Goin’ Mobile at the 2010 American Association of Law Libraries Annual Meeting

Mobile applications were the prevailing hot item at the American Association of Law Libraries Conference in Denver this year. I was amazed at how full-featured everything was on the mobile applications. In addition to WestlawNext and Wolters-Kluwer’s Intelliconnect, FastCase has a neat little app for the iPhone/iPad. Lexis was not touting a mobile application for its search application. Word is that New Lexis no called Lexis Advantage, a comparable offering to WestlawNext, will not be available until the Fall of 2011 – this was direct from a Lexis rep.

Here’s an outline of the products I experienced at this year’s AALL:

Westlaw Court Wire

Westlaw Court Wire offers notification and links to newly filed lawsuits for 135 jurisdictions including federal and state courts. West claims that notification of lawsuits “are delivered hours, days or even weeks before cases appear in electronic dockets products.” End users can set up search terms and receive notifications delivered in the following formats/frequency:

  • Daily e-mail newsletter
  • Continuous notify
  • Direct feeds to your mobile device and RSS reader.
  • Westlaw Tab

Scanned versions of the complaints are downloadable from Westlaw. Visit Westlaw for a PDF brochure.

WestlawNext for Mobile

I saw a demonstration of WestlawNext for Mobile and it was remarkable how much can be done from a mobile device. Practically all of the features of WestlawNext are available and you can save searches/results to a project folder on your account so that you can pull them back down from the browser on your PC.

Other mobile apps from West include Black’s Law Dictionary, Norton Bankruptcy Dictionary, CLE Mobile, Reuters News Pro and the Constitution of the United States. West also has eBooks available on the Kindle which can be purchased from the Amazon store.

For more on the mobile app for WestlawNext including an interactive demo, visit this link.

LexisNexis® Verdict & Settlement Analyzer

This new offering from Lexis claims to offer “all” verdicts and settlements in one place. Results appear in interactive charts and graphs that provide information about similar cases and how they were resolved.

Visit Lexis for a video demo.

Lexis Revamp

Lexis has done a revamp of the search interface by simplifying it. Not to the degree of WestlawNext, but they have definitely slimmed it down as far as what appears on the main search page. The interface is more customizable, so that you can have the areas of law and the types of databases you regularly search available on your personal Web interface. They have also expanded the browser window size. All of the top tier vendors at AALL seem to be moving to a more horizontal approach with the concept of wide computer monitors in mind.

As I mentioned above, their full-fledged rewrite of the Lexis search interface/product with the new working title of Lexis Advance is not due out in final version until the Fall of 2011. According to Law Technology News, it will be rolled out gradually.

Expert Witness Finders/Analyzers

Both Westlaw and Lexis have advanced their expert witness products. Lexis with its acquisition of IDEX back in October of 2008 boasts the largest database of expert witnesses at 220,000. Both have Daubert trackers on the experts to indicate whether they have been challenged or not. It’s not quite as sophisticated with signals like Shepard’s and KeyCite, but it’s pretty easy to determine whether the challenge has been overruled or not. West’s product is in report form, Lexis is more interactive.

Cases they have been experts to, deposition and court transcripts and CVs are all linked to the experts in these products.

Visit Westlaw for more info on their Expert Witness Center.

Visit Lexis’ for more about their expert witness product.

Bloomberg Law

Bloomberg Law seems leery of characterizing themselves as a direct competitor to Lexis and West, they would rather be perceived as a niche service provider to securities firms and counsel specializing in transaction and securities law. However, Bloomberg still aspires to going toe to toe with the big guys. They appear to bring a very aggressive New York approach to the legal research business both in development of interfaces, acquisition of content and sales and marketing.

In addition to offering case law, news, Edgar and securities law information, Bloomberg is collecting court dockets and pleadings in rapid fashion. You can search over the dockets using Boolean-style searching to locate the needle in the haystack. Bloomberg also claims to be summarizing each case (head notes) and normalizing the information to make for more targeted searching.

I was most impressed with Bloomberg’s Web interface. They divide most information into quadrants on the screen in the widescreen look that most of the vendors are now aiming for. The user can toggle content into any of the four quadrants and can also choose the content that appears in each quadrant. The result is an extremely customizable view of the content one most requires.

Bloomberg now has a citator like Shepard’s and KeyCite and it has the same type of signals for positive, distinguished, caution, superseded by statute, negative and pending. Bloomberg also offers a Workbench/Workspace that allows you to save all of your searches and share them with others.

A single concurrent user license is $450.00 per month for Bloomberg Law. An enterprise- wide license is also available at a cost of $250 per user per month that allows 20% of the users to be logged in concurrently. These are sold in multiples of five licenses to firms.

Lexis Public Records

Having acquired every imaginable public records company out there, Lexis Public Records now boasts 22 billion documents. Lexis has their own unique ID system that links individuals to public records, so they’re adding some significant brain-power to the mix to identify and link individuals correctly. Their latest effort/offering is for mobile phone numbers. Visit Lexis for information about Lexis Public Records

However, Westlaw’s visual interpretation of public records with People Map visually blows Lexis away.

Westlaw People Map

People Map gives you a visual interpretation of how people are connected through public records. In addition to seeing every public record associated with an individual you can also see by which records they are connected to others such as a spouse.

Vist Westlaw to see graphical representations discussed above.

Westlaw Litigator Tools

I saw a demo of Westlaw Litigator Tools that was featuring the following products: West km, West Case Notebook, West Case Timeline, West BriefTools, West CiteAdvisor and Westlaw Legal Calendaring. The products were tied in a more cohesive fashion since the last time I saw them – at that point most of them were separate products and not tied together at all.

This past Wednesday, Westlaw announced the purchase of eDiscovery company CaseLogistix. The California company specializes in eDiscovery databases on the SQL server platform. It will be interesting to see how West incorporates this product. This is West’s first acquisition in the eDiscovery market and is long overdue. Lexis purchased Applied Discovery some years ago.

For Westlaw for more about the individual products in Westlaw Litigator.

Martindale Connect

Martindale Connect has gone to more of FaceBook look. I hear that there is significant investment in this product with Lexis banking on professional networking as the new way to do business.

Leadership Directories

Leadership Law, the legal version of Leadership Directories, now boasts having every US lawyer and firm in firms of 45 lawyers or more and non-US firms of 50 lawyers or more. They claim to have 60,000 contacts total and the ability to export up to 5,000 records over the course of a year’s subscription. You can search by name, organization and specialty. You can have updates to the contacts you save emailed to you. Contacts can be uploaded to leading CRM systems and MS Outlook. They also claim to have extensive federal and state court contact information. The cost of a subscription for a single concurrent user is $1200.00 per year.

Wolters-Kluwer’s Intelliconnect

Wolters-Kluwer Law and Business last year launched Intelliconnect which places one search engine/interface over all of the CCH and Aspen materials. Loislaw is not part of the product. They use a tree view on the left-hand side of the screen to select content sources and these can also be saved to a favorites’ view. You can select multiple data sources for your search. Their browser interface not quite as slick as say Bloomberg Law, or WestlawNext and does not use the view space as economically as the latest version of Lexis. However, I was very impressed with the mobile/Blackberry version which was laid out much better and offered more targeted views of content and more ease of use. Any search conducted on the Blackberry could be saved to the browser version as well for eventual reviewing/printing back at the office.

Other news from Wolters-Kluwer is that they recently sold off CT Summation to AccessData, but W-K remains a strategic investor. CT Summation joins iBlaze, Enterprise, WebBlaze, CaseVault, CaseVantage and Discovery Cracker suite of products under AccessData.

FastCase

FastCase, a short time ago, rolled out a free app for the iPhone and this past weekend one for the iPad to search their low-cost case law legal research product. The collection includes cases, statutes, regulations, court rules and constitutions. FastCase claims it has 400,000 users and deals with 18 state bar associations to offer FastCase to their members as part of their bar association membership. Their latest offering is that they have some intelligent searching, FastCase Foresite, that finds related seminal cases despite the fact that the term one is searching for may not be mentioned in the related case. An example shown to me was searching ‘busing’ segregation where the term ‘busing’ does not actually appear in a landmark case, “Brown v. Board of Education”.

Conclusion

That wraps up the highlights from the AALL Annual Meeting 2010. Your comments are always appreciated.

DG

~ by CDLB on July 20, 2010.

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