Let’s Hear it for BNA Law Reports

An extra hour of sleep from the end of DST prompts a bounty of mirth…as do BNA Law Reports! We recently were asked for electronic copies of filings from an L.A. County Superior Court civil matter. Ah, the oft-elusive electronic state court records…Various e-access options exist for L.A. County civil court records. For instance, they can be searched electronically for a fee through the court’s website. Finding them on Westlaw or Lexis’ Courtlink can be hit-or-miss, though Bloomberg Law is a great resource because BLAW uploads and make available those filings previously requested by other interested customers. In this particular instance, while the memoranda of points of authorities from a motion to strike were already uploaded within the BLAW system, a quite recent court order was not. Before leaving the BLAW interface to search blogs and news more broadly, I quickly checked BNA Law Reports. Hooray! Though only a superior court case, it was newsworthy enough to have been covered by BNA’s Patent Trademark & Copyright Journal, which also provided a copy of the court’s order. We heart BNA Law Reports! (Now, if only the filing content from the BNA law reports could be linked directly to BLAW dockets!)

Bloomberg Law is moving up

according to the Heard on the Street column in today’s Wall Street Journal, “Data Don’t Add Up for Thomson Reuters.”  From the story:

 a survey of legal-information customers by Claudio Aspesi of Sanford C. Bernstein in January found that 61% of respondents had a subscription to Bloomberg Law, up from 36% the year before. And some respondents said Bloomberg Law was getting closer to offering a breadth of data needed to completely replace a subscription to Westlaw or rival Reed Elsevier’s Lexis-Nexis.

Bloomberg, BNA and the Brain

Bloomberg reminds me of the character The Brain from the Animaniacs cartoon Pinky and the Brain:

Pinky: “Gee, Brain, what do you want to do tonight?”
The Brain: “The same thing we do every night, Pinky—try to take over the world!”

This is evidenced in the November 28, 2011 issue of Newsweek with its Business Media article “Bloomberg’s Plan for World Domination,” by Nick Summers.

“With a one-two punch of news and data, Bloomberg L.P. has built a global empire over the last 30 years.”  Click on the link above to see a chart of how it breaks down.

The article discussed Bloomberg’s $ 990 million acquisition of BNA and writes that “. . . every lawyer,lobbyist, and lawmaker in the capital depends on BNA’s proprietary data to do his or her job . . . “

Court TV and American Lawyer founder Steven Brill, who once “lusted after BNA,” is quoted as saying, “. . . [BNA] is very high-margin, high-priced, and specialized . . . “

From the Newsweek article:  “Now Bloomberg can feed BNA’s sought-after data directly to BLaw . . . The result: a one-stop shop.”

In my opinion, this one-stop shopping synthesis of information from a rich and wide variety of sources — high-quality secondary sources, all primary authority, dockets, pleadings, crowd-sourced commentary, and more can only enrich the research experience. 

 

The Future of Legal Search

Here’s a White Paper from Cognizant 20-20 Insights (September 2011) that should be of interest to many readers of this blog:

The Future of Legal Search:

Meeting Lawyer Requirements by Delivering More Contextually-Sensitive and Relevant Results

by Ambika Sagar

Some highlights:

Social media, crowdsourced data and other sources of information continue to generate volume and increase complexity.

Leveraging search history, information search providers can start analyzing how lawyers actually search to build artificial intelligence tools for constructing queries based on cases on which a lawyer is currently working.

Deriving context involves analyzing the pleadings to understand the legal issue.

Proactive search is an ideal opportunity to highlight the value of paid content.  By providing relevant free content and abstracts of paid content, the legal information industry can target upgrading of customers.

Better value propositions such as pay-per-result and assistance in discovery of relevant results can improve conversion rates.

Ideally, a single-sign-in, cloud-based solution that provides access to various tools and ensures maximum integration of research and case data with litigation tools will benefit lawyers the most and also help to attract users and keep them loyal to one platform.

Be sure to check out the article itself and its many useful illustrations.

G-20 Materials

Each G-20 meeting has created its own Web site of documents, with varying degrees of comprehensiveness.  No central repository exists of G-20 documentation, but some recent initiatives might help.

Bloomberg Law has started a G-20 Declarations library under the “Global Law” tab.  It includes declarations from the G-20 summits since 2008.
http://www.bloomberglaw.com
Search > Global Law > World Organizations > Group of 20 > Declarations

An open access repository is being created at Archive-It. In addition to final proclamations, it should include preliminary documents and reports from experts and working groups.
http://www.archive-it.org/public/collection.html?id=2592

Bloomberg Law’s discounts challenge information suppliers

“Bloomberg Law’s discounts challenge information suppliers” is the headline to a story in today’s Financial Times (p. 19) by Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson.

The story quotes Lou Andreozzi, the new head of Bloomberg Law, on the company’s efforts to persuade attorneys to consider at least replacing one of their “Wexis” accounts with Bloomberg Law, since Bloomberg’s flat rate pricing (quoted at $ 450 per attorney) is preferable to the “more expensive and unpredictable sums” charged by the competition.

The story also reports how “Bloomberg has recruited ‘hundreds’ of lawyers to create a citation system, which advises users whether cases are still in use, to rival those owned by Westlaw and Lexisnexis.”

The story quotes analyst David Curie who says that “Bloomberg looked unlikely to make big inroads in the short term, but its ‘deep pockets’ made it a long-term challenger.  ‘The pricing definitely is the most challenging and disruptive thing about it,’ he said, predicting that others may follow its flat fees . . .

The story  includes a sidebar, “Legal services industry continues to expand” which includes this information:

Law firms and corporate legal departments once looked to legal research services for basic case law, newspaper articles and public records.

As such information has become more freely available, companies such as Thomson Reuters’ Westlaw division and Reed Elsevier’s LexisNexis have concentrated to turning their databases into online tools to enhance clients’ productivity.

The sidebar goes on to use Thomson’s acquisition of Pangea3 as an example.

Bloomberg Lays Down the Law

From Crain’s New York Business, “Bloomberg LP lays down the law: Financial data giant storms legal research in its typically big way.”

Hilary Potkewitz writes: “The financial data and news juggernaut has quietly hired nearly 500 lawyers over the past year, making it the largest source of new legal jobs in New York.”

What do Westlaw and Lexis make of Bloomberg‘s ambitions in the legal research arena?

““We’re not seeing much of a change in the marketplace [because of Bloomberg]. We’re feeling very strong and comfortable,” says Mike Dahn, chief U.S. marketing and product development officer for Eagan, Minn.-based Westlaw….

LexisNexis Vice President Clemens Ceipek is more blunt. “Bloomberg has a lot of money, and that’s why we can’t ignore them,” he says, “but it’s going to be really hard for them, just like it would be really hard for us to compete in the financial markets.””

The article continues that “cost-conscious law librarians” are taking notice of Bloomberg’s less expensive flat fees and extended free trials.

“The 200 largest law firms spend an average of $2.7 million per year on Lexis and Westlaw combined, according to The American Lawyer.”  How much of that will go to Bloomberg over time?  Other contenders?  Watch and wait….

Bloomberg Law’s New Leadership Team

Here’s the press release:
Leading Executives in the Legal Research Industry Join Bloomberg Law

Lou Andreozzi and Larry D. Thompson to Lead Expansion of Bloomberg’s Web-Based Legal Platform

New York, October 18, 2010 – Bloomberg today announced that Lou Andreozzi has joined the Company as chairman of Bloomberg Law and Larry D. Thompson, PhD, has joined as chief operating officer.  Andreozzi and Thompson will play key leadership roles in the growth of Bloomberg Law, the innovative real-time legal research system from the world leader in data and information services.

In his new role, Andreozzi will provide strategic leadership for Bloomberg Law aimed at driving the platform’s expansion in the legal research industry.  He is widely recognized as a leader in the field of legal research, most recently serving as CEO of IQNavigator, Inc., and is a former CEO of LexisNexis North American Legal Markets.

Thompson will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of Bloomberg Law including go-to-market, sales, content, data and relationships.  He most recently was Senior Partner with The Sterling Group 925 LLC, and formerly served as Senior Vice President at LexisNexis.

“Lou Andreozzi and Larry Thompson are among the top executives in the field of legal research and together they bring extraordinary strategic expertise and deep market knowledge to Bloomberg Law,” said Beth Mazzeo, head of Data Products for Bloomberg.   “With the recent completion of our successful pilot phase, we are excited to move forward with Lou and Larry at the helm.  It is a pleasure to welcome them to Bloomberg Law.”

“Bloomberg Law is breaking new ground in the world of legal research by bringing to lawyers, through the Web, the same innovative technology and analytics that set Bloomberg apart in the financial world,” said Andreozzi. “I am delighted to be part of the team that will take Bloomberg Law to the next level.”

“Bloomberg Law is a formidable product, and I am confident it will change the legal research playing field with its expertise in data, technology and its extraordinary financial news and business analysis,” said Thompson. “Bloomberg Law has the flexibility of a stand-alone product with access to Bloomberg’s world-class resources and delivered to the legal profession in an intuitive interface.”

Constantin Cotzias, who oversaw the successful launch of Bloomberg Law, is returning to London to be part of the senior leadership team in Bloomberg Europe, where he will head Government and Regulatory Affairs and government business development and strategy in Europe. Cotzias played a critical role in shaping Bloomberg Law’s development and the introduction of the platform to over 90 percent of the top 100 U.S. law firms.

In the newly created role, Cotzias will take advantage of Bloomberg�s presence in Europe to expand Bloomberg’s Government Affairs division.  He will help coordinate the Company’s government affairs efforts around the globe, and will help broaden Bloomberg’s product offerings for government.  Cotzias’ team will monitor government initiatives and public policy development globally, assisting the business team and Bloomberg customers in assessing impact.

Andreozzi spent over 10 years at LexisNexis.  As CEO of North American Legal Markets, his portfolio included some of the most prominent legal products and brands including the Lexis online service, Shepard’s, Matthew Bender, Martindale-Hubbell and lawyers.com.  Prior to becoming CEO, Andreozzi was General Counsel of LexisNexis.

Most recently, Andreozzi has been serving as president and chief executive officer of IQNavigator, Inc., a leading provider of services spend management software and managed services, and will continue to play a leadership role in the company.  He also served as CEO of Inference Data, a leading software-as-a-service provider of solutions for legal data analysis and review. He has been a strategic advisor for ValueAct Capital, The Carlyle Group and Bain Capital on large media and technology deals.  Andreozzi is a graduate of Rutgers University and received his JD from the Seton Hall School of Law.

Thompson has more than 25 years of experience as an executive in the legal publishing field, 12 of them with LexisNexis where he rose to the position of Senior Vice President, Business Development, Strategy & Marketing and Global Chief Marketing Officer.  Prior to that, Thompson was Vice President for Sales and Marketing at Shepard’s/McGraw-Hill. Most recently, Thompson was Senior Partner with The Sterling Group 925 LLC, a boutique consulting firm that works within legal and professional markets assisting with strategy, sales, marketing, and business development efforts. He received a PhD in Mass Media and an MA in Telecommunications from Michigan State University and a BA from Montana State University.

Bloomberg Law

Bloomberg Law is the first real-time legal research system that integrates innovative search technology, comprehensive legal content, company and client information, and proprietary news all in one place.  This collaborative workspace also includes a suite of new tools for more effective legal analysis and more productive client development. Bloomberg Law provides:

�         Fast, accurate search results

�         Seamless integration of news, legal content and business information

�         Proprietary legal analysis that interprets key issues

�         Analytical tools that provide greater context to research

�         Unlimited searching, sharing and collaboration

�         Unique information for client development

About Bloomberg

Bloomberg is the world�s most trusted source of information for financial professionals and businesses.  Bloomberg combines innovative technology with unmatched analytic, data, news, display and distribution capabilities, to deliver critical information via the Bloomberg Professional service and multimedia platforms.  Bloomberg’s media properties span television, radio, digital and print, making up one of the world�s largest news organizations with more than 2,300 news and multimedia professionals at 146 bureaus in 72 countries.

Bloomberg Law’s selling point

According to this story in today’s Wall Street Journal (p. B8):

Bloomberg Hangs New Shingle

Financial-Data Firm Enters Legal Research, Challening Westlaw, LexisNexis

By Russell Adams

From the story:

Bloomberg Law says its selling point is the news and company information and financial data it has pulled from the core terminal product and woven into the legal-research materials. For example, if company X sues company Y for copyright infringement, lawyers representing company X can get more than a copy of the complaint and relevant legal history. They get stock charts, patent histories and corporate filings. In addition, the name of every judge and attorney links to a database that pulls up that person’s school, his or her holdings and boards they served onpotential conflicts and case histories.

“We think we can help both the rainmaker and the junior associate with one, eat-all-you-can, elegant, easy-to-use platform,” said Constantin Cotzias, a 42-year-old former mergers-and-acquisitions attorney from the U.K. tapped by Bloomberg five years ago to build Bloomberg Law.

Judge says: Keep this opinion out of Westlaw and LEXIS

 Judges make decisions and write opinions.  Some opinions get published and some do not.  Unpublished opinions get unofficially published in West’s Federal Appendix and very often show up online.   And on infrequent occasions some opinions find their way into LexisNexis but not Westlaw; others are found in Westlaw but not LexisNexis.

Here’s a case that caught my eye while doing some docket searching (I drink POM Wonderful, so that’s why it stood out).

On December 21, 2009 Judge A. Howard Matz, of the United States District Court for the Central District of California, issued an 7-page order in the case of POM Wonderful LLC v. Welch Foods, Inc..   This opinion includes, among other things, a discussion of standing under the California Unfair Competition Act and the California False Advertising Act.  At the end of the document, the judge writes:  “This Order is not intended for publication or for inclusion in the databases of Westlaw or LEXIS.” (emphasis mine)

A quick search of Bloomberg Law dockets produces at least a dozen other orders from this same judge with this same language.

So what about Bloomberg Law.com?  Or Google Scholar?  Or Fastcase?  Justia?  May any/all of them include the order?

Or is it just the strength of the Wexis duopoly and the judge really means he does not want the order published online anywhere.

LexisNexis and Westlaw have been the big players for decades.  But Google really could be a game-changer.  As a review article in the March 8, 2010 issue of The Recorder (“Worthy Adversary”) by Oliver Benn of Google Scholar points out:

If Google wants to devote its resources to addressing its current limitations, the future of legal research could become very different.  Many courts accept briefs electronically.  Why not hyperlink cited cases in the brief to the cases’ free Google pages?

And getting back to POM Wonderful, apparently it is available in LexisNexis and Westlaw, despite the judge’s request that it not be (please see comment from Bev Butula).