Fastcase, Casetext, ROSS and Reconsidering the Sole Provider Option

ROSS Intelligence goes after “legacy” search platforms (i.e., WEXIS) in this promotional blog post, How ROSS AI Turns Legal Research On Its Head, Aug. 6, 2019. The post claims that ROSS supplants secondary analytical sources and makes West KeyCite and LexisNexis Shepard’s obsolete because its search function provides all the relevant applied AI search output for the research task at hand. In many respects, Fastcase and Casetext also could characterize their WEXIS competitors as legacy legal search platforms. Perhaps they have and I have just missed that.

To the best of my recollection, Fastcase, Casetext and ROSS have not explicitly promoted competition with each other. WEXIS has always been the primary target in their promotions. So why are Fastcase, Casetext and ROSS competing with each other in the marketplace? What if they joined forces in such a compelling manner that users abandon WEXIS for core legal search? Two or all three of the companies could merge. In the alternative, they could find a creative way to offer license-one-get-all options.

Perhaps the first step is to reconsider the sole provider option. It’s time to revise the licensing equation; perhaps it should be (Westlaw or Lexis) + (Fastcase or Casetext or ROSS).

1 Comment

  1. It looks like the ROSS blogpost conflates KeyCite (a case citator like Shepards) with the West Key Number system. “ROSS completely flips the hoary inverted pyramid by eliminating the need for human editors to create static indices like West’s KeyCite categories. ROSS artificial intelligence uses its machine learning capabilities to retrieve cases that correspond to the query you’ve selected. That’s more efficient, accurate and comprehensive than relying on cases grouped into categories created 100 years ago by West editors with huge bushy sideburns. ” If the folks at ROSS don’t know the difference between KeyCite and Key Numbers, I’m not sure how confident I am in their product.

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