Friday, September 11, 2015

2015 Lawsuit Fairness Survey

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform released a report recently that surveyed over 1,203 in-house general counsel, senior litigators or attorneys, and other senior executives who knowledgeable about litigation matters at companies with at least $100 million in annual revenues, and have litigation experience in each state within the last four years.

The survey focuses on perceptions of the state liability system by asking respondents to grade the following elements:
  1. Overall treatment of tort and contract litigation
  2. Venue requirements
  3. Class action suits and mass consolidation suits
  4. Damages
  5. Summary judgment or dismissal
  6. Discovery
  7. Scientific or technical evidence
  8. Judges’ impartiality, competence, and fairness

The report is significant in that it provides current perceptions of general counsel about the fairness of state-level litigation in the United States and will likely be discussed in forum selection meetings.

For a copy of this report, go to:

Monday, August 24, 2015

Innovation Tournaments: what are they and what can it mean for your library or organization as a whole?

by Corrine Vogel

I’m so grateful to DALL to have been able to attend this year’s Annual Meeting with the financial assistance of a DALL grant. As part of that experience, I had the opportunity to go to the Private Law Librarians & Information Professionals Summit on Saturday before the official start of the conference.

Karl Ulrich, the Vice Dean of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Wharton University of Pennsylvania led our innovation tournament. By innovation tournament Ulrich explains, you are trying to create a new match between a solution and a need you have, with that need being broadly defined. It is helpful to illustrate this need by envisioning the knowledge of need on a Y-axis with values ranging from an existing need to a new need, and the knowledge of solution on a X-axis with its values ranging from existing solutions to new solutions. Closer to the origin you pair existing solutions with existing needs in a new way, and as you travel further from the origin you pair new solutions with new needs. Ultimately all of these are considered “innovation” -- it just depends on what innovation you need.

At the Summit, we ran through our own innovation tournament, seeking innovation as it pertains to the question “What deliverables can librarians provide to strengthen their firm’s relationship with current or prospective clients?” We took the following steps:
(1) Gather ideas;
(2) Discuss these ideas with others;
(3) Screen what is valuable and what is not (this should be a low bar at first); and
(4) Continue to make new assessments about those ideas over time -- essentially filtering down to the best ideas.

While we only completed part of an innovation tournament, there was a theme among many of the ideas as well as more unique ideas that stood out. Many of the ideas focused on conducting research for clients and informing them of those opportunities, or having a standard checklist of research conducted for prospective clients or new matters. One unique idea included debriefing attorneys that have returned from  working in-house with clients -- to keep that knowledge preserved and use it to generate new ideas/initiatives within the firm. Creating a social responsibility partnership portal to serve as a connecting point for projects important to the firm as well as clients to assist the community was also proposed.

Ulrich offered suggestions on how to make innovation tournaments more successful:
(1) More ideas lead to better ideas, so make sure to include a lot of people.
(2) The specific people involved in the innovation tournament matter! Ulrich shared an example of one individual contributing six out of ten final ideas that rose to the top of the Wharton School of Business’s Branding Tournament. This means you should solicit participation from proven high performers and those with intuitive understanding. This is inherently hard to identify, so being more inclusive than exclusive with the people you involve is critically important.
(3) Variance is optimal. You want to get diverse ideas -- while law firms typically tend to limit variance, you can miss one amazing idea. Ulrich posits that it’s better to have 99 bad ideas and one amazing idea than 100 good ideas.

To implement this in your library, consider if you want to keep the innovation “closed” to professionals in the library, or if you would like to open it more broadly -- an “open tournament”. In a law firm this could mean including attorneys and other staff members; in academia perhaps including law students and faculty. Finally, in court libraries this might mean including judges, interns, staff, etc. while public law libraries could consider involving public patrons who frequent the law library.

Friday, July 31, 2015

The USPTO Updates Patent Eligibility Guide

Things are changing in the patent world. The USPTO has issued new guidelines for patent eligibility to address public comments about the following six major themes: 

  1. requests for additional examples, particularly for claims directed to abstract ideas and laws of nature; 
  2. further explanation of the markedly different characteristics analysis; 
  3. further information regarding how examiners identify abstract ideas; 
  4. discussion of the prima facie case and the role of evidence with respect to eligibility rejections; 
  5. information regarding application of the 2014 Interim Patent Eligibility Guidance in the Patent Examining Corps; and 
  6. explanation of the role of preemption in the eligibility analysis, including a discussion of the streamlined analysis. 
The information includes:

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Open Access Policy, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

On January 1, 2015, the Open Access Policy of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will be effective for all new agreements. A two-year embargo will be in effect until January 1, 2017. This applies to Foundation funded research.

The five points of this agreement include the following:

  1. Publications are discoverable and accessible online.
  2. Publication will be on "Open Access: Terms.
  3. Foundation will pay necessary fees.
  4. Publications will be accessible and open immediately.
  5. Data underlying published research results will be accessible and open immediately.
This is transformative, and should affect many information models.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Webinar - 5 Critical Attributes for Special Librarians to Evolve and Stay Relevant

Between Google circumventing in-depth research, dealing with budget constraints, understanding the changes driving customer behavior, and other challenges, librarians are facing a new world in which they must be adaptive.
Join us Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 11:30am PT / 2:30pm ET, for a webinar featuring guest speaker Kate Arnold, 2014 SLA President.

This special webinar is titled “5 Critical Attributes for Special Librarians to Evolve and Stay Relevant.” It will feature findings from a study co-authored by the Financial Times and SLA (Special Libraries Association), of which Kate Arnold was a chief participant. Drawing from discoveries of this study, her experience as SLA President in 2014, and many years as a professional in special libraries, the event will focus on 5 essential attributes responsive special librarians are making in an ever-changing landscape.

This is a unique opportunity to get the nuts and bolts of the changes and adaptability needed to stay relevant—from industry thought-leader and knowledge professional, Kate Arnold. Sign up today!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Fastcase Hospitality Suite @ AALL14

Fastcase is happy again to sponsor and operate the PLL Hospitality Suite at AALL, for PLL members and friends at the annual meeting.  This year the location will be at The Ambassador Suite in Room 2032 of the Grand Hyatt Hotel.  Although the Grand Hyatt is not the AALL headquarters hotel, it is adjacent to the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center and across the street from the Marriott Rivercenter and Marriott Riverwalk hotels..  
Come for coffee and breakfast in the morning, snacks during the day, a beer or glass of wine as the day winds down.  The suite will be open from 7:00 P.M to 12:00 midnight on Saturday, and from 7:00 A.M. to 12:00 midnight Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.  
There are a couple special notes. Sunday, July 13, the World Cup final is in the afternoon, and 7:30 P.M. until 10:00 P.M.,  will be BBQ NIGHT at the suite.  On Tuesday night is the MLB All-Star Game.  Want to schedule a meeting?  Need to get your panel together for a coffee-fueled rehearsal?  It's your suite, so come on over!  No dress code!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

How to Help Attorneys Tackle Transactional Tasks - AALL Presentation

Lower the fear of having incomplete or wrong information on a deal, leaving errors in a document, or missing good precedent. Take 30 minutes at the AALL Annual Meeting to attend our AALL Theater Presentation/Exhibitor Showcase:
How to Help Attorneys Tackle Transactional Tasks
Monday, July 14 – 10:15-10:45 a.m.
Hosted by Practical Law™ and Business Law Solutions, this presentation will show you how the latest technology and new content can help attorneys:
Zero in on unique deal structures and the latest transactional activity
Locate the most accurate precedent examples
Unlock hard-to-find private company information
Expand your reach into more areas of business law
Instantly analyze market trends
And much more
We hope to see you there! Visit booth 623

HeinOnline Customer Appreciation Event at AALL14

Join us for a party hosted jointly by Cassidy Cataloguing Services, Inc. and the Hein Company! It's a celebration of you—our loyal subscribers, so we hope you can join us!

Sunday, July 13, 7:30pm–11pm
Barriba Cantina
111 W. Crockett St., San Antonio (on the Riverwalk)

DALL/HALL/SWALL/UNT reception in San Antonio - July 13th

Please join us for the DALL/HALL/SWALL/UNT reception at the AALL 2014 Conference.
Date: Sunday, July 13, 2014

Time: 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Acenar Hotmex Coolbar
146 East Houston Street
San Antonio, Texas 78205
The reception will be on the patio of the restaurant.
Acenar is located along the River Walk at the Houston Street Bridge next door to Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, in downtown’s theater arts district.
Please RSVP via DALL Survey Monkey so that we know you will be joining us.