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.

Between a Rock and a Free Site

We are big fans of free and low-cost legal research alternatives here at LRP.  And, we share our enthusiasm with our students in Advanced Legal Research.

But what do you do when there are apparent discrepancies in the free sites that you steer your students to time and time again?

Here is the story:

A professor stopped by the library one day and started off by saying how great Cornell’s LII site is but was wondering about a potential error on their site.

What was the error?

In the Federal Rules of Appellate Practice, Rule 4: Appeal as of Right — When Taken, there is a section dealing with appeals in criminal cases.

In 2009, that rule was modified: defendant’s notice of appeal needs to be filed within 14 days of certain events.  The prior version of the rule required that this notice needed to be filed within 10 days.

The big change: 14 days now; before, 10 days.

As of May 13th, the version of FRAP Rule 4 on LII’s site still shows the text of the old rule.  The top of that page states that it is current through 2007.  (And, not 2009.)

I decided to look around at other important research sites and see what was online.

The Office of the Law Revision Counsel prepares and publishes the United States Code, and on their site (uscode.house.gov) they have the text of the code and the rules.  They also have the wrong version of FRAP Rule 4.  The LII folks work off of the House site, so it isn’t that surprising.  This House version has a currency date as of 1/2009 — the rule was changed in March, taking effect in December 2009.

However, another site at the US House of Representatives has it right.  On the House Judiciary Committee site, they have the correct version of the rule posted on their Procedural Documents page.

The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts has the correct version posted on their Rules page.   I also checked a number of Federal Court websites and all had the current version.

The GPO Access site directs you to the most recent printed, official version of the US Code (2006), so this is out of date.  And, worth noting: “The information contained in the U.S. Code on GPO Access has been provided to GPO by the Office of the Law Revision Counsel of the U.S. House of Representatives.”   But, of course.   Also, FDSys has such a great interface and so much useful information, but it is only current through the last official supplement — missing the current version of this rule.

As to various commercial versions: Westlaw and Lexis have the correct version.  And, FastCase and CaseMaker also have the current version.

However, newcomer on the block, Bloomberg’s BLAW has a 1998 version — very out of date (and still with the 10 days instead of 14 days mistake, among others).

So, what is the right thing to say to your class?  Do we feed the research paranoia, as Bob Berring describes it, where students feel the need to double or triple check everything online on multiple sources?  Or do we frustrate the students with the caveat that sometimes even the best resources aren’t going to do the trick?

This is truly a teachable moment, but not the type of lesson I had in mind.

Bloomberg Law, LexisNexis, Westlaw — New, Improved

From today’s New York Times:

The New York Times, Monday, January 25, 2010, p. B5

Technology

Legal Sites Plan Revamps As Rivals Undercut Price

By Ashlee Vance

Westlaw and LexisNexis, the dominant services in the market for computerized legal research, will undergo sweeping changes in a bid to make it easier and faster for lawyers to find the documents they need.

And in the February issue of the ABA Journal:

Legal Technology
Exclusive: Inside the New Westlaw, Lexis & Bloomberg Platforms
By Jill Schachner Chanen

After decades of Westlaw and Lexis rolling out incremental improvements, real innovation has become the watchword in online legal research. At stake: billions in revenue and a big piece of your computer desktop.

The ABA Journal article quotes yours truly.   A point I was trying to make, but it didn’t make the article, was how useful I find added features such as Westlaw’s ResultsPlus and Lexis’s Related Content.  These features steer students to what could be very valuable secondary source material that they wouldn’t necessarily think to search since many have the inclination to jump feet first into the case law databases.

Bloomberg’s ambitions

A big article in today’s New York Times Business Section, “At Bloomberg, A Modest Strategy To Rule The World,” by Stephanie Clifford and Julie Creswell, includes a one-sentence reference to Bloomberglaw.com:

“On the hunt for new customers, Bloomberg is testing a Web-based product aimed at law firms.”

New article on West Publishing

From the November 2009 issue of Twin Cities Business:  “Thomson Reuters’ Brain,” by Dave Beal

The Eagan business that was once West Publishing now supplies its parent company with the intellectual firepower to outmaneuver Bloomberg and LexisNexis in the financial and legal content wars.

Lede:

There may be no more concise way to sum up the changed nature or ambitions of the former West Publishing Company than what Roger Martin says:  “We are sort of the next generation of Google — without the garbage — for professionals.”

The article discusses how successful the legal division is for the company:

Legal . . . is just one of seven primary business units . . . , but it’s a big contributor to the bottom line.  In 2008, it accounted for 27 percent of Thomson Reuter’s $ 13.4 billion in revenue and 39 percent of its operating income. . . .   In the first quarter of 2009, the legal unit had an operating margin of 32.1 percent versus 20.7 percent for the entire company. . . .

The article goes on to discuss the work of the company’s many “information technologists” and quotes chief scientist Peter Jackson on “the right balance of natural and artificial intelligence is a product-development key.”

One such product is ResultsPlus, which I have found extremely useful at time.  Acccording to the article,

ResultsPlus is built on machine learning and natural language processing, . . . but also central to its effectiveness is that it uses the primary search results — those guided by the user — to shape the secondary search. (The “metadata” fed into the secondary search also include “West key numbers,” . . . ).

Other sections of the article include:

Thomson Sells Reuters and Vice Versa

An Edge on LEXISNEXIS?

Westlaw’s war with LexisNexis has shifted back and forth for a generation, since a version of LexisNexis launched in 1973, two years ahead of Westlaw.  Lately, the clash is tilting in Westlaw’s favor.

Battling BLOOMBERG: Terminals, News, and Datafeeds

The article concludes:

Given potential growth in emerging markets and more opportunities being generated by Jackson’s R&D group, [Peter] Warwick [CEO of Thomson Reuters Legal] puts the annual revenue potential of the legal division alone at $ 14.3 billion — four times Thomson’s Reuters Legal’s revenues in 2008.

But growth will depend on how adept the company is at continuing to add value to its massive collections of data.  Google searches, after all, are free; Thomson Reuters is a Google for professionals who are willing to ante up for it.  As the company . . . has discovered, information itself is merely a commodity in the information age.  Information as a service — infinitely searchable, sortable, and customizable — is what’s in demand.

Bloomberg Law on the Web, an early review

Yesterday I got a sneak peek at Bloomberg Law on the web.  There were some features I really liked, such as the “Workspace,” but overall I was not impressed by the new interface.  The overall style is drab, and I just didn’t see many bells and whistles to compete with LexisNexis and Westlaw.  I was really hoping for more.  And I so, so, so want to see Bloomberg Law succeed and soar, so that we can have a good alternative to the CALR duopoly (alleviating dependency and enabling cancellations as needed).  Competition can be a wonderful thing.

But it was nice to hear the Bloomberg representative tell us that hundreds of lawyers are hard at work at Bloomberg law right now – indexing all federal and New York State case law.  It’s affirming to know that there’s work for some lawyers somewhere!

Unique citation analysis is being done by these lawyers.  The Bloomberg Law citator feature is completely human created, not machine generated.   In addition to citation analysis, these lawyers are writing “points of law” case summaries.

The case summaries are then being fed into the Bloomberg Law digest, which is becoming more than a digest in the traditional sense.  Commentary from other sources — including articles written by judges for the truly excellent Bloomberg Law Reports, for example – is also being folded in to the digests, along with the points of law.  The digest is evolving into a major treatise of American law.

The Workspace, mentioned above, is an online space where users can store, create, annotate, upload and share documents — a collaborative workspace.  This makes amazing sense to me.

Students will like the instant online help feature; and they will actually use the service in its web-based form as it is intuitive enough, and light years better than the existing interface.  The dockets remain the strongest feature for us and will get lots of use.  I would love to see Bloomberg link its docket content to its citator, and the representative indicated that that is a possibility.

But I didn’t see other features, such as “most cited,” or even indexes to statutes and regulations — in fact, the database seems all about the cases. 

Search results are displayed by case lists.  The orange and black screen display is not pleasing to the eye, not to my eye anyway. 

My review is an early one, and based only upon a brief presentation.   The planned launch date is August 3rd, and I plan to study it  in great detail then, and will share my impressions.  So please stay tuned.