This is interesting. LexisNexis today announced that it has been named official publisher of the Massachusetts Reports, the official publication containing decisions of the Supreme Judicial Court and the Appeals Court. Previously, Thomson Reuters (West) was the official publisher.

LexisNexis took over the contract as of July 1, the press release said.

According to the press release, LexisNexis will provide free access to SJC and Appeals Court opinions published since 2001 and to unpublished decisions of the Appeals Court issued since 2008.

LexisNexis will also help the courts create an e-book version of their advance sheets. The e-book version will be accessible in most e-reader formats and will align with the print version, including the same pagination.

I contacted Brian H. Redmond, the reporter of decisions for the SJC and Appeals Court, for comment. Here is what he said:

Thomson Reuters has been the official publisher of the Massachusetts Reports since 1996, and I have valued our partnership greatly. The contract to publish the Official Reports is put out to bid periodically, and by statute, I am charged with awarding the contract to the bidder that, in my judgment, the interests of the Commonwealth require.

In this round of bidding, the proposal from LexisNexis was superior to that from Thomson Reuters. Lexis’s proposal not only maintained a favorable cost structure for the courts but lowered the cost of subscriptions to the general public, thereby permitting me to benefit the Commonwealth as a whole. Further, Lexis boldly proposed the introduction of advance sheets in e-Book format, enabling the Commonwealth to forge ahead in a changing and challenging publishing landscape. I look forward to a partnership with Lexis that is as fruitful as the one with Thomson Reuters was.

The press release included a quote from Jeff Pfeifer, vice president of primary law at LexisNexis: “LexisNexis is delighted to publish the Official Reports of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Our expertise as the largest legal e-book publisher will make this important legal information easily accessible to a wider audience.”

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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.