“The House of Representatives’ document portal, docs.house.gov, launched in January 2012 with a surprisingly rich and relevant set of data: all bills and amendments (including drafts) that would come to the floor over the next week, and extensive XML metadata about each document and when it was updated. It’s pretty difficult to overstate the value of this data. After all, information on what the House is about to do is vital — to participate effectively in our democracy, you need to have some lead time. The House has doubled down on its pledge to keep innovating, and has begun to release what promises to be an expansive set of committee information. Docs.house.gov’s expansion in breadth from floor proceedings to include committee activities provides significant new opportunities for the public to understand how the House functions as well as a much earlier entry point for citizens to become substantively involved in the legislative process.”
“Sweet & Maxwell, a Thomson Reuters business and a leading provider of legal solutions, today announced the launch of the first online-only encyclopedia that aims to cover the entire law of the United Kingdom. Westlaw UK Insight is specifically designed to offer timely guidance on the law and to promote greater collaboration through its integration with social media platforms. Westlaw UK Insight is a dynamic, web-based encyclopedia that features interpretation and analysis of the law written by experts. Designed to be easy and simple to use, the encyclopedia features an intuitive, topic-based index that allows users to efficiently navigate from broad overviews of a topic down to more detailed statements and research materials, enabling them to get up to speed on a point of law quickly, and then move on to more high-value work.”
The 9th Circuit said Thursday that it will save $350,000 over the next year by processing its opinions in-house instead of contracting that service to West Publishing. Inspiration for the cost-saving measure came from the U.S. Judicial Conference, the court said. The San Francisco-based federal appeals court has been processing its own opinions since early November. “Court staff now manage the process of converting opinions from the original word processing documents into Adobe PDF files, which are then uploaded onto the website, where they can be viewed and/or downloaded by the public,” the court said in a statement.”
Fastcase Announces Partnership with Hawaii State Bar Association to Provide Free Access to Legal Research Library
“Today the Hawaii State Bar Association (HSBA) and legal publisher Fastcase announced a partnership to provide members of the state bar with free access to Fastcase’s nationwide legal research system. This partnership is the latest in a growing number of bar associations that are offering the Fastcase benefit – 23 state bar associations representing more than 500,000 lawyers now subscribe to Fastcase as a free benefit for their members. Beginning December 1, more than 7,000 members of the HSBA will have free access to Fastcase’s comprehensive online legal research system, which ordinarily sells for $995 per member per year. This exclusive bar member benefit provides members of the HSBA with unlimited access to one of the largest law libraries in the world, training webinars and tutorials, and live customer support from members of the Fastcase team.”
“It’s getting much tougher for law firms to get paid back by clients for their legal research costs, a new Bloomberg Law survey of almost 100 firms has found. 43 percent of firms say they have to absorb more of their costs today than they did in 2010. A number of participants noted that an increasing number of clients do not want to pay for online research, a trend they claim started with insurance companies. Firms are significantly more likely to recover legal research costs on litigation matters than other areas of law. Participants feel this is because clients expect litigation to require legal research.”
via Bloomberg Law.
“LexisNexis’ legal division has seen 1 percent growth through the first nine months of the year. The group reported an uptick in both usage and sales of its online research and litigation tools. However, those offset some declines in its print books and listings, according to an interim management statement from the company. The group also said it’s on track with a roll out of a new technology platform and its plans for international releases of the new Lexis platform are moving forward.
LexisNexis is part of Reed Elsevier, a global professional information company.”
“Gone are the days of browsing the card catalogue in the law library, pulling down books and flipping through court reports and textbooks to write down or photocopy pertinent information. Nowadays lawyers search online for the information they need, copying and pasting relevant cases and provisions with a mere click of the mouse. Still, the rise of the internet and the availability of electronic resources have not made the traditional law library obsolete, say law librarians. “Law libraries have always been user-focused,” says Karen Sawatzky, librarian for the Winnipeg firm Tapper Cuddy LLP, “so whether the services requested are in print format or electronic, that hasn’t changed – we help the user find what he/she’s looking for.”
“Thomson Reuters, the world’s leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals, and BlumbergExcelsior, Inc., a leading supplier of online law forms, have signed a strategic licensing agreement which will add more than 230 Blumberg forms to current content on Westlaw Form Builder. The list of forms covers several practice areas including litigation, real estate, landlord/tenant and powers of attorney.”
via Press Release.
“Bloomberg today announced that Dmitri Mehlhorn has been named Chief Operating Officer of Bloomberg Law, the innovative real-time legal research system from the world leader in data and information services. Mehlhorn will join Bloomberg effective October 8, and report directly to Bloomberg Law CEO Greg McCaffery. Mehlhorn has held high-level leadership positions in the legal, research and public policy sectors, including as a member of the executive committee of O’Melveny & Myers and as managing director of Global Research & Operations for Gerson Lehrman Group, where he launched a suite of successful products including several which involved partnerships with top law firms. He most recently served as COO for StudentsFirst, which he helped grow to a 1.8 million member organization.”
via Bloomberg Law
“A new Internet live streaming project in Massachusetts broadcast its first criminal trial this month, but it’s still grappling with who can opt to stay off screen and why. Boston NPR station WBUR developed OpenCourt with a $1 million Knight News Challenge grant from the Knight Foundation. Live streaming at Quincy District Court started in May 2011. At first, live streaming was limited to certain procedures, including arraignments, probation surrender hearings, substance abuse commitment hearings and summary process cases.”