Due, in part, to the competitive nature of the legal industry, an industry for legal research material has spawned over the pastdecade that has increased the volume and variety of legal research materials.Unchanged, however, is the lawyer's need for accurate and timely information at a reasonable cost. As if variety was not challenge enough, add to the mix the speed of technological advances, and the legal practitioner is faced with very difficult market decisions. Common questions are: What medium is most practical? Does a product's usefulness justify its cost? What does the product actually offer?
This article will briefly compare the flat rate taxationproducts offered by the two major online legal research services: Westlaw andLexis-Nexis. Although I will highlight important comparisons, any finaldetermination of which is the "best" product is left to the readeras you are the best judges of your individual needs.
Educational, legal and ethical issues need attention
Peter W. Agnes Jr. is first justice of the Charlestown District Court. Robert Brink is executive director of the Flaschner Judicial Institute. David Matz is director of the University of Massachusetts at Boston's Graduate Program in Dispute Resolution.
As a result of a special collaboration among the Flaschner Judicial Institute, the University of Massachusetts at Boston, the American Judicature Society and the Massachusetts Bar Association, nearly 100 judges gathered on May 21 at the University of Massachusetts Boston to discuss casesettlement issues. They considered the results of a comprehensive survey ofjudges and trial lawyers about the role of judges in promoting settlement, andexplored the legal and ethical issues that arise when judges become involved insettlement negotiations. The conference's result was a remarkable consensusthat active judicial involvement in this area is appropriate, but that morejudicial education is necessary and more attention should be given to thespecific legal and ethical problems that arise when judges become directlyinvolved in the settlement process.