Thursday, March 30, 2017

Start/Stop Poll Results: Ravel Law Analytics Voted Best New Product--Lexis Search Term Mapping Best New Feature--ROI Tracking and Research Workflow Tools Emerge as Leading Workflow Enhancement Products

In December I offered readers the opportunity to respond to the 2016 Start/Stop Poll in which they could vote for the best new products and features and highlight the products that they planned to say good-bye to. The results of the process part of the survey are posted here.

For the second year in a row Ravel Law Analytics has won the Dewey B Strategic Readers  "Start Stop Poll" for best new product. Lex Machina’s New Securities Module placed second. Ravel Law tied for best product in 2015 with Wolters Kluwer's Cheetah search platform.
Ravel Law's Court Analytics
 Additional products ( in alphabetical order)  nominated by readers include:
  • Audit Analytics
  • D&B Onboard
  • Docket Navigator which is actually a patent analytics product
  • CARA from Casestext which reviews documents for missing precedent
  • Cheetah – Wolters Kluwer’s new platform replacing Intelliconnect which tied for first place last year.
  • iPad Pro 9.7/Pencil
  • Lex Machina’s Securities Module
  • LitIQ – linguistic analysis of documents
  • Luminance for product review and due diligence
  • Newsdesk – the LexisNexis news aggregation and curation platform.
  • Practice Point

 What was the best FEATURE/FUNCTION added to an information resource in 2016?

Lexis Search Term Mapping and navigation bar was voted best new feature added to an existing product.

LexisNexis Search Term Mapping
Additional features recommended by readers:

  • ·       PDFs of significant complaints included in Court Wire emails for attorney self-service
  • ·       "GRAB A" from Bloomberg Professional
  • ·       Lex Machina Apps
  • ·       Westlaw Answers
  • ·       Practice Point
  • ·       Bloomberg Law's new business intelligence and analytics platform
  • ·       Lexis Predictive Legislation
What PRODUCT did your department/organization STOP using in 2016 or plan to stop in 2017?

The perennial products on the chopping block are  print materials as well as the high ticket Westlaw and Lexis enterprise contracts. As enterprise contracts for Lexis and Westlaw come up for renewal law firms grapple with the challenge of cancelling one and relying exclusively on the vendor. Only one respondent reported taking the sole online provider plunge by cancelling their enterprise Lexis contract in 2016.

Law firm budgets remain flat. The easiest way to bring in a new and innovative product is to cancel an existing subscription. The variety of products listed below suggests to me that resources monitoring platforms have enabled the surgical targeting of under-performing products. Information professionals are taking an active role in the strategic management of digital resources.

  • ·       VC Experts
  • ·       Hoover's
  • ·       RefTraker
  • ·       InfoNgen (news aggregation platform)
  • ·       West KM
  • ·       CCH Cheetah
  • ·       Practical Law
  • ·       Lexis Publisher (moved to NewsDesk)
  • ·       Courthouse News Service Jumbo
  • ·       Checkpoint
  • ·       ROSS
  • ·       Debtwire
  • ·       Intelligize
  • ·       Capital IQ

What NEW INFORMATION/WORKFLOW PRODUCTS do you expect to be rolled out in your organization in 2017?

Electronic Resource Management products ( Research Monitor and Onelog  and Research workflow products  ( Quest and Reftraker)  were the two categories of products mentioned most often as 2017 product implmentations to improve workflow.

Additinoal initiatives include:

  • ·       We are looking at KM products
  • ·       We have purchased a new intranet product and will be rolling it out in 2017.
  • ·       Enterprise Proview for desk books from Thomson Reuters
  • ·       Adding more Law360 modules.
  • ·       BigSquare
  • ·       Single sign-on/SSO/SAML for a variety of our legal research products, to eliminate the need for lawyers to have to enter credentials.
  • ·       Lex Machina Antitrust Smart Tasks
  • ·       Kira
  • ·       Research Hub
  • ·       Clarion  BNA convergence dashboards
  • ·       NewsDesk
  • ·       I'm working on posting some of my technology sessions online using Panopto's new quizzing feature.
  • ·       Courtroom Insights
  • ·       iManage -- Document management system

 What product would you most like to see developed in Legal information technology area?

Improvements to access to litigation analytics from both state and federal courts with enhanced coding to improve strategic insights emerged as the leading product demanded by information professionals.

  • ·       Access to all state court documents online, similar to PACER.  But better, and preferably free.
  • ·       I would love for a way to be able to search across all the platforms we subscribe to, but I would even settle for a way to locate specific titles or products via a search. As long as that search doesn't require us to catalog a vendor's entire offerings!
  • ·       State court complaints and dockets are coming online too slowly.  Disruption would be welcome in this category.
  • ·       More transparent search engines.
  • ·       We need a better financial system for tracking our expenses that goes deeper than our firm's financial system allows.  An invoice often contains many titles, a mix of print and electronic, a mix of book versus subscription, and a mix of individual and department users.  We need a system that enables us to track AND REPORT at the granular level, preferably one that ties to Research Monitor usage and includes contract images, contract terms, licensed user info and more.
  • ·       A litigation landscape tool that would allow you to more easily identify the high value cases (as opposed to the commoditized work) pertaining to a particular company. Lex Machina and Bloomberg are heading in that direction.
  • ·       An easy-to-use "know your client" product that can produce reports and be used by "non-researchers"
  • ·       Something that searches across all of our online subscriptions.
  • ·       A low-cost news aggregator that provides info law schools need (and that we can afford)
  • ·       I would like to see companies continue to improve access to dockets that have not been electronically filed and at reasonable cost.
  • ·       Easier classification of emails into the document management system
  • ·       A biometric device that will eliminate passwords. 
  • ·       Analytics

 What is your favorite app for personal use? (What do you use it for if it has multiple functions?)

  • ·       Shazam
  • ·       PocketCasts.  I can organize podcasts by category (fun and work-related), sort and play podcasts set at specific speeds.
  • ·       Words with Friends.
  • ·       MTA bus time
  • ·       Waze
  • ·        Every Dollar
  • ·        Google maps
  • ·       Kindle app
  • ·       Selfie Editor
  • ·        Tile  app
  • ·       Asana -online team and task management
  • ·       Pinterest
  • ·       Pok√É©mon Go
  • ·       "Find my IPhone" 
  • ·       Gas buddy locates gas stations and  prices on a map.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to share their wisdom and insights with their colleagues.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Augmented Intelligence as a Reference Librarian? Twice as Fast Half as Good... For Now...

Last night I delivered the Gillard Lecture at the St. John's University Graduate Division of Library and Information Science. My presention was titled "Has the Librarian-ship SailedRedefining the Profession in a Post Google World."  I want to thank the program director Professor James Vorbach  for the wonderful reception. It was great to see a contingent of my LLAGNY friends who made the trek out to the Queens campus in the driving rain.  And then there was the inevitable technology glitch. An encrypted flash drive that would not run part of my presentation.

So Here it Is....The Missing "Wow Moment" of My Presentation

This Ted Institute video of Dario Gil on cognitive computing provides a jaw dropping scenario in which  a Watson enabled computer is responding to the types of complex business research questions which are fairly routine in a "big law" research environment.  In this video two business analysts are asking Watson to pinpoint companies matching specific criteria, industry, revenue, size. Watson can automatically populate a table with data after digesting a policy document.   But there is one major difference... between Watson and research specialist.

What About the Contextualizing Questions?
I intended to use the video to launch a discussion about how Watson's performance compared to a live researcher? What would the future role be for Watson? A replacement for the research team or an adjunct "member" of the research team?

Complex research is a dialog. Researchers not only answer questions.. they ask them! This "socratic dialog" helps focus the requester on issues which provide important context for narrowing and focusing the research.

Without Big Data Skillsets - Big Data Could Generate Big Noise

Large data sets will play an increasingly important role in making new strategic insights available to law firms. As illustrated in the video augmented intelligence will speed the analysis once the data is identified. But someone has to select and vet the data. Information professionals possess the skillset required for making sure that "big data" is also "good data."

Here is a short list of those skills:
  • The ability to locate the best and most appropriate data at the lowest cost
  • The ability to assess the quality of external data sources. All information is not of equal quality. The temptation to harvest free open source data could put a firm at risk especially if the data were to use used in advising clients.
  • The ability to assess the provenance of the data.  Is the data from a primary source? Or has it been handled and altered? By whom and how?
  • Expert knowledge of or ability to determine the reputation of the data source.  Is it known to be a reliable source? 
  • The ability to interview the requester and help them to define the scope and limits of their need.
  • The ability to query the data and uncover patterns which suggest the need to ask more questions or pursue additional lines of inquiry.           

Will the Future Give Rise to The Chief Query Officer?

Let’s face it...

In a Big Data world,  everyone will potentially have access to the same data...

In a Big Data world, advantage will be  gained by asking better questions....

In a Big Data world, every firm will be striving to be one question ahead of the competition...

…..And it will need to be the right question!

So will this give rise to the Chief Query Officer?


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Securities Litigation Up 23% in 2016: Insights from Lex Machina's First Securities Litigation in Review Report

Only seven months after launching the Securities analytics module, Lex Machina has published their first  Securities Litigation Year in Review Report. The report examines key trends in securities litigation using data from 2009 through 2016. It also identifies the top plaintiffs, defendants their law firms and outcomes including damages.All cases are coded into one of the five categories of litigation: Securities Fraud (§ 10(b) / 10b-5), CFTC Enforcement, SEC Enforcement Contested, SEC Enforcement Settled Complaint and Shareholder Derivative Suits.

SEC Enforcements With a Settled Complaint

Key findings on 2006- 2016 Trends:

  • There was a 23% increase in securities litigation in 2016 over 2015.
  • Citigroup, Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sacks are the top defendants
  • Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse  were subject to the highest damages (($5Billion each)
  • Approved Transaction settlement resulted int more than $32,5 billion in damages.
  • 25% of all securities cases were filed in the Southern District of New York.
  • Exchange Act violations are the most common cause of action.
Top Law Firms Representing Defendants

 A full copy of the report can requested and downloaded  here.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Rumor of the Day: Is Ravel Law Being Bought by Lexis Nexis? Another Acquisition Without Integration?
LexisNexis has been on an extraordinary spree -- buying up  companies that are almost always the brainchild of a former lawyer and always the product of entrepreneurial inspiration and grit.
The latest opportunity? target? victim? May be Ravel Law...
Sources in the legal publishing industry are whispering that LexisNexis is about to acquire Ravel Law. I reached out to Daniel Lewis, CEO of Ravel Law and he politely responded with a "no comment."

This would signal that LexisNexis is trying to dominate the legal analytics market the way they have grown to dominate the legal news market. Will Justly be next?

Lexis Content Acquisition Strategy? For the past few years LexisNexis  has been collecting legal content gems - Law360, Lex Machina, MLex, Knowledge Mosaic. Instead of integrating them into the massive LexisNexis organization, each company has remained a stand alone operation retaining their entrepreneurial culture, their key talent and their client relationships. The company has stated that core Lexis content is being leveraged to enhance the offering of the smaller companies.  This is a reasonable short term strategy. At some point Lexis should start aligning some of the content synergies to transform the old Lexis workhorse. Are they ready to do that?

The concern I have is that Lexis is collecting without integrating and streamlining. True they were showing of a limited integration of Lex Machina and Lexis at Legal Tech. This integration allows lawyers to see some analytics with their Lexis search results.

Is the "Tan Book" Litigation a Canary in the Coal Mine? Has Lexis Extended Itself Too Far?
I remember "Total Quality Management" business guru Tom Peters once commenting that companies must have a culture of quality. Coffee stains on the airline food trays suggest there might be something wrong with  engine maintenance.  Maybe not logical but   the "tan book" litigation issue does raise the flag of whether Lexis as a company can maintain the quality across their extended product lines. Most baffling is that Lexis asserted in an email to me that the "color books" are being created outside of Lexis. Think about that-- they are not using the massive Lexis data streams which include updates of state statutes and regulations to assure that their annual statutory codes are kept up-do-date. I have visions of people with glue sticks pasting amended regulations over the old ones. Not a 21st century process. It begs the question "why?"

Why Don't they Integrate and Build the Ultimate "Legal Research Service?"
This is the most baffling issue to me. LexisNexis has terrific assets that if combined could be game changing.... I understand wanting to keep the revenue from all of the legacy products but there is no evidence of an intent to integrate the products into a more powerful LexisNexis  platform.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Upcoming Event: Has the Librarian-ship Sailed? Redefining the Profession in A Post Google World

I have been invited to give the William A. Gillard Lecture at my alma mater, St. John's University Division of Library and Information Science.

 "Has the Librarian-ship Sailed? Redefining the Profession in a Post-Google World" will address the dramatic impact of intelligent machines on all professions including librarianship and highlight emerging opportunities for information professionals.

Date:  March 28, 2017
Time: 6 pm
St. John's University
D'Angelo Activity Center Room 416A
8000 Utopia Parkway
Queens, NY 11439
(718) 990-6200

Directions and transit options here.

Hope some of my New York colleagues and readers can make it.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

LexisNexis Responds to My Post About the "Tan Book" Errors Litigation

I received an official response  from Ashley Jefferson, Senior Communication Specialist at LexisNexis, regarding my recent post   regarding the lawsuit filed against LexisNexis claiming that the statutory compilation of Landlord Tenant  laws known as the "tanbook" contains material errors and omissions.

 Here is the official statement:

We understand your concern about the legal publications you use.  

While LexisNexis does not comment on pending litigation, we can tell you that the subject of this litigation (a Matthew Bender publication known as the “Tanbook”) has no connection with or effect on the online legal research solutions available from LexisNexis, including Lexis Advance.  

LexisNexis is committed to delivering high-quality products and services. To that end, we apply multiple-step editorial processes across our full portfolio, always striving to deliver to customers the quality legal content they rely on to be successful.