More interesting news from FindLaw today — the launch of the Thomson Legal Record, described as “a first-of-its-kind resource designed to help in-house corporate attorneys make more informed decisions when hiring outside counsel.” The idea is a good one: enable users to research and verify an attorney’s real-world litigation experience by combining a high-level view of an attorney’s litigation history drawn from Westlaw with an attorney’s West Legal Directory profile and published articles on

While the idea is good, the execution is selective. First, it displays litigation histories only for certain attorneys. As far as I can tell, whether a history displays for a given attorney appears to be tied to whether the attorney has a paid listing in the West Legal Directory. I don’t, so in place of a litigation history next to my name appears a LawCrawler search field. Second, for those lawyers whose histories are displayed, you can read the cases only if you have a Westlaw account, so non-Westlaw subscribers are out of luck.

Try it yourself. You can go directly to the Thomson Legal Record or find it by going to either the FindLaw Corporate Counsel Center or the FindLaw for Legal Professionals Web site. FindLaw’s announcement says that, in the coming months, it will expand the Thomson Legal Record to draw on additional information resources, including Thomson Financial. These resources will enable users to assess transactional data and additional dimensions of lawyer and law firm expertise and experience.

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Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division.