Thursday, March 16, 2017

Securities Litigation Up 23% in 2016: Insights from Lex Machina's First Securities Litigation in Review Report

Only seven months after launching the Securities analytics module, Lex Machina has published their first  Securities Litigation Year in Review Report. The report examines key trends in securities litigation using data from 2009 through 2016. It also identifies the top plaintiffs, defendants their law firms and outcomes including damages.All cases are coded into one of the five categories of litigation: Securities Fraud (§ 10(b) / 10b-5), CFTC Enforcement, SEC Enforcement Contested, SEC Enforcement Settled Complaint and Shareholder Derivative Suits.

SEC Enforcements With a Settled Complaint

Key findings on 2006- 2016 Trends:

  • There was a 23% increase in securities litigation in 2016 over 2015.
  • Citigroup, Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sacks are the top defendants
  • Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse  were subject to the highest damages (($5Billion each)
  • Approved Transaction settlement resulted int more than $32,5 billion in damages.
  • 25% of all securities cases were filed in the Southern District of New York.
  • Exchange Act violations are the most common cause of action.
Top Law Firms Representing Defendants

 A full copy of the report can requested and downloaded  here.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Rumor of the Day: Is Ravel Law Being Bought by Lexis Nexis? Another Acquisition Without Integration?
LexisNexis has been on an extraordinary spree -- buying up  companies that are almost always the brainchild of a former lawyer and always the product of entrepreneurial inspiration and grit.
The latest opportunity? target? victim? May be Ravel Law...
Sources in the legal publishing industry are whispering that LexisNexis is about to acquire Ravel Law. I reached out to Daniel Lewis, CEO of Ravel Law and he politely responded with a "no comment."

This would signal that LexisNexis is trying to dominate the legal analytics market the way they have grown to dominate the legal news market. Will Justly be next?

Lexis Content Acquisition Strategy? For the past few years LexisNexis  has been collecting legal content gems - Law360, Lex Machina, MLex, Knowledge Mosaic. Instead of integrating them into the massive LexisNexis organization, each company has remained a stand alone operation retaining their entrepreneurial culture, their key talent and their client relationships. The company has stated that core Lexis content is being leveraged to enhance the offering of the smaller companies.  This is a reasonable short term strategy. At some point Lexis should start aligning some of the content synergies to transform the old Lexis workhorse. Are they ready to do that?

The concern I have is that Lexis is collecting without integrating and streamlining. True they were showing of a limited integration of Lex Machina and Lexis at Legal Tech. This integration allows lawyers to see some analytics with their Lexis search results.

Is the "Tan Book" Litigation a Canary in the Coal Mine? Has Lexis Extended Itself Too Far?
I remember "Total Quality Management" business guru Tom Peters once commenting that companies must have a culture of quality. Coffee stains on the airline food trays suggest there might be something wrong with  engine maintenance.  Maybe not logical but   the "tan book" litigation issue does raise the flag of whether Lexis as a company can maintain the quality across their extended product lines. Most baffling is that Lexis asserted in an email to me that the "color books" are being created outside of Lexis. Think about that-- they are not using the massive Lexis data streams which include updates of state statutes and regulations to assure that their annual statutory codes are kept up-do-date. I have visions of people with glue sticks pasting amended regulations over the old ones. Not a 21st century process. It begs the question "why?"

Why Don't they Integrate and Build the Ultimate "Legal Research Service?"
This is the most baffling issue to me. LexisNexis has terrific assets that if combined could be game changing.... I understand wanting to keep the revenue from all of the legacy products but there is no evidence of an intent to integrate the products into a more powerful LexisNexis  platform.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Upcoming Event: Has the Librarian-ship Sailed? Redefining the Profession in A Post Google World

I have been invited to give the William A. Gillard Lecture at my alma mater, St. John's University Division of Library and Information Science.

 "Has the Librarian-ship Sailed? Redefining the Profession in a Post-Google World" will address the dramatic impact of intelligent machines on all professions including librarianship and highlight emerging opportunities for information professionals.

Date:  March 28, 2017
Time: 6 pm
St. John's University
D'Angelo Activity Center Room 416A
8000 Utopia Parkway
Queens, NY 11439
(718) 990-6200

Directions and transit options here.

Hope some of my New York colleagues and readers can make it.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

LexisNexis Responds to My Post About the "Tan Book" Errors Litigation

I received an official response  from Ashley Jefferson, Senior Communication Specialist at LexisNexis, regarding my recent post   regarding the lawsuit filed against LexisNexis claiming that the statutory compilation of Landlord Tenant  laws known as the "tanbook" contains material errors and omissions.

 Here is the official statement:

We understand your concern about the legal publications you use.  

While LexisNexis does not comment on pending litigation, we can tell you that the subject of this litigation (a Matthew Bender publication known as the “Tanbook”) has no connection with or effect on the online legal research solutions available from LexisNexis, including Lexis Advance.  

LexisNexis is committed to delivering high-quality products and services. To that end, we apply multiple-step editorial processes across our full portfolio, always striving to deliver to customers the quality legal content they rely on to be successful.





Thursday, March 2, 2017

Today Lex Machina is releasing its 4th annual Patent Litigation Year in Review Report and offering a webex to
review the report at 11 am est/ 2pm est. The report analyzes filing trends, key decisions and timing of key events, settlement rates, damages and other key metrics. The report highlights top districts by case filings, top plaintiffs and defendants and law firms representing them. The report also shows top parties willing damages and median award of damages by district courts. The report examines the relationships between finding of infringement and fair use and judgement types ( e.g. default, summary etc.) This year's report includes two new special sections: 1) a review of the Eastern District of Texas and 2) a party profile of the leading plaintiff.

The most dramatic finding is a 22% decline in patent cases filed in 2016 compared to 2015
 The press release quotes Owen Byrd, chief evangelist and general counsel of Lex Machina, regarding the decline in patent litigation: "While it is too soon to tell whether the decline represents a sea change or a one-year anomaly, we will certainly be keeping a close eye on the filing number in the year to come."
Here are some key findings:

  • In 2016, 4,537 patent cases were filed -- a 22% decline from 2015 (5,819 cases)
  • The Eastern District of Texas continues to lead the nation with 1,662 cases – nearly 37% of all cases filed, yet a 34% decrease over the district’s 2015 total (2,541 cases)
  • This is the fourth year in a row that Judge Gilstrap had the most patent cases of any judge
  • Samsung again leads LG Electronics and Apple as the most-sued patent defendant in 2016 
  • Tech and pharmaceutical companies comprise the top 10, with Amazon, Asus, Actavis and AT&T among the top patent defendants
  • The top 15 parties that filed the most patent lawsuits in 2016 were all patent monetization entities (PMEs) except Whirlpool Corporation (ranked #15)
  • Shipping and Transit (107 cases), Uniloc (87 cases) and Sportbrain Holdings (75 cases) filed more patent suits than the next eight companies combined
  • Compensatory damages continue to be awarded in few cases, around 1.8 % of the terminated cases filed since the year 2000.
  • $3.49b of compensatory damages were awarded in patent cases in 2016

  • The Live Webcast Lex Machina will host a webcast today covering the highlights of the report. To register for the live event, please visit:
    Full Copy of Report To request a copy of the full report please register here:

    Wednesday, March 1, 2017

    LexisNexis Sued By Law Firm Alleging Breach of Contract, Deceptive Practices For Selling Codes With Omissions and Errors

    Today the Courthouse News Service reported that  The law firm Himmelstein McConnell, Gribben  Donahue and Joseph LLP filed a class action lawsuit against Matthew Bender & Company a Member  of Lexis/Nexis Group Inc. in a New York State Supreme Court on February 23rd.

    The complaint alleges  that the  annual publication, the New York Landlord Tenant Law book includes 37 textual omission and 18 inaccuracies. According to the complaint the publication also known as the "tan book" is sold as a "compilation of all the laws and regulations governing landlord tenant matters in New York, providing the text of state statutes and regulations and local laws," contains serious errors and omissions  which render "it of no value to the attorneys, laypeople or judges who use it." The omissions as identified in the complaint appear to be very significant-- entire paragraphs of text on  issues such as rent control are missing from the Tan book.

    The class action represents everyone who has purchased a "tan book" in the past six years and accuses Matthew Bender of breach of contract, unjust enrichment and engaging in deceptive business practices and seeks, refunds, compensatory damages and an injunction to prevent Matthew Bender from engaging in future deceptive business practices.

    The "tan book"  which costs between $100-120 per volume, is part of a suite of annual desk books also known as color books used by lawyers in New York State.

    I am personally on a quest to reduce purchases of desk books as much as possible. The cost of annual disposable volumes of code mounts up in a large firm. A firm with hundreds of lawyers could spend hundreds of thousands of dollars. Most firms end up purchasing the same content in multiple formats:  online, ebooks, hard back  print statutory compilations and in  annual deskbooks. Paperback codes are at the bottom of the publication "food chain."

    I am a big advocate for migrating lawyers to digital versions of codes which are inherently more current and accurate since they are updated throughout the year rather then fixed in a print version which is often out of date on the day it is shipped out to purchasers.

    Are There Errors In Other Lexis Publications? Are There Errors in LexisAdvance? The big question is.... are these editorial problems contained to this one particular publication or does it signal a larger systemic issue impacting  other books in the series or other Lexis publications.

    Even more concerning is the prospect that the same errors  might reside in their online services. One would expect publishers to maximize editorial efficiency by maintaining a  "master" version of each statute in digital format which is updated as laws and regulations change and  which can be repurposed in other hard bound, paperback and ebook versions of each code.

    The risks to lawyers in relying on a statute which is missing code sections can not be overstated.

    Lexis Is Not the First and Won't be the Last to Discover Errors in Publications. However LexisNexis executives need to reach out to their subscribers and provide assurances that they are engaged in a thorough investigation of the extent of the problem  and address how and when they will correct the errors. Last year Thomson Reuters disclosed that they had discovered "non material" caselaw errors in hundreds of cases. They controlled the "bad news" by issuing a press release and posting updates on their website about how they were identifying and correcting the errors. I urge LexisNexis executives to take a similar open approach with their customers in order to provide both the assurances and actions to address any  editorial problems  identified n their digital or print publications.