CRIV has published Lori Hedstrom’s (TR Legal’s National Manager for Library Relations) response about the transitioning of titles from Thomson Reuters to West Academic:

During the transition, we have worked closely with West Academic to provide information to customers regarding their individual accounts. Any new orders placed through Thomson Reuters for West Academic titles prior to Dec. 31, 2013 have been or will be fulfilled by Thomson Reuters. Orders placed on or after Jan. 1, 2014 have been or will be fulfilled by West Academic.

We have spoken with Chris Parton, president and CEO of West Academic, and as the product owner, West Academic can answer the specific questions about their products, structure of accounts and any discontinuation of products. For questions related to West Academic, customers may contact their representative at (800) 782-1272 or inquiries@westacademic.com. For questions related to Thomson Reuters, customers may call us at 1-800-328-4880.

I think that sums up TR’s interest in the academic law library market for print resources, don’t you. Building “upon the century-plus heritage of West Publishing,” Lori Hedstrom did, however, provide this link to a complete list of divested West Academic titles. — Joe

William Mitchell has been granted a variance from the ABA’s distance learning rule. The ABA’s decision allows the “law school for the real world” to offer approximately 50% of its curriculum via online classes. From the press release:

Students who enroll in the new hybrid program will be on campus for at least one week each semester participating in 56 intensive hours of realistic simulations and other coursework. Students will prepare for their on-campus work through an e-learning curriculum designed by William Mitchell faculty to integrate legal doctrine with practical legal skills. In addition, students will have the opportunity to complete externships in their communities under the supervision of practicing attorneys. This innovative hybrid of on-campus and online learning will provide new access to those seeking a rigorous, experiential J.D. degree from an ABA-accredited law school.

William Mitchell claims “[t]he variance is the first of its kind and comes on the heels of a draft recommendation by the ABA Task Force on the Future of Legal Education that law schools be permitted to experiment and innovate.”

Hat tip to Alfred Brophy’s ABA Approves William Mitchell’s 50% on-line JD on The Faculty Lounge. — Joe

From the January 6, 2014 notice sent to academic law library subscribers:

We’re writing to ensure you are aware of a change regarding access to BNA (Bureau of National Affairs) publications available through LexisNexis®.  BNA was acquired by a new publisher and at their request, BNA sources will no longer be available on Lexis Advance® and lexis.com® after December 31, 2013. BNA documents saved to a folder or included in an Alert on Lexis Advance, will no longer be accessible.

We understand the value of this content which is why I’m thrilled to inform you that we’re providing access to Law360 content at no additional charge under your current LexisNexis subscription.  Law360 content will be available within Lexis Advance in late January.  Law360 is a premier current awareness publisher providing legal professionals with non-stop coverage of high-stakes litigation across  35+ practice areas. Faculty and students will benefit from the latest news and developments on topics and cases of interest.

In addition to Law360, Lexis Advance continues to have one of the largest collections of secondary content to meet your research needs including

[Yadda yadda]

And there you have it. Really, this isn’t a surprise, right? — Joe

LexisNexis and Fastcase announced that Collier TopForm & File will now be provided exclusively by Fastcase, and will be known simply as TopForm. From the press release:

The exclusive license will bring together the editorial expertise of LexisNexis, a leading provider of content and technology solutions, and the focused product development of Fastcase, an award winning legal software company. LexisNexis will continue editorial updates to the service through 2017, with Fastcase focusing on product development, especially a Web version of the TopForm software tightly integrated with Fastcase’s legal research service. The combination will produce the most authoritative, powerful bankruptcy software on the market.

Under LexisNexis, TopForm has been a CD-Rom product that only works on PCs. With this exclusive agreement, Fastcase will be taking TopForm to the web, adding new features, and essentially refreshing TopForm with smarter tools and technology. See product details at TopForm™ by Fastcase.

Also from the press release:

“This will offer a valuable benefit for professionals in the bankruptcy community,” said Fastcase President Phil Rosenthal. “Integrating the editorial expertise of LexisNexis and one of the industry’s best filing and form systems with Fastcase’s technology and online database will provide every TopForm subscriber with more access and helpful tools than ever before.”

— Joe

“In the spirit of collecting the wisdom of colleagues, I thought it would be interesting to do a poll on what we started or stopped in 2013 and on what we plan to start or stop in 2014. What products did we stop using? what new ones will we adopt in 2014?” — Jean O’Grady, On Firmer Ground

Jean has launched a brief Start/Stop 2013/2014 survey to collect your answers. She will report the findings after the survey closes on January 15th. — Joe

Legal and other professional publishers act as if they believe they have all the content they need. Hence the current goal is to repurpose the content they already have. In Ever Cuddled an Aardvark? Ever Studied Zymurgy? (Slaw), Robert McKay reviews this repurposing trend. Highly recommended.

Of course, what this means is that legal and other professional publishers do not want to spend money to acquire new content (and, in some cases, do not have the editorial staff to develop it). — Joe

“If you live in Canada, January 1st 2014 would be the day when the writings of Robert Frost, W.E.B. Du Bois, C.S. Lewis, Sylvia Plath, and even Aldous Huxley enter the public domain. “O Brave New World, that has such treasures in’t!” In Europe, the works of Fats Waller, Nikola Tesla, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Elinor Glyn, and hundreds of others will emerge into the public domain – where they are freely available for anyone to perform, translate, or republish. All of these public domain works can be freely digitized and archived, so that anyone can find and use them. Canadians can stage their own Chronicles of Narnia, and Europeans can set Tesla’s autobiography to Rachmaninoff’s most intricate passages, all without asking permission or violating the law.”

And what if you live in the US? See Duke University’s annual report, Public Domain Day: January 1, 2014 — The Road NOT Taken, for the answer. — Joe

Bob Ambrogi identifies his top ten legal tech picks. One, the most important one in my opinion, is

Competence in technology turned from dalliance to necessity

In August 2012, the American Bar Association voted to amend the Model Rules of Professional Conduct to make clear that lawyers have a duty to be competent in technology. Specifically, the ABA voted to amend the comment to Model Rule 1.1, governing lawyer competence, to say that, in addition to keeping abreast of changes in the law and its practice, a lawyer should keep abreast of “the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology.” During 2013, we saw several states follow up on the ABA’s action. Delaware became the first state to formally adopt a duty of technology competence and it created a Commission on Law and Technology to help lawyers comply. Massachusetts is considering adoption of this rule. And in Pennsylvania on Nov. 21, amendments took effect to that state’s professional conduct rules to comport with the ABA model rule.

(Links omitted).

For his complete list, go here. Bob asks “What am I missing? What would be on your list?” — Joe

I wrote in LLB’s “Hello World” post … oh, my bad, soon after Mark and I left the Law Professors Blog Network, Blog Emperor Caron deleted all of LLB’s posts, a first for a network blog. So I can’t quote from or link to this blog’s first post. So it goes.

Happy 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,  … running out of fingers to count and type at the same time, anniversary to our loyal readers. All the best to you and your loved ones for the new year. — Joe

And here’s the list.

Opinions for the Court

• Frank H. Easterbrook, Silverman v. Motorola Solutions, Inc., 2013 WL 4082893 (7th Cir. 2013)

• Susan Illston, In re National Security Letter, 930 F.Supp.2d 1064 (N.D. Cal. 2013)

• Brett Kavanaugh, Vann v. U.S. Department of the Interior, 701 F.3d 927 (D.C. Cir. 2012)

• Raymond Kethledge, Bennett v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., 731 F.3d 584 (6th Cir. 2013)

Concurrences, Dissents, Etc.

• Rosemary Barkett, U.S. v. Bellaizac-Hurtado, 700 F.3d 1245 (11th Cir. 2012)

• Elena Kagan, American Express Co. v. Italian Colors Restaurant, 133 S.Ct. 2304 (2013)

• Mark S. Massa, Indiana Gas Co. v. Indiana Finance Authority, 992 N.E.2d 678 (Ind. 2013)

• Milan D. Smith, Jr., Lane v. Facebook, Inc., 709 F.3d 791 (9th Cir. 2013)

Books

• Randall Kennedy, For Discrimination: Race, Affirmative Action, and the Law (Pantheon Books 2013)

• Margaret Klaw, Keeping It Civil: The Case of the Pre-nup and the Porsche & Other True Accounts from the Files of a Family Lawyer (Algonquin Books 2013)

• Kenneth W. Mack, Representing the Race: The Creation of the Civil Rights Lawyer (Harvard University Press 2012)

Long Articles

• Vanessa Banni-Viñas, Correcting a Ballerina’s Story: The Truth Behind Makletzova v. Diaghileff, 53 American Journal of Legal History 353 (2013)

• John H. Langbein, The Disappearance of Civil Trial in the United States, 122 Yale Law Journal 522 (2012)

• Diane P. Wood, When to Hold, When to Fold, and When to Reshuffle: The Art of Decisionmaking on a Multi-Member Court, 100 California Law Review 1445 (2012)

News and Editorial

• Jess Bravin, In Mississippi, a Gray Area Between Black and White, Wall Street Journal, March 16, 2013 (updated March 28)

• Jack Chin, Getting Law Review Fans Out of the Closet: Liptak on Jacobs and Waxman, PrawfsBlawg, prawfsblawg.blogs.com, October 21, 2013

• Brandi Grissom, Trouble in Mind: How Should Criminals Who Are Mentally Ill Be Punished?, Texas Monthly, March 2013

Miscellany

• Stephen B. Kaplitt, Letter to Richard D. Trenk (June 17, 2013)

• David Keating, Letter to Senator Richard J. Durbin, Center for Competitive Politics (September 16, 2013)

• John G. Roberts, Jr., 2012 Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary, Supreme Court of the United States, Public Information Office (December 31, 2012)

• Stephen E. Sachs, Jeffrey S. Bucholtz, and Daniel S. Epps, Brief of Professor Stephen E. Sachs as Amicus Curiae, Atlantic Marine Construction Co. v. U.S. District Court, 134 S.Ct. 568 (2013)

— Joe

Hat tip to Out of the Jungle for James Milles’ Legal Education in Crisis, and Why Law Libraries are Doomed [SSRN]. Here’s the abstract

The dual crises facing legal education—the economic crisis affecting both the job market and the pool of law school applicants, and the crisis of confidence in the ability of law schools and the ABA accreditation process to meet the needs of lawyers or society at large—have undermined the case for not only the autonomy, but the very existence, of law school libraries as we have known them. Legal education in the United States is about to undergo a long-term contraction, and law libraries will be among the first to go. A few law schools may abandon the traditional law library completely. Some law schools will see their libraries whittled away bit by bit as they attempt to answer “the Yirka Question” in the face of shrinking resources, reexamined priorities, and university centralization. What choices individual schools make will largely be driven by how they play the status game.

Joe

Hat tip to Jacob Gershman’s ‘Cultural Cachet’: A New Argument in Favor of Law School (WSJ Law Blog) for Tennessee Law Prof Lucy A. Jewel’s Tales of a Fourth Tier Nothing, a Response to Brian Tamanaha’s Failing Law Schools, Journal of the Legal Profession, Vol. 38, No. 1, 2013, [SSRN]. Here’s the abstract:

This is a paper written in response to Professor Brian Tamanaha’s Failing Law Schools. Much of the book is laudable for highlighting the serious structural, policy, and moral issues confronting legal education today. However, I disagree with several of Professor Tamanaha’s ideas for reforming our system. In this paper, I write from the perspective of a tenured legal writing professor teaching at a for-profit fourth tier school, in fact, one of the schools that Tamanaha repeatedly implies are the problem and not the solution for the legal education crisis.

Part One addresses the idea, which dates back to 1921, is that students at lower-tiered schools should be able to receive a different education (impliedly lower quality) than those students matriculating at higher ranked schools. Part Two counters Professor Tamanaha’s dichotomous view of legal scholarship and teaching, arguing that scholarship and legal theory carry a unique practical value for students, particularly in the context of a non-elite legal education. Part Three considers Tamanaha’s puzzling claim that clinical faculty and legal writing faculty must accept less job security and unequal pay in order to help save legal education.

Part Four of this paper presents an alternative explanation as to why students might choose to attend law school, even with the deep economic hardships involved. In terms of the continuing value of the J.D. degree, both Professor Tamanaha’s narrow economic analysis and the predominant counterarguments (e.g., you can do anything with a law degree!) miss the point that, for many, a law degree carries cultural value that operates apart (but sometimes in tandem) with economic capital. The idea that we should impose restraints on the ability of students to obtain a law degree, if they so choose, is somewhat paternalistic and at odds with the free market aspects of his analysis. The paper concludes by briefly developing social policy arguments that explain why we must work on reducing the institutionalized elitism that afflicts the legal profession and its educational system. Legal education must be reformed. But my suggestion is that we look for ways to make it better – less elitist and less hierarchical – as well as cheaper.

“You want talk about the non-economic benefits of going to law school? FINE! Let’s talk about the social and cultural “cachet” you’ll get, and see if it’s worth all the CASH you won’t ever be seeing again” wrote Ellie Mystal in his 10 Non-Economic Benefits Of Having A Law Degree post on ATL. — Joe

In Another Troubling Future-Conduct Settlement, James Grimmelmann evaluates the proposed settlement in Berry v. LexisNexis Risk & Information Analytics Group. The lawsuit involves the sale of Accurint data to help debt collectors, private investigators, and others “Detect fraud. Verify identities. Conduct investigations.” The plaintiffs claimed that Accurint data includes “the kind of personal information that can trigger the Fair Credit Reporting Act, but doesn’t comply with the FCRA’s other requirements. They claimed that LexisNexis doesn’t give consumers access to their files, doesn’t let consumers fix mistakes, and doesn’t require Accurint customers to comply with the FCRA.” Oops. Grimmelmann’s post is highly recommended. — Joe