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Reed Elsiver Keeps Gobbling 'Em Up

Ron Friedmann at Prism Legal reports on LexisNexis' continued expansion into litigation support products, with its recent acquisitions of CaseSoft and DataFlight. Quite frankly, the news has me terrified. One reason that CaseSoft's CaseMap products have gotten such traction in the solo and small-firm communities is the relatively low cost for a license. I fear that now that LexisNexis has gotten its monopolistic paws on this product, we'll see the prices increase.

Look at what's happened to Accurint, an asset locator service that Reed Elsiever (LexisNexis parent) acquired in 2004. Before the acquisition, Accurint boasted that it cost a quarter to obtain information, and that was true. I used Accurint years ago, and it was easy to access on a use-as-you-go basis. I revisited the Accurint site today to see if there'd been any changes. For starters, you can't tell what the costs are from the Web site -- you need to call a sales line, which hooks you into a phone line for all LexisNexis products. It seems like Accurint has added new features, which is great for large firms and justifies added costs. But solo and small-firm lawyers have a need for simple, bread and butter, use-as-you-go services and rates. Not sure if that's still available on Accurint.

That's my concern about all of these recent LexisNexis acquisitions. Lexis is going to keep upgrading the services like Accurint and CaseSoft to integrate them with other Lexis products. That's great for large firms that can afford to pay more. But in the legal profession, there's still a need for low-cost, pay-as-you-go, single-license services -- and I'm afraid that the more Lexis acquires, the fewer options we'll find at the low end.

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on July 27, 2006 at 05:26 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

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