A few days ago I posted about my decision to fire Westlaw. I've had inquiries from all over the country since then. It turns out I am not alone. Plenty of folks feel hooked on Westlaw. They also feel that the pusher has grown unresponsive. When it comes to its billing practices, the company is run like a medieval estate: Finding someone to take accountability and actually answer a question in a straight-forward and binding way is near impossible. The only certainty is that the absent Lord must be paid his rents.
To Hell with Westlaw, I say.
The day I published the piece on Westlaw, I received an email from the folks at Bloomberg News. It turns out they have a new legal research product, and they are offering a free tryout period. The account representative I spoke too seemed to understand what lawyers do and what they are looking for.
I pass her name and number along to those of you looking for an alternative: Bloomberg L.P., Beth S. Phillips, 731 Lexington Ave., New York, NY 10022; 212-617-3183.
Although I am deeply suspicious of new products and tend to believe they often promise far more than they deliver, I am even more disgusted by Westlaw's assumption that it can ignore me and keep my business. We tried for years to get to the bottom of the Westlaw morass. We never got answered. I pleaded with my field reps. They threw up their hands in despair. Yesterday another Westlaw person called. The message I asked my secretary to relay to him is as follows: "It's too late. We're through."
Lexis/Nexis has also reached out to try to get my business. I am reluctant to go to another megahouse for electronic information. Besides, from what I have read at Simple Justice, the firm disdains bloggers. Although I am not sure, I suspect that Lexis/Nexis might also be a little too big for its britches.
We will be field testing the Bloomberg service in July. I'll report back then. In the meantime, I am looking for an alternative. If you have one, let me know.