Payment and Reimbursement
      • General Healthcare
    • Includes State Q&A resources, although not all states are available at launch. Information includes:
      • Data Breach Notification Laws
      • Fraud and Abuse Laws
      • Non-Physician Practitioners
    • Includes Multi-State Charts:
      • Physician Licensing Requirements
      • Consent to be Treated
      • Telehealth Requirements for Private Payers
  • Westlaw Edge Litigation Analytics Enhancement
    • Several updates throughout 2020:
      • Interface
      • Active judges pages
      • Additions to Case Type such as public health emergency cases and police conduct
      • Filter to remove MDL cases by default
      • Attorney Finder
        • Search by name and expertise
        • Allows filtering by case type, court, judge, etc.
        • Defaults to motions for summary judgment, but can be adjusted.
        • Allows for comparison
      • Updated Case Type Taxonomy to make materials easier to find and more cohesive
      • Added Damages for Federal District Courts
        • Available from the Courts page
        • Includes civil dockets
        • Data coming from dockets with monetary awards and/or attorney fees or litigation costs. Only dockets where all damages could be determined with sufficient confidence are included
        • Coverage begins from January 1, 2000
        • Coverage varies by jurisdiction
        • Includes a distribution chart with ranges of award in terms of percentage of dockets included
        • Provides a median award amount
        • Monetary awards and attorney fees and costs are separated
  • Westlaw Today, new TR legal news platform, powered by Reuters
    • Accessible in two ways:
      • Via Westlaw Edge or Westlaw Classic using the product picker
    • Includes 30 different practice areas
    • Content comes from several different providers
    • Reuters hired 14 new legal journalists who will contribute to the platform, two of which were recently hired for the service
    • Allows users to submit an article idea via a widget on the homepage
      • Everything is vetted, but this allows for dialogue between the publication and potential authors
    • Provides list of trending companies and law firms derived from recent legal news stories
    • Provides RSS feed delivery
    • For readers with Westlaw Edge, you can click through to the analytics page for attorneys and judges. For users without Westlaw Edge, you will see the person’s profile page
    • Daily Email alerts go out at 8:00 AM ET
      • You can customize alerts to get any or all of the practice areas
      • Alerts can be combined into a single email
      • You can also follow a company in the news
    • The Daily Docket is a Reuters and Westlaw newsletter, which is free and does not require purchase of a TR product
      • Provides a round-up of what is happening (latest news on the courts, lawyers, and legal profession)
    • There are periodic breaking news alerts
  • Updates to Billing
    • Improved communication of billing
      • Also providing electronic invoicing
      • PDF is included in the notice sent out rather than requiring users to follow a link
    • New sale invoice and debit invoice redesign released in May
    • New subscription invoice, monthly account summary, credit note, and pro forma invoices released in September
      • Easier to find the amount due and due dates
      • Clearly displays any payments received
      • Credit notes highlight the amount of a credit and that payment is not required
      • Hyperlinks throughout the document
      • The Monthly Account Statement displays the cleared charges for the previous month as well as any open balance as of the date of the invoice
      • Box at the top displays information about amounts due and due dates
    • Redesign of online invoices coming in Q2 of 2021

New eCFR Platform

The electronic C.F.R. published by the Office of the Federal Register is getting a makeover of sorts. The Office introduced a new beta version of the eCFR in June and continues to seek feedback to improve the layout. The ultimate goal for the new version is for it to become the official version of the Federal Register and Code of Federal Regulations. While this would not replace the print version, it would mitigate the need to reference the pdf versions of the print resources through govinfo, and would instead be treated as an additional official version of the register and code.

To get started with the new interface, the Office recommends beginning with the Readers Aids, specifically the Getting Started page which provides an overview of the new page and features, a comparison with the old eCFR and the search functionality. As you go through the new platform, there will be a “Feedback ?” button in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen which will allow for instant and direct feedback. As of right now there is no timeline for the expiration of the beta platform, so feedback is still encouraged.

In legal tech, complexity is overrated.

A recent survey from the ABA shows that law firms remain slow to adopt AI products. https://tinyurl.com/ABATechSurveyArticle  In fact, just 7% of respondents reported they use AI tech tools, with questions about accuracy and the cost offered as the primary reasons for the slow uptake. Since the survey was conducted in the initial months of the pandemic, this might come as a surprise. As we all spend our days on Zoom, technology adoption has been at the forefront of efforts to increase productivity while decreasing the need for personal interaction. However, the fundamental problem with many of the newer AI legal research tools is that they do not yet replace any necessary steps in the legal research process. Why incur the cost of these programs and invest in learning them without any consistent benefit, particularly at a time when firms are looking to cut costs?

AI products leave us in a conundrum in the research teaching community. As a group of early adopters when it comes to legal tech, we have been disappointed at the lack of transparency when it comes to understanding the search algorithms or the opportunity to experiment with some of these products. There is also often aggressive marketing directly to our students, who don’t understand these products either and come to us for guidance. We want to keep our students abreast of the latest technology that can help them in their legal careers. However, it is hard to teach students about a product we don’t understand.

Legal analytics products (for example, those products that correlate rulings and motion success rates), on the other hand, seem to be getting better law firm traction. However, even analytics products can give uneven results. A recent ABA article highlighted a study by law librarians at two large firms comparing search results between analytics platforms, and discovered wide variations in response to simple research commands. https://tinyurl.com/yyffw7jv . The authors’ takeaway was a familiar one: vendors must provide transparency, training and guidance on the use of their products.

Simplicity may be the key to longevity for all of these products, an idea underscored by a recent story in Legaltech news from Law.com, which describes law firm reluctance to give up Excel for more complicated management products https://tinyurl.com/y562hsvv .  Products marketed with transparency in their database content and search algorithms may ultimately win the day. Such products are easier to teach and inspire confidence in their results.  In this time of Covid-19, when we are all starting to feel tech fatigue, there may be a message here for our vendors. Remember the well-worn acronym, KISS (keep it simple, silly).

Thomson Reuters Unveils Westlaw Today

Leveraging its connections with Reuters news, Westlaw recently revealed a new news product called Westlaw Today. For any academic libraries, you can access Westlaw Today on the product switcher when you sign-in to your Westlaw Edge account or at today.westlaw.com. The homepage provides the latest legal news, attorney analysis, and most viewed articles. There is also a link to submit an article or sign-up for notifications. The service also has 30 practice areas that gather news articles on those particular legal topics.

According to their own literature, news comes from a variety of sources including CQ Roll Call, the Hill, and more. Editorial teams at the new publication include attorneys as well as legal editors who monitor the different practice areas. There is also something called the Daily Docket, which is a morning newsletter that provides the headlines for the day.

John Jay Papers Added to Founders Online

The National Archives National Historical Publications and Records Commission and the University of Virginia completed a project to add select papers of John Jay to Founders Online. The John Jay papers in the collection are derived from the Jay Papers Project at Columbia University’s Rare Books & Manuscript Library.

Founders Online is a fully searchable database of correspondence and other writings from George Washington, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Adams and other members of his family, and now John Jay. Over 185,000 documents are included in the collection. Founders online began back in 2010. Only the works of Alexander Hamilton have been fully completed at this point. It is expected that when work is completed there will be about 200,000 documents freely available. Researchers can search by author, recipient, and even period.

DocuSign Releases DocuSign Analyzer

On September 30, 2020, DocuSign announced the release of their DocuSign Analyzer, which is a contract analytics tool powered by AI. It is an extension of their existing Insight product, which helps with searching through agreements a company already has. Analyzer reviews new contracts when first received and looks for risks within the document relating to legal, sales, and procurement. Analyzer works by breaking down a document into component clauses and then looks at them based on the company’s standards, both legal and business. It will also recommend changes to language used in the document based on a library of pre-approved clauses. Results are available in Microsoft Word, Outlook, and the DocuSign Contract Lifecycle Management Solution.

Fastcase Acquired Judicata

Fastcase announced its acquisition of California based Judicata at the beginning of the month. Judicata is a legal search tool for California state law that focuses on providing precise results by harnessing the power of artificial intelligence. Judicata was founded in 2012. The intention is to use the power that Judicata built in relation to California law and develop it for a wider legal audience. Fastcase is working on development of Fastcase 8, the newest version of its research platform, using Judicata as the underlying backbone. The Judicata team will be joining Fastcase to work on the integration of Judicata with Fastcase.

Lexis Releases its New Platform, Lexis+

Back in July, Lexis began to roll out a new platform to librarians and professors in law schools. As of August, all law students only have access to Lexis+, while professors will still be able to access Lexis Advance until the end of the year. Most importantly, the new platform does not require new registration and set-up. You will be able to log-in using your existing credentials.

The new platform does have a slightly new look. On the research page, you will see a red wave image. When you toggle to different aspects such as practical guidance and brief analysis, the color of the wave changes. The Explore box is still on that initial search page, letting you choose content type, jurisdiction, topic, source, etc. As you run searches and move through the content, many of the pages still have the look and feel of Lexis Advance.

There are several new features on Lexis+. First, when you run a search on the legal research portion, the search will also include any of the materials available on Practical Guidance. Previously, you needed to search this separately. Also, there is the ability to edit your search without going back to the first search box. There will be a little pencil icon next to your search, which can be used to edit the search. Additionally, there is a search tree map that shows you how the different operators you use in your search yielded the results you see. Lexis has also added a new Shepard’s feature called Shepard’s at risk, which provides you with notice when a case you are using itself relies on authority that has received negative treatment. Additionally, the platform now has code compare, which can compare two versions of a statute side-by-side.

As part of the new platform launch, Lexis also announced a few name changes. In the U.S. and Canada, Lexis is removing the Advance moniker from all of its products and will simply be known as Lexis. Further, Lexis Practice Advisor is being renamed Practical Guidance in the U.S. and Canada. You can see more information about Lexis+ from the press release issued on September 14.

Vendor Resources for COVID-19 & Racial Justice

CRIV hosted its annual vendor roundtable at the beginning of July. Several legal information vendors presented on the topic of what they have done in response to COVID-19 as well as plans they had for the future. Listed below are some links provided by the vendors to resources mentioned during the event.

Thomson Reuters:

LexisNexis: Complimentary COVID-19 & Related Resources:

LexisNexis: Racial Equality Resources:

CRIV-Wolters Kluwer BiAnnual Call – Spring 2020

The Spring 2020 CRIV-Wolters Kluwer BiAnnual Call took place on Thursday, June 11, at 10:00 a.m. PST.

Participants:

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

Agenda:

Welcome

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

  • COVID-19 Resources:
    • Wolters Kluwer provides a public page of COVID-19 Resources and Tools.  The extensive, curated list offers Back to Office agency guidance and legal insights, State Bar Association guidance, white papers, legislation, frequently asked questions, links to third-party resources, and information specific to over ten legal practice areas.
    • Wolters Kluwers also offers free access to its COVID-19 State and Federal Compare Smart Chart.   Users can locate curated state and federal content by topic and jurisdiction in a single resource.  View federal and state laws, regulations, and executive orders organized topically across banking and finance, labor and employment/HR and benefits, health and infectious disease and others along with links to full text, updates, and more.  The Smart Chart is updated three times a week.  See screenshot below.

WK-smart-chart

  • Summer Associate Training:
    • Wolters Kluwer continues to offer Summer Associate Training to law firms functioning in hybrid remote work from home environments.  In addition to offering virtual training sessions, Wolters Kluwer has created over 30 new training videos organized by practice area.  The 2-3 minute videos focus on tasks a new associate might need to perform, such as how to pull up a no-action letter.  Selections of videos may be found here.

Requests for Advocacy

  • Cheetah Platform Update: Wolters Kluwer reports that the Cheetah tax content platform update was completed successfully the end of February 2020.  Potential issues with Cheetah since COVID-19 closure of schools may be the result of employees working outside of the normal access points/IP ranges.

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

  • E-book subscriptions.  Cynthia asked if there were any plans for Wolters Kluwer to provide e-book subscriptions for course reserves this coming fall.  Jenna will follow up on this question, which was not on the original agenda.
  • CRIV Vendor Roundtable.  CRIV invited Wolters Kluwer to participate in the CRIV Vendor Roundtable at AALL’s Virtual Conference on Monday, July 6.  The topic is Vendor Responses to COVID-19 and plans for the future.  Wolters Kluwer is interested in sending someone and will forward names on to Deborah Heller.  Karen advised that some questions may revolve around obtaining e-book reserves for law schools in the fall.
  • AALL Virtual Exhibit Hall.  Vani and Karen encouraged Wolters Kluwer to reconsider participating in AALL’s Virtual Exhibit Hall as a sponsor for this year’s AALL Virtual Conference.  Vani will share screenshots and a page from another virtual exhibit hall with Jenna that illustrates what a virtual exhibit hall looks like and how it functions.  Karen noted that law firms and law schools would benefit from the opportunity to have Wolters Kluwer present at the Exhibit Hall event.  Jenna will share the information and elevate it to the appropriate level.  Vani and Karen expressed appreciation regarding continuing this conversation with Wolters Kluwer.

 

CRIV / LexisNexis Semiannual Call – Spring 2020

Date: June 18, 2020

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

 

Lexis Advance® Updates:

  • Non-billable Zones (NBZs): Law firms now have the ability to share “non-billable” links to sources and documents directly with their users. These links can be hosted on the firm’s intranet. NBZs are becoming more popular. Common applications now include an NBZ for summer associates and for attorneys to access specific content in a work from home environment.
  • Ravel™ View has been improved with a color set that is more accessible to our color-impaired users. We also improved the way Ravel View displays on the page so that valuable information from the legend isn’t obscured when a user engages with different aspects of the tool.
  • A project is well underway to merge practice centers with practice area pages and jurisdictional pages in Explore Content to improve usability and reduce confusion and clutter on the page. All jurisdiction pages and most practice areas are complete.
  • Improved work folders: Following the nationwide shift toward remote work due to COVID-19, we’ve been enhancing work folders by: 1) making sure that annotations and highlights added to any document saved in a folder are visible anywhere that document is accessed throughout the system; and 2) ensuring that the version of a document saved in a folder is always up to date with the live document. For example, if I annotate a case and save it in a folder, those annotations will be visible the next time I retrieve that case by citation from the home page; not just from within the folder. If I saved news stories in a folder and the publisher updates the language of those stories after the fact, the version in the folder will be the same as the version elsewhere on Lexis Advance, without my needing to manually update the folder. Similarly, the Shepard’s Signal™ indicators on cases in folders will reflect the current Shepard’s® symbol on the Lexis Advance service, without the need to update manually.
  • A minor enhancement, but one information professionals will appreciate, is a new indicator that makes it easy for users to identify when a source is no longer updated. A small icon that looks like a filing box will appear next to the name of the source in Find a Source, the Source Information window and in the word wheel.

Context Analytics:

In April, we released the Context Company Analytics module, featuring company profiles for nearly 2.5 million companies from around the world. Building on the exclusive legal language analytics in the Context offering, this new module also introduces industry-first news language analytics, allowing users to understand the interplay between news stories and litigation. We’re already seeing Context Company Analytics used by business development professionals as well as litigators.

The Context Expert Witness Analytics module now offers the ability to compare experts by hiring party, top jurisdictions, number of settlements, number of testimonies and number of challenges—right from the results set.

Lexis Product Liability Navigator™:

Perhaps the most exciting news is the recent launch of our newest, one-of-a-kind product—the Lexis Product Liability Navigator. Users can quickly identify relevant regulations, recalls and reports, multidistrict litigation, verdicts and settlements, and subject matter experts, and leverage exciting filters such “case law by theories of liability” or “affirmative defenses” and more. There’s nothing like it in the market.

Nexis Newsdesk™ Update:

  • Search results enhanced to include a default of less filters (ability to expand for more), an article preview button and an infographic to depict trends over time for that search
  • Quick Search rebranded as Simple Search—guided search template for new users
    • Helpful “Remove the Noise” filters added to post-search filters to help further refine results
  • New transfer of ownership functionality to allow administrators the ability to move content from one user’s account to another
  • Alerts merged into newsletters
  • Newsletter export functionality expanded to access the last 30 days of content

ID Migration Update:

Lex Machina® customers can now access the product via their Lexis Advance ID.

COVID-19 Complimentary Resources:

   

LexisNexis® Information Professional Resources:

The LexisNexis® InfoPro website and newsletters have been upgraded. This site is designed specifically for legal information professionals. The new streamlined InfoPro website includes current and archived InfoPro newsletters, research tips, law librarian webinars and additional resources for information professionals. Bookmark the site, and if you’re not a subscriber, click here to subscribe and stay on top of key enhancements added to the products you use daily.

Law librarianship is ever evolving, and so is the librarian relations team. The Librarian Relations Consultants have a new job title, Knowledge & Research Consultants, to better reflect how they support today’s law firm information professionals.  

LexisNexis is proud to be a Platinum sponsor of the 2020 AALL Virtual Conference. We’re looking forward to spending time with you at the virtual exhibit hall.

 

LexisNexis, Lexis Advance, Shepard’s, State Net and the Knowledge Burst logo are registered trademarks, and Shepard’s Signal, Lexis Product Liability Navigator, Nexis Newsdesk and Lexis Practice Advisor Journal are trademarks of RELX Inc. Elsevier is a registered trademark of Elsevier BV. Law360 is a registered trademark of Portfolio Media, Inc. Lex Machina is a registered trademark of Lex Machina, Inc. Intelligize is a registered trademark of Intelligize, Inc. Ravel is a trademark of Ravel Law, Inc. Other products or services may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies. © 2020 LexisNexis.

CRIV/Thomson Reuters Biannual Phone Call

Conference call took place on Tuesday, June 2 at 1:00 PM EDT.

Participants:

  • Deborah Heller – CRIV Thomson Reuters Liaison
  • Kim Hurley – Information Management Advisor at Thomson Reuters
  • Rachel Torgerson – Customer Success Strategist at Thomson Reuters
  • Kevin Lane – Manager, Westlaw Product Development

Agenda:

  • Discussion about some of the billing changes recently implemented and forthcoming.
    • Working to improve communication and redesign invoices
    • Ensuring a more reliable communication channel to customers
    • Increase in electronic invoicing
    • Making it clearer to customers if they are on auto-pay for certain items
      • The invoice more clearly shows that something has already been paid to cut down on duplicate payments
      • Providing 60, 30, and 15 day notices when a credit card that the customer is using for auto-pay is expiring to help prevent past due invoices and collections.
    • Working to reduce the unapplied payments backlog by contacting customers and asking how payments should be applied to their account
    • 3 phase invoice redesign
      • Phase one began in early May and applies to new sale or debit invoices
        • Cleaner
        • Clearly outlines the amount due and the date it is due
        • Customer name and address clearly provided on the invoice
        • Customers will receive a PDF attachment with the invoice in an email so there is no longer the need to go to a separate platform in order to access the actual invoice
        • The invoice will include hyperlinks.
      • Phase 2 is anticipated to launch in the 3rd Quarter of 2020 and applies to Subscription, Credit, and Pro Forma invoices
      • Phase 3 launch date is still being determined after Phase 2 and will include online invoices
    • Customer support information including how to read my new invoice is available online here
  • Quick Check on Westlaw Edge has added a quotation analysis feature
    • It analyzes quotes in legal documents to ensure that they are accurate
  • A new feature on Westlaw Edge that will be rolling out later this summer (August) is Quick Check Judicial
    • Allows you to upload multiple documents from a single matter. So the documents submitted by both parties will be analyzed together
    • Shows the cases cited by each party, cases cited by both parties, and cases cited by neither party
    • Will allow you to upload up to 6 documents at one time and assign each document to a party
    • It will be included with a Westlaw Edge subscription
  • More Practical Law materials will be released towards the end of June
    • Includes a commercial litigation subtopic with over 200 new resources
    • Substantive videos by the Practical Law editors
    • Relaunch of the life sciences topic
    • FDA-regulatory cross practice collection

Ransomware — Stronger Than Ever

Ransomware, the malicious malware that can spread quickly across a computer network, encrypting or otherwise locking down access to data, cost businesses, health organizations, educational institutions, and others millions of dollars in lost revenue and disrupted operations in 2019.

Gerd Altmann/Pixabay

It’s hard to believe that the first ransomware virus was created three decades ago. In 1989, Joseph L. Popp infected 20,000 floppy disks (remember those?) with a virus, which were distributed at a global World Health Organization gathering. Nonetheless, it took another seventeen years before ransomware began to achieve a high level of sophistication.  It wasn’t until 2005 that the first contemporary ransomware programs began to show up. In 2008, Bitcoin’s emergence was a game changer for ransomware cyber criminals by providing a mostly anonymous system of transferring money and making it easy for them to extort their victims.  Since 2011, large scale ransomware attacks have escalated. For a recap of these and other key events and attacks from 2005 through February 2020, see KnowBe4’s timeline.

A lot is written about ransomware. Enter Infographics, one way to obtain a quick and clear visual overview of the current state of ransomware. For example, MalwareFox offers an infographic that outlines the trends and figures for ransomware statistics in 2019.  According to their infographic, desktops were the most infected device (80%), access was gained most often through phishing via email or social media (69%), the major cause of attacks started with careless employees (51%), and 46% of victims did not pay the ransom and instead decrypted on their own or replaced data with backup. The infographic also includes a map that reveals the distribution of ransomware attacks across the world — the U.S. was hit 46% of the time, while other countries or continents were hit less than 10% of the time.

Darwin Laganzon-Pixabay What makes ransomware difficult to deal with is the continuing evolution of new strains of ransomware. If you are interested in learning what the 10 “monstrous ransomware strains that haunted 2019” were, take a look at this infographic from Acronis. Details on each monster strain appears just beyond the infographic. Ryuk, number seven on the list, was responsible for a pervasive attack that halted production at a giant Belgian airplane parts manufacturer for weeks and sent home nearly 1,000 employees on paid leave while the company struggled to restore critical systems frozen by the attack.  The Ryuk virus continues to attack, most recently hitting the Tampa Bay Times in January 2020.

Network file encryption is a type of attack that locks access to files by encrypting them. Vectra AI’s infographic breaks down the victims of this type of attack by industry around the world and in the U.S. The finance and insurance industry is hit hardest in Europe and the Middle East (35%), with the healthcare industry at 18% and energy industry at 17%. Like Europe and the Middle East, in the U.S. the finance and insurance industry is hit hardest at 38%. Education is a close second at 37%, followed by governments at 9%. The infographic also shows where network file encryption has been detected by region.

An infographic from Dropsuite provides additional information on the most targeted industries along with a list of the most notorious attacks since 2013, and the top ransomware infiltration tactics. Interestingly, Dropsuite predicts a five times increase growth of ransomware attacks on hospitals by 2021.

What’s ahead, you ask? According to Comm & Tech Blog’s infographic, ransomware attacks will increase to 1 in every 11 seconds by 2021.  They also predict that 70% of the people who pay ransom will not get their data back. McAfee’s threats prediction infographic describes new directions ransomware attacks will take, including the emergence of cyber criminals merging to create malware-as-a-service families, evasion techniques moving toward the use of AI, and attacks moving to target cloud services. Notable is the prediction of issues presented by voice-controlled digital assistants allowing entry into the home. It looks like ransomware may be coming very close to home. You might want to reconsider buying those smart appliances … or … take charge and learn how to protect your smart home from potential hackers.

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Images from Pixabay contributors: Gerd Altmann, madartzgraphics, and Pixaline.