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A Flurry of Legal Announcements from LEXIS-NEXIS
by
Posted On February 1, 1999
Trade shows provide an opportune venue for product rollouts and a chance to highlight major announcements. At the recent LegalTech New York trade show (January 25-27), LEXIS-NEXIS made several major announcements of new legal products and strategic partnerships. The LEXIS Online Publishing division has obviously been very busy lately, and, with several of the news items, is indicating a firm commitment to the needs of small law firms and individuals.

For the first time, the LEXIS service is available without a subscription. The capability, LEXIS-NEXIS by Credit Card, allows users to quickly retrieve a single document, conduct research with easy-to-use search forms, or perform research using their own search terms. Users can also Shepardize a case to research its positive and negative treatment and validate citation formats with Autocite. "Now users can just say 'charge it' when they use LEXIS-NEXIS," said Nick Emrick, vice president and general manager, LEXIS Online Publishing.

Available at http://www.lexis.com, LEXIS-NEXIS by Credit Card offers state material including cases, statutes, administrative materials and attorney general opinions for

each of the 50 states. Users can also search specialty federal and state case law in the areas of criminal, family, labor and employment, estate planning and probate, and litigation, as well as litigation evidence, reference, and litigation practice materials. The service also provides access to the Daily Opinion Service in LEXIS-NEXIS Xchange, which includes daily cite lists of recent case decisions for all federal and state appellate and high courts nationwide.

Users can retrieve documents instantly if they know the citation, docket number, or party names. There is no charge unless documents are viewed or printed. The cost is $9 per document viewed and $4 per cite checked. MasterCard, American Express, and VISA are accepted. LEXIS-NEXIS uses SSL (secure socket layer) encryption to protect customers' credit card data. Users can access a secure, individualized activity log, sortable by date and client, to track their purchases and to invoice clients.

"While more robust libraries and unlimited use of subscriptions are available through LEXIS-NEXIS, this option is designed to meet the needs of legal professionals who have limited research requirements, who want to access the LEXIS service for personal or family reasons, or who primarily use books and CD-ROM products and are interested in trying out our Internet services," Emrick said.

For business users, LEXIS-NEXIS has had the L-N reQUESTer service, which allows Web access to a small subset of news and business sources with payment by credit card. Casual and occasional users can search all day for $24 in a group of major newspapers; $49 adds business sources to the papers, and $69 adds even more, and weekly searching rates are also available. But, the newly announced LEXIS-NEXIS by Credit Card allows for the purchase of single legal documents. Company sources did not comment on whether this pay-per-document feature would be made available for their business and news sources, but indicated that the various products and services had different target markets.

Additionally, customers can access a link to LEXIS-NEXIS credit card searching through the New York Times marketing page within the LEXIS-NEXIS Web site (http://www.lexis-nexis.com/ny-times). The NYT only offers a 365-day rolling archive. The Times offers a link to LEXIS-NEXIS reQUESTer to retrieve articles prior to 365 days or to offer other sources on topics of interest to NYT Web visitors. LEXIS-NEXIS is part of the "New York Times Partnership Program."

In December, LEXIS-NEXIS had announced an agreement to make federal and state court decisions available over the Web on a pay-per-use basis through WinStar Telebase Inc., an online business information source that has been providing end-user access to databases from online services since 1984. The company also said that, "In the near future, other LEXIS-NEXIS information, such as news and business publications, will be available through this agreement." So, LEXIS-NEXIS is obviously moving beyond its large corporate and library markets to reach out for additional users and revenue, both on its own site and through resellers.

Under the terms of the multi-year agreement, WinStar Telebase will market and provide LEXIS-NEXIS to small and medium-sized businesses on a non-subscription basis through the WinStar Business InfoCenter (http://www.winstar.com/infocenter) and Office.com—a service of WinStar as well as its third-party distribution partners, including CompuServe's IQuest Legal Research Center; America Online's WorkPlace Channel; and Prodigy's Business Reference Center. Users of the WinStar Business InfoCenter need to register and obtain an ID and password. Currently, searching of Federal and state case law is free and each record costs $15.

Intranet Help for Law Firms

At LegalTech, the company also announced LEXIS-NEXIS Intranet Solutions, a free Web product that guides law firm librarians and Webmasters in the step-by-step creation of intranet content featuring pre-built practice area pages. For firms not currently using intranets, the new product currently provides 17 downloadable, pre-built pages that provide a starting point from which substantial ready-made content can be added for legal research. For firms that have already begun the intranet development process, Webmasters can use these pages or customize them based on their requirements. Practice areas include tax, corporate securities, and labor law.

The product Intranet Solutions incorporates a LEXIS-NEXIS service announced last year (http://www.lexis.com/enterprise) that gives law firms with their own intranets access to the LEXIS-NEXIS service, and now offers simplified and streamlined searching, including search forms and automated searching. The service is only available to L-N customers using Xchange (the Web service) for searching, not those using the proprietary search software for the service.

Internet Access for Small Law Firms

LEXIS-NEXIS also announced that it has entered into a strategic partnership with Ramp Networks, Inc. to deliver an all-in-one shared Internet and online research access solution, the WebRamp 310i Legal Edition, for the small law firm. The WebRamp family of high-speed Internet access routers provides members of small enterprises with simultaneous Internet access using regular telephone lines. WebRamp works with any Internet Service Provider and allows users to immediately benefit from combining multiple modems for faster Web browsing. WebRamp also allows attorneys to dial into the office network from anywhere.

The WebRamp 310i Legal Edition, with a list price of $849, includes two internal 56-K analog modems and an external modem connection to allow connection to the LEXIS-NEXIS services via Telnet, the Web, or direct dial-up. Connectivity to the Web is made through the ISP as the user launches the LEXIS-NEXIS software. Get information from Ramp Networks at 888/726-7638; info@rampnet.com; or http://www.rampnet.com.

Partnership with NetRight Technologies

Finally, LEXIS-NEXIS announced an exclusive partnership with NetRight Technologies (http://www.netright.com) to integrate document management and online research tools for legal professionals. Users of NetRight's iManage document management system will have a "button" from which they can launch LEXIS-NEXIS directly from

iManage. Once information is located in LEXIS-NEXIS, it can then seamlessly be downloaded into iManage. After the document is imported into iManage it can be stored, retrieved, and edited. For example, a legal professional researching information for a contract could jump to Xchange (L-N on the Web) to search for needed information without leaving the original contract. Product development is currently underway, with the first integrated product expected during the second quarter of 1999.

LEXIS Online Publishing's Emrick said, "Our relationship with NetRight is another example of how we are providing our clients with the best possible means of not only accessing information, but also utilizing and managing it to give them the answers they need."


Paula J. Hane is a freelance writer and editor covering the library and information industries. She was formerly Information Today, Inc.’s news bureau chief and editor of NewsBreaks.


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