Legal research company Fastcase today announced that Steve Errick, who was most recently vice president and managing director for research information at LexisNexis, will join the company on July 1 as chief operating officer.
Ed Walters, Fastcase CEO, told me that Errick is being brought on to help lead the growth and expansion of Fastcase, which Walters and Phil Rosenthal, Fastcase’s president, founded in 1999 after leaving their associate positions at the Washington, D.C., law firm Covington & Burling.
“I’m immensely proud of what Phil and I have been able to do to get Fastcase to where it is,” Walters said. “We bootstrapped the company and built a great product. But I feel like there’s a 10-times bigger version of Fastcase that’s waiting to break out. To achieve that, we need to bring in skills that we don’t currently have. We wanted a real veteran, an industry expert, who can help us manage day-to-day effectively at scale.”
Errick will be responsible for executing the company’s strategic vision, developing new editorial products, and developing the company’s organizational structure as the company expands.
Errick is a legal publishing veteran who is well known and well respected in the industry. At LexisNexis, he oversaw the Legal Research Information Product Division, with a $1 billion P&L portfolio. He led development of workflow tools such as Total Patent; Litigation Suite, which included MedMal Navigator; E-book Digital Lending; Lexis for Microsoft Office; and Lexis Practice Advisor; and he shepherded LexisNexis’s acquisition of Law360, Securities Mosaic, and Sheshunoff/AS Pratt Financial Services.
Earlier, he was vice president and general manager of Wolters Kluwer’s CCH Publishing division, publisher of Thomson Reuters’s Foundation Press division, and director of acquisitions of Thomson’s Clark Boardman Callaghan division.
In a press release, Fastcase said that it would begin editorial publishing starting in 2018 to expand the reach of its legal research service. So far, Fastcase content has been limited to primary law — cases, statutes, regulations, court rules and constitutions. It now plans to launch its own imprint of expert treatises, secondary material and journals and to partner with state bar associations to develop state workflow products.
Walters told me that he foresees a new approach to secondary-material publishing, one that taps into Fastcase’s own user data to identify trends and interests and then develops materials in response to those interests. Fastcase users conduct 1 million searches a month, he said, and from that data Fastcase can analyze trends.
“We might see there’s a giant surge of litigation in the Eastern District of Texas, so maybe we’d put together the Eastern District of Texas litigation manual,” Walters said.
In addition to developing secondary material, Walters sees Fastcase growing in two other ways.
One is expanding the kinds of data it has. In addition to court cases, it may also add docket data, for example, or other kinds of data its customers are interested in.
The other growth area is global, he said. “We’re popular in the United States, but people all around the world have the same legal information needs.”
In addition to his work in legal publishing, Errick also runs his own small publishing house, Twelve Tables Press, with a number of law-related titles, and owns a bookstore and cafe in Brandon, Vt., Book and Leaf.