With the annual meeting of the American Association of Law Libraries convening this weekend in Baltimore, you can expect to see a flurry of product announcements coming up. Today, the news is from Bloomberg Law, which is announcing a number of enhancements to its legal research service, including more than 30 Practical Guidance suites, new SEC Administrative Law Judge Enforcement Analytics, and new real-time delivery of BNA news.

Of course, this is not the only news today from Bloomberg Law. Earlier today, I reported that its president, Scott Mozarsky, has left, and that Joe Breda, executive vice president of product, has been named Bloomberg Law’s new president. As it happened, I met with Breda last week for a preview of these enhancements.

The Practical Guidance suites include some 3,000 practice tools, checklists, timelines, and annotated forms covering more than 200 topics, including GDPR, health care, cybersecurity, corporate and commercial transactions, compliance, and labor and employment. Bloomberg Law has been steadily building out this feature over the past year, without a lot of fanfare, but over the last six months, has significantly expanded the topics they cover and the materials they include. (List of Practical Guidance suites added in last six months.)

The Practical Guidance for an initial coin offering.

All of these suites can be found via a new Practical Guidance homepage. Each is designed to walk practitioners through specific tasks step-by-step, from start to finish. The documents are integrated with other Bloomberg Law resources, such as Bloomberg BNA manuals, portfolios, and expert practitioner-authored content.

The goal, said Breda, is to organize Bloomberg Law content in a way that lets the practitioner do a task in the shortest way possible. “We take you step-by-step through everything that needs to be done.”

As part of its rollout of more Practical Guidance suites, Bloomberg Law is also adding new Chart Builders and In Focus Resources. The Chart Builders allow you to compare state laws on a variety of topics. Pick a topic or task, select the states to compare, and create a chart of comparative laws.

The In Focus page for transgender issues in the workplace.

In Focus Resources are a series of topic-specific pages that allow users to follow news reports, track litigation or regulatory developments, access practical tools, and link to related materials.

SEC Analytics

Bloomberg Law’s new SEC Administrative Law Judge Enforcement Analytics is notable for its application of analytics to ALJ-level decisions. The goal, as with other analytics products, is to organize and present data visually to provide users with insights into trends, activity and outcomes.

SEC Administrative Law Judge Enforcement Analytics.

Analytics can be applied using a number of filters, including by judge, types of violations, type of penalty, range of penalties, and more. Users can drill down through results to the underlying source documents to better understand the visual results.

Once the user has created a result, the result can be downloaded and emailed to others or the user can create an alert to be notified of changes in the data.

Bloomberg Law says it will soon be adding analytics for SEC administrative actions. It previously offered analytics for health care fraudlabor and employment. and litigation.

Real-Time News

Bloomberg BNA has traditionally delivered news products such as its Daily Labor Report as PDF periodicals. Now that is changing. Instead, the stories that would have appeared in the composed periodical will instead be delivered as a real-time feed of news.

In addition, users will now have more options for customizing delivery of news. They can opt to receive a daily Editor’s Choice email of top stories selected and arranged by BNA editors. If they opt for this, they can also specify whether to receive the standard email or to personalize the email to provide stories and highlights matched to their interests.

If they choose to personalize it, they will be able to effectively create their own alert, right down to giving it a title and selecting from a range of options to include, including topics, agencies, statutes and locations.

“This is pretty significant for BNA,” Breda said. “It’s great to get a PDF that’s a wrap of the news, but then you’re getting what happened yesterday. So not only are we producing real-time news, but we’re also making it more customizable for the user.”

Scott Mozarsky is out as president of Bloomberg Law, a position he has held since November 2016. Replacing him as president is Joe Breda, formerly executive vice president of product.

I spoke briefly today with Breda, who informed me of the transition but provided no further details. The news comes just days before a major industry event, the annual conference of the American Association of Law Libraries.

Mozarsky, an attorney, joined Bloomberg BNA in 2014. He was named president in 2016 following the departure of David Perla as president.

Joe Breda

Breda, also a lawyer, joined Bloomberg BNA in 2013 as executive vice president, product. Before joining Bloomberg BNA, he was head of product for Bloomberg Law, where he held earlier positions as developer and R&D manager.

He played a pivotal role in bringing to market the current Bloomberg Law platform, according to his Bloomberg BNA biography. He also led the effort to integrate the majority of Bloomberg BNA’s content collection into Bloomberg Law within six months of the acquisition.

In his recent role as head of product, Breda oversaw the release of enhanced Securities and Tax Practice Centers, new business development tools such as the company hierarchy tool, and continuous improvements in core legal research.

Prior to joining Bloomberg, Breda was an equity partner in a boutique Syracuse, N.Y., law firm where he practiced for nearly 14 years.

 

At the annual meeting of the American Bankruptcy Institute on April 20, I moderated a plenary panel, “Artificial Intelligence: Why It Matters To Your Future Bankruptcy Practice.” In advance of the panel, the ABI recorded a series of video interviews I conducted with some of the panelists. Here is my interview with Darby Green, commercial product director for litigation and bankruptcy at Bloomberg Law.

A legal research tool that uses artificial intelligence to help legal researchers quickly find key language critical to a court’s reasoning has been selected by the American Association of Law Libraries as winner of its 2018 New Product Award.

AALL cited Points of Law, a tool developed by Bloomberg Law, for its ability to provide researchers with a court decision’s legal points and to identify legal precedents.

As I explained in my review of Points of Law last September, as a researcher scrolls through a court opinion, the tool highlights the essential language in the opinion, making it easier for the researcher to browse through the key discussion points and enabling the researcher to more quickly get the gist of the key holdings.

For each point of law within a case, a pop-up shows the top three cases cited in support of it. The researcher can select any of these Points of Law to see an expanded treatment that shows other cases that make the same point of law and an visual timeline and citation map of these other cases, as well as the ability to see and search related points of law. Each Point of Law has its own distinct page with these elements.

In a statement announcing the award, Greg Lambert, AALL president, said, “As leaders of legal research best practices and advanced technology tools, our members recognize the value of powerful litigation support resources. Points of Law is an outstanding example of just such a tool, and we congratulate Bloomberg Law on their award.”

AALL’s New Product Award recognizes new commercial information products that enhance or improve existing law library services or procedures, or products that improve access to legal information, the legal research process, or procedures for the technical processing of library materials.

Recent years’ winners have include Casetext’s CARA in 2017, Ravel Law in 2016, Lex Machina in 2015, and a joint award in 2014 to Fastcase and William S. Hein & Co. for the HeinOnline/Fastcase Integration.

Bloomberg Law today rolled out to its subscribers new tool, Points of Law, that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to help legal researchers quickly find language critical to a court’s reasoning and to support their legal arguments.

As a researcher scrolls through a court opinion, Points of Law highlights the essential language in the opinion, making it easier for the researcher to browse through the key discussion points and enabling the researcher to more quickly get the gist of the key holdings.

A pop-up shows the top three cases cited for the principle. The user can then select any of these Points of Law to see an expanded treatment that shows other cases that make the same point of law and an visual timeline and citation map of these other cases, as well as the ability to see and search related points of law. Each Point of Law has its own distinct page with these elements.

“We are using machine learning and AI to extract the sense of a what a judge says in an opinion to allow for quicker and easier research and to uncover language that might be hard to find,” Darby Green, commercial product director for Bloomberg Law Litigation Solutions, told me yesterday.

Bloomberg says that it has extracted more than one million Points of Law from its database of 13 million published and unpublished state and federal court opinions, and that these Points of Law are being continually updated as new cases are added.

In addition to getting to these Points of Law through a court opinion, a researcher can also find them by conducting keyword searches across all case law or specific jurisdictions.

Viewing these points of law for a case has the feeling of viewing headnotes. Green was reluctant to label these as headnotes because other Bloomberg Law materials have more formal, structured headnotes. However, she agreed with the comparison and said that, later this year, users will have the ability to see these Points of Law listed at the top of a case.

 

Bloomberg Law today is officially announcing the addition to its research platform of the E-Discovery Practice Center, a curated collection of a range of court opinions, tools, sample forms, news and expert guidance related to both federal and state e-discovery practice. The practice center is available to all Bloomberg Law subscribers at no additional cost.

Bloomberg says it is the only legal research platform to have a resource of this kind devoted to e-discovery. Bloomberg “soft launched” the practice center for some customers at the recent annual meeting of the American Association of Law Libraries, but today is formally announcing its availability to all customers.

The practice center’s main page includes federal and state court opinions related to e-discovery, federal and state rules and laws related to e-discovery, news and law reports, and BNA’s E-Discovery Portfolio series, which provides an entry point to resources such as practice guides, books and treatises, and law reviews, as well as specific guidance on such issues as understanding and preventing spoliation. E-discovery rules for all states are included.

Another section of the practice center provides materials grouped by stage of e-discovery, such as preservation, production and technology-assisted review. Here you can find resources such as a checklist for preparing for a Rule 26 meeting and a guide to preparing a legal hold notice, as well as sample forms for legal holds.

A news section includes the text of the BNA publication Digital Discovery & e-Evidence, as well as law firm alerts, news headlines, and various other sources of news and analysis.

Other sections focus on key issues related to e-discovery, such as cross-border data transfers, government and internal investigations, and data and privacy security.

 

The folks at Bloomberg Law are keeping busy. Last week, I wrote about the legal research platform’s rollout of a major redesign of its user interface and search experience. This week, it is announcing expansion of its labor and employment resources and content.

The new resources — all of which are available within Bloomberg Law’s Labor & Employment Practice Center — are:

  • Practical Guidance, a tool that provides step-by-step assistance in completing routine tasks such as drafting a non-compete agreement or designing a whistleblower policy.
  • Labor Arbitration Awards Tracker, providing analytics that track trends in arbitrators’ rulings.
  • State & Local Law Activity Heat Map, a tool to help legal professionals stay current with the latest developments by providing a visual depiction of the real-time state of labor and employment legislation, showing where new state and local laws are being introduced and where existing laws are changing.

Labor and employment lawyers can also use the Litigation Analytics tool that Bloomberg Law introduced last October. The tool draws on court opinions and docket information to help attorneys gain insights into questions such as how long federal judges typically take to resolve cases, how they rule on dispositive motions, and how often they are overturned on appeal.

To illustrate the use of Litigation Analytics in the labor and employment field, Bloomberg Law released an analysis of trends in employment and ERISA litigation. It examines activity for five judges over the past five years, showing the percentage of cases in which each judge granted or denied summary judgment motions and the average days it takes each judge to decide a case.

Bloomberg Law’s new home page.
The Bloomberg BNA legal research service Bloomberg Law today is introducing a new user interface that streamlines the search experience by making it easier to conduct searches and to find specific types of content.

The changes were spurred by customers’ feedback that they appreciated the breadth of legal and business content on Bloomberg Law but found it difficult to navigate, Scott Mozarsky, president of Bloomberg BNA’s Legal Division, told me during a preview on Friday, also attended by Carl Sussman, product director for Bloomberg Law.

“This very clearly is a tremendous improvement around search,” Mozarsky said. “A lot of players in the market like to say that they’re changing the way people do research, but now we think we really can say that.”

The new design features a prominent search bar at the top of the page that serves a dual role. It is used to conduct searches, both natural language and Boolean. Without changing any settings, you can enter either a natural-language or a Boolean search. (If you’re a Boolean purist, you can set it so all searches use terms and connectors.)

At the same time, site navigation is now built directly into the search bar, so that as you begin to enter the nature or name of content you are looking for, it suggests matches.

The home page as it formerly appeared.
If you are looking for business intelligence tools or the Labor & Employment Practice Center, for example, start to type the phrase and suggestions will appear. If you are looking for the treatise Harmon on Patents, begin to type the name and the suggestion appears. Click it and go right to the table of contents.

The search bar uses something Bloomberg calls Context Awareness, which means that it adapts its scope to your location within the research service. If you are at the Labor & Employment Practice Center, the search bar knows that is where you are and limits your searches to that library. A drop-down within the search bar lets you choose to either expand the search beyond that library or narrow it to more specific topics within the library.

The new look of the search results page.
Users still have the ability to browse and drill-down through topics hierarchically through a collapsible menu on the left side of the screen. This menu also takes you quickly to My Home and My Favorites. My Home is the location within Bloomberg Law that you designate as your start page. If you are a labor and employment lawyer, you may choose to set the L&E Practice Center as your home page. The My Favorites link takes you to the items you’ve selected as your most-used content, tools and features.

How the search results page appeared in the prior version.
In addition to the search bar and the collapsible browsing menu, the home page has been redesigned to add boxes intended to help users quickly get started on research or pick up from where they last left off. These boxes are:

  • My Favorites, where you can save the content, tools and features you use most often. As noted, your favorites are also listed in the browsing menu to the left. This is so that, when you leave the home page, they remain readily available to you.
  • Popular Links, providing quick access to the most frequently used features on Bloomberg Law.
  • Continue my Research, enabling you to pick up work from where you last left off.
  • Learn More About Bloomberg Law, providing access to help and support information.

The search results page now displays the most relevant results across different types of content. You can narrow results by topics or by content types or jump to specific titles.

The redesign also includes enhancements to Bloomberg Law’s practice centers. They now have a new look and feel intended to put the highest-value content front-and-center and make it easier to find.

The new interface is being rolled out to all Bloomberg Law customers today as part of their subscriptions. While legal research services sometimes maintain their former interfaces for a period after rolling out a new one, Bloomberg Law is not doing that. All customers will be switched to the new UI.

“We don’t do something this large without having extensively previewed it and tested it with our customers,” Mozarsky said.

Mozarsky said that this will be a busy year for Bloomberg Law, with a number of additional enhancements in the works. But as much as the company will be focusing on improving its platform, its greater emphasis will continue to be building up its content. Bloomberg Law has added substantial volumes of content just in the past year, he said, and will continue to do so.

“Content is what built this business,” Mozarsky said. “We never want that to be overshadowed by the technology.”

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

So said Scott Mozarsky today of Bloomberg BNA’s Legal Division, shortly after it was learned that he would become the division’s president, replacing David Perla, who had been president since July 2014.

In a telephone conversation with Mozarsky this afternoon, I asked him what his becoming president would mean for the legal division and for its legal research platform Bloomberg Law.

Scott Mozarsky, President of Bloomberg BNA's Legal Division (PRNewsFoto/Bloomberg BNA)
Scott Mozarsky, new president of Bloomberg BNA’s Legal Division
“In the short term, not that much,” Mozarsky said. “Our team has done a tremendous job of implementing a strategy and making progress in the market. There’s been a tremendous amount of talent brought into the company and a lot of innovation.”

Mozarsky’s immediate plan is to spend a lot of time with customers, learning more about what matters to them. “One of the first lessons I learned in business is that my opinion and those of my colleagues are utterly irrelevant. What matters is the priorities of our customers.”

He also wants to spend time getting to know his team better and helping them address any obstacles they see to building out products and services. “Talent is important to me. I will be spending more time with the team and learning how best to tap into them.”

As for Bloomberg Law, he will be focused on continuing to add new innovations such as the Litigation Analytics announced last week.

“We are committed to developing the best platform out there for the market. There will be continued investments in innovation and continued focus on upgrading functionality. Ultimately, we will be continuing to find ways to help our clients be successful in their day-t0-day work.”

Librarians A Key Constituency

I asked Mozarsky about criticism leveled at former president Perla after he published a column on Above the Law Aug. 30 which was widely interpreted as critical of law librarians and knowledge management professionals. Perla seemed to suggest that these professionals lacked the courage to push change within their institutions and were more interested in job preservation. The column drew sharp rebukes from Greg Lambert and Jean O’Grady, among others.

“I have a different perspective than David,” Mozarsky said. “The large majority of librarians and KM professionals have been strategic and knowledgeable and willing to try to change.

“Frankly, a lot of the innovation we’ve rolled out since I’ve been here has been the result of good feedback coming from librarians. They’re critical partners. They’re helping us as key drivers of innovation in the market.”

The law librarian’s role has evolved significantly since he entered the legal profession in 1993, Mozarsky said. “The large majority of librarians I’ve dealt with have evolved and have positioned themselves to be key drivers of innovation and workflow efficiencies for their firms.”

Besides information professionals, who else are key Bloomberg Legal constituents? I asked Mozarsky.

“Ultimately what we want is to be for law what the Bloomberg terminal is in the financial marketplace, a workplace platform that services all constituents in the ecosystem,” he said.

Achieving that position starts with the librarian. “That’s historically been the role that’s run point on legal information and data.” From there, it extends to the attorneys who are the clients of the librarians. Other key constituents in law firms are business development groups and marketing groups.

Also key constituents are in-house counsel and corporate legal departments, he said.

Bloomberg Law A Third Wheel?

I asked Mozarsky about the perception among some industry observers that Bloomberg Law remains a third wheel to the legal research mainstays of Westlaw and LexisNexis.

“We all know the history,” he replied. “Lexis and West invented this market. But like anything else, the market needs to evolve.”

Mozarsky credited Perla for having grown Bloomberg Law even in the midst of a flat market. “Credit goes to David to have achieved what by any objective metric is a tremendous amount of success in a difficult time in a difficult market. Bloomberg law is showing double-digit growth and taking share from its competitor.

“That’s why I say don’t fix it if it ain’t broken. We’re growing while others are shrinking. Our focus is on innovation and differentiation. More customers are raising their hands and wanting to engage.”

See also: Breaking: Scott Mozarsky Named President of Bloomberg BNA’s Legal Division.

Law-Firm

Last year, I wrote here that judge analytics is the new black. I was referring to the growing selection of tools that analyze case dockets and judicial opinions to provide insights into how judges rule on various types of matters and how long it takes them to do so. Products in this space include ALM’s Judicial PerspectivesLex Machina,  Premonition and Ravel Law with its Judge Analytics.

apple1Now comes Bloomberg Law to the mix with its launch yesterday of Litigation Analytics. It aims to help attorneys gain insights into questions such as how long federal judges typically take to resolve cases, how they rule on dispositive motions, and how often they are overturned on appeal.

The product is not just for judicial analytics. It can also be used to perform analytics on some 7,000 law firms, more than 70,000 public companies, and more than 3.5 million private companies.

To illustrate how litigators can use its new product, Bloomberg Law created an analytics snapshot comparing five influential federal judges.  It shows how they rule in certain cases, how long they take to decide a case from start to finish and which firms appear before them most often.

by-judgeHow does Bloomberg Law’s Litigation Analytics differ from other litigation analytics products? I haven’t used it yet, but based on the press release, two notable differences stand out:

  • This is the first litigation analytics product to be included within a comprehensive legal research platform. By that I mean that neither of Bloomberg Law’s two primary competitors, Westlaw and LexisNexis, have this. Although LexisNexis does now own Lex Machina, Lex Machina remains a freestanding product that is limited in the scope of its coverage and that is not yet incorporate in Lexis Advance.
  • It appears that this has broader coverage than any of the other products. It covers all active federal judges across all case types, and covers cases dating back to 2007.
This post was a LitigationWorld Pick of the Week.

Litigation Analytics is available to all Bloomberg Law subscribers for no extra charge. If you are interested in learning more, Bloomberg Law will be demonstrating the product in a free webinar Nov. 1.