Category Archives: Products & Services

Progressing from the first mover to the early adopter phase of market penetration, Axiom as a disruptor of the professional legal services industry

Is Axiom the bellwether for disruption in the legal industry? Bill Henderson thinks the answer is “yes.” “Axiom … is on the brink of demonstrating the benefits of the first mover advantage in law,” he writes. Axiom progress can be measured as having moved to the early adopter phase of market penetration in the corporate legal department market sector, the same market BigLaw competes in.

Axiom and large law firms are definitely targeting and servicing the same clientele — Fortune 100 legal departments. The substance of their work is also very similar — sophisticated, complex legal work related to disputes, transactions, and compliance.  But in many cases, the solutions offered by Axiom are radically different.

Bill Henderson, Professor of Law and Director of the Center on the Global Legal Profession at Indiana Univ. School of Law – Bloomington, explains in detail why he thinks the times they are a-changing and why “[t]his is bound to have the beneficial, balancing effect on the rest of us” in this Legal Whiteboard post. Highly recommended. See also, Michael Bonasso and William E. Vita’s A profession on the verge of a paradigm shift? (The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, Nov. 3, 2013).

Do keep “legal solutions” provided by our very expensive professional legal services vendors in mind should you read Bill’s post. See, for example, Managed legal services: the way of the future? by Will Ashenmacher, Social Media Marketer, Large and Medium Law, Thomson Reuters:

Given the large-scale changes that the legal industry has seen even in just the past five years, the next decade or so is likely to be a turbulent one. The role that nontraditional law businesses like Axiom take, or do not take, will be of particular interesting.

— Joe

Box for Legal expands its tools for providing secured content management and collaboration services

“In the past year, Box’s sales in the legal industry grew more than 150 percent as customers like Perkins Coie, Wilson Sonsini and Fowler White Boggs use Box to collaborate internally and externally, manage and share information, and access legal documents on mobile devices,” wrote Nitin Gupta at Box Adds New Partners to Help Law Firms be More Competitive. In addition to being selected as the newest member of the ABA Advantage Program, Box is partnering with Intapp to prove law firms with a bridge between their legacy document management systems, offering a new integration with Guidance Software’s EnCase eDiscovery product, and has added 22 new end user legal app partners to the Company’s content sharing platform for the follow services:

  • Practice and case management: Rocket Matter, Amicus Attorney, Fastcase, Lex Machina and DirectLaw
  • Timekeeping and billing: Chrometa, Bill4Time and SimpleLegal
  • Access to lawyers: Avvo, UpCounsel, Plain Legal, LawPal and LegalReach
  • Courtroom information management: TrialPad, Lora Courtroom, iJuror, LawPavilion and TrialDirector
  • Productivity: iClient, Legal Viewer, Doc Scan Pro and Parallels

Folks might want to check out Box to avoid becoming a captive client of our very large “legal solutions” vendors. See, for example, Bob Ambrogi’s ABAJ column, Thomson Reuters’ cloud platform Firm Central emphasizes integration—at a cost:

The biggest downside to Firm Central is that all this integration carries a price. Firm Central’s base monthly subscription is $35 per seat, which is cheaper than most of its competitors. But that does not include the optional eBillity, which adds another $25. For the other Thomson Reuters integrations—WestlawNext, Westlaw Form Builder and Drafting Assistant—each requires its own subscription.

Even more unfortunate, when you ask what it would cost to add these products, you are directed to a salesperson rather than given a direct answer. What separates Firm Central from the practice management pack is its integration with other Thomson Reuters products. Unfortunately, the only way to get those integrations is through extra subscriptions.

Hat tip to Fastcase Teams Up with Box:

As soon as the integration is complete, you’ll have an option to store your documents to Box and access them on any device or app implementing the secure Box technology. … [T]he possibilities for what you can do with the documents you save from Fastcase are limited only by how those partners implement this technology. At some point you may even be able to sync your case management system with the research you perform on Fastcase as a result of these partnerships.

At Box Furthers its Push into Legal with New Integrations, Bob Ambrogi identifies the end user legal app providers that offer integration with Box now –“DirectLaw, Chrometa, Bill4Time, Plain Legal, TrialPad, Lora Courtroom, iJuror, Law Pavilion Plus, iClient, Legal Viewer, Doc Scan Pro and Parallels. The rest will become available in the first quarter of 2014.”

— Joe

Perhaps there really is something to second generation eBooks

Intel has acquired Kno, a software provider for interactive textbooks. “[T]he main idea behind Kno is that the books are not only digitised but also include additional features to help students and teachers assess their progress, share information with others and generally get more engaged in the content,” wrote TechCrunch’s Ingrid Lunden and Rip Empson about the acquisition. They added

Although the pricing of the deal remains unclear, we have learned that the entire Kno team will be joining Intel as a result of the acquisition — with one notable exception. Osman Rashid, the co-founder and CEO (who is also a co-founder of Chegg), will not be joining the company.

In announcing the deal, John Galvin, VP of the Sales and Marketing Group at Intel Corporation and general manager of the World Ahead Program, explained

Intel has acquired Kno, a leading education-software company whose guiding mission is to change the way students learn. Much like Intel, Kno believes engagement is key to student success.

The acquisition of Kno boosts Intel’s global digital content library to more than 225,000 higher education and K-12 titles through existing partnerships with 75 educational publishers. Even more, the Kno platform provides administrators and teachers with the tools they need to easily assign, manage and monitor their digital learning content and assessments.

My hunch is that the demand for more interactive law eBooks, let’s call ’em “2nd gen Law eBooks”, will come from users who have become accustomed to interactive textbooks during the K through college educational experiences, if not sooner than then. — Joe

Friday Fun: Avoid Evil Otto when playing Berzerk

You can run an in-browser emulation of Berzerk, a multi-directional shooter video arcade game released in 1980 by Stern Electronics of Chicago but avoid at all costs Evil Otto. Alternatively, you might want to play Pitfall! That game was released by Activision in 1982. At the time, it is the second best-selling game made for the Atari 2600 (after Pac-Man), with over 4 million copies sold.

Both and many more early PC-Apple games as well as some early productivity programs such as WordStar, the most popular word-processing program of the early 1980s and the grand-daddy of mark-up coding, plus a 1979 version of VisiCalc, the first-ever spreadsheet program, are available as in-browser emulations from the Internet Archive’s new Historical Software Collection.

Hat tip to Bob Ambrogi’s Retro Fun: Try Out Historical Software (LawSites post). — Joe

Consolidation of major integrated library systems providers moves forward: SirsiDynix buys EOS International

Here’s the Dear EOS Client letter I believe all EOS licensees received last Friday. — Joe

Dear EOS Client,

Hello! This is Scot Cheatham, CEO of EOS International. I’m writing to you today to announce the acquisition of EOS International by SirsiDynix [ed. note: link]. I am genuinely excited about this event and the benefits it will bring to you, our valued client. I would first like to introduce you to Bill Davison, CEO of SirsiDynix. For those of you who are unfamiliar with SirsiDynix, they have been around for over 30 years, and are the world’s leading provider of Integrated Library Systems. You will undoubtedly get to know Bill and the rest of the SirsiDynix team much better in the coming weeks and months. Bill and I want to be the first to welcome you to the SirsiDynix family!

Below, we have included a section of FAQ’s that will hopefully answer some of your most basic and immediate questions about this acquisition. Please take a few moments to review it. While it probably won’t answer all of your questions, hopefully it will give you a basic understanding of today’s announcement, what it means to you and what you can expect going forward.

The fact that EOS is now backed by SirsiDynix is beneficial to everyone involved. SirsiDynix brings a truly global reach, a world-class infrastructure and the solid financial foundation to take both companies to the next level while providing the vision, the products, and the support you need to succeed. With this acquisition, SirsiDynix is demonstrating its commitment to the library market we serve. Collaboration between SirsiDynix and EOS will allow us to apply significant resources to enhance our flagship product, EOS.Web. It will broaden our sales and marketing capabilities, and will help us to continue to strengthen our client services offering.

This acquisition will bring about the following changes. Effective immediately, Bill Davison will take the reins as CEO of the new, combined organization. However, please know that the senior management team at EOS will continue to see to all of your needs. Additionally, I will remain available in an advisory role to assist Bill throughout this transition.

We know that change can be uncomfortable and we appreciate the importance of keeping you informed as we navigate through this transition. To that end, we want you to know that most things will NOT change, including the following key items:   EOS will continue to do business under the EOS name. You won’t see any changes to the fundamentals of the EOS business.

With only a very few exceptions, you will continue to work with the same people at EOS that you have worked with in the past.

There will be no changes to your fee structure, maintenance and other product pricing.

The products and services EOS has provided you in the past will continue to be offered and enhanced. There are no product end-of-life issues, nor product roadmap changes.

Quite simply, the main thing you can expect from this announcement is business as usual. We genuinely appreciate having you as our client, and now welcome you to SirsiDynix’s larger client family. On behalf of Bill and the rest of the combined executive team, we will work hard to earn your trust, exceed your expectations and make you as big a fan of this acquisition as we are!

Sincerely, Scot Cheatham

Several anticipated questions are answered below:

Who is SirsiDynix?

SirsiDynix is the world’s leading provider of integrated library system software. For over 30 years, SirsiDynix has developed, distributed and maintained the most widely-implemented ILS platforms in history. With customers in all four major segments of the library market—public, academic, K-12 and special—SirsiDynix specializes in delivering robust Library Solution Platforms that are highly customizable, extremely efficient and designed to seamlessly deliver both physical and electronic content.

Why did EOS sell to SD?

Two of our core principles at EOS are We Care and We Love Growth. We are committed to the success of our stakeholders – our staff, partners and most especially, our clients. We are also committed to growth that benefits our stakeholders. With that in mind, we decided that partnering with SD will provide the broad infrastructure, solid financial foundation and significant growth opportunities that will ensure continued success for our world-class products clients.

Will I need to switch platforms?

Clients will not need to switch platforms. EOS will continue to support all of the products it currently supports.

How does this announcement affect the EOS product roadmap?

Our product roadmap will continue as currently planned. Jeff Goodwin, our VP of Product Development, will continue to lead our development team as we implement our extensive product enhancement schedule. One of the benefits of EOS being backed by SD is that new product enhancements and features will be added to our roadmap that will bring significant benefits for EOS clients.

How does it affect EOS support?

EOS product support services and offerings will continue unabated. Jeff Smith, VP of Client Services, will continue to manage our award-winning product support team. All of the services that clients have come to appreciate over the years will be maintained. Our Service Guarantee and 24/7/365 support availability will continue with no changes. You will call the same telephone numbers, use the same email addresses, and reach the same friendly EOS client service staff.

Will there be any changes in sales?

Sal Provenza, VP of Global Sales and Marketing will continue to lead our sales and marketing effort. You will continue to work with your existing sales account manager. All EOS sales proposals and license renewal proposals do not change as a result of this transaction.

Any changes in EOS contact information?

You will call the same telephone numbers, use the same email addresses and EOS will have the same headquarters address.

Will there be any changes in the terms of my contract?

All contract terms will remain the same. In some cases there is an ‘Assignment’ or ‘Change in Control’ provision that requires assignment of the contract. An EOS representative will be in touch with you in case such a provision is in your contract.

How will this announcement affect my library?

Our goal is for this acquisition to have only positive benefits for your library. Business, product development, and operational best practices at SD will be implemented at EOS where practical and beneficial. Collaboration between SD and EOS will help enhance our client services and accelerate product enhancements. Best of all, the same EOS team will be there for you, helping you use our products to “Connect People to Knowledge!”

Ambrogi on Tech

The ABAJ has launched a new monthly column called “Ambrogi on Tech.” Bob Ambrogi’s first column is a review of the Thomson Reuters practice-management platform Firm Central. See Thomson Reuters’ cloud platform Firm Central emphasizes integration—at a cost. — Joe

Annotating oral arguments

“It’s always interesting to see how a lawyer’s oral argument marries up to their briefing, and for me, it helps give greater context to the points,” wrote Jason Wilson at The Annotated Oral Argument: Tucker v. Thomas (#SCOTX). Check out his example of annotating an oral argument  conducted before the Supreme Court of Texas. (NB: the annotation links to open source texts of court opinions and statutory code sections.) He adds, “If y’all like these annotated arguments, I can start posting more here or on Annotations.”

I think Jason is onto something here. While I have little need for Lone Star State annotated oral arguments here in the Buckeye State, I think e-publishing high court annotated oral arguments by an editorial staff that actually knows something (and links to open or opened resources) is a great idea. Hell, that’s why I buy Jones McClure’s annotated federal codes instead of … well, you know.

I would be very interested in annotated US Supreme Court oral arguments, ditto for the Supreme Court of Ohio, if produced by a reliable publisher like Jones McClure. At the SCOTUS level, who might that be? Hint — who is the sponsor of SCOTUSblog and the publisher of USLW?

Joe

How do vendor and publisher practices affect your collections?

Starting at slide 11, Bess Reynolds, Technical Services Manager, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, addresses pain points, budgetary concerns and the failure of vendors to develop library management tools, issues all law libraries, large and small in the private and public sectors, face in acquiring and maintaining today’s digital resources. From her Oct. 4, 2013 presentation at LLNE’s Fall Meeting, “Acquiring and Maintaining Resources for the New Collection” [complete stack below], pain points include:

  • Substituting digital formats for print without proper notice;
  • Digital versions of print serials that circulated to many may come with a prohibitively high single user price tag; and
  • Creating proprietary platforms for eBooks thwarting single silo for discovery

With respect to vendors failing to develop library management tools, Bess notes that busy lawyers don’t have time to register themselves on web sites, manage their passwords and learn new platforms. Internal IT department restrictions designed to protect an institution’s network results in attorneys and librarians not able to install applications or vendor plug-ins. And, of course, any new vendor software scheme requires extensive in-house testing.

It is “important for publishers to hear directly from their customers” because official AALL vendor relations dogma maintains that “we don’t all have the same needs and perspectives.” I believe Bess Reynolds’ presentation underscores that working law librarians are grappling with the same issues regardless of their institutional setting when it comes to acquiring and maintaining resources for the new normal in collection development. — Joe

Tom Glocer, remember him?, on the 30th anniversary of simulating pre-trial discovery

On Tom Glocer’s blog, former TRI CEO Tom Glocer returned to the day, some 30 years ago, when he and fellow Yale LS classmate, Ron Wright, launched a computer game at YLS that was designed to be a teaching aid for pre-trial discovery. The program apparently was well received at Yale. It even made the New York Times. Glocer republished the article in his 30th Anniversary Post – Can Computers Teach the Law? post. [Glitchy direct link warning; hence the above link to the blog’s front page.] From Computer Gives Yale Law Students a Taste of Court Process (NYT, Dec. 25, 1983):

Professor Fiss, one of Yale’s three professors teaching civil procedure this semester, is replacing what was a written exercise with a computer game created by Mr. Glocer and Mr. Wright. Process of Discovery.

OK, so the NYT article was Christmas Day newspaper fodder. Still, it’s too bad Glocer didn’t bring that sort of innovation to the table at Thomson Reuters. Then again, WEXIS is the cemetery for innovative thinkers. Perhaps he tried.

Dear Tom,

Don’t know about your non-compete clause but … why not start up an Etsy eCommerce site for one-off  e-“legal solutions” like altSEs, apps, etc., handmade by legal technologists? My hunch is many of those creative folks wouldn’t mind giving you a 4% sales commission for the exposure they might get from a legal Etsy site.

Your pal, Joe

The transactional desktop as a battleground for very expensive professional legal services vendors

Hat tip to Jean O’Grady for calling attention to yesterday’s re-launch of the product now known as “Business Law Center on WestlawNext.” After giving a brief history of Thomson Reuters’ many bungled attempts since acquiring Global Securities Information (GSI) in 2005, Jean provides an overview of Business Law Center and comments on this development.

This relaunch is surely about regaining lost “good will” and reinforcing credibility in the corporate practice space. But I suspect that the Business Center is a beachhead from which a greater initiative will be launched. It is becoming increasingly clear that as content has become commoditized, the large legal publishers will maintain their growth and advantage by providing more integrated content, enhancing context and folding content into tools for process improvement.

In this case, the battleground is for control of the transactional desktop. See Thomson Reuters Re-Launches Westlaw Business (Again): The Business Law Center and the Next Great Battle for the Corporate Lawyer’s Desktop on Dewey B Strategic. Highly recommended.

If interested, see also TR’s press release, Thomson Reuters Introduces Business Law Center on WestlawNext: Next generation of business law research supported by Experts On-Call dedicated research assistance, and its companion podcast discussing Experts On-Call.

Joe

“For ABA GP Solo Conference Attendees, Solo Attorneys & Small Law Firms”

The title of this post is taken from the sign-up page of LexisNexis’s promotional offer for its Firm Manager practice management platform. The link to the promo was provided in one of Bob Ambrogi’s LawSites posts (Oct. 3, 2013; updated twice on Oct. 4, 2013). Why the updates? I think because someone at the ABA needs to get a life.

If a vendor offers a promo to members of an ABA section in conjunction with the section’s national conference does that imply the ABA endorses the vendor’s product? Of course not. Certainly Bob didn’t think so until he received a take down notice from the ABA’s general counsel’s office. For details, see Bob’s twice updated LexisNexis is Giving $250,000 in Free ‘Firm Manager’ Subscriptions to Small Firms.

Joe

Putting the squeeze on WEXIS

Since DLA Piper and Jones Day, we haven’t seen any announcements about BLaw signing up entire BigLaw firm staffs in the news. Perhaps I missed them. However, I’m sure there are plenty of BigLaw firms licensing BLaw under limited seat agreements. No doubt BLaw is putting the squeeze on WEXIS. So is Fastcase.

The New York State Bar Association, the largest voluntary state bar association in the country, is now offering Fastcase to its 76,000 members. Quoting from the Sept. 25, 2013 press release:

This is the new normal, when New York firms are absorbing their legal research costs as overhead, and firms of all sizes are looking to add a nonbillable ‘house account’ for legal research,” said Fastcase President Phil Rosenthal. “This partnership makes the NYSBA and Fastcase a better value than ever for New York firms, because they can reduce the costs of legal research and they can do so with the world’s smartest legal research tools.”

The Fastcase-NYSBA agreement pushes Fastcase’s user population over the 600,000 mark. Unlike Casemaker, Fastcase’s adoption rate extends well beyond the state bar association market.

Joe

LexisNexis, Dun & Bradstreet and other data brokers hacked by identity theft service

A seven-month investigation by KrebsOnSecurity revealed that more than 1,300 customers of SSNDOB, an ID theft service, spent hundreds of thousands of dollars looking up SSNs, birthdates, and driver license records and unauthorized credit and background reports obtained by hacking into LexisNexis, D&B and other major data brokers. The finding is based on a copy of the SSNDOB database that became available after the ID theft service was itself hacked.

According to the SSNDOB’s online dashboard, the hackers had access to LN’s internal networks as far back as April 10, 2013 and D&B’s at least as far back as March 27, 2013. For details, see KrebsOnSecurity’s Data Broker Giants Hacked by ID Theft Service. See also Dan Goodin’s How LexisNexis and others may have unwittingly aided identity thieves (Ars Technica).

Joe