Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Trump Deregulation Watch: Wolters Kluwer Publishers White Paper-- Bloomberg BNA Publishes 2017 Outlook Reports

Correction: The original post which was distributed via RSS contained a mislabeled screenshot which has been corrected below. The "redliner" is a Wolters Kluwer feature, not a BNA feature. Jean

Wolters Kluwer and BloombergBNA's editorial teams have built their editorial credibility on comprehensive and exacting tracking of US regulatory changes. The incoming Trump administration appears to be poised to shake up the established regulatory framework through both deregulation and statutory repeal. I reached out to executives at Wolters Kluwer and BloombergBNA to find out how they are preparing for the Trump Dereguation Agenda. Although both publishers suggest that preparation for this  transition  of government is "business as usual," both publishers have issued special reports. In addition, Wolters Kluwer is planning some major editorial enhancements to existing products that will make tracking regulatory changes easier.

Dean Sonderegger, Wolters Kluwer's  VP& GM, Legal Markets & Innovation provided a  statement from the WK editorial team:

Wolters Kluwer is poised to cover the legislative and regulatory impact of the incoming Trump Administration with the same level of timely, comprehensive, and objective analysis that has been our mainstay for decades. Ted Trautmann, Editor-in-Chief, states: “Nothing will change in our approach. What is different, however, is the magnitude of the new agenda — from repeal of Obamacare and Dodd-Frank, to massive reform of current tax, immigration, energy, and trade policy, to the rollback of signature rulemaking initiatives of the Labor Department, EPA, and other agencies, as well as many Obama Administration executive orders.” These potential changes, explained in a recent Wolters Kluwer white paper, are so sweeping as to warrant heightened vigilance to help our customers plan and prepare. Whatever awaits, the Wolters Kluwer team of experts is ready to help organizations navigate the changing regulatory landscape.

Wolters Kluwer Regulation Redliner
Right now Wolters Kluwer is not planning any new products to address the change in administration. Their statement underscored "our ongoing commitment to diligently track changes and update our customers as quickly as is possible...we do believe that it’s important to address the workflow that  attorneys and researchers utilize when dealing with legislative changes. To that end, we are enhancing our products that track regulatory events to enable researchers to quickly determine changes to laws, regulations and guidance and comparing those changes to particular points-in-time in the past." In January, Wolters Kluwer will release  an enhancement to the Standard Federal Tax Reporter which they are calling "Standard Fed Plus."

WK Standard Fed Plus -" Point in Time"  Changes

Here is a description of the product from the upcoming press release:
"Standard Fed Plus is a first-to-market, centralized, online product that helps tax professionals understand U.S. federal tax law changes. Standard Fed Plus provides point-in-time analysis that enables legal professionals to see legal tax changes in context, with redlining capability to visually show where changes have occurred at a point-in-time or to compare differences in the laws, regulations, guidance or commentary between points-in-time. It also includes a calendar feature to help attorneys more accurately and quickly research changes in the tax law back to 1986 and on a weekly basis going forward. The exclusive redlining feature of the Standard Fed Plus provides tax attorneys with a solution that increases the accuracy, efficiency and speed of legal tax research to enable them to more quickly understand legal tax changes and provide more accurate tax advice to clients. 

The BloombergBNA Approach: Outlook Reports

I  also asked BloombergBNA's  new President Scott Mozarsky if Bloomberg BNA was making any special preparations for the Trump Administration. According to Mozarsky "Bloomberg BNA’s D.C.-based bureau of reporters and editors will closely track Trump administration regulatory and enforcement changes in all the key federal agencies.   In fact, before the election we were reporting on what a Trump administration might do moving forward. "

Bloomberg Law subscribers will be able to get an early preview of Trump’s agenda in a series of Outlook 2017 special reports, including agencies regulating financial services, labor and employment, international trade, privacy, health care, environment, the tech sector, and telecommunications. Additionally, live events have been planned around several topics that will feature Bloomberg BNA experts and thought leaders (see Bloomberg BNA’s Outlook 2017 website for more information).

Here is the list of Outlook reports currently posted on Bloomberg's Website.

For other topics, in addition to news coverage, Bloomberg Law offers specialized regulatory alerts to monitor agency activities. Mozarsky noted that  the anticipated to the Affordable Care Act  will be tracked in Bloomberg Law’s Federal Health Care Regulatory Alert  and environmental agencies can be closely tracked with the EHS Federal Regulatory Alert.

Bloomberg BNA is also releasing several regulatory trackers following federal and state regulatory activity related to emerging technologies. Bloomberg Law subscribers have access to these unique resources that cross jurisdictions and agencies for technologies that will reshape industries. Examples include autonomous vehicles and fintech.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

2017 Trends In Law Firms and Legal Publishing: Pure Speculation From the Serious to the Fantastic

A few ideas on what we might or might not see develop in 2017....

 Thomson Reuters Predictive. 2017 has to be the year when Thomson Reuters launches a  predictive product for lawyers. Early in 2016 Thomson Reuters rebranded  itself as "The Answer Company." They entered into  a relationship with IBM to gain access to IBM's Watson artificial intelligence technology. Several months ago TR announced a predictive legal product for financial analysts.   TR has remained silent as their competitors large (Lexis/Lex Machina, BloombergBNA)  and small  (Ravel, Ross, CARA,LitIQ) launched a variety of headline  grabbing predictive and AI research products. TR has been quietly investing in their Innovation Labs.  TR owns all the same data which is driving their competitors predictive and AI products... so what are they waiting for? It has to be a predictive product that goes a step beyond their competitors - or they would have already launched it. Perhaps a product that combines transactional and litigation data? Perhaps a product that integrates predictive data into  a workflow/drafting tool? I can't wait to see what it is.  I expect TR to be hosting an especially interesting launch party at the AALL conference in July. I hope I am not disappointed.

LexisNexis Will Not Purchase Any New Products in 2017. They will spend the year integrating all the  premium resources they have bought over the past 5 years (Lex Machina, Newsdesk,  MLex, Law360, Knowledge Mosaic,  Intelligize ...)  into a single game-changing integrated platform. OK I don't think this is actually going to happen - just putting it out there in case Lexis Nexis CEO, Mike Walsh is reading my blog today. I seriously think it is time to stop collecting the crown jewels of the legal market and start building some synergies between these resources.

BloombergBNA will Purchase WoltersKluwer or WoltersKluwer will Purchase BloombergBNA
It has been rumored that Mike Bloomberg planned to give BloombergLaw 100 years to  beat out Thomson Reuters and Lexis Nexis and become the dominant legal information product in the US. Bloomberg Law has been on the market for less than a decade and has faced some serious headwinds. By now, Mr.  Bloomberg  has certainly begun to notice that it is a lot  easier to get an investment bank to sign on to  a multi-million dollar subscription than it is to  slide a million dollar product into a law firm budget.  The zero based budget still reigns  in most law firms, so these two legal publishing giants WoltersKluwer and BloombergBNA  could benefit from combining their product lines. Both publishers have  been dominant players offering regulatory expertise and could gain  additional market share in a legal market competing to anticipate and track the regulatory uncertainties arising from the incoming Presidential administration.

Reinvent Government 1993 Style
The Trump Deregulation Watch  Shortly after  I  moved to Washington DC at the start of the Clinton administration in 1993,  President Bill Clinton launched the  Reinvent Government Initiative which was supposed to dramatically streamline regulation and shrink the Federal Register and the CFR-- the official sources of all US regulations.  I recalled front page photos of  President  Clinton and  Vice President Al Gore posing with pallets  of the regulatory materials they planned to eliminate. Will the CFR actually shrink over the next 4 years?  Let's look at history... in 1993 the Code of Federal Regulations was a 200 volume set. In 2016 there are 248 volumes. So the long term outcome of the earlier "Reinvent government initiative" has resulted in a 25% increase in the CFR volume count in the past 23 years.

Law Librarians will Put an End to Fake News By Creating a "Uniform System of Web Citation." Just as judges toss briefs  which fail to cite authorities for all legal propositions, it is time to require  "news" websites to include cite-able authorities. Law librarians should collaborate on a new publication which  I propose to be called The Uniform System of Web Citation. This publication will include 400 pages of rules following the example of the "Blue Book" Editors. The "Blue Book" rule 18.2.1 on citing Internet sources  provides an  excellent inspiration point:
 18.2.1 General Internet Citation Principles (p. 180)
(a) Sources that can be cited as if to the original print source.

When an authenticated, official, or exact copy of a source is available online, citation can be made as if to the original print source (without any URL information appended). Many states have begun to discontinue printed official legal resources, instead relying on online versions as the official resources for administrative or legislative documents. The federal government is also moving toward increasing access to online versions of legal documents, though it continues to publish official print versions.

(i) Authenticated documents.

When citing to such materials, The Bluebook encourages citation to “authenticated” sources: those that use an encryption-based authentication method, such as a digital signature or public key infrastructure, to ensure the accuracy of the online source. Generally, an authenticated document will have a certificate or logo indicating that a government entity verified that the document is complete and unaltered.

If all fake news authors were required to read "blue book" style rules before posting  any "news" - sheer boredom and mental fatigue alone would dramatically reduce the volume of nonsense posted to the web.
 (Lest anyone mistake this blog post for real news - let me be clear - this is a suggestion -- not a fact.)

Pop Up Law Firms Emerge in DC -  It will be HUGE!
Pop Up Law Firms in DC  Remember the Occupy Wall Street Camps which sprung up in parks around DC in  2011? I wouldn't be surprised 2017 brings  "pop up" law firms to DC.  Law firms without DC satellite  offices know that something "huge" is about to happen in DC and they want to be part of the action.  In a nod to ongoing client demands for efficiency, smart  law firms will gain a DC presence without having to  spring for an $80 per square foot lease by establishing a "pop up" presence on the National Mall.

Every Law firm will Have Robot Lawyer - but they will not be practicing law. This new breed of robot will drive lawyer efficiency by having one function -- they will be  password robots. They will  troubleshoot all password problems and be the repository for all 1,000+ passwords which the average
lawyer  manages in order to access everything from the law firm network, to their  daily news subscriptions, CLE training,  health care accounts, voicemail, meal accounts, travel reimbursement accounts, the spam blocker account, the time and billing account, client extranets and the 500 specialized research platforms each lawyer needs to practice law. Password robots will reduce time wasted on lost passwords, password resetting, trying to remember the password you made up 2 minutes ago because it conformed to the 16 arbitrary criteria required for reset and has no mnemonic qualities,  mandatory password strengthening exercises, clearing cache of old passwords, synching mobile and network device passwords and replacing laptops which have been flung across the office in frustration at the appearance of a random  "your password has expired message."  Password robots are expected to boost lawyer productivity by recovering 10 to 20 hours of wasted time per month which translates into an estimated $100,000  increase in annual billable time per lawyer.

And it none of this happens... there is always next year.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year: Sharing the Magic of a Streaming Wilderness Wonderland

I needed a "DC detox" so I have spent my holidays in the mountains of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Not turning on the cable news. Not watching tweet streams. I ended 2016 with a "living Christmas Card" experience... taking a two hour dog-sled ride... in sub zero temps..in a snow storm... through the wilderness of the Grand Teton Mountains.

I definitely recommend adding this to your "Must Do List."

Enjoy  26 seconds of that ride:

Legal Notice Caveat - I want to warn you that the legal notice  you are asked to sign is scarier than the ride itself. As I scanned the document I noticed the warning of "run away dog teams." I assume that the rest of the list included things like:  avalanches; unexpected encounters with large stationary objects (boulders, trees); unexpected encounters with large  moving objects (snow mobiles, plows); unexpected encounters with wildlife (bears, cougars, wolves), sudden ejection, sled rollover...getting separated from your guide and lost in a blizzard.....helicopter rescue experiences...

Thanks to the Continental Divide  Dogsled  Adventures musher and guide Billy for a fantastic close to 2016!

Happy New Year! Wishing you a wonderful 2017.

Friday, December 30, 2016

2016 in Review: IMHO The Highlights and Lowlights in the Legal Information and Law Libraries

I am sure I am forgetting some major issues and trends but it has been a bruising year for me personally and for the country in general. I am intentionally avoiding politics... too much which is simply inflammatory has been said already.

goodbyeIt does seem as if there was an unusual number of "iconic achievers" passing on -- whether you liked them or not -- Justice Scalia, Fidel Castro, Nancy Regan, Mohammed Ali... all left their mark.  I was particularly saddened by the deaths of ... a favorite author- Pat Conroy; a favorite singer/composer - Leonard Cohen;  a favorite actor - Alan Rickman; and  shocked by the sudden passing of the mother-daughter "odd couple" Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher. I digress...

Here are the  issues that have bubbled to the top as I have reflected on the legal publishing industry and the issues impacting legal information professionals in 2016.

In My Humble Opinion.....

The Most Over-hyped  Legal News Headline: "Robot Lawyers."  oh pul-ese! I routinely talk to legal start-ups and it has become abundantly clear that they could generate months  of hyperbolic news copy if they were marketing nail clippers for lawyers...all they have to do is add the word  "robot"   to their marketing materials.

The Most under-hyped  Feature Award - "Westlaw Answers" is really quite cool and yet not only did TR fail  produce a "robot lawyer" press release, they have barely told their customers that it exits. It is buried on a  Recent Enhancements page.

The Oops Award -   In April Thomson Reuters  alerted  Westlaw subscribers to "non material" caselaw errors in over 500 cases, caused by a software glitch.

The It's About Time Award - Goes to the US Congress for finally appointing a  female to be  the Librarian of Congress:  Carla Hayden. Extra points because the is an actual MLS credentialed librarian,  who had worked in public libraries before being appointed to  lead the world's greatest library.

The  One More Jewel in the Crown Award - Goes to Lexis  for continuing its acquisition strategy by adding yet another high quality product -- Intelligize to it's portfolio of premium content.

The "I Saw Brexit Coming Award"  is shared by Wolters Kluwer  for publishing the first Brexit treatise and MLex for the first Brexit Newsletter.

The "Whoopee Cushion" Award - Is shared by law firms which outsourced knowledge strategy and the consultants who sold them this lame "library solution."  Process can be outsourced, but effective strategic planning for knowledge services requires a seat at the management table. Shame on the consultant-purveyors of this short-sighted,  self-serving strategy and shame on those law firms who bought it.

Don't Mess with Librarians Award - I can't help but think that he was just having a bad day. But David Perla's "Gatekeeper" post on the Above the Law website launched  a  tweet storm of outrage. The post appeared to be an attack on the key decision makers in law firm knowledge strategy and procurement. Maybe there is no connection but....shortly after the post blew up  the blogosphere, Scott Mozarsky replaced Perla as President of Bloomberg Legal Division.

Show Them the Money Award - AALL releases a Digital White Paper "Defining ROI: Law Library Best Practices" offering practical  tools for measuring and defining the ROI  of law libraries written by leading information professionals. (Disclosure - I was an editor of this publication)

The Internet Legal Research Reality Check Award- Sarah Glassmeyer for her thorough  examination of the  risks, quality and content limitations of state legal materials on the open web in her 50 State "census."

Knowing When to Move On Award - goes to American Lawyer Media which I hope will take my advice to have published it's last Annual Law Library Survey in 2016 and replace it in 2017 with a forward looking survey focused on Law Firm Knowledge Services and Strategy.

We are Still Not For Sale Award - Goes to Hein Online for remaining an independent company which produces high value, reasonably priced resources for the legal community.

The Half a Loaf is Better Than No Loaf Award goes to AALL President Keith Ann Stiverson and the AALL Board for salvaging the "rebranding initiative" when the members rejected the "Association for Legal Information" name change. The Board quickly moved to adopt  an updated logo: AALL/Your Legal Knowledge Network.

If any of you want to submit your own awards the  for outstanding/outrageous highlights and lowlights of 2016 I will add them to the list - with or without attribution.

Reader Contributed Awards:

How about the OMG, Sock-It-To-You Award to Bloomberg Law for penalizing firms with modest Bloomberg Law seat license numbers, doubling costs for librarian access, and pumping up the cost of their legacy-to-practice center -Brenna Louzin

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Top Dewey B Strategtic Posts for 2016: In Case You Missed Them

 The most popular posts of 2016 focus on innovative products leveraging Augmented Intelligence, analytics and advanced algorithms to enhance productivity. Another theme focused on the transformation of law libraries and the role of information professionals.

1. Westlaw  answers looks a lot like AI to me. Westlaw releases major new features: and it's all in your contract. 

2. BloombergBNA Maybe the Fault is not in the Gatekeepers but in Your Product Strategy?

3. Breaking news Thompson Reuters reveals non-material case for errors: offers customer remedies: prepare for incoming!

4. Thompson Reuters re-brands as "the answer company" leveraging Watson unveils E discovery point, practice point and perm id

5. Start Stop Survey Product Results: Ravel Judges Analytics and Wolters Kluwer's Cheetah Voted Best Products.

6.  LexisNexis Acquires Intelligize: Intelligize +Lex Machina =A Bigger Data Play?

7. Throwing law firm intelligence out with the books?

8. American Lawyer 2016 library survey: libraries are still shrinking: please rename the survey in 2017 so you can ask new questions?

9. Lex Machina Launches New "Easy Button" Analytics Apps To Compare Judges, Courts and Law Firms

10. Practice point: Thompson Reuters promises trusted answers and workflow tools what the transactional lawyer

11.  Citation fingerprints, celestial footnotes and opinion sourcing: Casetext launches CARA

12.  BloombergBNA Launches Litigation Analytics: Should Lex Machina Be Worried?

13.  Ravel Law Enhances Caselaw Search with Motion Filters

14.  BloombergBNA Leadership change: Strategic Insights from CEO Greg McCaffery, and Legal Division President Scott Mozarsky.

15.  Lex Machina launches antitrust litigation module and  Releases Report on Antitrust Litigation. 

16.  Thomson Reuters Contract Express: Document Assembly Made Easy.

17. The first legal publisher offering the Brexit book is€¦ Walters Kluwer: who will launch the first Brexit newsletter?

18. Free legal information is not risk free for attorneys or the public: the Glassmeyer state legal information census examined.

19.  The first serial legal entrepreneur strikes again: Gary Sangha , Intelligize founder launches  Lex check computational linguistics for legal drafting.

20. AALL Releases Digital White Paper: Defiing ROI: Law Library Best Practices

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas Nostalgia: It's the 75th Anniversary of Bing Crosby Singing White Christmas on the Radio

Bing Crobsy's Merry Christmas album, provided the soundtrack of my childhood Christmas rituals. We decorated the tree and exchanged presents to the sound of Bing  crooning White Christmas,  Christmas in Killerney and Mele Kalikimaka --the Hawaiian Christmas Song

 Until today, I was unaware of how the song  achieved its iconic place in American culture and consciousness.
White Christmas  had been around for a while no one paid much attention to the song until December 25th, 1941.  That was the day when Bing Crosby sang White Christmas on The Kraft Music Hall radio show-- just 17 days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. America was entering  World War II and  Bing's version of White Christmas became  a favorite  request on the Armed Services Radio Network. Today it holds the Guiness Book of Records title for the most popular Christmas song.

This iconic Christmas song had been written by Jewish American songwriter Irving Berlin . Berlin is reported to have told his secretary: “Grab your pen and take down this song. I just wrote the best song I’ve ever written — heck, I just wrote the best song that anybody’s ever written!”

If you have a hankering for Christmas nostalgia watch Bing sing  the song and use his pipe to make chimes ring from Christmas tree decorations--- I forgot about that scene....

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Holidays.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The 4th Annual Start/Stop Survey is Open: Share Your Wisdom With Your Colleagues!

Today the 4th Annual  Dewey B Strategic "Start/Stop Survey" is open. You the readers have provided the insights and trends which have made the "Start Stop Survey" one of the most popular blog posts of each year. . Here are links to the  2013 , 2014 and 2015  product  and process  results.

Take the 2016-17 Survey here.
Let the cheers and raspberries roar. Share your insights into the hope and the hype of legal information and legal technology market. Did your firm hire a "robot lawyer"? Did your team develop an in-house app? Are you driving analytics into the practice of law?

 We routinely assess new products, new processes, new roles,  new organizational options, new expectations.  Let's help each other decide what's worth doing. Let's leap boldly into the future together. Share your insights. What were your victories, false starts or  plain old bad choices. Share your hot tips,  short cuts,  projects and best practices.

Make Room For Value. The speed with which old processes and assumptions become obsolete is accelerating. We can only deliver more value by eliminating or streamlining the routine, the redundant and the unexamined. 
Invest in the Future. Since law firm budgets remain flat, the best  way find the budget for innovative new products, is to eliminate redundant products and low value products.

The Wisdom of Colleagues. In the spirit of collecting the wisdom of colleagues please let us know what processes and projects you  started or stopped in 2016 or will start or stop in 2017. Which products  will be tossed and what have you selected as the "must have" new product for 2017?
Anonymity Results will be aggregated and there will be no attribution to any individual person or organization without the express written consent of the respondent.
The Poll: Please take the brief 9 question survey here.
The Survey will remain open until January 20th.  The results will be summarized and published on this blog. Thanks in advance to all participants.