The Common Scold

The Common Scold is named after a cause of action that originated in Pilgrim days, when meddlesome, argumentative, opinionated women who displeased the Puritan elders were punished by a brisk dunk in the local pond. Believe it or not, the tort lasted until 1972, when State v. Palendrano, 120 N.J. Super. 336, 293 A.2d 747 (N.J.Super.L., Jul 13, 1972) pretty much put it to rest. But the thought of those feisty women, not afraid of a little cold water, has always cheered me up and inspired me. I first used the moniker as the name of my humor column at the University of San Francisco School of Law many moons ago, and revive it now for this blawg!

Andreozzi is New Chair of Bloomberg Law

Lou Andreozzi 006[1] Bloomberg Law has wooed two former LexisNexis leaders to help push its competing legal research system. Lou Andreozzi (right) the former CEO of LexisNexis North American, has joined as its chair, Larry Thompson as chief operating officer.

Thompson, who will be responsible for day-to-day operations, is a former senior vice president at LexisNexis. He most recently was senior partner with The Sterling Group 925.

Bloomberg Law provides real-time legal research system, competing directly with both LexisNexis and with Thomson Reuters Westlaw.

In a Tuesday afternoon interview with Law Technology News, Andreozzi said that Bloomberg Law "will offer something that law firms have been asking for, for a long time: fixed pricing -- extremely attractive -- and predictable pricing."

How much? The company has not yet decided on exactly what that pricing will be. "That will be one of the first things we will work out," he said. All databases will be included, he promised.

The service will exploit's Bloomberg's existing news services, and will be multimedia, with a user-friendly interface, said Andreozzi. "We are positioning it so  that law firms will get what they need on a daily basis."

When asked about Thomson Reuters, which also marries legal information with news services, he acknowledged that "Thomson Reuters is a very formitable competitor," and noted that law firms may well purchase Bloomberg Law to complement their existing Thomson Reuters and/or LexisNexis existing services.

He also acknowledged that the company "still has a way to go with some of the legal content," citing blogger Robert Ambrogi's analogy of a luxury yacht that still needs "some compartments filled in." 

(Ambrogi's assessment in February: "My overall impression of Bloomberg Law was of a luxury yacht only partially constructed. It looks impressive and many parts of it are fitted out with top-of-the-line features. But as you wander around its decks, many doorways open to unfinished, empty rooms. It is seaworthy, one assumes, but still has a lengthy punch list.")

Andreozzi spent more than 10 years at LexisNexis. As CEO of North American Legal Markets, he was involved with the Lexis online service, Shepard’s, Matthew Bender, Martindale-Hubbell and lawyers.com, says Bloomberg Law.  Prior to his CEO post, he served as the company's general counsel. Andreozzi will remain CEO of IQNavigator.

Constantin Cotzias, who oversaw the launch of Bloomberg Law, will join the senior leadership team in Bloomberg Europe, where he will head government and regulatory affairs and government business development and strategy in Europe, the company reports.


Robert Ambrogi, "Three's a Crowd," LTN 2/2010

Robert Ambrogi, "Is It A Contender," November, 2009.

October 18, 2010 in Breaking News, Legal Research, People, Research & Libraries | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Apple - iPad (straight shot)_USEFastcase is among the legal vendors who are jumping to develop apps for Apple's white-hot iPad tablet computer and its iPhone. The Washington, D.C., company says its namesake app helps users search its libraries of state and federal case law and statutes. Users can conduct keyword or Boolean searches.

Feisty Fastcase is gaining traction as a low-cost alternative to Thomson Reuter's Westlaw and LexisNexis' namesake research services. In our July LTN cover story, "Help Please!," we examined the results of the 2010 Law Technology News Vendor Satisfaction Survey. Of 147 respondents commenting on LexisNexis, 26.5% said they were "very likely to recommend" the research service to peers; of 181 respondents, 20.4% said the same about Westlaw. But of the eight respondents ranking Fastcase, half gave it that "very" same thumbs up.

Check out the upcoming August issue of Law Technology News for more information on the Fastcase for the iPad.

Assist: LTN editorial assistant Heather Schultz.

July 20, 2010 in From the current issue of LTN, Legal Research, Surveys | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


19374069.thb During last month's LegalTech, Law.com technology editor Sean Doherty and I had a chance to chat with vendors about their new products and services. Among our conversations, we talked with Kate O'Brien, director of product innovation at RenewData, about the company's new search tool, Anagram Keyword Development.

Keyword searching is a touchy subject: LTN's EDD columnist Craig Ball has written at least nine columns in the last year addressing the subject. Judges fume, partners get paranoid, and technologists (try to) make money "solving" the problem.

"One thing is clear," says Doherty (and Ball). "Keyword searching has to improve."

Doherty takes a look at RenewData's new offering here.

July 19, 2010 in Legal Research | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


The Blawgosphere was abuzz early today with news that Google "has quietly added state and federal case law and patent search to its Google Scholar search service," as well as a "How Cited" citator service. The quote's from Et Seq., the Harvard law School Library Blog. (See also, TaxProf Blog  and 3 Geeks and a Law Blog, among others.)

This follows on the heels of  Bloomberg Law's launch , and the ABA IS diving in as well.

 The Google database includes more than 80 years of federal case law, and 50+ years of state case law. Users can search full-text of the state and fed opinions, which are hyperlinked, so you can navigate from one opinion to the next.

KlauIM  Long-time legal tech guru Rick Klau (left) participated in the effort. He was an early employee of FeedBurner, which was acquired by Google in June, 2007, and has been with Google ever since. Klau is now a project manager on the Blogger team at Google.

Klau has always been at the head of the cyber-pack. In law school, he founded a law review that published exclusively online.

"Fifteen years later, to have the oppportunity to be part of a team that worked to empower citizens to find and understand the laws that govern them — well, that's a thrill," says Klau. "Google's mission is to organize the world's information, and make it accessible and useful. This feels like an important step forward on delivering that mission."

We purchased a collection of opinions from a third party provider and hosted it on Google Scholar.  In addition, we include opinions are from publicly available collections such as Public.Resource.Org, the Cornell Legal Information Institute and Justia," says Klau. 

Check out the Official Google Blog for the announcement: http://googleblog.blogspot.com.

Both LexisNexis and Thomson Reuter seemed blase about the news.

LN's statement:

"Free case law is not new to the Internet and is included on some of our own sites like lexisONE, LexisWeb and lawyers.com.  However, our legal customers generally require more than raw, unfiltered content to inform their business decisions. They look to LexisNexis to find needles in the ever-growing information haystack, not the haystack itself.

Not only do we provide the most complete portfolio of public and proprietary legal content, but LexisNexis enables legal professionals to conduct their research more efficiently, effectively, and with the assurance of accuracy.  The LexisNexis legal research service provides critical analysis and commentary such as Mathew Bender, citation analysis like Shepard’s, deep online linkages built over time to relevant content, and unique functionality such as pinpoint searching by topic or by complex legal phrases.

Our goal is to deliver relevant, reliable results that enable our customers to make informed decisions faster."

Says Thomson Reuter: "Google has shared with us their plans to expand Google Scholar to include the search of publicly available caselaw and some legal journals. We believe that government-authored information should be accessible to the public, and Google joins existing sites such as FindLaw, the Legal Information Institute at Cornell University Law School and scores of others as sites that offer this information free of charge.

Our customers rely on us for very specialized information and legal insight, and use Westlaw to find exactly the right answer on very specific points of law."

Hat tip to Ross Fishman, of Fishman Marketing.

Click to enlarge photo.

Update: Among the reaction to the news:

Twitter: @davidcurle: Pity the lawyers of the world who are about to be WebMD'd by clients who think they know the law b/c they read it on Google.

@davidcurle: You knew this was coming, Google adds case law to Google Scholar. Nice links to other sources. http://tinyurl.com/yalbjwe

Ashby Jones at the Wall Street Journal picked up the post: http://tinyurl.com/tcs9183.

November 17, 2009 in Breaking News, Legal Research | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

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