LexisNexis Reaches a New Low by Going Full Trumpian on Casetext and Other Low Cost Vendors

“This white paper is presented by LexisNexis on behalf of the author. The opinions may not represent the opinions of LexisNexis. This document is for educational purposes only.” But the name of the author was not disclosed, the paper is branded with the LexisNexis logo on every page, and the paper is hosted online by LexisNexis. The paper is about as “educational” as anything Trump opines about.

In the whitepaper, Are Free & Low-Cost Legal Resources Worth the Risk?, LexisNexis once again goes after low cost (but high tech) legal information vendors using the paper’s critique of Google Scholar to slip in false claims about Casetext (and Fastcase). This is another instance of the mantra “low cost can cost you” the folks in LN’s C suite like to chant on the deck of the Titanic of very expensive legal information vendors.

In LexisNexis, scared of competition, lies about Casetext (June 4, 2019) Casetext’s Tara McCarty corrects some of the whitepaper’s falsehoods in a footnote:

“A few examples: (1) They say Casetext’s citator, SmartCite (our alternative to Shepard’s), is “based on algorithms rather than human editors.” While we do use algorithms to make the process more efficient, a team of human editors reviews SmartCite results. By using both, we actually improve accuracy, allowing computers to catch human error and visa versa. (2) They say Casetext doesn’t have slip opinions. Slip opinions are available on Casetext within 24 hours of publication. (3) They say Casetext doesn’t have case summaries. Not only does Casetext have over four million case summaries — those summaries are penned by judges, rather than nameless editors.”

McCarty’s editorial is recommended. The whitepaper, not so much.  Enough said.

2 Comments

  1. I post Error of the Day on Law-Lib to refute the claims of commercial publishers. A day hasn’t gone by that I haven’t found an error. Some of them minor, typos, some systematic such as scanning and linking, and others major such as the missing language from a statute or history from a citator.

  2. Lexis Nexis is definitely expensive compared to Casetext, but I did a Casetext trial and spent hours comparing it to my LexisNexis plan. Here are my thoughts: Casetext is cheaper, and offers cheaper rates for broader case coverage. That could be huge, especially for single attorney firms on a budget. LexisNexis offers better auxillary products as Casetext offers only a few. LexisNexis also offers Shepherds treatment which is far and above (based on what I experienced) better than Casetexts version. At the end of the day, I do feel that Lexis has a point: you get what you pay for. That being said, not everyone needs a Cadillac so it’s up to the attorney to decide what’s best for them and their research needs. I’m personally going to stick with LexisNexis or Westlaw just because I do trust them more at this point, and still feel like Casetext needs to work on a few things before I’d make that jump.

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