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April 25, 1997 HyperLaw, Inc.®

HyperLaw In the News

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Related articles that do not specifically refer to HyperLaw are marked with an asterik.

"West Publishing Loses a Decision on Copyright", David Cay Johnston, The New York Times, May 21, 1997, D-1 of Business Section.

Judge Rules Against West Publishing in Legal-Research Copyright Lawsuit", Frances A McMorris, The Wall Street Journal, May 21, 1997, B 17. Quoting HyperLaw counsel, Paul J. Ruskin, Esq.

Daniel Wise, "Some Decision Reports Denied Copyright Protection", New York Law Journal, May 23, 1997, p. 1 With photo of Judge Martin. "a decision that could have broad repercussions."

"West Dealt Second Blow in New York Copyright Case", Dan Goodlin, The Recorder, May 22, 1997.

Jol Silversmith "Universal Citation: The Fullest Possible Dissemination of Judgments." College Hill Internet Legal Practice Newsletter, May 19, 1997. This is an excellent comprehensive discussion of the citation issues, written by a third year student at Harvard Law School. We assume it received an A+. The article discusses many of the articles appearing on this WEB site and some we had not seen, and, indeeds credits this site as an excellent archive. The article cites again John B. West's 1909 article, which HyperLaw "discovered" in 1995 and introduced into the citation debate.

*"Now we're cooking with gas..." Molly Ivins, syndicated April 20, 1997, discussing Vance Opperman political contributions and Department of Justice.

*"Vance Opperman's donations under scrutiny.", Greg Gordon, Minneapolis Star Tribune, April 15, 1997. Article About Vance Opperman, Anti-Trust, and Political Contributions. Available on Star-Tribune On Line.

*"Vance Opperman's donations under scrutiny.", Greg Gordon, Minneapolis Star Tribune, April 15, 1997. Article About Vance Opperman, Anti-Trust, and Political Contributions. Available on Star-Tribune On Line.

*Viveca Novak and Michael Novak, The Cheerful Giver, Time Magazine, April 21, 1997, Page 80. Article About Vance Opperman, Anti-Trust, and Political Contributions.

Electronic Citations: Witnesses Support ABA Proposal For Universal Ciation System, BNA Elecetronic Information Policy and Law Report, Janet L. Benedetti, April 11, 1997, paraphrasing HyperLaw president Alan D. Sugarman "The proposed system will benefit solo practitioners and small firms the most."

*"Copyright and the Courts", Editorial, Washington Post, March 22, 1997 -- "Public access to that most common possession, the law, is probably worth quite a lot of inconveniences."

"Brave New Briefs.." Tom Scheffey, Connecticut Law Tribune, March, 1997. Quoting HyperLaw President Alan D. Sugarman, lamenting the page bound approach of the Administrative Office electronic filing proposal, and preferring the SEC'S EDGAR approach "The EDGAR system forced even the stuffiest corporate lawyers to change their ways, and created a better system."

Still No Merger Ok for West, Thomson, Harvey Berkman, National Law Journal, February 24, 1997. "Lexis ended its opposition, leaving judge Friedman to fret that there would be no party to appeal his merger approval ... He invited HyperLaw, Inc. to refile a motion to be granted intervenor status."

Appeal May Delay West-Thomson Deal, Anthony Aarons, Los Angeles Daily Journal, February 26, 1997. Dale Collins, of New-York's Shearman & Sterling and counsel for the Thomson Corporation attempts to place a spin on the impact of the notice of appeal filed by Thomson on Thursday, February 21, 1997, which had the consequence of divesting jurisdiction from the district court duirng the appeal. In other words, Judge Friedman could not approve the Consent Decree now, even if he wished to. The article does not note that HyperLaw pointed out that jurisdiction was divested in its opposition filed late Friday, at footnote 1. Although this week's Thomson spin is that this loss of jurisdiction is what was intended, Collins did not mention this at the February 6, 1997 conference nor did Thomson make reference to this timing issue in early January, 1997 when the conference was being scheduled. The rest of the article was a preview of the arguments Thomson will make in its appeal, which arguments have already been rejected by Judge Friedman.

A See No-Evil Merger Probe?, Connecticut Law Tribune, February 24, 1997, "HyperLaw Contends the public needs to see secret Lexis-West pact to fathom the West-Thomson mergers, and that Justice went soft on antitrust investigation." Considers the hearing before Judge Friedman on February 6, 1996, DOJ v. West-Thomson. HyperLaw President Alan D. Sugarman pictured.

A Tilting of the Tables The Connecticut Law Tribune 2/3/97, Tom Scheffey "A federal judge tells West -- a company famous for getting the law right -- that its pet theory for owning the contents of its books is a legal loser." Report on HyperLaw -- West text copyright trial held January 27 - 28, 1996, United States District Court, Sourther District of New York.

Ruling May Open Market for Digital Law Libraries, New York Times on the Web, December 27, 1996, Wendy Liebowitz. http://www.nytimes.com/library/cyber/week/1227/legal.htm HyperLaw's President Alan D. Sugarman as to whether Judge Friedman's December 23, 1996 ruling in US v. Thomsons/West was a victory for West and Thomson is quoted as saying:"I sat around with my attorneys on Christmas Eve and celebrated." The article states "Meanwhile, Thompson is asserting that the ruling amounts to an advisory opinion on issues outside Friedman's purview under antitrust law" apparently quoting Shearman and Sterling's Wayne Collins and the Department of Justice is quoted as noting there is the possibility of appeal.

Watch Cost of Law Library Drop With CD-ROMs, WEB and OnLine', The National Law Journal, December 16, 1996, Wendy R. Leibowitz quoting HyperLaw's President, Alan D. Sugarman as to failure of 2nd and 5th circuits to post corrections or amendments to opinions on their PACER bulletin boards. The article also quotes Judge Forrester concerning the so-called medium-neutral citation. [Note: Judge Forrester seems to have ignored the ABA primary recommendation of using paragraph numbering for pin-point citation and ignores the ABA explanation that the primary purpose is vendor neutral immediately available citation, not medium neutral citation.] See |Citation Reform.

A Crack in the West 'Monopoly', Connecticut Law Tribune, December 2, 1996, Thomas Scheffey.[Available on Counsel Connect], quoting HyperLaw's President, Alan D. Sugarman: "What Martin's saying is that the copyright clause of the Consitution means something and that the law is not an ass."

"West Publishing Company has lost critical court fight ...", Legal Times (Washington, DC), December 2, 1996, Krysten Crawford.

Legal Publisher Loses Copyright On Page System, New York Law Journal, November 29, 1996, Daniel Wise. [Available on Law Journal Extra], referring to statements of HyperLaw's counsel Carl J. Hartmann III as to the import of Judge Martin's decision.

West Loses Long Copyright Fight Over Pagination The Recorder, 11/25/96, by Krysten Crawford.

What's At Stake in West Deal, Legal Times (Washington, DC), November 18, 1996, Thomas Scheffey (two full pages with photographs of Judge Friedman and HyperLaw's attorney Lorence Kessler). [Available on Counsel Connect].

Operation of Shepard's May Hold Up Deal - DOJ Review Ongoing", Los Angeles Daily Journal, November 5, 1996. Anthony Aarons feature story describes the intervention of the Department of Justice in slowing down the acquisition of Shephard's by Times-Mirror (Matthew Bender) and the joint venture between Bender and Lexis to operate Shephard's. HyperLaw's President Alan Sugarman is quoted as questioning the DOJ's action after the approval of the West-Thomson merger: " How else are they [Lexis and Matthew Bender] going to compete with the enormous power of West and Thomson."

www.Block_That_Merger.com The American Lawyer, November, 1996.
HyperLaw's Web Site was feature in an article by John E. Morris, who said that HyperLaw had "made the most of the new communcations medium." HyperLaw's Web Site was the "most convenient" source for information about the Thomson-West merger, says Wayne Dale Collins of Shearman and Stearling, counsel for West.

Washington Post Editorial, November 3, 1996. The Washington Post asked that the Clinton Administration not include database protection in the WIPO upcoming treaty negotiations in Geneva. HyperLaw has opposed the database protection provisions, and made critical reference to these provisions in its filings in US v. Thomson. HyperLaw was not quoted in the editorial, but recently has been meeting with Administration officials to express opposition to the database protection provisions -- the meeting included members of the newly formed Public Domain. HyperLaw stated during the meeting that "the database protection provisions were inconsistent with the free flow of information over the Internet." The Post stated in part:

" The immediate occasion of this worry is a proposal now headed, not for Congress, but for an international conference on intellectual property issues this December in Geneva. The proposal, one of a batch of possible amendments to existing international copyright treaties that will be debated at the meeting, would give private companies that distribute data electronically -- including those that contract with state or national governments to do so with public data -- much greater controls than they now have over the "reproduction or utilization" of the data in those databases."
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"Then there are also borderline cases, such as that of West Publishing Co., which distributes federal court decisions with the addition only of corrections and page numbers. West was recently blocked from claiming monopoly distribution rights of that material -- public, of course -- merely on the basis of those additions. Many more such matters are under consideration The main concern about the Geneva meeting is that an international treaty could radically shift all these balances without even being weighed in Congress. The administration, and particularly the Commerce Department, which has generally supported taking such issues directly to Geneva, should insist instead on first airing the public's interests in access to information here at home."

It Ain't Over 'Til the District Judge Rules, Connecticut Law Tribune, 10/7/96

"How West Was Won", The American Laywer, September, 1996, p. 73, by John E. Morris: "'It looks like Lexis Was at the negotiating table, because there were so many Lexis-specific things in there.' -- CD-ROM publisher Alan Sugarman."

"Merger Fallout", California Law Business, March 18, 1996, Anthony T. Aarons.

Foreign-owned West may see clout fizzle , Pioneer Planet, February 29, 1996. Discusses HyperLaw Internet message posting earlier West and Thomson comments re citations and monopolies.

Publishing Deal Faces Hurdle, San Fransisco Recorder,February 27, 1996. Alan D. Sugarman is quoted as stating "Now West is trying to keep courts from putting in a citation immediately after an opinion is released."

Easing Limits on Legal Publishing, New York Times, October 9, 1995, Laura Mansnerus. Business Day lead article quoting HyperLaw President Alan D. Sugarman, Joe Acton, Henry Peritt, and Eleanor J. Lewis with photograph, Alan D. Sugarman.

U.S. Justices took Trips form West Publishing Company . Minneapolis Star-Tribune, March 5, 1995 - March 7, 1995. Multi-Part Series by Sharon Schmickle and Tom Hamburger reporting on, among other things, the Devitt Award under which West awarded annual $15,000 prizes to federal judges nominated by another committee of federal judges and Justices who met at luxury resorts at West's expense. In 1992, HyperLaw had objected in a statement to Congress to the Devitt Award. See HyperLaw Statement published in Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Intellectual Property and Judicial Administration of the Committee on the Judiciary, 102 Congress, Second Session, on H.R. 4426, Exclusion of Copyright Protection for Certain Legal Compilations", May 14, 1992, Serial No. 105.

WEST: A STUDY IN SPECIAL INTEREST LOBBYING , The Hill, February 22, 1995, BY Doug Obey and Albert Eisele. Full length article discussing defeat of West promoted bill to obtain database protection legislation.

"For West Publishing Company, the gavel is coming down hard and loud.", Minneapolis Star Tribune, November 28, 1994, By John J. Oslund.

"Whose Public Records? Companies Battle for Electronic Access." Dayton Daily News, September 25, 1994.

"Fending Off the Future", The American Lawyer, September, 1994. By Susan Hansen. Another seminal article and the article that broke the press blackout in the legal press.

As case law goes electronic, West Publishing Company faces mounting pressure from competitors, consumer advocates, and the courts to llose its grip on legal libraries. True to form, West has counterattacked, but the old order is fading fast.

"Who Owns the Law" Wired, p. 94 ,Gary Wolf, May, 1994. Gary Wolf's article broke the national press blackout of articles about West Publishing Company and its control of the law. From the article:

The courts have lost their moral compass," says Alan Sugarman, whose company, HyperLaw, produces CD-ROMs of legal data. Sugarman points out that the US Courts have only two jobs: They resolve individual disputes and they publish their decisions as guidance for everyone else to follow. The fact that these decisions lack citable page numbers puts Sugarman into a state of voluble outrage. "We are talking about the law, here!" he says. "We're not talking about a by-product. Publishing cases for people to cite is one of their primary jobs. So, why don't they take some of their budget and spend it to get their materials into a an authoritative form?"

West Publishing Disputes Benefits of ECS Proposal Leader's Legal Tech Newsletter, July 1992.

"Another View of Copryight of Case Reporters", Alan D. Sugarman, New York Law Journal, July 28, 1992.

Alan D. Sugarman, House Bill and Judicial Proposal May Impact Electronic Publication, Leader's Legal Tech Newsletter, June 1992.

Added 2008:

Silent Theft: The Private Plunder of Our Common Wealth, David Boiler.(1999?)

Kendall F. Svengalis, Legal Information Buyer’s Guide and Reference Manual 8-15 (2005)

Deborah Tussey, The Creative as Enemy of the True: The Meaning of Originality in the Matthew Bender Cases, 5 RICH. J.L.& TECH. 10, (Spring 1999)

AALL Spectrum, Vol. 4., No. 1, September, 1999, Page 4, Copyright Corner, Page. 4.


OPEN ACCESS IN A CLOSED UNIVERSE: LEXIS, WESTLAW, LAW SCHOOLS, AND THE LEGAL INFORMATION MARKET by Olufunmilayo B. Arewa*, LEWIS & CLARK LAW REVIEW LEWIS & CLARK LAW REVIEW 797 at 824. Missed the distinction betweeen the HyperLaw and Matthew Bender cases.

Neutral Citation, Court Web Sites, and Access to Authoritative Case Law* Peter W. Martin )Law Library Journal, Spring 2007
99 Law Libr. J. 329 (2007) par. 65, fn 26, fn 117.
West Litigation Referred to at 131 - lower court cases not cited.