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Research and intelligence topics for October

Recommended readings by John DiGilio

Legal documents

The latest on PACER fees

Our friends at 3 Geeks and a Law Blog interview Emily Feltren, AALL Director of Government Relations, for episode 14 of their podcast. AALL submitted an amici curiae brief in the recent PACER class action to point out how PACER fees harm access and legal research instruction, among other things. If you don’t have the time or inclination to listen to the entire podcast, you can fast-forward to 07:22.

Podcast Episode 14 – Jeff Marple and the Art of Incremental Change; Plus “Free PACER”?

Fastcase beefing up secondary sources

One of Fastcase’s weak spots has long been its lack of solid secondary sources. Yet, as Joe Hodnicki ruminates, that gap is starting to close. In a year that has seen quite a few advances on the platform, he notes that perhaps the least-hyped of them all may very well be the start of something big. Secondary sources have come to Fastcase and it is just the start. He writes,

“When Fastcase reaches this critical mass . . . watch out WEXIS.”

Get the full scoop: Fastcase Rising

Meet the newest AI research assistant

CARA, does Casetext know there’s a new kid in town? EVA, have you informed Ross Intelligence about the new assistant? And Clerk, it may be time for Judicata to show some respect by giving you a proper name. Legal research platform vLex just introduced the beta version of the newest AI-powered legal research assistant, and it’s a guy—Vincent. Bob Ambrogi introduces us in this overview:

Vincent Joins CARA, EVA and Clerk as the Latest AI-Driven Research Assistant

Congressional Research—not just for Congress anymore

The Congressional Research Service (CRS), located within the Library of Congress, serves congressional committees and Members of Congress during the legislative process. Now, the CRS R-series of “active” reports (PDF format) are accessible, according to Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden who shared the announcement that started all of the buzz:

“For the first time, the Library of Congress is providing Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports to the public.”

The reports are free and the site is super user-friendly. In other words, the hype and the accolades are well deserved here.

Search CRS Reports

Learn more about this collection

Electronic information

The how and what of electronically-stored information

Thomson Reuters delves into the topic of ESI (Electronically Stored Information) in two parts. While the article is aimed at informing readers how ESI can be used for litigation, I find the breakdown of the details useful, practical reminders about basic and beyond research methods for an ocean of digital information.

What’s ESI? Figuring Out the Nitty-Gritty of Electronically-Stored Information

Part 1—”The ‘mountains of personal data’ available as ESI”

Part 2—”How you can get your hands on this information”

Internet Librarian Conference from a rookie’s view

Though the Internet Librarian Conference actually turned 21 this year, many information professionals are still just learning of what many consider to be one of the best learning opportunities going. As with so many things that endure, it is easy for those of us who have known of the annual event to take it from granted. In fact, it is refreshing when someone new to it comes along and helps us all to see its value through fresh eyes. Brandon Wadler reminds us exactly why so many of us have fallen in love with Internet Librarian and puts the conference’s digital focus into perspective, saying:

“We do not want to risk libraries becoming a burden to the very information they safeguard because they cannot provide efficient access (or any access at all) because they cannot keep up with the digital age.”

Internet Librarian 2018

Could your firm survive a security breach?

Slaw goes back to the summer of 2017 to dive into a very public security breach that hit big law last year. The retrospective relays some important lessons and actions taken to recover from the attack. Since cybersecurity is a primary concern for all businesses, this review offers a silver lining, concluding:

“But whatever the weaknesses in DLA Piper’s defenses, it survived the crisis bloodied but still standing tall at year’s end.”

The 2017 DLA Piper Breach Revisited

How do law firms define success?

This question was one of several asked by CLIO for its 2018 report on the trends that are shaping the practice of law. Though it does not directly address law libraries and legal research, the opportunities for us to help our firms meet client needs and expectations are not hard to extrapolate.

By the way, according to the report, the top three success factors for law firms are:

  1. Increasing firm revenue
  2. Improving efficiency of firm operations
  3. Hiring more staff

Download CLIO 2018 Legal Trends Report (requires registration)

That’s it for this month’s curated readings. Let me know what topics or sources you recommend!

I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

John DiGilio

John DiGilio

John DiGilio is Vice President of Research & Intelligence at LAC Group. He has written for numerous regional and national publications as well as taught college and graduate courses in such topics as business ethics, e-commerce, fair employment practices, research methodology and business law.
John DiGilio

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