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It is the time of year when state governors deliver State of the State addresses, and the president tells Congress and the people the State of the Union. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to give you a “State of the Legal Web Sites” update, especially with all that is happening in the dot.com industry as a whole. DOT.COM SHAKEOUT From the NUA electronic newsletter (http://www.nua.ie/), we learn that in the fourth quarter of 2000, 121 U.S. Internet companies ceased doing business. This brings the number of dot.com failures past the 200 mark for the year. (View the full story at http://www.nua.ie/surveys/ index.cgi?f=VS&art_id=905356307 &amprel=true.) Dot.com demises are also being felt in legal publishing circles; http://www.metalegal.com/ appears to have disappeared. Its URL is not functioning, and my calls to owner John B. Cooney have not been returned. The purpose of this site was to organize and categorize all legal sources. This noble effort apparently did not get the support it needed from paying subscribers. LAWBOOKS.COM LawBooks.com continues to sell books primarily to law students, while improving its technology and customer service. http://www.lawbooks.com/. COURTLINK We have often brought you news about CourtLink, which provides access to federal, state, and local court records. The company recently merged with JusticeLink and MarketSpan, creators of CaseStream. We reviewed CourtLink and MarketSpan before the merger in “From the Court to Your PC” in October 2000. A new Web site integrates the services. This company may have a great product, but it is hard to understand. There are so many product names it makes my head spin. For example, there is CourtLink, CaseStream, JusticeLink, and also eAccess, eFile, and CourtLink Classic. Basically the site provides Web-based access to federal and state court records as well as e-filing. I would just call the service CourtLink; that name says it all. All those other trademarked names confuse its market (attorneys), especially MarketSpan, which leads users to think the service has something to do with market research. http://www.courtlink.com/. EMARKETPLACE In October 2000 we told you about another site that will offer products and services to attorneys and legal professionals. EMarketplace began running on LexisONE earlier this year. http://www.lexisone.com/. FINDLAW.COM Carol Levitt wrote a definitive article on FindLaw, which we published in Research Advisor in June 2000. This legal meta-site is still functioning. It offers a lot free, and is now owned by West Group. http://www.findlaw.com/. INDEXMASTER This site provides access to indexes and tables of contents of thousands of books. As we reported previously, the company planned to add newsletters, but this initiative was postponed. IndexMaster did add a URL linking feature for libraries to integrate its database into a firm’s online library catalog. Also as previously reported, there is a small fee for this service. Plans for 2001 include adding more book publishers and marketing the service to medium- and small-size law firms. http://www.indexmaster.com/. LAW.COM The site is robust and offers a variety of information to legal professionals. Law.com recently closed its London office, since, according to what we heard at Online Information 2000 in December, “The company never did figure out what it wanted to do in Europe.” We reported on the site in May 2000 and again in July/August 2000. Selected Legal Information Alert and Business Information Alert articles appear on this Web site. It is also a good way to check the law librarian channel daily. http://www.law.com/. [Editor's Note: Alert Publications is a content provider to law.com.] LAWCOMMERCE We reported on this site in October 2000. Lawcommerce, an independently owned company, offers a wide range of products and services to attorneys. Lexis-Nexis has even invested in it. Check out the research tools! http://www.lawcommerce.com/. LOISLAW In January 2000, we published a review of Loislaw, and for the first time included it in our annual review of CALR databases in the November/December 2000 issue. To start off 2001, Loislaw signed an agreement by which it will be acquired by Wolters Kluwer, an excellent strategic move for Kluwer. Of the “big three” (Reed Elsevier, Thomson Corporation, and Wolters Kluwer), only Wolters Kluwer did not have a major legal database. Kluwer will need to add some editorial features and functionality to Loislaw to make it a true competitor to Westlaw and Lexis. http://www.loislaw.com/. NATIONAL LAW LIBRARY This site got a lot of press last year from T.R. Halverson in reviews posted on LLRX (http://www.llrx.com/). The company now has a new Web site, which is very professional looking. See our March 2000 issue for additional information. http://www.itislaw.com/. QUICKLAW AMERICA Originally this company existed as Current Legal Resources (CLR), which was started by a group of editors from West Publishing. CLR produced an excellent U.S. federal code and regulations database. In 1999, the group was acquired by Quicklaw, a Canadian company that provides Canadian and other Commonwealth legal materials. CLR was integrated into Quicklaw and became Quicklaw America. The company was making a vigorous attempt to penetrate the American market, while preparing for an IPO. In mid-December, the group of editors and QL parted ways. The editors, headed by John Molinari, have now formed Legal Content, Inc. (LCI). LCI will continue to provide editorial work on Quicklaw’s U.S. code and federal regulations databases. They will have a full review of the Quicklaw service, which now includes caselaw, in the near future. Shai Dubey, acting president of Quicklaw America, indicated that the new arrangement was due in part to the failure of the IPO, which was withdrawn last October. Quicklaw will continue to offer free trials through its Web site and plans to continue updating the site. A spokesman for QL indicated that the U.S. materials are popular with its Canadian and Commonwealth subscribers. http://www.quicklaw.com/. LCI also provides data licensing and sales for its federal and state statutory and regulatory materials. It also performs other editorial services. For more information, contact Gregory Brown at (952) 974-0876; e-mail: mailto:[email protected] A FINAL NOTE SLA’s Virtual Exhibit Hall gets the award for a waste of time. It is hard to find — you have to look under “shop @ SLA.” Unfortunately, it is restricted to SLA members, whereas the vendors would probably like to have as many information professionals as possible find them via the site. We reported about this new idea in our report from the SLA annual meeting in our July/August 2000 issue. http://www.sla.org/. Donna Tuke Heroy is Editor and Publisher at Alert Publications, Inc. She can be reached at [email protected]

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