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Legal Reference

Legal Publishing and Law Librarianship

Resources in this category:
   Brief History of the Consolidation of Legal Publishing (Rhode Island LawPress)
Introduction to Legal Information Buyer's Guide and Reference Manual by Kendall Svengalis. 2005. 6 pages.
   Free Legal Information vs. Organized, Value-Enhanced Privately Published for Profit Legal Information by Bob Berring (October 29, 2009) (YouTube)
   Graphing the Shrinking Legal Publishing World by Greg Lambert (April 22, 2010) (3 Geeks and a Law Blog)
   Introduction to Legal Information Buyer's Guide & Reference Manual 2009 (July 1, 2009) (Law Librarian Blog)
   Legal Information: Globalization, Conglomerates and Competition -- Monopoly or Free Market by Svengalis, Kendall F. (July 15, 2007) (Rhode Island LawPress)
The most arresting phrase: "collection devastation." 37 slides.
   Legal Information: Globalization, Conglomerates and Competition -- Monopoly or Free Market by Ken Svengalis (May 19, 2009) (Rhode Island LawPress)
Presentation to Association of Legal Administrators. 61 slides.
   Legal Publishing and Database Protection by Gelman, Jason (October 1, 2004) (Duke Law School Center for the Study of the Public Domain)
Examines "the history of litigation and consolidation in the legal publishing market; ... the current economics of the legal publishing market, addressing specifically the abnormally large profit margins these publishers enjoy; [finally] the current protections available to legal publishers and it will analyze the implications of granting these publishers copyright-like protection in their databases." Includes listings of trademarks, patents and copyrights of the major legal publishers, and legal publishing acquisitions timeline 1973- 2004.

Word format. 36 pages.

   LexisNexis' Share of the Shrinking Legal Publishing World (April 26, 2010) (3 Geeks and a Law Blog)
"A list [actually a color graph of time and indstry consolidation] of Reed Elsevier mergers (LexisNexis' Parent Corp.)"
   Puny Lawyers. Puny Librarians. Hulk Smash! A Brief Comment on Fighting Words and Legal Publishers by Jason Wilson (June 16, 2011) (Slaw)
"[T]he late Professor Roy Mersky once stated that lawyers' displeasure with the tools of their profession reached back to at least 1894[.] Anyone who searches through the ABA Reports or Law Library Journal will find them stuffed with committee reports, panel discussions, articles, and, at times, thesis reviews chronicling the mistrust between lawyers and law librarians and legal publishers."
   Reporting the Law in Perennial Time by Frank D. Wagner (October 9, 2012) (Legal Information Institute)
For more than 23 years, the author served as the Reporter of Decisions for the United States Supreme Court, editing and publishing the decisions of the court in the official U.S. Reports. In this presentation at the 2012 Law Via the Internet conference at Cornell's Legal Information Institute, Wagner describes the work of Reporters of Decisions.
   The Current State of the Legal Publishing Industry and Its Implications for Law Libraries (October 23, 2003) (Rhode Island LawPress)
Loaded with facts and graphs about the legal publishing industry and costs of legal information. Predicts that pricing policies of major legal publishers will have "serious implications for the future structure of law library collections." Originally presented at meeting of the Ohio Regional Association of Law Libraries.
   The Life of Books: The 21st Century Law Library Conundrum: Free Law and Paying to Understand It by Richard Leiter (February 9, 2010) (The Life of Books)
"Every lawyer knows that having access to all needed primary materials doesn't always help you solve a research question. What's more helpful is a work that interprets the cases and describes the procedures and rules that come from them, or a system that provides you access to only the most important, instructive cases. Books that not only describe, discuss and criticize the laws, but provide practical information about how they are applied, plus forms and examples of practical documents, are the most valuable resources[.]"


"[F]ree free materials ... will amount to only a minor portion of the materials that lawyers need in order to practice law, and the public needs in order to understand it."

Ed. note: The author is director of the law library and professor of law at the University of Nebraska College of Law.

   The Myth and the Madness of Cost Effective Lexis and Westlaw Research Training by Jean P. O'Grady (May 5, 2011) (Dewey B Strategic)
   The Social Life of Legal Information - First Impressions by Duguid, Paul (September 2, 2002) (First Monday)
"The profession has ceded quasi-monopoly control to the two main providers. Schools have given them unfettered access to students, allowing the vendors to teach their particular research methods[.] Vendors provide these for next to nothing, but such provision is hardly a gift or pro bono act. Rather, it is a shrewd and significant loss-leading investment that results in long-term, high returns by tying future lawyers to particular systems. ... I heard a representative of Westlaw protest recently [that] monopolies are not necessarily bad."


"It is interpretive communities that construct shared categories and, through these, allow social communication and coordinated practice around information."

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